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Thread: HOw to get them to sing.

  1. #11
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  2. #12
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    For karaoke, I usually need two drinks to get the confidence up. That probably won't work here! Haha!
    Good luck though seriously. If she actually physically shows up and participates in public, that would be a gigantic step and success.
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booksniffer View Post
    Good article - thanks for posting!
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    You can't rip your vocal folds out of your neck and blame your vocal folds. You are stuck with the voice that you have. So there is embarassment, puberty, al of those things combined. Added to the problem is the number of girls that sing at a male's range--thanks to popular music and tenors (I am a tenor) that sing too high for the general population. What we end up with is a large group of female students who can sing along with the radio, but avoid singing at their correct octave. Singing is a muscular function--and if you don't train the normal range of the singing voice, it is breathy and not pleasing to hear--and thus if you keep avoiding it, it doesn't get any better.
    I read your interesting post, but am confused by what you mean here. specifically about "girls that sing at a male's range" and "avoid singing at their correct octave". And what is "the normal range of the singing voice"? Isn't that a huge generalization? What if the girls just have low voices and/or short ranges? That describes me, although I haven't been called a "girl" in quite a few decades... but it applied to me then, as well. Girls' voices can change at puberty, too. Mine definitely did. I sang soprano in elementary school, but that was about as long as it lasted. I became a low alto rather quickly, but was always more at home in the orchestra, anyway. ;-)

    For the record, I'm a non-singer now, except very rarely in church, but usually I'm up front playing the melody on my viola (much to the relief of the congregation, I'm sure). When I do sing (we do traditional hymns, as it's a mostly older crowd), I notice I'm an octave below most of the females, because I could never sing up there, even if I wanted to..

    I've always been into playing, not singing, as musical instruments fascinate me most, but I've heard my voice, and judging from the perspective of a professional instrumentalist, I know it's not a pretty one. But I know also that even if it were, playing and singing simultaneously is a multitasking feat that is quite beyond me, as I even have to stop playing in order to speak a few words if spoken to, because there is no way I could reply coherently and still stay on track playing. (This is something I've tried repeatedly to overcome over the years, to no avail).

    Anyway, just some random observations from a deeper-voiced gal.

    bratsche
    A bunch of stringed instruments tuned in fifths. And a bunch of cats!


    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bratsche View Post
    I read your interesting post, but am confused by what you mean here. specifically about "girls that sing at a male's range" and "avoid singing at their correct octave". And what is "the normal range of the singing voice"? Isn't that a huge generalization? What if the girls just have low voices and/or short ranges? That describes me, although I haven't been called a "girl" in quite a few decades... but it applied to me then, as well. Girls' voices can change at puberty, too. Mine definitely did. I sang soprano in elementary school, but that was about as long as it lasted. I became a low alto rather quickly, but was always more at home in the orchestra, anyway. ;-)
    Okay...

    Imagine the bell curve or Gaussian curve for a moment. Roughly 10% of the population will be on the extreme high end, 10% on the extreme low end. Considering the curve again, another 20% might be considered "high" and another 20% considered low. But 60% of the singers will be in moderate ranges (baritone for men, mezzo soprano for women) if they sing with a normal, healthy production. And perhaps a good percentage of the "extremes" can sing all those notes, too.

    There are going to be exceptions: there will be those that only can sing low (amazingly, we don't find people that can only sing high) which often comes down to a number of reasons. Some are genetic in nature, others by abuse (smoking/drinking), injury, or by repeated practice only in that area. So, there are REAL contraltos, and REAL sopranos--just as there are REAL basses and REAL tenors. The problem for choir directors is that there are a whole lot of people in the middle--and these ranges typically don't settle until our 20s (and may change again--for many women, after childbirth). So choir directors have to try to put people on the side of the curve that fits better for them--when really, a middle range would be ideal.

    Most women should be able to sing from an A below Middle C (A4) to the D above Middle C (D5), although the range between G above middle C (G4) and the C above that (C5) might be airy and breathy and not sound very nice. Men have a similar situation roughly (not quite an octave lower).

    That middle range--called the "break"--also turns a lot of singers away because they don't like "cracking" and they don't like the airy sound. But just like a muscle, you can train the voice so it gets better.

    My guess is that you very well might have notes an octave higher than you sing...and if you were my student, I would work with you to find those notes and to develop your whole voice. That doesn't mean that you would sing there forever--or like it--but like a physical trainer who wants you to focus on all of your body's muscle groups, my task is looking at the entire voice.

    We have some challenges in our (global) culture--we speak lower than we should (all of us), we worship male tenors on the radio (meaning that most men can't sing along and women sing too low), and even public singing forums (think church worship) focus on songs that are higher than the average person should attempt to sing (or, put another way, too low). On a related note, too many of the Daily 365 Songs are written to be easy to play--but are in wicked ranges to sing. But until you become an intermediate player, you likely wouldn't dare to play songs in keys that are unfriendly on the ukulele fretboard.

    I am really passionate about this issue. One of the reasons I love the ukulele is that it gets people to sing--and I am NOT judging anyone. I do want them to be able to sing joyfully and boldly--but the voice teacher in me also wants people to be able to sing in a healthy manner and in a range that is appropriate for their voice.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    Okay...




    My guess is that you very well might have notes an octave higher than you sing...and if you were my student, I would work with you to find those notes and to develop your whole voice. That doesn't mean that you would sing there forever--or like it--but like a physical trainer who wants you to focus on all of your body's muscle groups, my task is looking at the entire voice.

    We have some challenges in our (global) culture--we speak lower than we should (all of us), we worship male tenors on the radio (meaning that most men can't sing along and women sing too low), and even public singing forums (think church worship) focus on songs that are higher than the average person should attempt to sing (or, put another way, too low). On a related note, too many of the Daily 365 Songs are written to be easy to play--but are in wicked ranges to sing. But until you become an intermediate player, you likely wouldn't dare to play songs in keys that are unfriendly on the ukulele fretboard.

    I am really passionate about this issue. One of the reasons I love the ukulele is that it gets people to sing--and I am NOT judging anyone. I do want them to be able to sing joyfully and boldly--but the voice teacher in me also wants people to be able to sing in a healthy manner and in a range that is appropriate for their voice.
    I think that a lot of people have misconceptions about their own singing. I absolutely was not a singer before taking up the ukulele. I didn't even sing the hymns during church services. I was convinced that I did not have a full octave of range. This is what I told everyone and anyone before I took singing lessons, and I believed it. With just a little work from my voice coach during the first lesson, we discovered that I had two and a half octaves of range. If anyone had told me that I might have that much range before then, I would have stood my ground and denied it.
    Last edited by Rllink; 05-30-2017 at 08:50 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    Most women should be able to sing from an A below Middle C (A4) to the D above Middle C (D5), although the range between G above middle C (G4) and the C above that (C5) might be airy and breathy and not sound very nice. Men have a similar situation roughly (not quite an octave lower).

    That middle range--called the "break"--also turns a lot of singers away because they don't like "cracking" and they don't like the airy sound. But just like a muscle, you can train the voice so it gets better.

    My guess is that you very well might have notes an octave higher than you sing...and if you were my student, I would work with you to find those notes and to develop your whole voice. That doesn't mean that you would sing there forever--or like it--but like a physical trainer who wants you to focus on all of your body's muscle groups, my task is looking at the entire voice.
    I'd be shocked if that were the case, frankly. I can sing up to G4 on a good day (and must be well warmed-up) but always crack at A, that is just not doable, "breathy" or otherwise, though I can parody it in a half-assed falsetto if I try hard. I can go down to A2 easily, though.

    bratsche
    A bunch of stringed instruments tuned in fifths. And a bunch of cats!


    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!

  8. #18
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    I think it best not too get too hung on detail or what this gender or that gender are supposed to be able to do. In practical life it is normal not to be able to do some things that our friends can regardless of their and our gender. It seems to me that Choirguy was dealing in generalities and using his experience of what changes in voice training he had been able to achieve with some students.

    The nature of 'normal distribution' means that there must be results that are (distributed) well away from the typical. Some folk are less strong than others and some are less clever than others, with good teaching we make the best of what we have but whatever help I might get I'm never going to be able to run a four minute mile or gain a PHD in Astro-physics. For me the same would apply with singing, the raw material isn't that great but a good teacher might be able to make something of it. How much improvement or change is actually possible must surely vary between individuals and the outcome might not always fit particularly comfortably with one or other traditional pitch grouping - normal distribution (variation) does include small percentages of non-typical values.

    Sorry if my points pull away from the original post. I've found this a most interesting thread and note how it touches on both ability to perform capably and performance anxiety.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 05-31-2017 at 12:26 AM.

  9. #19
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    I love to play, and I love to sing, and I've been doing both since I was a kid (I'm 60 now), but nature sadly didn't endow me with either great playing talent OR a good voice. I do both because I ENOY doing them; and I derive a great deal of pleasure from both activites - even if my 'audiences' don't!

    It'll be difficult for her at only 12 years of age I know, but I've always found the secret is to just do it BECAUSE you enjoy doing it, and not really worry about what others think. All of the top stars in any musical genre have fans that love them, and others who don't like them at all.

    Most people improve a little the more they do; and if anyone so interested can obtain a good vocal tutor (I've sadly never had one) I'm sure it'd help immensely. In the short couple of days I've been a member of UU I've watched videos of members of very wide and varying talents; many of whom I can only one day hope to emulate. But the one thing they all have in common is that they're enjoying themselves - and that, surely, is what our music should all be about?

    We're all different in the way we feel inside about what we want to do in music, but I'm sure she'll sing one day if, as and when she feels the time is right for her...and I feel sure that with YOUR continued guidance Rllink, that day WILL come...

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    I think it best not too get too hung on detail or what this gender or that gender are supposed to be able to do. In practical life it is normal not to be able to do some things that our friends can regardless of their and our gender. It seems to me that Choirguy was dealing in generalities and using his experience of what changes in voice training he had been able to achieve with some students.

    The nature of 'normal distribution' means that there must be results that are (distributed) well away from the typical. Some folk are less strong than others and some are less clever than others, with good teaching we make the best of what we have but whatever help I might get I'm never going to be able to run a four minute mile or gain a PHD in Astro-physics. For me the same would apply with singing, the raw material isn't that great but a good teacher might be able to make something of it. How much improvement or change is actually possible must surely vary between individuals and the outcome might not always fit particularly comfortably with one or other traditional pitch grouping - normal distribution (variation) does include small percentages of non-typical values.

    Sorry if my points pull away from the original post. I've found this a most interesting thread and note how it touches on both ability to perform capably and performance anxiety.
    My young ukulele student still isn't singing. I'm a patient person, so I'm not too worried about it. As far as the singing and running comparison, I'm not a fast runner. I've never won a race. But I go out several times a month, pay my fifteen or twenty dollars, and go out there with hundreds of others who have never won a race, and run 3.1 miles for a t shirt. Each and every one of us are running against ourselves, working toward our personal best. No one is self conscious about the spectators along the route thinking that we are slow. Too bad people can't go after their music with that same perspective. I ask her every week where she wants to go with her ukulele, and she doesn't know. I tell her that I am on my journey, and my journey takes us to a street corner singing and playing for tips, or in a coffee shop singing and playing for nothing. Anyway, she seems to be happy strumming away while I sing. I've actually started working on my song list for gigs while she strums along. Her mother stays and listens. I told her mother that I'm more than happy to sing songs while her daughter strums along with me. I told her that I was going to be doing that anyway, so I might as well get paid to practice. The mother says that her daughter looks forward to it every week, so I guess we are good. Everyone seems happy with the arrangement, so why change? Maybe someday she will sing.

    Quote Originally Posted by S11LKO View Post
    I love to play, and I love to sing, and I've been doing both since I was a kid (I'm 60 now), but nature sadly didn't endow me with either great playing talent OR a good voice. I do both because I ENOY doing them; and I derive a great deal of pleasure from both activites - even if my 'audiences' don't!

    It'll be difficult for her at only 12 years of age I know, but I've always found the secret is to just do it BECAUSE you enjoy doing it, and not really worry about what others think. All of the top stars in any musical genre have fans that love them, and others who don't like them at all.

    Most people improve a little the more they do; and if anyone so interested can obtain a good vocal tutor (I've sadly never had one) I'm sure it'd help immensely. In the short couple of days I've been a member of UU I've watched videos of members of very wide and varying talents; many of whom I can only one day hope to emulate. But the one thing they all have in common is that they're enjoying themselves - and that, surely, is what our music should all be about?

    We're all different in the way we feel inside about what we want to do in music, but I'm sure she'll sing one day if, as and when she feels the time is right for her...and I feel sure that with YOUR continued guidance Rllink, that day WILL come...
    Yep, we're having a good time with it. I think that more than anything she likes to plug into the amp. I let her use my uke and I play her's. It is all going fine.
    Last edited by Rllink; 07-14-2017 at 07:12 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.
    There's more than one road into Richmond. Lil' Rev
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LEY9E_W5sw

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