Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Trevor Thomas Help: Why a finger in the ear? (127* d) RE: Help: Why a finger in the ear? 13 Jun 11

Singers use the finger-in-the-ear in most genres, in order to better hear themselves, when they're singing harmony, or with a loud band. Nothing wrong with that - all tried and tested etc.

But there is a certain type of folkie (not spotted so often these days, but you see them from time to time) who do the finger in the ear thing when singing solo, unaccompanied and in a room of twenty or so other people (or fewer) who are all sitting in a respectful silence.

If someone can't hear themselves under those circumstances, they're probably singing a bit too quietly.

I think in this case, it's pretty obviously an affectation, possibly copied from Ewan McColl, who had several affectations, but was sufficiently authoritative, or influential for them to have been seen as 'the way to do things'.

It was more widespread in the 60s, as was the Arran sweater, and this has passed into cliche. I think the practice has largely died out, but somewhat tediously, the stereotype persists. To this day, any mainstream paper/magazine that mentions folk music will invariably mention something about 'finger-in-the-ear' in the opening paragraph.

Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.
   * Click on the linked number with * to view the thread split into pages (click "d" for chronologically descending).

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.