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Off Key Singer

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by gtrfarm, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. gmann

    gmann Friend of Leo's

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    Absolutely! I love Dylan's voice singing Dylan songs. He would not be my 1st choice as a lead singer for a cover band tho.
     
  2. wtk0315

    wtk0315 Tele-Holic

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    I agree that great singing ability is a gift. You either have it or you don't.

    But in the bar room setting you don't have to be great, just somewhat in key. Charlie Robinson, Cody Canada, Robert Earl Keene, Stoney LA rue all come to mind as not great singers but the attitude of the songs they play works with the voices they have. Tab out or look up some Hank III songs, most of the time he plays in A because that's about the extent of his range. As an experiment I sang into a tuner to try to figure out why I'm always off on my fave songs. Turns out my talking in a singing voice hovers around A# instead of A. I'll have to work on that a little more. Haven't seen where my lower register hits but my little bro says I sing better when I'm doing a faux Johnny cash voice so that's good I guess.
     
  3. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

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    Yes. Practice.
     
  4. raito

    raito Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, he drew outside the lines. But first he learned to draw inside them.

    Part of the contention here may be 'better' vs. 'good'. I've certainly heard people who made a serious attempt at improvement get 'better'. They may not have been 'good', but were absolutely 'better' than when they started.

    But getting better on your own can be difficult or impossible sometimes.
     
  5. krisls

    krisls Tele-Holic

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    A simple thing you can try, have him stick a foam earplug in one ear. That helps with that ' I don't sound like myself ' thing, makes it easier to hear your 'head' voice. Oh and a bit of practice too, hah.

    Kristina
     
  6. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I hated to sing, and for all of my childhood, I would mouth the words when in the weekly music class. I played in bands non-stop from 1968-1978. I played guitar and wrote songs, but I could never sing. I would take a stab at it every now and then, but to no avail. I eventually quit the gigging life and went into academics. I sang in choir as an undergrad and didn't due too poorly. It really helped being surrounded by a group of guys singing the same part. For my PhD, I had to pass six "practicum" exams before being admitted to candidacy. Most of the exams are keyboard-based. They were all difficult for me, so I won't say that the sight-singing exam was the hardest. The exam was two pages of a Wagner aria that modulated through 3 or 4 keys. All done at sight and without piano. I blew that exam a few times until a friend taught me solfege. The solfege system, as taught in the US, used syllables in place of the notes. It was a miracle. Within a week, I could sing anything at sight, and I aced the sight-singing and exam. That was 20 years ago, and I can still do it. In fact, I do it a lot in my teaching, as I will when teaching theory, as well as composition and electronic music.
     
  7. Chritty

    Chritty Tele-Afflicted

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    You mustn't have had good teachers or possibly lacked the drive to become better than lousy.

    Dylan is a rubbish singer but he doesn't care.

    I wanted to be a singer since I was 9 but I had one problem, I was rubbish. After years of "hoping" I'd get better I finally bit the bullet and got lessons at the age of 24. I 'studied' my backside off. After 6 years of training, which by the way isn't complete, I'm fronting a successful local band. We played over 100 3-4 hour gigs this year.

    Unless you have medical issues everyone has the ability to sing. It's hard for those who aren't naturals because it isn't like other instruments where you can just place a finger or two somewhere and achieve a correct note.

    Perfect practice makes perfect
     
  8. Chritty

    Chritty Tele-Afflicted

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    And just as an aside, Pavarotti studied voice for an extremely long time. He wasn't just "blessed" with his ability by a nominated deity. He talked about how it took him 10 years of vocal studies just to get the perfect note (technique wise) to make it through his break. There are physical-acoustic laws that the human voice has to obey to be able to do certain things
     
  9. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    Well Chritty - There's an old Polish proverb from the American tv show "Banacek".

    Bottom line is "You can't dance at everyone's wedding..."

    If you are unable to have an intelligent online discussion without resorting to insults someone will complain to a moderator and they'll kiss you goodbye.
     
  10. goonie

    goonie Friend of Leo's

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    Dylan a rubbish singer? Good grief.
     
  11. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I love his voice. Also love Pavarotti. Lets see Adele nail "Hollis Brown." Don't-tink-toe.
     
  12. gtrfarm

    gtrfarm TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for all the comments. I think he knows he can't sing and is happy we tolerate it. He is kind of the band leader and the songs he wrote are great. We sound real good as a band. I would rather play in the basement with this group than play out with other bands I've been in. Lot's of fun. I will make subtle suggestions over time about taking lessons. Maybe it will help. I am not a great singer myself but some songs I can sing really well and I like it when I can. So the real bummer is I need to hold back so that he does not think that I am trying to take his job.
     
  13. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

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    people can improve as singers, yes, with lessons and practice
     
  14. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Get him "Can you sing a high C without straining?" CD program.
     
  15. Chritty

    Chritty Tele-Afflicted

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    Could you please let me know what you found insulting?

    I used your word "lousy" as that was how you described your own vocal ability. And that was after you called someone else a "garbage" singer.

    I really am not sure what you found insulting but I don't really appreciate the threat
     
  16. Chritty

    Chritty Tele-Afflicted

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    Absolutely he is. A great songwriter but technically flawed as a singer.
     
  17. Codger

    Codger Tele-Meister

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    Yes, you can develop a good sense of timing. That's what metronomes are for, but some people are too stubborn to use one.

    As for Dylan, you may or may not like the quality of his voice, but he didn't sing out of key.

    John Hiatt is one of my favorite song writers, and I really like his voice, but sometimes it's really hard to find the melody in there, again though, he's never off key.

    I've seen people practice and go from unpleasant to listen, to being a pleasure to listen to.

    This thing looks silly, but is a great tool.
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042SRFS6...hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=t&ref=pd_sl_umwfm61g5_e

    And then there are voice lessons.
     
  18. Chritty

    Chritty Tele-Afflicted

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    He sings around the pitch but he's not really on it. That is singing out of key because it's not pitched right. With a guitar if you were to bend from an A to a B but didn't bend far enough you won't reach the B and this you would not be on pitch.

    I'm not trying to take away what he has done in this life nor your joy from his music but I have to disagree with you
     
  19. jitensha

    jitensha Tele-Holic

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    If he's an interesting singer maybe its better then being bang on in key
     
  20. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Dylan wasn't Doe-Ray-Me-ing at the piano all day. He was shaking up the music world as a creative visionary, uniquely talented and, taken in context, virtually unparalleled in our lifetime.

    The voice was distinct, immediately recognizable, and the perfect vehicle for the lyrics, which were meant for a certain type of listener.

    His music covers a lot of territory, with re-invention an integral part. His delivery has been different on nearly every record, from the Guthrie-esque traditional troubadour, the pop "Lay Lady Lay," the electric psychedelia of Highway 61, the soul "Street Legal," his voice supports his material.

    And he was a good enough singer for the technically superb Roy Orbison, so I think it's a matter of perspective and taste. Lotta opera/show-tuney traditionalist singers with near "perfect" voices, and can't sell 10 records and cant pay people to listen to them. How many millions of people have bought a Dylan record?

    When people criticized Elvis as not being a good singer, he said: "Somebody likes it." Which is the only qualifier that ultimately trumps any aesthetic valuation of quality in and of itself.

    Dylan's better than me, and probably better than the rest of us, because he was blessed with HIS voice, and he used it to sing something more important, WITH STYLE than any pitiful spiral notebook scribbling I've mustered.

    He's a "stylist." Don't like him, that's fine. Louis Armstrong sang scratchy. Go figure.
     
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