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ukulelegal
04-28-2010, 04:49 AM
If a song is in a key of C...is it wrong to sing in a lower key while still playing the song in C? To me it doesn't necessarily sound wrong...

heyjude
04-28-2010, 04:59 AM
I suspect the key you're singing has a lot of notes that harmonize with the key of C.

Jude

UkuEroll
04-28-2010, 05:01 AM
If it sounds good to you and your happy with it, go for it!

ukulelegal
04-28-2010, 05:06 AM
Jude...I think you are right because people tell me it doesn't sound bad...I have a very limited range and can not hit the high notes even in the key of C without straining...so I modify...but I was shut down in front of a group of people the other day in the middle of a song and told that I wasn't singing in the key of the song...so...anyway....

Melissa82
04-28-2010, 05:40 AM
I think what you are doing is singing at a different octave. If you were singing and playing in two different keys, I don't think it would sound right. I don't know much about theory so I could be completely wrong.

cornfedgroove
04-28-2010, 05:49 AM
probably harmonizing...try singing along with someone who is actually singing in C

SailQwest
04-28-2010, 06:23 AM
probably harmonizing...try singing along with someone who is actually singing in C

:agree: The harmony can still sound okay, although it will not be the melody, and the song may sound not-quite-right.

This is something my husband does on occasion (sings harmony, rather than the melody). Usually it means we just need to transpose it to a more comfortable key for him to sing in, if he is doing the lead vocals.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
04-28-2010, 07:00 AM
I used to sing with a guy who wanted to lead/solo however, he tended to sing harmony which, to those
who knew the song, did not sound quite right. (as mentioned above). It wasn't "wrong" it just wasn't
the melody most people associated with the title of the song.

I would join in singing the melody softly, but still letting him lead.

Record yourself la-la-ing or humming and see if others can recognize what song you're doing. If you're
singing an octave low it will still sound like the song. However, if you are doing the harmony, your listeners
may not be able to identify the song because they can't make out the melody. BTW, don't tell them the title
before you start.

I'm glad you're enjoying playing and singing with your uke.

Keep uke-in',

dannyman
04-28-2010, 07:06 AM
what level of a player are you?
if you know what key YOU are singing in, and know how to transpose songs, then just transpose the song into your key.
ultimately though, the people before me are exactly right.
usually, if it sounds good and works for you, it will work for most people too.
ask someone who really knows music/ how to sing well for their feedback... they'll probably be able to give you a more definite answer.
if you want, just post a video of you singing it in this thread!
the people of UU know their music, and most of them (well, fosho me) would be glad to give you feedback.

SailingUke
04-28-2010, 07:34 AM
I used to sing with a guy who wanted to lead/solo however, he tended to sing harmony which, to those
who knew the song, did not sound quite right. (as mentioned above). It wasn't "wrong" it just wasn't
the melody most people associated with the title of the song.

This happens to me all the time, I struggle sometimes to find the melody.
I have always attributed to early childhood days of playing viola, where I seldom played the melody.
I believe the melody is in my head, and I sing the harmony.

greg_usa
04-28-2010, 08:56 AM
Jude...I think you are right because people tell me it doesn't sound bad...I have a very limited range and can not hit the high notes even in the key of C without straining...so I modify...but I was shut down in front of a group of people the other day in the middle of a song and told that I wasn't singing in the key of the song...so...anyway....

that's pretty rude and a much bigger offense than singing in the wrong key. just my 0$.02

uke5417
04-28-2010, 09:35 AM
that's pretty rude and a much bigger offense than singing in the wrong key. just my 0$.02

Ditto that.

ukulelegal
04-28-2010, 10:23 AM
Thanks everyone for the feedback...having read your comments...I think that I may be doing the songs in a lower octave...I know that I am singing the melody...so I must just be dropping an octave...I couldn't transpose this song because everyone in the group had a copy of it in key of C. I guess I am going to have to figure out what my range is and stick with only singing in those keys...Bruce, Greg, thanks for the moral support :) it's good to know that I am not the only one who thinks it was a rude thing to do...

actually after rereading your responses I think I am doing both!!! Good gravy...

SailorQwest
04-28-2010, 11:13 AM
actually after rereading your responses I think I am doing both!!! Good gravy...


I tend to do that. I'll sing the melody till I get to a part that's out of my range or just more difficult then I sing harmony for a bit...

ukulelegal
04-28-2010, 11:22 AM
That is exactly what I am doing...ugh...how the heck do I stop? I am beginning to think maybe I should just play instrumental pieces only...

SailQwest
04-28-2010, 11:48 AM
I tend to do that. I'll sing the melody till I get to a part that's out of my range or just more difficult then I sing harmony for a bit...


That is exactly what I am doing...ugh...how the heck do I stop? I am beginning to think maybe I should just play instrumental pieces only...

When we keep working on a song, and SailorQwest just can't get the melody line all the way through, we'll usually transpose it and try a couple of different keys to see what works for him, for that specific song.

As for what key(s) to sing in, it's the range of the song rather and not (necessarily) the key of the song. You can probably sing in lots of different keys, depending on how wide-ranging the melody line is. :D

If you don't have a big vocal range, trying to do a song with a wide-ranging melody can be very frustrating. We do a number of songs that I can do in lots of different keys. I Will Survive is a good example. I can (and do) sing it any key from Am to Dm. On the flip side, we do several songs that are at the limit of my vocal range at either or both ends, e.g. Blue Bayou. I have to do it in C, or else I either can't get the low notes, or I can't get the high note.

Don't get frustrated and stop singing! Just try to work in your range. With practice it will get easier. And if you work at it you can probably increase your range some, too. I've added about a third to my range in the past 2 years, just by singing a lot.

ukulelegal
04-29-2010, 07:18 AM
sailqwest, thanks for all the good advice and encouragement! It is MUCH appreciated :)

Uncle Rod Higuchi
04-29-2010, 07:29 AM
As we were putting together our latest songbook for SUPA we had to deal with the vocal range issue.

In the past I had set up the songs in 'my' vocal range which is NOT the best for all singers involved!

The current songbook (SUPA 2010) should be more generally agreeable with most people's singing range.

For personal performances I have my own performance book with the songs appropriately transposed
to the key/range that's best for me.

So, when it comes to playing in groups, well we just have to go along with the majority for the most part,
unless they can transpose on the fly to our key!

Keep uke-in',

BashfulPuppet
04-29-2010, 07:47 AM
It's definitely important to know your vocal range if you're going to sing lead very much. The easiest way to find our your range is to sit down at a piano and work up as high as you can go and as low as your can go. That's your range. Some days it may go a bit lower or higher but it will give you a knowledge of what songs you can sing. More singing does usually broaden your range.

dannyman
04-30-2010, 05:33 AM
definitely keep singing!! don't let anyone bring you down...
really, you should post a video of you singing and playing, so we could tell you fosho whats up, but in any event, i'm sure it sounds great!
don't listen to the people who try to bring you down, if i did i wouldn't have been able to teach myself the uke!

SailingUke
04-30-2010, 06:23 AM
definitely keep singing!! don't let anyone bring you down...
really, you should post a video of you singing and playing, so we could tell you fosho whats up, but in any event, i'm sure it sounds great!
don't listen to the people who try to bring you down, if i did i wouldn't have been able to teach myself the uke!

This reminded me of something I was once told.
"Just keep singing, eventually you will hit the right note."
For most of us the purpose of playing and singing is for fun.
If you are trying to earn a living at it your fans (or lack of) will tell you how good you are.

For now just have fun, sing loud and often.

ukulelegal
05-01-2010, 09:04 AM
thanks Danny, Salinguke for the encouragement :)