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katysax
12-14-2013, 03:49 PM
I'm over 60 and I've played various instruments since I was 8 years old. My ear is decent; I'm pretty good at identifying relative pitch, can usually match what I'm hearing being played, can hear chord changes. So my problem isn't as my parents always said, that I am "tone deaf". I'm not.

But I can't sing. When I sing what I hear in my head isn't what the listener hears. I can carry a tune if it doesn't slip out of my very limited range and if I really know the tune, but it's easy for me to get lost and lose the tune. I can't transition at all from the lower part of my range to the upper part of my range; it seems like there are several notes in between that aren't anywhere in my range.

Not being able to sing is kind of a bummer. I'd like to do more with my uke than only play instrumentals. Don't get me wrong. I sing at home when no one can hear me a lot. I just can't sing in public.

I'm thinking about taking some singing lessons. I wonder if I could learn to sing well enough at least so that I could sing along with my uke.

janeray1940
12-16-2013, 02:48 PM
I'm a lifelong failed singer - like you, I can hear melodies and intervals and chord changes, but it's my voice itself that is the problem. My natural range is less than an octave, my break between upper and lower registers is in an awkward place (that transition that you mentioned!), and I can't breathe properly unless I really focus on it. With all that going against me, when I was a much younger person - mid to late teens - I took voice lessons with several instructors, most notably a gentleman named Seth Riggs, who founded this method (https://teachers.speechlevelsinging.com/index.php/directory_search). And my voice did improve, immensely, but it took a lot of practice - I was dead-serious about it and practiced anywhere from 2 to 6 hours a day.

Long story short, I developed vocal nodes, had a surgery, and had to give it a rest. And within a matter of several months I was right back to where I had started - all those years of work just vanished. That was over 30 years ago and while I've considered revisiting voice lessons, I know realistically that in my limited spare time, I'd rather play instrumentals than sing. Although if a song is in A or Bb I can usually manage pretty well... but C, the so-called "people's key"? Forget it! :)

So - my guess would be that yes, you could most likely learn from a voice coach and improve - I don't think age has as much to do with it as time and perseverance does. But speaking from experience, you'd have to be really committed to working at it. You might also try playing around with switching keys for the songs you play on uke - you might just hit on a key or two that works with your voice as is.

brUKEman
12-16-2013, 04:44 PM
Has anyone ever tried a site advertised right here on UU
www.thesingingzone.com

electrauke
01-01-2014, 12:49 PM
Some of the problems you described could possibly be resolved by a vocal coach. That is what I would try if you are committed to learn. It would be very beneficial.

Down Up Dick
04-27-2014, 09:19 AM
I'm an old guy, and I play lots of instruments from tuba to flute and tin whistles. My Hawaiian Godmother gave me an old Pinapple ukulele years and years ago, and I hung it on the wall where it gathered dust. I took it down a long time ago and tried to sing with it, but my mean ex-wife laughed so hard that I thought she would croak. So I put it back on the wall.
Then a coupla years ago I cleaned it up and gave it another try. I'm an English Major, and I felt the need to sing some good old folk music. Well, to cut this history short, I found that I really enjoyed singing again, and my Ukes are an added bonus.
My range is also shorter than I'd like, and I'm having some problems with pitch. I still fumble with my chord changes, but I'm having a very good time learning and warbling my heart out.

Freeda
04-27-2014, 10:05 AM
I wanted to sing better so I joined my local sweet Adeline's chapter.

Down Up Dick
04-27-2014, 03:03 PM
A guy (college singer) that I met at the local Subway said if one sings lots his range would extend. It seems to be working with me; I've gained a note at the bottom and one or two at the top, and that's really enough for now. I've solved the pitch problem too, and now I know where I'm supposed to sing and what chords to strum.

artwombat
04-27-2014, 04:53 PM
Go monotone.

It has worked for many over the years and they have become stand-outs.

I right myself off as a hopeless singer but I reckon the trick is do not try. Instead, do a monotone dialogue with the Uke providing background music. You just have to find what suits you.

I tried playing the chorus and talking only on the C chord and that sounded good. Anyway, have a fiddle about with a monotone it might make you happy.

Rllink
07-19-2014, 08:34 AM
I've never been a singer. I don't even sing in church, I just stand there and look around. But I want to sing, I just don't for some reason. So I attended a ukulele festival last weekend, and I just got caught up in the energy and started belting out the songs. It wasn't bad at all. I enjoyed it. I don't know whether I was good or not, but it was fun. So I've been out on the front porch singing away when I play every day this week. Just a little bonus for the neighbors. I don't know, I guess I will go with it until someone pays me either keep singing or to shut up. Either way, I'll get paid. Actually, I've always wanted to be a performer, and it is so far out of my comfort zone, but that is where I want to go, so it will be what it is. It is the same attitude I have with the uke. At my age I don't have the time to put years into it before I make my public debut, I gotta go with it now and hope for the best. My thought on it is that the more you do it, the better your going to get.

Booksniffer
07-20-2014, 12:09 AM
Go monotone.

It has worked for many over the years and they have become stand-outs.

I right myself off as a hopeless singer but I reckon the trick is do not try. Instead, do a monotone dialogue with the Uke providing background music. You just have to find what suits you.

I tried playing the chorus and talking only on the C chord and that sounded good. Anyway, have a fiddle about with a monotone it might make you happy.

Do you have a sound (or youtube) example of what you mean by that?
Not necessarily from yourself, just someone doing what you're recommending.

It sounds promising, but I am having a difficult time picturing (earing?) it - might be a vocabulary problem on my part.

cunparis
09-19-2014, 08:43 PM
But I can't sing. When I sing what I hear in my head isn't what the listener hears. I can carry a tune if it doesn't slip out of my very limited range and if I really know the tune, but it's easy for me to get lost and lose the tune.

I'm not a good singer but I'm making progress so I thought I'd share what I'm doing: I'm working on singing some very simple songs with very limited vocal range. I'm also using the same to learn to play by ear.

There is a free workshop on the toneway website that is excellent. They have a specific video (or set of videos) on vocal range and choosing a key that is comfortable for you. I think you may need to create an account for this link but you can go to the homepage to get an idea if it interests you. I have watched the workshop several times and it's been very helpful to me.

Here's the link to the video on range and keys, but do watch the others too if you like it:

http://toneway.com/learn/get-started/lesson-two/chapter-1

VegasGeorge
09-20-2014, 03:00 AM
There's a "singing" technique you could try. Instead to trying to actually sing, you speak the words in time with the music, almost like a narration. The idea is you'll find yourself changing the inflection of your voice and you'll start raising and lowering the pitch of your voice to accompany the music. Pretty soon you'll start sounding like one of those pop singers who sort of talk through the lyrics. It isn't "singing" in the classical sense, but it can sound good, particularly with the right tunes. Maybe real singing will develop out of that, maybe not. But in the meantime you've got some vocals to perform.

acmespaceship
09-23-2014, 12:05 PM
Let's try a new perspective:

"I never play uke. I sound terrible! Every few months I take the uke out of the closet and try again, but after a couple of strums it's obvious I haven't gotten better. So back in the closet it goes. I suppose I could try taking lessons or reading an instruction book -- but I'm afraid it's pointless. Do you think I'll ever learn to play?"

You can't learn to play except by playing, right? Well, you can't learn to sing without singing. It's not some crazy voodoo magic. Singing is just another a skill to develop. You learn to sing the same way you learn to play uke. Teachers, lessons, videos, listening to yourself and other people, and most of all practice!

Just last weekend, a friend was telling me about his first session with a vocal coach. He said he could already tell he was singing better by the end of the 40-minute lesson. He has homework exercises and he expects to practice every day.

If you don't want to pay for a vocal coach (not cheap) then maybe you can find a friend who sings and is willing to show you a few warmups and help you learn to sing on pitch. Join a choir. The Sweet Adelines is a brilliant suggestion. Give yourself permission to sound terrible -- we all sounded terrible on uke as beginners (and some of us still sound terrible) yet we survive and have fun on the journey.

bnolsen
09-23-2014, 01:50 PM
it's always possible to try "sing" in the style of rex harrison (as in my fair lady) or Richard Harris in Camelot. Neither are real "singers" but they seemed to be able to make a go of it.

I think I agree with acmespaceship. Joining a choir or something like that can probably help. You'll learn warmups and other good skills, perhaps you'll improve more than you can ever know. Of course you may not want to listen to anything I say. My mother said I was able to carry a tune very very well about the time I learned to walk and used to enterain people from the shopping cart seat.

IamNoMan
09-30-2014, 06:57 PM
I have been performing for over forty years. I have been playing uke for less than a month. I am a great storyteller, a good singer and a mediocre musician - (banjo mostly). I specialize in getting audience participation.

Here are some ideas you'all might try:

Stand up to sing. It gets your diaphragm working to give you the most of whatever you have got.

If you have a limited vocal range but can sing a complete scale you can sing many songs. Find out what key(s) you can sing in. Get some good musicians to back you up when singing. By the end the the song they will be able to tell you what key you are singing in. Alternately get a capo (banjo capo works for ukes), and play with it while singing until you know what key your singing in.

When singing with a "uke song book" and the song won't start right; I sometimes start a song with one or more pick-up notes. An F(4), An F and G note, or a G(5) note followed by a C(1) chord frequently works for me when playing in the key of C(1_4_5 chord structure). Don't strum the pick-up note(s) pick them!

Another pick-up note approach you can try is to run down the scale(or fret board) to the first chord you play and start singing to. Example: Alabama Jubilee, (Key of C, ragtime 1_6_2_5 chord structure) play C(1) B Bf AChord(6)-and sing"Old Deacon Jones fools around on the bones" Dchord(2)"old parson Brown dances round like a clown" Gchord(5) "aunt Jemima aged 83" etc. if you can't sing in C capo will allow you to try it in Key of C#,D,D#,E etc until you figure out your key.

Maybe this will help. Hope I haven't ranted too much.

Sabantien
10-07-2014, 05:42 AM
There's a "singing" technique you could try. Instead to trying to actually sing, you speak the words in time with the music, almost like a narration. The idea is you'll find yourself changing the inflection of your voice and you'll start raising and lowering the pitch of your voice to accompany the music. Pretty soon you'll start sounding like one of those pop singers who sort of talk through the lyrics. It isn't "singing" in the classical sense, but it can sound good, particularly with the right tunes. Maybe real singing will develop out of that, maybe not. But in the meantime you've got some vocals to perform.

I'm also a terrible singer, but I _think_ this kind of works for me, if i'm reading it right.

Something like John Schumann in Redgum? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urtiyp-G6jY

John Williamson is probably also similar.


I'm yet to try it, but I have heard if you sing into a microphone and have that going directly to some earphones (much like monitors for performers on stage I guess) you can actually hear how you send, not what it sounds like in your head, and it helps you adjust.

IamNoMan
10-07-2014, 06:04 AM
Your original post indicated you want to sing by ear. Uncle Rod's BootCamp is an excellent method for learning to play by ear for any instrument. I suspect that includes singing. For instruments other than ukulele you need to adapt the course materials to your instrument, which includes singing. The principles and methodology Uncle Rod developed for the bootcamp is valid. It will work for kids and for trained musicians who want to learn to play by ear. Check it out. And thank you Uncle Rod.

dhunter
10-07-2014, 08:47 AM
[QUOTE=Down Up Dick;1515496] I took it down . . .tried to sing with it, but my mean ex-wife laughed so hard that I thought she would croak. So I put it back on the wall.
Then a coupla years ago I cleaned it up and gave it another try. I'm an English Major, and I felt the need to sing some good old folk music. Well, to cut this history short, I found that I really enjoyed singing again, and my Ukes are an added bonus.
My range is also shorter than I'd like, and I'm having some problems with pitch. I still fumble with my chord changes, but I'm having a very good time learning and warbling my heart out.[/QUOTE
Good for you! Dick! It's amazing how so many are creatively caged (hopefully not permanantly ) by their own "loved ones". My mom, perhaps a clone or close facsimile of you mean ex had me silenced in shame for over thirty years, afraid of my "terrible" singing voice. I played a wind instrument in school and beyond and I found several strategies that helped me get singing again.
1) take a singing class at the community college. It will be hard at first but the teacher there should be an authority in her field and she will help you find your suppressed song and your voice that badly wants for singing.
2) play with your voice like you play with one of your musical instruments. Some areas will still be hard but consider your approach to other instruments. For example, I dread the top register on my flute and still panic when seeing a new piece full of these top register notes during orchestra rehearsal. I stagger and flounder through it and eventually its over. Then I can go home and practice.

3) Its ok to play them badly. Playing badly is better than not playing at all. The same is true for singing. ♥

The ukulele has been a wonderful way for me to finally sing freely. I love being on the rythm section playing chords instead of the top of the melody (flute). It is a breath of fresh air.
4) the ukulele a day books helped me a lot with singing in tune. The chart at the top of each song shows you your starting note. So you just tune your voice to that note like you tune the flute to an A before orchestra rehearsal.

Steveperrywriter
10-07-2014, 09:06 AM
I have always thought I had an okay voice -- nothing to write home about, but serviceable. My wife, due to a choir teacher with a streak of meanness, thought she couldn't sing. So we found a class in Portland, OR, that offered lessons. The teacher was excellent, and as part of the training, I bought her CD: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/singing-for-vocally-challenged/id363122824

Might check it out ...

IamNoMan
10-07-2014, 09:27 AM
@Dhunter: The first (and last) note in the musical score designates the key the song is played in, (most every case). When you find a song in a key you are comfortable singing in then you should go to your ukulele and learn the chords associated with the key, including the relative minors. Next learn the keys immediately above and below that key. They might not be the easiest chords to learn on the uke but that's to bad. You want to sing right?

It is proper etiquette in singing and jamming circles for the singer to pick the Key they are going to sing in. This is true even if the best players don't like it. I play the banjo. We hate to play in the key of F. Sadly my best singing keys are F, F# and F#m.

In so far as spousal abuse goes: Get your spouse or whoever to request a song for you to learn. This works almost every time. My wife chose "If you knew Suzie". Her name oddly enough is Susan.

Rllink
01-11-2015, 07:40 AM
So my wife took off for NYC to meet my daughter there to do some shopping. That left me here by myself. I admit that I'm intimidated by my wife, as she was once a singer. I guess she still is, she just doesn't perform anymore. But I was thinking that as long as she isn't around, I would spent the time learning to sing some songs from memory, so I can dazzle people when they ask me to play something on my ukulele. So that is what I've been doing. It has been going OK, but I didn't think that I sounded all that good.

The one thing to remember is that where I live, we keep doors and widows wide open to get as much breeze off the ocean as we can. You can hear your neighbors. So I was heading out last night, and my neighbor one floor down called out to me on the way, and said that they heard me practicing and thought that I was getting pretty good. So I stopped to talk, as is the custom, and his wife asked me if I was going to go out on streets and sing during SanSe, which is code for the San Sebastian Festival, which is next weekend. I told her that I was playing with the plena band. She said that I should sing myself, on the corner, because I'm a good singer and people would enjoy it. So that is sort of a surprise, and I wonder how many of us who think we aren't all that good, are just being too hard on ourselves?

PhilUSAFRet
02-05-2015, 04:27 AM
Yes! Your voice is a wind powered muscle/musical instrument. It can be exercised and trained when combined with proper breathing techniques. I have a decent voice, but if I don't use it, it becomes weak and difficult to use. It's kind of like having a playable musical instrument that you don't practice with and never learned the use of "proper" playing techniques. There are a number of useful book/cd combos out there that may be available used/like new for a very reasonable price. Even full price, they are in the $20 something price range. I bought one from Berkley called "Vocal Workouts for The Contemporary Singer." After as little as 10 minutes of "proper" vocal exercising, my voice is noticeably better. Kind of like "warming up" before doing strenuous exercise. Hope this makes sense. Just my take on the matter.

I have the hard copy, but you may want to try this: http://freebooksdwloadpdf.blogspot.com/2012/07/free-vocal-workouts-for-contemporary.html

Down Up Dick
04-30-2015, 03:22 AM
I bought "Singing Exercises for Dummies", but I'm not real happy with it. There's another Dummies book that explains more about singing. I think that's more what I wanted. The one that I have has helped, but it doesn't tell me what I wanted to know.

Always another book. We say that we're "self taught", but what about all the books? :old:

Rllink
04-30-2015, 12:54 PM
I'm over 60 and I've played various instruments since I was 8 years old. My ear is decent; I'm pretty good at identifying relative pitch, can usually match what I'm hearing being played, can hear chord changes. So my problem isn't as my parents always said, that I am "tone deaf". I'm not.

But I can't sing. When I sing what I hear in my head isn't what the listener hears. I can carry a tune if it doesn't slip out of my very limited range and if I really know the tune, but it's easy for me to get lost and lose the tune. I can't transition at all from the lower part of my range to the upper part of my range; it seems like there are several notes in between that aren't anywhere in my range.

Not being able to sing is kind of a bummer. I'd like to do more with my uke than only play instrumentals. Don't get me wrong. I sing at home when no one can hear me a lot. I just can't sing in public.

I'm thinking about taking some singing lessons. I wonder if I could learn to sing well enough at least so that I could sing along with my uke.I think that sometimes we don't give ourselves enough credit. I was singing while I was playing my ukulele, and one day I started to just la la la through the notes, starting at C, and working up. From that I determined that I had a little less than a octave in range. So last week I started a block of voice lessons. You can read my post if you want the long story, but after a half hour, it was determines that I have a range that spans over two octaves. I did not realize that. Just knowing that has really given me a lot of confidence. I'm not telling you to take singing lessons, but I am telling you not to underestimate yourself.

k0k0peli
05-01-2015, 05:12 AM
All good advice above. Yes, take community college singing classes, and join a chorus or glee club. Yes, find songs in keys that fit your current vocal range, and others that stretch you a bit. You could try the Rex Harrison / Richard Harris singspiel-ish trick. Hey, Harris could NOT sing but he had a mega-hit. (Get that damn cake out of the rain!) Yes, expect it to take work and time. If you *really* want to sing, you'll do it. Just like, if I *really* wanted to play STRANGE MEADOWLARK on chromatic harmonica, I'd get down to it. :D But desire is the key.

I was a busker when young, standing on street-corners with guitar and guts, singing with more energy than expertise. I improved. I didn't starve. Maybe I should get back out and try that again, with my older, lower, raspier voice, and a banjo or dobro for projection. I get pretty raccuous on CRASH ON THE LEVEE played bottleneck. Hope I don't get busted for disturbing the peace.

terrgy
08-30-2015, 08:07 AM
Today I came across this thread and found it interesting. I sing out quite often, mostly with mountain dulcimer, and a couple of times with uke, my new love

Once while walking from a church to my car, burdened with gear, 3 or 4 ladies were talking, and one said:
"You know Terry, I still don't know if you can really sing, sometimes you just sound out there. But you have this way of drawing people in to what you are doing. I just love listening to you".

That's the best compliment I have ever received.

Highmiles
08-30-2015, 08:47 AM
When I was young I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. As I got older, I learned I just needed a bigger bucket.
Seriously though, don't be afraid to keep trying. You certainly won't get better by avoiding trying. I did it eventually on my own, but, as others have suggested, voice lessons would really speed the process. Very few of us will ever sing like a pro, but then again few of us will ever play like Jake either. Playing the Uke is all about fun for me. The same thing goes for the singing. Start simple and see where you can end up.

terrgy
08-30-2015, 12:32 PM
Neil Young. Best example of a non singer I ever heard. At least the first 10 min. I ever listened to him, back in the seventies.
My all time favorite artist. Listen and watch him constantly while walking on a threadmil.
He gave thousands hope.

CactusWren
08-30-2015, 01:24 PM
I think the most important technical quality in singing is intonation. Even if your range is five notes, just make sure those five notes are in tune. Unfortunately, it may also be the rarest technical quality. I know good musicians who can easily tune their guitars by ear who are off enough to offend. In some cases there is a technical problem that causes one to be consistently flat. I would guess that in most cases, diligent practice, say matching a note, would gradually help.

tonelar
08-30-2015, 01:40 PM
I sing terribly, so I pick tunes like Sultans of Swing... more storytelling than singing.

terrgy
08-30-2015, 03:27 PM
Funny thing is I am comfortable with my singing, though I know my voice is nothing to write home about.
So I use the crowd in many of my songs. It masks my voice. Sometimes I'll solicit a half dozen backup singers and kazoo players. I always have the words to the songs pre-printed to hand out. Works like a charm every time. Fun for all.
And then when I do my solos, " they love me already". Don't have to be great, just entertaining.

Down Up Dick
08-30-2015, 03:53 PM
I think most of us sing better than we think we do, but that's not important. Probably not many of us are gonna be on television or singing somewhere for money. I've seen people in church singing those old hymns, and one can just see that they're really enjoying the heck out the experience. That's what it's all about!

Music is supposed to be fun! Something one does with a smile on his/her face. Folks don't have to be good they just have to be loud and somewhere close to the song they're singing.

The reason so many people say "Aw, I can't sing" is that they compare themselves (or their friends) to some song that they've heard on a CD or the radio. Those songs are recorded over and over, and mistakes are erased and corrected until they are almost perfect. It's no wonder that we just "can't sing" like they do.

So, just sing out and have a good time. The more people sing, the better they usually get at it. We're doing music hobbies for fun not as a chore.

We're all gonna die and rot in the grave some day anyway! :old:

Rllink
09-15-2015, 08:41 AM
I think most of us sing better than we think we do, but that's not important. Probably not many of us are gonna be on television or singing somewhere for money. I've seen people in church singing those old hymns, and one can just see that they're really enjoying the heck out the experience. That's what it's all about!

Music is supposed to be fun! Something one does with a smile on his/her face. Folks don't have to be good they just have to be loud and somewhere close to the song they're singing.

The reason so many people say "Aw, I can't sing" is that they compare themselves (or their friends) to some song that they've heard on a CD or the radio. Those songs are recorded over and over, and mistakes are erased and corrected until they are almost perfect. It's no wonder that we just "can't sing" like they do.

So, just sing out and have a good time. The more people sing, the better they usually get at it. We're doing music hobbies for fun not as a chore.

We're all gonna die and rot in the grave some day anyway! :old:
Not me, I'm going out in a big ball of fire. When I get done, I'll just be a pile of ashes, and people will look at them and say, "man, look at that".

Down Up Dick
09-15-2015, 10:52 AM
If I turned into "a big ball of fire" it would be the first time! :old:

Rllink
09-25-2015, 06:19 AM
I check all the time, but not much chatter here. Anyway, the summer has gone well, and I've gotten to be quite the singer. Especially for a guy who didn't even sing in church before this spring. But for me, playing the uke and singing songs is what it is all about, and one without the other is like doing the journey on one leg, so I really savor posts in "singing", to the point that I read the old ones over and over. I think that one of the best things that happened to me in regards to both playing the uke, and singing the songs, is the back yard bon fires that have become popular in our neighborhood this year, and that people are inviting me to bring my uke to them. That has been a lot of fun, and it is really exactly where I wanted to go with it. Funny how that just happened to work out. But the singing angle to it is that people don't come to hear me sing and play the uke, but rather come to sing along. Often times, if I don't know a particular song, people will ask me if I can learn it before the next one, because it is a song that they want to sing, not just want to hear. But it surprises me how many people who are not afraid to sing, to the point that I wonder why I was so afraid to.

bunnyf
09-25-2015, 08:08 AM
I too get all excited when I see a post about singing, and have been known to re-read old ones for tips. I'm just a so-so singer but enjoy singing and playing very much. My goal is not really to become a great player but to learn more tunes by heart so that I don't have to rely on chord/lyric sheets. I really admire guys in my guitar circle who can play tons of tunes by heart. I'm not sure if my 60+ brain can do that, but I'm gonna continue to work on it. If I can't, it won't spoil my fun (thank God for iPads) but it sure would be nice.

Rllink
09-25-2015, 10:35 AM
I too get all excited when I see a post about singing, and have been known to re-read old ones for tips. I'm just a so-so singer but enjoy singing and playing very much. My goal is not really to become a great player but to learn more tunes by heart so that I don't have to rely on chord/lyric sheets. I really admire guys in my guitar circle who can play tons of tunes by heart. I'm not sure if my 60+ brain can do that, but I'm gonna continue to work on it. If I can't, it won't spoil my fun (thank God for iPads) but it sure would be nice.Bunny, it sounds like you and I are on the same career track when it comes to playing the ukulele and singing.

Rllink
10-01-2015, 04:31 AM
I've hesitated to record myself. First of all, I just can't get excited about singing to a recorder or a camera. But the second thing is that so many people say that they were singing, until they heard a recording of themselves. So I didn't want to know if I wasn't very good. But yesterday I found an old mini cassette recorder when I was looking for stuff to throw away, stuck some new batteries in it, and went for it. First off, I don't sound too bad. I mean, nothing to write home about, but far from embarrassing. And the more I sang, the better I got, so I was doing songs again, that I had done earlier. Also, I noticed that I didn't hear a lot of the mistakes that I thought that I was making during the recording. I just thought that was interesting, because I would get done recording a song, and I would think, wow, I really butchered that one. Then I would play it back, and it would be hard to find them.

DownUpDave
10-04-2015, 03:17 AM
I've hesitated to record myself. First of all, I just can't get excited about singing to a recorder or a camera. But the second thing is that so many people say that they were singing, until they heard a recording of themselves. So I didn't want to know if I wasn't very good. But yesterday I found an old mini cassette recorder when I was looking for stuff to throw away, stuck some new batteries in it, and went for it. First off, I don't sound too bad. I mean, nothing to write home about, but far from embarrassing. And the more I sang, the better I got, so I was doing songs again, that I had done earlier. Also, I noticed that I didn't hear a lot of the mistakes that I thought that I was making during the recording. I just thought that was interesting, because I would get done recording a song, and I would think, wow, I really butchered that one. Then I would play it back, and it would be hard to find them.


Recording has helped me in a couple of ways. First off as you have mentioned the mistakes are not nearly as noticable as they seem to yourself while performing. Secondly and the biggest help was how different my singing was while playing. The very first time I recorded myself I just sang the song first and then I played and sang. I sounded good while just singing but I became more monotone while playing and singing. This was good feedback and gave me something to work on.

TCK
02-23-2017, 03:27 PM
I like where this has gone so I am going to chime in late to the game. I have a friend who just got his first uke and my first piece of advice- RECORD EVERYTHING. I have had the rare opportunity to record myself over 600 times (Seasons) and I go back and listen to everything. First video- no way was a I going to sing...now, nothing is going to stop me. Did the same song in eight keys a few weeks ago.
Of course, my voice ain't the greatest (30 years of smoking did not help) but I can find the notes and the proper pitch because I have spent the time doing it and then going back and watching it. First few outings were APPALLING.
I often think I have improved very little as a player and singer- then I head back to my channel and watch a few oldies.
Sure- I have improved, and the only thing I have done to get there was to make videos.
Just my 2 centavos.

bikemech
02-23-2017, 05:29 PM
TCK,

I have watched some of your videos in the seasons threads. You are a very gifted entertainer. It sounds like it was a bit of a struggle for you but it seems to come through as a natural talent for you. My brother has the same gift. I think his gregarious nature has helped him a great deal. He always wants to be the center of attention. It doesn't hurt that he has been playing guitar since his early teen years, though he's been goofing off for much longer.

I started studying and playing classical guitar much later in life. I was in my thirties. I can't remember exactly how old I was. It was a struggle for me but I enjoyed it immensely. However, while I grew to become fairly proficient with the classical guitar, there was something missing. When I would get together with my brother and other family members we would bring our instruments. And here entered the frustrations - I couldn't play along with anyone. I wanted to be able to join in the music-making and maybe sing a song or two. But I just couldn't do it. I couldn't strum. And I didn't seem to have a sense for rhythm. I couldn't even begin to think about playing and singing at the same time.

I thought I had the answer. I bought myself a steel-string guitar and played that for a few years but still I struggled make music. It sounds silly, but I couldn't keep hold of a pick. The strumming never materialized and I reverted to finger style. Then, two years ago, enter- the ukulele.

It was a game-changer. The uke was, for me, like the gift of a bicycle to a child. It was freedom, independence, confidence, adventure. Of course, I had to work at it but it has been a revelation. I have explored many types of playing styles (claw-hammer, finger style, flamenco etc) and many genres of music such as Celtic, folk and rock. I have only recently gotten to the to the point where I can strum and sing at the same time. And it is a joy! My brother and I played our ukuleles together at our Thanksgiving get-together; the whole family was singing Christmas songs as well as some pop songs like "House of Gold" and "Can't Help Falling in Love With You". I can make music!

Just today I uploaded some performance videos, my first, to Youtube for my family to see. I was a bit nervous but I didn't embarrass myself. Tons o' fun.

David

Down Up Dick
02-25-2017, 03:52 AM
Good story, bikemech. Sometimes it's truly amazing what we can do if we'll "Just Do It!". :old: