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Where can bad singers go?

Dave the Gnome 24 Dec 08 - 11:08 AM
Faye Roche 24 Dec 08 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 24 Dec 08 - 05:48 AM
Fidjit 24 Dec 08 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,green wellies 24 Dec 08 - 04:07 AM
Will Fly 24 Dec 08 - 03:50 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Dec 08 - 03:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 24 Dec 08 - 03:40 AM
Ian Fyvie 23 Dec 08 - 10:35 PM
Acorn4 23 Dec 08 - 06:15 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Dec 08 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 23 Dec 08 - 03:34 PM
M.Ted 23 Dec 08 - 01:07 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Dec 08 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,PeterC 23 Dec 08 - 12:18 PM
TheSnail 23 Dec 08 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 23 Dec 08 - 08:00 AM
Ian Fyvie 22 Dec 08 - 10:32 PM
M.Ted 22 Dec 08 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 22 Dec 08 - 05:32 PM
open mike 22 Dec 08 - 05:22 PM
Melissa 22 Dec 08 - 04:37 PM
M.Ted 22 Dec 08 - 03:58 PM
Melissa 22 Dec 08 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 22 Dec 08 - 02:29 PM
Ian Fyvie 22 Dec 08 - 02:17 PM
The Sandman 22 Dec 08 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 22 Dec 08 - 07:53 AM
goatfell 22 Dec 08 - 07:08 AM
Bernard 22 Dec 08 - 06:42 AM
Newport Boy 22 Dec 08 - 05:48 AM
Bryn Pugh 22 Dec 08 - 05:45 AM
Newport Boy 22 Dec 08 - 05:42 AM
Faye Roche 22 Dec 08 - 05:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Dec 08 - 04:46 AM
Paul Burke 22 Dec 08 - 04:20 AM
Will Fly 22 Dec 08 - 04:05 AM
Indrani Ananda 21 Dec 08 - 08:52 PM
Melissa 21 Dec 08 - 08:27 PM
kendall 21 Dec 08 - 08:14 PM
Melissa 21 Dec 08 - 08:03 PM
Acorn4 21 Dec 08 - 06:49 PM
olddude 21 Dec 08 - 05:29 PM
olddude 21 Dec 08 - 05:17 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Dec 08 - 05:13 PM
olddude 21 Dec 08 - 04:25 PM
Musket 21 Dec 08 - 12:57 PM
Will Fly 21 Dec 08 - 12:46 PM
Stringsinger 21 Dec 08 - 11:55 AM
Bernard 21 Dec 08 - 11:33 AM
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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 11:08 AM

Will - Only if you can't play it;-)

Harkling back to another thread and getting ready to duck from the missiles hurled; I suppose he could always say it was jazz...

:D (eG)


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Faye Roche
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 11:01 AM

The Snail- when I wrote that the band in the club that we attended were disppointing, that was a personal judgement- many of the audience seemed to like them. At least they played well, sang in tune and didn't stop because they'd forgotten the words.

The fact that we didn't like them much is neither here nor there- taste is a personal thing.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:48 AM

Slight thread drift coming up:

"Ask yourself - How many times have you gone back to a shop to tell them everything was great? How many times have you complained about poor service or bad quality?"

A few months ago I bought a new flat bed scanner to link to my computer. I found it to be an excellent piece of kit and great value.
I emailed the manufacturer's customer services dept. to tell them so.
Rather than thanking me for my comments they tried to sell me a 3 year warranty ... oh dear!


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Fidjit
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:00 AM

I went to Norway

Chas


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: GUEST,green wellies
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 04:07 AM

'Where can bad singers go?' - Radio 1


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 03:50 AM

we end up with the voice and guitar in differnt keys and anything from 4/4 to 11/3 in the same tune!

Free-form folk, eh? Sounds pretty good to me - can I bring my kazoo? :D

Will


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 03:48 AM

Oh sorry - was going on to say why many threads end up on this topic. I have said before and I think this only proves it, that it is the worst of things that get the attention. I like to think that I can personaly rise above such things to see the overall picture but the sad fact is that most people will only remember and report what is bad.

At the risk of repeating myself, ask any customer service organisation and they will tell you that people are like that. Ask yourself - How many times have you gone back to a shop to tell them everything was great? How many times have you complained about poor service or bad quality? It is always the latter that gets attention - possibly because it is unusual. But even if rare it is the thing that causes most people an issue. That is why it is being discussed.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 03:40 AM

olddude - Thanks for the idea. I definitely like the concept of giving everyone their '2 minutes of fame'. Well, I suppose 5 minutes would be more accurate but you know what I mean. We can 'reward' the ones who have put in the time and effort by giving them more later on while poor ones should get the message. Well, I guess some are so thick skinned they won't but we can onlu hope...

Paul and Al. For the first time in ages I can definitely say I was laughing out loud. Could be a sort of community service for repeat offenders? :-D

Bryan,

David el Gnomo sets pretty demanding criteria to qualify as BAD and is unfortunate to have two such people at Swinton.

I am realy pleased that you spotted it, It is indeed a very demanding criterea I set to be bad and not many people are bad enough to qualify! They probably have to work realy hard at it:-) I think it is what a lot of people don't understand when they say that there are no bad singers and they cannot be that bad. They realy are.

To give the due credit one of them can tell a good tale and if he stuck to narration would have no problems at all. He probably doesn't realise that he doesn't realy have to sing when he can tell such a good story:-) The other can sort of play guitar. As long as he is on his own and doesn't try to sing at the same time. Put him in a band and the guitar timing becomes obvously to a different drum and when singing we end up with the voice and guitar in differnt keys and anything from 4/4 to 11/3 in the same tune! On a side issue. Incidentaly the latter has not been for weeks. Maybe he is home practicing?

I am getting some good ideas now so thanks all (well, most...) for being sensible and helping.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 10:35 PM

Howard - I mean the ones who have a technical difficulty, from the aspect of timing, with the perameters of typical (competent!) folkies who'd normally do a bit of accompaniment (sounds more complicated than I intended!).

It doesn't mean to say they're bad or indequate. It means they're simply cut off from the enhancements accompaniament can add.

As you say, i'ts up to them how their song is performed - I've used the term "Song Manager" in a previous thread (and at the Folk Club) to handle situations where an audience person tries to impose their arrangement (and words sometimes!!) on the singer.

The crunch is, with my subject performer, s/he does not have the choice to invite others to join in.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Acorn4
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 06:15 PM

To sing in a "bunch of keys" is indeed a talent not to be scoffed at!


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:52 PM

100


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 03:34 PM

One of the worst singers I've ever heard used to perform at folk clubs in Reading in the early 1970s - and always went down a storm. He was a Geordie, and sang Geordie songs ("Keep your feet still, Geordie hinny" and the like) without any two notes following in the same key. He was so bad that he was good, if you know what I mean. After the initial stunned silence not even normally polite folkies could restrain themselves, and of course at the university folk club I'm afraid we showed no mercy, and laughed throughout. But he didn't seem to mind, he was certainly always willing to come back for more, and people enjoyed his performance precisely because it was so bad.

Of course it couldn't last. With practice his singing improved to the point where it was merely bad, rather than hilariously awful, and his star faded.

I've always felt rather guilty about laughing at him, although it was impossible not to. But he was enjoying himself and entertaining his audience, so despite being a bad singer you could say he was a good performer.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 01:07 PM

Here is a performance From the Ukulele Cabaret, which is an open stage/open mike thing in NYC--I've never been, but through the miracle of the internet, I can listen any time I want--it is pretty typical of open stage stuff everywhere, a combination of the good, the bad, and the ugly--it's all good!


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 12:44 PM

' wonder why there is this sudden outbreak of threads blaming BAD floor singers for all the ills afflicting folk clubs.'

I agree. sometimes you can learn more watching someone struggle with a song than watching a slick presentation.

where would folkclubs be without a few local weirdoes?


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 12:18 PM

There are bad singers and there are inexperienced singers.

The former should have the self awareness to know when it is appropriate for them to perform. Unfortunately some don't.

As I gained experience as a singer I realised how much practice it was taking to be simply mediocre. Then I discovered that not only was I a qood dancer but that dancing involved a lot more physical contact with attractive ladies than singing. These days I sing in the car and join in with choruses.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: TheSnail
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 09:03 AM

I wonder why there is this sudden outbreak of threads blaming BAD floor singers for all the ills afflicting folk clubs.

David el Gnomo sets pretty demanding criteria to qualify as BAD and is unfortunate to have two such people at Swinton. I don't think I've met that many in my life.

I'm with Waddon Pete ...I've yet to meet a poor performer who makes no effort to improve....

I wouldn't express myself quite as forcefully as skipy but I agree with his general drift that people need to look to their own performance before being quite so ready to condemn others. If you want to raise standards, the place to start is with yourself and not think "I can tune my guitar. I sing in tune. I can remember the words. Perfect. I'm far better than old Joe with his reed cutting song so that's all right."

The next place to look is at the booked guests. On the "Why folk clubs are dying" thread Faye Roche says The band were disappointing, but no more of that. WHAT? The booked guests who are taking up half the evening and getting paid for it were "disappointing"? If they can't be bothered to put in an adequate effort, why should the floor singers worry?

The idea seems to be that all the folk scene's problems can be solved by either silencing the "song stranglers" or organising workshops to bring them up to an acceptable level of mediocrity. Then the media will stop taking the piss, Arts Council funding will flood in and new clubs will be opening on every corner to accommodate the floods of new enthusiasts. Work on raising standards throughout then the BAD singers will improve as well or else they'll be an unimportant blip amongst the excellence.

Where can bad singers go? They can go to places where they can hear good performers who are capable of communicating their love of the music and making it clear just how much work THEY put in to achieve what they do.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 08:00 AM

Ian, I'm not sure I understand the problem with these singers you refer to. Are they attempting to perform with their own accompanist, but are unable to alter their style, or are they in a singaround where other would-be accompanists are unable to join in? If it's the former, then they need to practice singing accompanied, but if it's the latter then IMHO it's up to them to decide how they want to sing it and the accompanists should know when to shut up and leave them to it.

Nothing is worse than having a song which you've worked on hi-jacked by someone who thinks they know better than you how you should perform it.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 10:32 PM

Tom - I agree believeit or not!

I suggest that the route of learning - or at some stage playing with organised groups people, actually enhances your ability to add your own distintive interpretations when playing solo.

You have a bigger library of experience to draw on.

Both the performers I mentioned earlier are excellent at what they do. The dfference - it seems to me - is that they find it hard to be accompanied despite being excellent - for the above reasons; whereas many (most?) other performers I know can be well AND be accompanied through the playing-with-others experience.

Another little example that sits here is of a friend who needed a bass player for her folk band. A very keen supporter from a local club came forward - but gave up after one practice because his background was totally 44/country time. He had no experience of the more traditional Folky timings and complicated bar formats. He couldn't hack it because his musical playing experience was "sheltered" - despite being accomplished in the styles he knew.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 06:10 PM

If "too many of the people who get up to sing are of that standard", perhaps it is the standard--and you are in the wrong place.

Audiences for floorspots, or open stage/open mike, or whatever you call them, should expect a very mixed bag from those who chose to perform for them.   If you got what you paid them for, you'd get exactly nothing--so if you're entertained by anything at all, you're ahead in the game.

The idea that all those other performers are "boring and embarrassing" can be rather self-serving--If I thought a performer was"slumming" just to show up singers and musicians who weren't as talented or experience, well, that would bore and embarrass me--

And it would really be embarrassing if they really weren't any better than the performers they were so smug about--Well, it wouldn't really be embarrassing, it'd be funny--


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:32 PM

"I thought that folk music was supposed to be fun...

I'd rather hear someone forget lines, drop the beat on the guitar, and miss 3/4 of the notes and is having a good time, than some "competent singer and musician" who rolls through a polished rendition of the same old same old."

The point is that what you describe IS NOT fun ... it's boring and embarrassing, especially when too many of the people who get up to sing are of that standard. And, again, it's not about polish it's about enthusiasm, commitment, practice and respect for the material and the audience. When someone sings well, polished or not, and the hairs stand on the back of your neck or they make you laugh or they make you cry - THAT'S fun!


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: open mike
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:22 PM

i thought this said where can bad sinners go...
we all know the answer to that one...


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Melissa
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 04:37 PM

M.Ted:
I think of Music as a type of conversation.

Generations ago, people didn't mingle much with their neighbors/community..until there was a gathering. Maybe they'd gather to butcher a hog or do some type of harvest task..whatever reason they worked together occasionally.
At those gatherings, they were amongst their friends who were also strangers.
If my cow stepped on your corn earlier in the year, you and I would both feel horrible about it. If you and I had an arrangement where we traded grain for milk..we're both going to have a skinny winter. When there's music at the gathering, we have a good way of avoiding arguments/tension and we can both get our dose of Community because of the distraction music offers. Fighting is not healthy and we both know we need each other (whether we like each other or not)

Dancing/singing works as a way to get some talk-conversation going, it thaws us out and helps break the isolation. It puts everybody on equal footing and it's a Cheerful Sound. It is also a sound made by other humans.

I think music should be fun.
When I'm not having fun, I take a break from it because I know it is supposed to make my life better. When it's a chore, I might as well spend my time otherwhere.
As a second language, music does a pretty good job of helping people from different places/background/etc communicate..

Things are different now and I suppose you'd sue me if my cow stepped on your corn..but life isn't any easier now than it ever was. It's just different--and it's good that we have music.

...which is the longway of saying that I agree with you.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:58 PM

I thought that folk music was supposed to be fun.

I think the problems that some of you all have with clubs dying or standards falling off, or whatever, come from the fact that you've forgotten that it isn't about your one sense that" I know by now (age 64) whether I'm performing it to a reasonable standard or not!", it is about singing together, playing together, and having fun together.

I'd rather hear someone forget lines, drop the beat on the guitar, and miss 3/4 of the notes and is having a good time, than some "competent singer and musician" who rolls through a polished rendition of the same old same old.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Melissa
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:19 PM

Will:
When you're picking up a new song, what's the process for making it your own?

I already know how I do it, but I get a little curious about how others approach it and you seem like a good guy to ask.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 02:29 PM

It's worth bearing in mind that in story song, speech rhythms outweigh musical metre. So there are people with expert musical timing who nevertheless phrase story songs in ways that make it impossible for anyone else to join in (sometimes deliberately so ;-) Tom


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Ian Fyvie
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 02:17 PM

Metronome? Yes and No.

Probably good to have a casual go at it - but religeosly using it to develop your singing / playing could leave you with a bland boring style devoid of any expression.

Sadly I 've seen many, many singers who sound like they've learnt to a metronome - they're typically the Clawhammer Residents who would never be able to entertain an audience for more than a floorspot.

The best way to improve timing, pitch and other aspects of performance is to sing or play with other people if at all possible - and it doesn't have to be Folk because what you learn crosses musical boundaries.

Another side of the coin cropped up at our singaround last night when we were discussing a couple of very good singers - but performers whose timing was so 'Personal' - its hard for anyone to join in with them; again - examples of people who would have benefited from playing in bands or singing in choirs when they were starting out.

Ian Fyvie


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 01:13 PM

How do weak musicians learn solid timing and pitch by practicing alone at home?
they get a metrognome for rhythym,not perfect, but it helps.
they improve pitch by singing with a fixed note instrument,piano concertina,etc.[and recording themselves and listening carefully].


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 07:53 AM

"I tihnk it's great that people can sing no matter what they sound like."

I don't! Trouble is the idea that everyone can sing and it's not necessary to work at it - even to learn the words or sing in tune - can spread through a club, or group of clubs, like a virus. In the end the good singers are drowned out by the bad. If you go to a couple of clubs or singarounds a month, as I do, it's no fun having to sit through hour after hour of lazy, boring, dismal dross! And if that makes me elitist, then so be it!


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: goatfell
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 07:08 AM

almost anyone can sing, except if you're mute then you can't but most people can sing, ok sometimes not in tune or the right key or they sound a bit flat or whatever but they do sing.

there is no such thing as a bad singer, and people that do say these things a judgemental and superiour to every other singer.

wither they like it or not.

and if they are 'bad'singers whop to say that they can't join in with the sesion or the folk club or jut give us a song.

I tihnk it's great that people can sing no matter what they sound like.

it would a sad place if we got rid of these 'bad' singers and a quiter place as well.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Bernard
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 06:42 AM

A good place to learn to sing is in your local choral society. If that doesn't float your boat, try joining in at singarounds.

A good place to practice an instrument is at a local session.

The trick is to blend into the background until such a time as your confidence and ability are strong enough to do a solo performance. Better still, find a friend or two and form a duo/band.

Most solo performers have been a member of a duo or band in their formative years, and some still are. It works wonders for your confidence, because there's always someone to lean on if you make a mistake.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:48 AM

[Sorry - hit the wrong key]

WLD - WS Gilbert got it right again - the Mikado's song 'To let the punishment fit the crime'.

The amateur tenor, whose vocal villanies
All desire to shirk,
Shall, during off hours,
Exhibit his powers
At Madame Tussauds Waxwork.

and

The music-hall singer attends a series
Of masses and fugues and "ops"
By Bach, interwoven
With Spohr and Beethoven,
At classical Monday Pops.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:45 AM

The further away, the better.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:42 AM


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Faye Roche
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:25 AM

Don't have time to read all this, but I'll come back after Christmas.

Where do they go? Simple. They go home to practice until they become good singers!


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 04:46 AM

'...and further, it is the sentence of this court that you be taken from hence to a place of (alleged) entertainment, and there you will be bored to death by the bollocks, in the manner prescribed by the statutes of 1954.'


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 04:20 AM

<> Nursing homes
<> Senior daycare centers
<> Preschools


Prisons!!

Get the warblers of self-penned angst, the Lykewake Dirge groaners, the Raglan Road Off A Crib Sheet And Still Get It Wrong artists, to "sing" to those justly convicted of offences against society, and watch the recidivism rate plummet!


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 04:05 AM

Melissa:
How do weak musicians learn solid timing and pitch by practicing alone at home?

As far as solid timing is concerned, a metronome can be a great help. They can be off-putting, because they're so mechanical, but to play along with one set to the required tempo can be a great help. In the heat of performance - particularly when playing instrumental music - many of us speed up, and the metronome makes us aware of this.

As far as pitch goes, well, if you have a recording of the piece that you want to sing (in the same key), stick the needle on the CD (! :D), crank it up, as Albert Lee used to say, and singalonga CD track. Another way is to record yourself singing. I hate doing this because I always detect (I think) a slight flatness in the playback, and it's true that a plain recording with no reverb and flat EQ will reveal any flaws in pitch.

If someone can't tell whether they're singing in pitch or not, an hour with a professional singing coach, or more experienced performer, can be very revealing - and helpful...


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Indrani Ananda
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:52 PM

Melissa

                           BBC RADIO 2 Saturday; a singer with a "trained voice" was broadcast. His singing was sharp - no doubt about it!   This seems to be commonplace with his sort of music.
                           Indrani


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Melissa
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:27 PM

Kendall, I have a tone-deaf question..maybe you have an answer?!

Sometimes a song will start on the radio and the voice/instruments don't sound like they're in the same key. I know they are and it's a fleeting thing (and I think it must be fairly common because it worried me and I asked people a 'leading' question to find out if I was flukey) Those first few notes do NOT sound pleasant to me and I wonder if that's what music sounds like to tone-deaf people.
Do you know?

If so, WHY would they enjoy listening to music?


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: kendall
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:14 PM

My first wife was tone deaf. Trying to explain music was impossible. Thank God she never tried to sing.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Melissa
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:03 PM

At the gatherings available to me, helping the weak singers/players is my role. I am our sturdiest musician. This works well for us and would not be a practical approach in a one-at-a-time group.
I have been surprised at how much my playing has improved by carrying others. Even if I wasn't getting better, the pleasure of helping others grab the music and run with it would be well worth my effort.
So, around here, the bad singers go near me.

I have a question concerning the one-at-a-time type:
How do weak musicians learn solid timing and pitch by practicing alone at home?


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Acorn4
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 06:49 PM

At Sidmouth Festival, a few years back, they ran an event called the "Song Slam Competition". It was like an open mike and the winner got a slot at the festival.

Performers were only allowed TWO MINUTES on stage, after which a large hook appeared from stage left and dragged them off.

I've never actually seen the format repeated, but it did have the advantage that the audience was kept engaged. Open mike events at festivals are a bit pot luck, and if the person before you has managed to clear the venue, it's one man and his dog again.


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: olddude
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:29 PM

also by limiting the open mike time, you are still not discouraging them to continue to work on their music. One thing they do here in town at the concert in the park series is they allocate time. Some people get a half hour, others get a song .. no one ever complained. I think it is a great Idea, if someone asks why so and so gets a half hour or 45 minutes the organizers say because they are very popular with the audience. That doesn't make others upset at all and i like that approach. I have seen people come back to do their 1 song again and again but it gives them a chance to perform out and the audience doesn't have to suffer through a whole set either. Yet those the audience really really like get to hear a bunch of their music ... seems like a good approach that works here that you folks may try


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: olddude
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:17 PM

David
I am not trying to contradict you,   especially if people pay to come there, I think an open mike with a limited amount of time is good for those folks. I hear what you are saying... I have been to places where someone really really bad wants to play for an hour. That is why when people pay they it should be people who have been reviewed and approved and think there is nothing wrong with that at all.

On open mike night, let them play but limit everyone to a song or two unless the audience wants more ..
that would be my solution ...


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:13 PM

That's fine if you want to go digging, olddude, and I agree with much of what you say; I enjoy finding the odd gems myself. But some people don't. What about those who can't, or don't want to, see past the rough stone. Shallow? Yes, maybe so, But lots of people are. Lots of people do not want their enjoyment to be hard work and if they come out to have a night of enjoyable, if rather trite, music then why should they have to put up with old Joes reed cutting song?

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: olddude
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 04:25 PM

All that comes to mind at the moment is Hazel Dickens
people once said her voice could curl milk (and probably right)
but I would hate to think of where we would be without her .. she is a treasure in the songs she has kept alive and songs she has written.

I am glad noone ever told her that when she was young or we would not have her .. That is the problem, there are people who cannot carry a tune but inside them may very well be hiding magic. That doesn't mean they should be booked as a feature act .. but an open mike .. let me try .. I think anyway ..

I was going through youtube. There are some people there that I think have no idea they are that far off key .. but looking past it at the song they wrote .. you can see it has real substance ..

not everyone will be a Lightfoot, but you never know what nugget is hiding under that rough stone


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Musket
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 12:57 PM

What concerns me...

There are many people, possibly a majority of performers who visit this website, who were asked by a friend to go to a folk club because there was somebody appearing who their friend thought they might like. (In my case, Bernard Wrigley in the late '70s.)

I saw Bernard, great. I also saw people, some of whom I knew, get up and sing a song as a floor turn. If I hadn't have seen that, I possibly wouldn't have practised the guitar and got around to getting up myself at a subsequent singers night. How many others fall into that bracket? Possibly a number of good artistes we all know and appreciate.

I fully accept that when you put on a big act, and your attendance is 5 times the norm, you want the strangers to enjoy a good night, so they may come again, preferably when you haven't broken the bank to get a top draw act.

I also know the agony when you feel responsible for letting old Joe with his reed cutting song have a bash in front of a big audience. He turns up week after week and deserves a turn on a big night. Why not? Without him, there would be no club to put the odd turn on

So.... I'm not convinced there is an answer to this one. We have all been there, as the organiser, the inexperienced floor turn and a "turn" and be buggered if I could give a definitive answer?


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 12:46 PM

Here's my routine for learning a song that I want to perform:

1. I transcribe the words (from whatever source) by hand into my song book.
2. I read/sing them continuously several times from the book, looking away and testing out my memory.
3. When I feel I've got the words in my head, I take up the guitar, turn away from the words and sing to the window or the wall, only looking at the words when I genuinely can't remember them.
4. I use the mental image of the handwritten words in my head as an aide-memoire in remembering.
5. Once I've got the words and tune and guitar parts in my head, I get into "performing" mode and perform it to myself as though I were in front of an audience - over and over and over again...
6. I usually get Mrs. F. or some friends to have a private listen.
7. I'll do the first public performance at an informal session or a singaround, and see how it goes as a musical entity.
8. After 40 years, I don't need feedback on whether my performance was good or not - this is not arrogance on my part - I know by now (age 64) whether I'm performing it to a reasonable standard or not!

Depending on the complexity of the song, the whole process might take several weeks, because it's surprising how quickly a quickly learned song can slip the memory. If you treat it as a slow, maturing process, the song stays better in the memory and "plays" better to an audience.

Just my 10-penn'orth for aspiring performers...


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 11:55 AM

"Bob Dylan was once quoted as saying something like. 'If your gonna sing, then sing'

Pete Seeger
'Sing out,sing loud sing often.'

So sing outdoors and watch for peoples reactions"

Be careful or you will lose your voice like Pete did. Learn to sing correctly and save
your voice as you get older.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Where can bad singers go?
From: Bernard
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 11:33 AM

As a teacher I've often come across the people who want a 'magic fix' as suggested by Shimrod.

The only way to be any good at music, whether singing or playing, is by hard work - unless you are dead lucky and naturally talented.

The place to do your practice is in private, and only to inflict yourself on your poor, unsuspecting public once you are satisfied you are up to the job.

If, as was also mentioned, you are in a small, select group of friends, it may then be acceptable to do your practicing in front of such an audience.

If you cannot judge your quality of performance from the reaction of others, then you aren't ready - or just too thick skinned!

I do wonder about people who seem to think singarounds and the like are appropriate places for the talentless to insult the intelligence of others. It's all very well saying people have to learn somewhere - but this thread is really about those who will never learn!

As a competent singer and musician I gain my pleasure from knowing that the audience enjoyed what I did. I'm puzzled, therefore, by what pleasure an incompetent performer must be gaining...

Anything I try on an audience that doesn't get the reaction I hoped for isn't kept in my repertoire - but that happens very rarely, because I've the experience to know what audiences like.
Karaoke bars combine two of the nation's greatest evils:
people who shouldn't drink with people who shouldn't sing...


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