View Full Version : Suddenly too low

01-16-2017, 09:00 PM
Wierd thing happened to me tonight while performing. I played a song I've done a million times and suddenly it was too low for me. I got through it but it was just such a strange feeling. I'm very careful selecting the right key for any particular song, so it really surprised me. Don't know if it was just because it was late at night and my lower register was shot or what. Also wondering if it could be a amp issue. I usually play either completely acoustic or vocals miked and instrument plugged in. This place had vocals miked and a second low one for your instrument. I couldn't really hear my uke as well as my voice. Has this happened to any of you? Any ideas to prevent this? Is it better to err on the higher side? What do you think?

01-16-2017, 09:13 PM
It did happen to me once. Also a song I've sung lots of times. I can't actually remember the name of the song now. All the way through I'm thinking "What's going on here". Turns out I started it a whole octave lower. When I finished, one of my regulars commented that I usually do it a lot punchier, so that's when I realized. It was in the middle of a set, and I think, caused by the song that preceded it and that I started the next song a bit to soon. As you say "weird".

01-16-2017, 09:41 PM
You know, Karaukey, I wondered the same thing briefly, but dismissed the idea. I thought "could I really have started a whole octave too low? Nah" but that could be it. I was doing John Prine "In a Town This Size" and the last line of the chorus goes pretty low so you do need to start high. It just surprised me because I've sung this so many times without a hitch. I guess it'll teach me not to take things for granted and be more aware of potential danger.

01-16-2017, 10:04 PM
Yep. I think much more likely with a song you've (one has) done lots of times, so you're fairly relaxed. You maybe forget how careful you were when you first started performing it. You also tend to underestimate how much you're putting into a song you do often. That came to me as a bit of shock in the middle of one of my favorites when I had a slight cold and found myself a little short of breath in a few places. Still, we wouldn't give it up for quids, would we?

Down Up Dick
01-17-2017, 05:16 AM
I don't really have an answer to your question, but my voice changes pitch a lot. Sometimes when i get up in the AM my voice is really deep. I just love to sing some old spiritual or hymn like "Goin' Home" or "Deep River". At other times, i'm just an old, rusty baritone--eh!

Maybe your voice was just tired rather than rested like mine is in the AM. Wait and see if it happens again. :old:

01-18-2017, 08:36 AM
I've had issues with amps before. I'm old, and I can't distinguish sound like I used to. Everything gets jumbled up. I've had it happen where I could not distinguish my voice from the uke, and that is especially true if there are other players plugged in too. It is a struggle sometimes. I've seen performers who have a speaker pointed toward themselves and I think that it is for that reason, but I do not have enough experience yet to know exactly what they are doing.

01-18-2017, 03:10 PM
Solo performers sometimes have their speakers set up slightly behind them so that they can hear themselves clearly. Bands usually have an array of fold back speakers across the floor in front of them. My set up also includes a "fold back" speaker pointed straight at me so that I can always hear myself clearly. As to the original question, a few friends and I were practicing our harmonies today. Usually we harmonize by singing the normal melody and the harmony singers going up or down a third. Could you have been down a third perhaps?