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Old 10-28-2008, 11:07 AM   #1
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Improving Your Skills

For all you singers out there what are ways that you try to improve your skills as a singer?
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:18 PM   #2
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Sounds cliche`d but... keep singing. Sing everyday. Learn as much as you can.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:14 PM   #3
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Sounds cliche`d but... keep singing. Sing everyday. Learn as much as you can.

Smoke,

This is really great advice. There is no substitution for experience.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:15 PM   #4
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Personally speaking, I prefer to sing with a variety of different singers. It helps me learn to adjust to different singing styles and voice ranges.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:52 AM   #5
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When not singing, listen to your cds northern (powwow, round dance, etc.) & southern (powwow, gourd, 49). It helps to know different styles of songs, drumbeats, changes in vocal patterns, when to breathe, & making sure words or vocables are pronounced correctly in the song. When the feeling hits you to sing, just do it. Nothing better than experience, whether you're @ the drum or not. Singing comes from the heart, not just by memory.
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:44 PM   #6
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Concentrate on your honor beats. Honor beats should stay in rythm with the speed of the drum. It's southern style: hit, fake a hit, hit, fake a hit, hit. It's not hard, however, every drum, even the center drum, can't seem to get this right. Singing is more than beating the life out of the drum, you and the drum are working together when singing. There is a sweet spot all drums have and you simply have to hear it to know how to hit it. Faster is NOT always better.. When your singing fast or you get out of your head and start swinging away at the drum like your mad (usually showing off) your gonna get the honor beats off so bad, you'll screw up the rythm of the song. The more experienced singers are the only ones that are able take a breather, like taking a rest in the middle of a song (in a series of songs), maybe 'cause they're old and tired (tired of having to keep up speed with new singers that are out there just to beat the life out of a drum), or some other reason. But they are the only ones that can do that. And DO NOT be talkin' while a song is being sung, that's disrespectful. Singing is a GOD given gift and we can use this gift to help our Indian people, so put your heart in it, let HIM hear your voice, feel it and jam. Jam for those who can't anymore and the future jammers.

Last edited by farmer ned; 10-29-2008 at 01:02 PM.. Reason: Ape shall not kill ape
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:41 PM   #7
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Yep

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Originally Posted by Drumhopper1 View Post
Personally speaking, I prefer to sing with a variety of different singers. It helps me learn to adjust to different singing styles and voice ranges.
I mix up the genre too, as long as you sing and keep hitting notes in the range in question, you'll be good. I sing more NDN stuff a couple of days before the gig though, so I keep as fresh as possible.

Lemons and certain herbs help.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:46 AM   #8
I don't do this for fun!
 
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grab a lil drum stick beat the hell out of your dash and sing hard while driving! build up those voical cords!!! :)
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:06 PM   #9
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grab a lil drum stick beat the hell out of your dash and sing hard while driving! build up those voical cords!!! :)
So I'm not the only one who does that huh! I'm surprised my airbag hasn't deployed on me...or my wife for that matter.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:32 PM   #10
I don't do this for fun!
 
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Talking

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So I'm not the only one who does that huh! :
It's an oklahoma tradition!!!
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:47 PM   #11
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It's an oklahoma tradition!!!
You can take that Spirit out of Oklahoma...but you can't take Oklahoma out of the Spirit huh?
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Its not the final destination that defines us, rather the journey taken!
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:11 PM   #12
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Number one thing...just go sing...don't worry bout tryna look cute...dont worry bout who's there, who's gonna hear you...forget tryna get rich..not gonna happen...just go out there and jam...don't hesitate, don't think about why you shouldn't just GO FOR IT...go by those words they'll take you places...and sing on your off time...if you want to hit higher notes...each day kinda try to sing a note higher then your usual...then focus on solidity and volume...try and sing it louder...worked for me...learn as many songs as you can..your brain never stops learning so don't limit it..it's a crime to yourself..and find an elder and ask them for guidance...not only will you be getting good info..but it makes those old ones feel good in their heart...and it'll come back around to you in a gooooot way..thas what my cohn told me anyway....but I'm not any first class bad a singer...just another guy that enjoys it...
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:03 PM   #13
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I was told by a friend of mine......just sing.....and sing hard no matter what you're singing or who you are singing with.....doesn't matter who is sitting with you or who you'd rather have with you.....just sing and try your hardest....oh and sing from your diaphragm...(your gut)...and not your throat.....you'll end up losing your voice faster and not only that you can't hold your tune longer......learned that one from choir....LMAO!!!!
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:10 PM   #14
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good words fellas!!!! really good words!!!!!
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:12 AM   #15
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L W,

Well I will take it you mean having songs ready,

My Uncle always told me as far as songs go you have study, listen to recording sing song in your head but not random songs but some in order,

Since this is southern singing, like we sang for this round dance set at NMAI, I would get 6 - 8 round dance songs in order and sing them all week in that order, every morning, so when it came time to sing I had a good little set, If someone else sang one move on to the next, since I sang them in order just hum the tune and the next song just pops in my head,, Ayee , Good luck sing hard, One of my Uncles once told me all this stuff that he know about singing and Tradition did not just pop into his head he had to go out and search for it and talk to elders, When you seek advice from those real good ones stories just come out!!
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:06 PM   #16
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This is real good thread. I was taught by my dad, his advice was, the best way to learn to sing any style of songs is to first learn to sing Taos round dance songs. If you can learn to sing these songs, the rest will be easy to sing. Taos round dance songs are beautiful songs with alot of twist and turns. I have found thru out my years of singing at various parts of Indian country, this has been helpful advice.

For the new comers or just wanting to start singing, 49 songs are the easiest songs to learn, not just the "Top Ten" songs, but the ole songs.

This is my 2 cents worth of advice.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:37 AM   #17
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Ok here is my 49 cents worth... LOL.

Listen to as much singing by other drums as you can, not just the contemporary drums, but listen to those older groups and older recordings. Go to pow wows and listen to as many different drums as you can as well, watch what they do, this is where you'll learn the "tips of the trade." It will go a long way towards helping you develop your personal style. Plus... it's just interesting seeing and hearing how people do things in different places... you'll be able to develop for yourself what sounds good.

Second... talk about what it is to be a singer with older, more established singers... and when you ask... shut up and listen! I will be the first one to admit I don't know everything about singing, and even the old-timers will admit it too... that's what I think is the coolest... the humbleness. Just listening to some of those old guys talk, you will be surprised what you learn, what stories you hear, and what tips you'll pick up. But when you take the time to ask, be prepared to take the time to listen. Always be respectful, and you will be respected for it.

I know other have said it, but it's worth repeating... sing every day. Whether it's pow wow, what's on the radio, whatever, you need to keep the vocal chords strong, which is important when you roll into a three day pow wow and find out you're the only drum there... you're gonna need that strength to get you through.

I would also add this too, never stop learning songs. There's nothing quite as boring as hanging around pow wows and hearing a drum sing the same exact songs every weekend. Learn as many songs as you can, and know them cold before you sing them.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:14 AM   #18
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Sometimes you're in a social situation, on a bus or grocery shopping for instance, where you don't want to sing at the top of your lungs. If you did, they might carry you away in a net. Almost all of the old singers that I've seen would LOWLY whistle the songs. The whistling was barely audible. My wife adds that she often would whistle the songs like that if she was bored, especially if present at a boring lecture, or waiting in line, or something of that nature.

Last edited by Gledanh Zhinga; 11-29-2008 at 11:17 AM.. Reason: small addition
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:04 AM   #19
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well being a Woman my advice is just singing; I sing everywhere. Doing dishes, laundry etc. (makes the work go faster), I sing with the kids before bed (instead of reading), I sing in the car, walking down the street. And I chew bitter root a lot (cause thats a lot of singing). I also think it keeps be in a generally happy mood.
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:30 AM   #20
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Thumbs up Real-practice!

[QUOTE=lumbee_warrior;1232902]For all you singers out there what are ways that you try to improve your skills as a singer?[/QUOTEm]


myself, I attend every tribal dance we have.I watched all the older singers closely.I recorded everything.I listen to every recording,studying it until the next tribal dance.I learn the leads.I learn how to second myself incase the singers at the drum dont wanna back me up.alotta times the older singers wont second you right off.they wanna see what you got.thats where the practice kicks in.Ive been practicing since i was "TEN" years old.My dads one of the most highly respected tribal singers of today.he's one of our last ones left actually.me and my brothers know this.this is why we practice so hard.I grew up going to dances with my dad and watching him shake hands with people till the dance was over with.even then he was still shaking hands.as a little kid i would always wonder why people would shake his hand so much.then i realized that it was because of the drum that he had all this respect from good people.he even told me this.He said this drum will take you far son,respect it like a human being because it has a spirit.that spirit will give you the strength to have a good life around it.If you treat it bad,and dont live right.that drum will get rid of you.there's been alotta good singers around that drum that didnt live right or treated it bad,and that drum got rid of them.So having the opportunity to hear these good words that ill forever live by.I started hittin the dances around home strong.i recorded everthing.wrote everything down on paper.memorized it.And ive been getting better every dance we had.I memorized so much i was able to run my own program with ease.Ive had some of the most known tribal singers in the tribe give me the compliments i practiced so hard for.Ive been head singer for the giveswater family for three straight years now.those who know anything about giveswater family from ponca should know those two days of singing aint no damn cake walk.we're talking family individual songs,wolf songs,ee-gah-zee songs,soldier dance songs,war-dance songs,round dance songs, not just round dance songs eighther.family who come into town wanna hear old ponca round dance songs.so if you wanna hear somethin about how to improve your skills...one word!......."PRACTICE"
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