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#1657958 - 04/10/11 11:09 PM 1st time singer(kinda) long time player looking for advice..
RudyFig Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/02/11
Posts: 8
Loc: Hollister, CA
Yesterday, my fiancee and I found the perfect venue for our wedding. While they took us on our tour of the place, I was thinkin it was really nice, but felt something was missing. Then I noticed a shiny ebony Yamaha C5 hidden away in a corner. As the passionate pianist I am, I could not resist the urge to allow my fingertips to gracefully pass along the keytops, forming a sweet and soft rhythm and melody that inebriated the soul. At this point I became enamored with the venue. That's when the venue coordinater said he could throw in the piano free of charge. I said, "Throw in some punch and we got a DEAL!" (It didn't go EXACTLY like that but I refuse to remember this day ANY other way!)

Now getting to the point and reason for this post...

After playing that piano, I became convinced of the idea to play and sing for my lady on our wedding day. I KNOW that i want to do this. Unfortunately, I can't even talk while I'm playing the piano because I get so involved into what I play. Talking just makes me lose my concentration and I can't put the same emotion into my playing.
To help me on my way, I'm in search of a vocal coach/instructor to really bring out my potential. This is where I need your help.
Should I make sure the instructor has a strong piano background?
What questions should I be asking a potential instructor?
Where can I start looking?
Any other tips?
Any and ALL opinions are welcome. Thanks!

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#1658446 - 04/11/11 06:49 PM Re: 1st time singer(kinda) long time player looking for advice.. [Re: RudyFig]
tdow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
What a sweet gesture! I've taught singing (and piano) for over 13 years. From my perspective a lot of the questions you are asking depend on how much time you have to prepare your performance.

If you've got the piano portion "under control" and a significant amount of time until the big day, then look for a really good vocal coach (don't concentrate on their own piano skills) who is able to help you with more than just that one song (resist the urge to phone them and ask them to just teach you "song title".) You'll need at least a bit of vocal training background to be comfortable in front of a crowd...and for the crowd to be comfortable listening! Look for someone who has experience teaching the kind of music you are performing (classical, pop, jazz?) as the technique is different. If you have little or no experience singing then really seek out a quality instructor who is willing to help you meet your goal while giving you a really solid grounding.

If you've got to be ready in a matter of a few weeks then I would suggest finding a teacher who is wiling to see you a couple of times a week until then and concentrate on using that particular song to teach you the technique you need to know.

Best of luck!
_________________________
Piano Teaching Resources with Personality
www.teachpianotoday.com
http://www.pianogeekweek.com

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#1658582 - 04/11/11 10:28 PM Re: 1st time singer(kinda) long time player looking for advice.. [Re: RudyFig]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10766
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Singing and playing simultaneously is a tough thing, as you know. It is best to know what you're singing to the point of memorizing and know what you're playing also at that level, then put them together. One or both will suffer, but the goal is to minimize that.

You don't need a voice teacher that has a background in piano. You need a voice teacher who can get your voice strong enough to sing in the most efficient way possible, someone who knows the right sound and how to lead a student to that.

Where do you live? I may be able to recommend someone around your area. Otherwise, your best bet is to listen to the students of a teacher (like at a studio recital). If most of them sound good, then go with them.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1659294 - 04/13/11 02:56 AM Re: 1st time singer(kinda) long time player looking for advice.. [Re: RudyFig]
RudyFig Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/02/11
Posts: 8
Loc: Hollister, CA
Thanks Tdow and Morodiene. Your opinions are very appreciated.

I do have a LITTLE experience singing in front of crowds when my band and I were actively playing gigs. But I'd say I was decent at best. I'm looking for a vocal teacher here in Hollister, CA to really help me going. I've found one instructor who's a soprano/pianist in a local choir group so I'm hoping she returns my email soon.
The wedding date is Aug 13th so I have 4 months 2 kick my butt (or vocal cords) into shape. Do you have any practicing techniques or exercises to help me out with playing piano and singing simultaneously?
ANY song ideas? I was able to sneak away with her iPod so I get a chance 2 hear what she listens to the most. :p I'm thinking of going with something modern and arranging it for the piano so I can have control over how complex I make it. What you think?

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#1659784 - 04/13/11 11:16 PM Re: 1st time singer(kinda) long time player looking for advice.. [Re: RudyFig]
tdow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
Have you listened to "Marry Me" by Train? I've sung this at two weddings recently and there wasn't a dry eye smile
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghZt2cILcCU

Try playing and singing your own warm-ups - start with major scales and variations of, arpeggios, patterns using thirds etc. Follow along with your voice changing vowels each time you move up a key. Then change the "plain" vowels to vowels plus a consonant ("me, la, so,") to match each note. This should start to help you coordinate the two.

Have you tried playing just solid chords and singing the melody line over top? Songs like "Marry Me" can be broken down to really simple chords that you can hold while you sing the melody over top. This might help you too by starting from just a simple chord change along with singing.

Good luck!
_________________________
Piano Teaching Resources with Personality
www.teachpianotoday.com
http://www.pianogeekweek.com

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#1661962 - 04/17/11 07:13 PM Re: 1st time singer(kinda) long time player looking for advice.. [Re: RudyFig]
RudyFig Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/02/11
Posts: 8
Loc: Hollister, CA
Sorry I've been out so long. Things have just gotten PRETTY busy with all these wedding preparations.
Thanks tdow for the suggestions. After "borrowing" my fiancee's iPod, I was able to find a song that was played enough times that makes me believe she really likes it. It's Todo Cambio by Camila. Here's the link:

Youtube - Todo Cambio by Camila

I'm using up all my spare time still looking for a vocal coach and writing out this song so I can play it (I'm a total amateur).

I'm having some trouble superimposing that guitar into the piano playing but besides that I'm getting it down pretty well. I tried arranging the guitar to be played one octave higher on the piano but it doesn't seem 2 really sound right. So I'm actually considering hiring a guitar player or sax (which would b pretty cool) for just this ONE song (if I can find anyone). Any ideas?

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#1662635 - 04/19/11 12:11 AM Re: 1st time singer(kinda) long time player looking for advice.. [Re: RudyFig]
tdow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
Wow - you're an ambitious person smile I found the guitar chords for you online which might help so you don't have to write it out on your own (they obviously transfer right across to the piano). This site saves me hours of my own time!

Try the craigslist musicians section to see if someone will join you on the guitar. I'm sure for a fee they'll be more than happy!

Good luck!

http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/c/camila/todo_cambio_acoustic_crd.htm
_________________________
Piano Teaching Resources with Personality
www.teachpianotoday.com
http://www.pianogeekweek.com

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