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whistleman123
11-21-2017, 06:45 AM
So I finally started singing with my strumming. I thought it would be nice to make a video Christmas card to send to family. I picked one of my favorites - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

If I play it in G I can't sing the low notes. So I learned it in Bb and the highest note is strained. So I bought a capo. When I try it in Ab and A I get the same result. Ab too low, A too high!

Should I just switch to a different tune? Is my vocal range just too narrow? Should I just stop trying to sing?

Very frustrating to say the least!

Jarmo_S
11-21-2017, 07:16 AM
G and Bb are quite close, what if you try something like C or D keys? I know you propably say that voice limitations. I have quite narrow range too.

I mean transpose some singing parts octave higher or lower. Or same in the G or whatever those keys you already tried.

SailingUke
11-21-2017, 07:18 AM
Here is my rule of thumb. If I find it to hard to sing I transpose it to the four chord.
A song in G, I would try C.

DaveY
11-21-2017, 09:07 AM
I'll vote for "switch to a different tune." You always can work on it on your own, but send out something you feel you are better at singing. It's not an easy song to sing, and an audience generally doesn't know or care how difficult a song is, so you might as well go with something that makes you smile.

Jarmo_S
11-21-2017, 10:16 AM
I'll vote for "switch to a different tune." You always can work on it on your own, but send out something you feel you are better at singing. It's not an easy song to sing, and an audience generally doesn't know or care how difficult a song is, so you might as well go with something that makes you smile.

My thoughts too. I don't have that song in a book and did not hear it in youtube, but I remembered it not being the most easy type of Christmas song.
Op's singing will get better with practice, just that song maybe not best to start with the singing and strumming.

lakesideglenn
11-21-2017, 10:41 AM
Try tuning you uke down 1/2 or 1 step to Bb or B. Or up a a little. Can make a big difference when singing along.
Cheers!

zztush
11-21-2017, 10:56 AM
Try C first. I can sing most of the songs on C or G. If both do not work, I will try F, D or A (see the circle of 5th below).

https://s17.postimg.org/vlhxlv8nz/image.png (https://postimages.org/)

spookelele
11-21-2017, 11:13 AM
Is my vocal range just too narrow?

Sounds like this is the problem

acmespaceship
11-21-2017, 11:28 AM
Never stop trying to sing! But maybe pick an easier song for now. "Have Yourself..." requires a wider vocal range than most songs (an octave and a third even if you don't take it higher on the second repeat). Your vocal range will expand with practice, but there's no good reason for a beginner to start skiing on the black diamond course ;-)

Rule of thumb: if a song was written to showcase Judy Garland's voice, it won't be an easy one to sing.

Lapyang
11-21-2017, 01:44 PM
Never stop trying to sing! But maybe pick an easier song for now. "Have Yourself..." requires a wider vocal range than most songs (an octave and a third even if you don't take it higher on the second repeat). Your vocal range will expand with practice, but there's no good reason for a beginner to start skiing on the black diamond course ;-)

Rule of thumb: if a song was written to showcase Judy Garland's voice, it won't be an easy one to sing.

Very true.

robinboyd
11-21-2017, 02:23 PM
This song does have a large range. I've got a pretty good vocal range, but I need to concentrate in order to hit all the notes. I'm lucky that singing it in G works for me.

river_driver
11-21-2017, 04:10 PM
Rule of thumb: if a song was written to showcase Judy Garland's voice, it won't be an easy one to sing.

Bingo. It's a great song, but one to work up to. You'll get there!

Out of curiosity, were you going with the Garland lyric or the Sinatra lyric?

acmespaceship
11-21-2017, 07:28 PM
Out of curiosity, were you going with the Garland lyric or the Sinatra lyric?

For a fun time, sing Hugh Martin's original lyrics! :rotfl:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Have_Yourself_a_Merry_Little_Christmas

lelouden
11-21-2017, 07:58 PM
Try standing up while your singing through the song and see what happens. Sometimes when we are playing the uke and sitting down our diaphragm gets squeezed off and we cant use the muscles properly. Also, try changing the lowest note to a harmonic note and see what it sounds like. If those things still don't help you might need to change songs to be happy with your song choice. It is a vocally tough song so don't be too hard on yourself.

Good luck. That is a very thoughtful gift idea :)

DownUpDave
11-22-2017, 01:46 AM
I love this thread.......everyone, as always is so helpful. UU is already spreading some Christmas Cheer!!! No lumps of coal here:D

whistleman123
11-22-2017, 05:02 AM
Bingo. It's a great song, but one to work up to. You'll get there!

Out of curiosity, were you going with the Garland lyric or the Sinatra lyric?

I didn't know there was a Sinatra version! Where can I find those lyrics?

river_driver
11-22-2017, 05:21 AM
I didn't know there was a Sinatra version! Where can I find those lyrics?

I believe all of the lyrics are the same except for one line. Judy Garland sang, "Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow." Sinatra recorded it that way, but when he was making a new Christmas record in the 1960's, he changed the line to, "Hang a shining star upon the highest bough." It's really amazing how that single line changes the tone of the whole song - the original wistful and reflective, the later hopeful for the future.

MopMan
11-22-2017, 01:43 PM
FWIW, I have a routine that I use to keep my pipes in respectable shape and I think it could work for you or anyone who wants to build/maintain vocal range and accuracy. It is a simple routine:

1) Find a few simple vocal warmups. I use sirens; a major scales up and down, starting low and increasing the range by one scale degree each time until I can comfortably go no higher; and simple major scales up/down utilizing a jumping thirds pattern. You can alter the syllables you sing on. I usually default to "pah" "ho" or "mi", but mixing this up is a good way to ensure you have even volume and control across all the vowel shapes.

2) Sing them in the shower every morning. Just go through the exercises in your routine and then stop. 10 minutes or so and you are done.


It also helps if you have a basic understanding of proper vocal technique... I don't have time to go into that now as it can be a pretty in-depth topic but there are plenty of resources online if you look. Best quick tip I can think of: take full, deep breaths and make sure you are pushing out plenty of air to support your singing.

bonesigh
11-22-2017, 02:44 PM
My 2 cents is...you can also change up the song a bit, make it your own version. No need to sing it exactly like the original and you can keep it in your vocal range (:

Xtradust
11-23-2017, 04:22 AM
I vote for a new song. When I started singing to my strumming I found a cute girl online playing what I thought was a very easy song. So I took it on. Turned out to be the bane of my existence for about a month. My guitar friend finally came over and said "what are you doing? this song is completely out of time and not in your range." Huh? Range?

Nowadays I make a short video of me singing any songs that I’d like to perform. Sometimes I’m shocked how bad they are...and sometimes I’m shocked how good they are. I find that others prefer when my songs are simple and short. :)

whistleman123
12-01-2017, 10:02 AM
I believe all of the lyrics are the same except for one line. Judy Garland sang, "Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow." Sinatra recorded it that way, but when he was making a new Christmas record in the 1960's, he changed the line to, "Hang a shining star upon the highest bough." It's really amazing how that single line changes the tone of the whole song - the original wistful and reflective, the later hopeful for the future.

Sinatra lyric.