Please give your input

Please give your input

Here’s three popular songs I recorded for my demo CD, in hopes to get more paying gigs. I’m trying to put myself through college here. Please tell me what you think.

www.audiostreet.net/coreymurphy

The songs are Star of the County Down, Come Out ye Black and Tans, and Muirsheen Durken.

Thanks,
Corey

Re: Please give your input

Are you really sure you want people to tell you what they think?

Re: Please give your input

This should save you cutting and pasting the link

http://www.audiostreet.net/artist.aspx?artistid=6053

My two cents.. meant constructively. Please don’t take this as criticism. I play in pubs myself, and am going through the same sort of challenges (like getting more paying gigs, for a start 🙂 )

Star Of The County Down is a touch too fast - try slowing it down 10 to 20 percent.

Don’t over sing the last note 😉

An instrumentalist would really lift all three songs - do you know anyone who plays the whistle? It means splitting the takings, but it would improve the sound no end. Plus a few instrumental breaks prevent the songs from getting too long and the punters losing interest.

On the plus side, all the lyrics can be heard clearly, which is one up on a lot of pub singers. Rhythm is regular and the chords are reasonable.

It sounds to me like you’re singing a touch below your vocal range, though. You seem to be reaching a bit for the low notes. Have you tried capoing up a couple of frets? Sounds like you have more upper range available, and confidence on the notes leads to more power leads to more clarity in a crowded pub full of drunk people. Just my opinion mind, yours may differ!

Hope this helps,
Eno

PS If you feel affronted, go to http://ezfolk.com/audio/bands/2128/
and feel free to criticise as much as you like.. the first couple of tracks are mine and they’re nothing to write home about.

Re: Please give your input

No problem, I appreciate all the feedback, positive or negative.

Re: Please give your input

It’s a love song, isn’t it?

Your style and aggressive speed might better serve a protest song, or an American song by Billy Ed Wheeler called "Coal Tattoo".

Hope this comment isn’t as negative as it is positive, because you obviously have a talent and just need some feedback.

Good luck.

Re: Please give your input

I agree with bc box and windybaer. Star and Muirsheen should be slowed down at least 20% (more, to my taste) especially with your pounding guitar style. Another instrumentalist/chorus singer would make a big difference.

Re: Please give your input

Petite blonde chorus singers and coin collectors are very effective.

Re: Please give your input

not really my cup of tea and i would ditch the dodgy accent, mind you , i havn’t a note in my head , so i can’t really criticise.

Re: Please give your input

Honest opinion?
I found Star of the County Down unlistenable. But then I don’t really like the song or that style of singing very much. Sorry.

Re: Please give your input

Star of C.D. could do with a bit more gentleness. You’re dreaming of a beautiful girl…
With M.D. I find the guitar backing too heavy. It’s not the number of beats you play that makes a song catchy. Try to give it a bit of a swing.

Posted by .

Re: Please give your input

You can hold a note, which is more than I can half the time, but you sound a bit too angry/aggresive, particularly on TSOTCD, which, after all, is a lovesong.
I think you’d scare the colleen away, she’d run screaming back up the boreen and Tell her Ma …

Re: Please give your input

Honest opinion?
If you’re joking, it’s not funny.
If you’re serious, it’s atrocious.

Re: Please give your input

I’ve heard a lot worse in pubs - I mightn’t stay to listen to you but it doesn’t mean other punters wouldn’t. . Take the comments on board and go for it. A punky student crowd might go for your angry sounding version of SOCD c/w dodgy accent but otherwise you might want to think about seducing your crowd and sing more naturally.

BTW, bc-box, I got a good laugh out of the guitar backing in your clip, we’ve all been there, you did well to keep playing in such fine fashion as the only melody instrument with that stramash going on behind you. The power of the bellows

Posted by .

Re: Please give your input

You seem to have fallen into the trap of whipping up a fast thrash with the guitar, then straining your voice to compete with it in volume and speed; add a bid to sound vehement and blood-curdling in songs such as the one about the Tans, and a singer in that predicament simply ends up sounding rather like a dog. I would say, being neither a singer nor a guitarist btw - practise on the songs till you’ve found a speed, key and volume within your comfortable singing range - *then* fit the guitar round *that*. If you end up singing and playing slower and quieter, and are happy with the way it works in your room, then play it that way in the gig or wherever, and take a gamble on the audience listening to you on your terms, once you’ve set down a rhythm and kicked in. (Listen, if you haven’t, to how The Dubliners have done these chorus/pub type songs.)

Re: Please give your input

Sorry Corey, you’re braver than I, but you’re beating the music to death with that accompaniment. You desperately need guidance there. I couldn’t let any track finish it was worse than my tinnitis, and it is also unbalanced, just the one ear, so the other one wasn’t protected from that din of your incessant chord slamming… I wish you luck, but you have a lot of work to do. Don’t let us damage your passion, but tie it down to some skill, which is in desperate need of nurture and development…

Re: Please give your input

Molaoch, aren’t you so cruel!

Re: Please give your input

I hate to add to it, but I must agree with the negative comments so far, and apologise for not having put anything of my own up to be similarly flailed; I call your style of guitar-playing "stirring the pudding"; you hit the strings going up, you hit the strings going down, and occasionally you give it a rest for a moment. It’s not musical, but it sometimes passes for such in pub-singing. Did you ever have any lessons/hear anybody like the Carter Family/Doc Watson/Paul Brady ? (just to name a few).
Vigour and enthusiasm are commendable, perhaps you’ve gone done well at a party, or in a noisy pub. Other audiences will be more scathing.I hope you have enough sensitivity to take this on board, plus broad enough shoulders to accept that there will be hard knocks along the way.

Re: Please give your input

Alright Bridgee, you’re right, if I’m going to comment at all it needs to have some constructive dynamic about it, so, Corey, ask for ideas about accompaniment for singing. When I said unbalanced, most of my attention was drawn to the accompaniment, not the song. Even a bad singer, in the classical or pop sense, or folk sense, can carry a song if the soul is there, even if it were badly out of tune. I’ve listened to what many might consider hopeless, but the heart and/or humour they put into this song they obviously cared about and loved, was all I needed to appreciate it with my heart and soul. so there wasn’t need for any kind of ‘refined perfection’, whatever the measures being used to determine that. But in these examples I wasn’t drawn to the song at all but to the accompaniment. That is in the main what I meant by "UNBALANCED"… But, on the song side, and maybe because you were putting so much adrenalin and energy into the tyring to break strings, the other imbalance was that you didn’t convince me with the songs. I didn’t believe you. That for me is important. If I believe you and your an out of tune frog having a croak, I’ll listen and that relationship and intimacy will carry me how ever you croak it out.

Is that better Bridgee? 😎 Blame her not me Corey… Find the path Luke… Sorry, where was I? Somebody turn on a light so I can find the door marked ‘Fir’…

Re: Please give your input

As good ol’ Guernsey Pete wonders, I’ve taken for granted that your shoulders are broad Corey, as it takes balls to do what you’ve done here. Cheers! Start formatting more discussions, aimed in particular at the singer accompanists on site here… There are some good people here that could help you along, but finding a ‘mentor’ to study and learn from is an important move… Some good suggestions are given above,at least for listening and studying. One-to-one ~ classes, workshops, summer schools, whatever, is the best way to progress and grow in your appreciation, understanding and skill…

Re: Please give your input

The accent goes from Hillbilly to English folk singer to Scottish in a couple of lines.

It wasn’t great, but then neither is my singing. If people want to hear good singers they go to the opera.

You could play nearly anywhere on St Paddy’s Day with that act, mainly because punters are drunk and want to believe they are having a great time.

But listen to the advice offered here, and it could be a lot better.
The timing is poor, diction is good, accent very suspicious.

But you have the balls to do it, and that goes a long way.

Re: Please give your input

Thank you for the advice, don’t start going easy on me! ;)

I think the problem is that I come from playing blues and rock for most of my guitar-playing background so I will certainly look intot he names you gave and refine it a bit. I listen to a lot of Dubliners and other stuff but mostly for the singing; I don’t pay a lot of attention to the guitar (if there is one).

Re: Please give your input

See ~ there is something being strummed but it hasn’t distracted from the singing!!!

Damn, you are one lucky man. I think that’s the nicest I’ve ever seen BB, and wise too, not just wise cracking… You are blessed! 😎

Re: Please give your input

Not many people would have the guts to ask openly for detailed criticism. I know I wouldn’t and I take my hat off to you. I struggled just to put stuff up on YouTube!!

Good on you!!!

Re: Please give your input

Some advice from a singing teacher for you:

Slow down when you’re singing. Try to convey the message of the song better. One way to do this is to divide a piece of paper into three columns, you write each sentence or block that you feel has a meaning in the first column, then some adjectives you feel describe what is being said in the second column, and finally, in the third column you note down a period in your own life when you felt those same emotions and - when singing it, mentally take yourself back there (you’ll probably end up an emotional mess, but then - welcome to being a singer!). If you do this, I think you’ll find that the way you change the songs (and the speed you sing them at) will be totally transformed - for example, if you take yourself to a longing, yearning place when you felt a great nostalgic urge for something from your past - then I feel you wouldn’t shout the first song in that slightly angry way, it needs to be dreamier.

Also, as a technique note, a previous poster mentioned that you should take the song up a couple of keys - I don’t think you should. What is giving the impression that the song is too low for you is that you a singing it with a slightly imposed larynx (like the beginning of a yawn) - most likely in an unconcious attempt to have a ‘singer’s voice’. Truth is that we can only sing with the voice we’ve got, and it’s the same one we use to talk - so relax your throat and touch your adams apple with you fingers whilst singing the first verse as an exercise - make sure that you are NOT lowering your larynx when you sing (and that it is not raising when you sing higher) - you might also wish to check that the muscles under your chin that you use to swallow are not tense when you’re singing. When we sing, there is no more tension than when we talk.

Good luck to you and feel free to contact me if you want any more advice (I’m in France so can’t offer you tuition, but am happy to give advice via email or video conference).

Allan

Re: Please give your input

I can’t listen to it because I’m at work, but I guarantee it can’t possibly be worse than the guy I had a gig with a couple weeks ago. I’ve had a bunch of gigs with him actually, including a lucrative St Pat’s day run. He sings random melodies with totally unintelligible, oft-forgotten lyrics with a high-octane punk rock rhythm (even the waltzes). Somehow he manages to ensure that even the most overplayed, tired tunes in our repertoire are completely unrecognizable.

The last gig I had with him was in a totally empty new pub, to which he brought no audience members (nor did I, for reasons of personal embarassment). At one point the only person watching was the manager who hired us, and the singer selected that very moment to stop playing in the middle of a song and talk to the drummer, then fiddle with the sound system.

Miraculously, they hired us BACK for two gigs next week. A Friday and Saturday night, of all things. Which is all to say you’ll get more pub gigs from the persistent badgering of booking managers than you will from playing good music. If your demo is weak, as it seems to be from the comments so far, you don’t need to use it. Just beg for a week-night trial run at a discounted rate for the first go (maybe pints and a few bucks for your expenses). If you manage to put arses in the seats for it, and the pub will be absolutely delighted regardless of how much you stink.

It’s a myth, imo, that you need to be good in order to get gigs. I decided to always play whenever someone offers me money to do so, regardless of the cringe-worthiness of the music being played. (That’s how I ended up with the guy I mention above, btw.) I’m no good, but I still get lots of paying gigs, AND I don’t have to do any of the work as far as badgering publicans is concerned.

Re: Please give your input

And a welcome back to you Kerri.

Posted by .

Re: Please give your input

She’s alive!

Re: Please give your input

The first time I saw Kerry Brown
She was so young and fair
A voice like spring rain fallin’ down and sunlight in her hair
I’d never seen her face before so I asked all around
Her daddy owns a grocery store and she lives in Bristol town

Kerry darlin’ Kerry, Kerry Brown I cry
If I can’t marry Kerry Brown believe I’d rather die

I laid my last ten dollars down
Though I didn’t need a thing
Just to touch sweet Kerry Brown
When she handed me my change
I hung around ‘till closin’ time I scarce believed my eyes
My darlin’ walkin’ arm in arm
With a boy named Billy Wise

I walked around in Bristol town a bitter broken man
A heart that pined for Kerry Brown and a pistol in my hand
We met again on State Street poor Billy Wise and me
I shot him in Virginia and he died in Tennessee

Now I’m down in the Bristol jail and all I do is cry
‘Cause the jury found me guilty and the judge says I must die
I’m just a poor young mountain boy
Ain’t never been to town
And I’ve come to ruination for the love of Kerry Brown

Yee Hah!!!

Re: porcine perceptions

‘It’s a myth, imo, that you need to be good in order to get gigs. I decided to always play whenever someone offers me money to do so, regardless of the cringe-worthiness of the music being played.’

yes,Kerri-nobody ever went broke from feeding the pigs!


and indeed,nice to hear from you again.

(from the dave formerly known as viola)

Re: Please give your input

So Kerri, you gigged with Shane McGowan?

Re: Please give your input

Pretty much, fidkid.

I can’t seem to post, since I am doing it surreptitiously at work, one sentence at a time, but the last time I wrote a big long post I hit "post" only to find I’d been logged out and my post was gone. *shrug*.

Anyway, nice to see everyone. (Love that song, Mark! Bought that album just to blast that whenever I feel blue.)

Would you please talk slower? I can’t keep up.

Re: Please give your input

I suppose I might as well revive this one instead of starting up an entirely new thread- I’m still singing, and I feel I’ve improved. I’d still like new input and direction though. I appreciated all of the comments, good and bad, mostly bad, even if I haven’t implemented all of them. Anyway I’d appreciate it if anyone interested would give me another listen (and lashing) ;)

http://www.myspace.com/murphy1798