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Thread: I Wonder if I Could Ever Learn to Sing

  1. #21
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    Mar 2014
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    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?
    Last edited by Rllink; 01-11-2015 at 07:42 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

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  2. #22
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    Jan 2009
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    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.c...temporary.html

  3. #23
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    Apr 2014
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    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?
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBD
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Hi-D GBD

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo-G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA

    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B
    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

    Eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow you’ll be too old.

    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by katysax View Post
    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.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  5. #25
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    at home below Lake Tahoe CA USA
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    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. 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.

    Ukes: Alvarez 4- & Kala 6- & O.Schmidt 8-string tenors; 1 Ohana & 2 Kahalo sopranos; Harmonia concert & bari
    Mandos: Celtic (KE Coleman) & Soviet ovals; Kay & Rogue A-types; Harmonia F2 & mandola
    Banjos: Gretsch banjolin; Varsity banjolele; Orlando 5-string; fretless & fretted Cumbus o'uds
    Acoustic guitars: Martin Backpacker; Ibanez Performance; Art et Lutherie; Academy dobro; Ovation 12-string
    Others: Maffick & First Act dulcimers; Mexican cuatro-menor; Puerto Rican cuatro; Martin tiple; electrics
    Wanted: charango; balalaika; bowlback mando; Venezuelan cuatro; zithers

  6. #26
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    May 2015
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    South West Georgia
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    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.

  7. #27
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    Jul 2015
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    North Carolina
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    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.
    Ohana CK-50WG
    KALA KA-SMHT

  8. #28
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    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.

  9. #29
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    Tempe, AZ
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    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.

  10. #30
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    San Francisco
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    I sing terribly, so I pick tunes like Sultans of Swing... more storytelling than singing.
    Tone

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