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Help What Do I Sing next

JulieF 11 May 01 - 06:31 AM
IanC 11 May 01 - 06:39 AM
KingBrilliant 11 May 01 - 07:03 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 May 01 - 07:35 AM
JulieF 11 May 01 - 07:37 AM
JulieF 11 May 01 - 07:40 AM
IanC 11 May 01 - 07:49 AM
IanC 11 May 01 - 07:51 AM
Drumshanty 11 May 01 - 08:14 AM
KingBrilliant 11 May 01 - 08:27 AM
Matt_R 11 May 01 - 08:33 AM
sophocleese 11 May 01 - 11:16 AM
mousethief 11 May 01 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,JohnB 11 May 01 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Karen 11 May 01 - 12:27 PM
Roughyed 12 May 01 - 01:22 AM
Deni 12 May 01 - 03:20 AM
lady penelope 12 May 01 - 03:55 AM
GUEST,Willa 12 May 01 - 06:10 PM
Boab 13 May 01 - 05:48 AM
Keith A of Hertford 13 May 01 - 07:38 AM
Roger in Sheffield 13 May 01 - 04:16 PM
cait 13 May 01 - 04:30 PM
vectis 13 May 01 - 04:55 PM
Marion 14 May 01 - 12:23 AM
JulieF 14 May 01 - 07:31 AM
Noreen 14 May 01 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Dooley 14 May 01 - 08:47 AM
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Subject: Help What Do I Sing next
From: JulieF
Date: 11 May 01 - 06:31 AM

Has anyone got any suggestions about songs that I can add to my very, very limited range? I sing, largely traditional and unaccompanied with a tendancy to shake when performing in public. I can only sing in a Scottish accent which is apparently stronger than my spoken accent. The songs can't be too long as I havn't got the breathing quite right and I have a tendancy to forget all the words when I stand to perform in front of anyone else.

Any suggestions appreciated, so far I've done a few songs quite a lot of them I half remembered from my childhood.

All the best

Julie


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: IanC
Date: 11 May 01 - 06:39 AM

Tell us what you do so far! Makes life a little easier re: suggestions.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 11 May 01 - 07:03 AM

YOu're really lucky to have the scottish accent. There's loads of scot songs I'd love to sing, but couldn't do convincingly due to the dialect.
The Highland Widow is a nice song, and would suit the accent well.
As far as shaking goes - try the banana trick much recommended by harpists on this forum. Apparantly they are natural beta-blockers and will help you stay calm & collected. That will probably help with the breathing too.
Forgetting the words can be a self-fulfilling prophecy - but one thing that really helps is to have a little bit of paper with just a key word or two for each verse to jog your memory. Then you can just glance down & remind yourself which bit is next. You'd probably find that you didn't actually look at it anyway.

Kris


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 May 01 - 07:35 AM

On the radio last night the Proclaimers made a come-back. Not exactly folk but all their songs sound great in the Scottish accent. Try '500 miles' and if you can get round fitting the last line in the chorus you should be able to sing anything!

Keep it up anyway!

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: JulieF
Date: 11 May 01 - 07:37 AM

So far the public performances have been songs like :-

AAe Fond Kiss A Man's a man for a' that Culloden's Harvest Both Sides of Tweed Jute Mill Song The Broom Of the Cowdenknowes

Julie


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: JulieF
Date: 11 May 01 - 07:40 AM

Yes now I've got a soft spot for the Proclaimers - given they wrote the only song to mention my place of birth - Bathgate. Unfortuately the song is as relevant today as when they wrote it.

Julie


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: IanC
Date: 11 May 01 - 07:49 AM

Hows about:

A Parting Glass Any of Roberton's "Songs of the Western Isles" Athen Rye Bonnie Susan Cleland ...

Or you could take your pick from some of these .

Cheers! Ian


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: IanC
Date: 11 May 01 - 07:51 AM

God wot a mess! I meant

Songs


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: Drumshanty
Date: 11 May 01 - 08:14 AM

Julie

I am a fellow shaky forgetter of words which breaks my heart 'cos I love to sing but often don't!

Anyway, I was once lucky enough to get the chance to ask the singer Margaret Bennett for some advice. She told me to start with songs that have a good chorus where everyone can join in and that should give you confidence – songs like "Bonnie Bunch O'Thyme" and a few you have already listed.

Sorry I can't be of more help - I am still struggling with my own lack of confidence but I'm sure there will be plenty of suggestions forthcoming.

Tracy


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 11 May 01 - 08:27 AM

Ooops! I forgot to say that you eat the bananas.
Time should sort out the confidence thing. The more you do it the less nerve-wracking it is. If you listen to everyone else you'll find most people make mistakes & are a bit imperfect and yet you stil think they're good. I always thought that everyone else was mega-perfect and mega-confident & that I was a bit cheeky to even try. Then the thought struck me that if I think that everyone else is 'proper' singers, then its quite likely that some other people are thinking the same & that for them I come into the heading of 'proper singer'. If you have that thought in mind then it makes it easier to do well - its another self-fulfilling prophecy.

Kris


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: Matt_R
Date: 11 May 01 - 08:33 AM

How about "How To Disappear Completely"?


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: sophocleese
Date: 11 May 01 - 11:16 AM

Just because you have a Scottish accent doesn't mean you should only sing Scottish songs. Sean Connery improved the appeal of James Bond partly with his accent.


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: mousethief
Date: 11 May 01 - 11:46 AM

Why not use a lyric sheet? If pianists and symphony orchestras and such can look at music, I don't see why folkies can't have a lyric sheet.

I sang "Up the Noran Water" (from the Jean Redpath album, "A Fine Song for Singing") unaccompanied at an open mike -- a place much more used to barely-acoustic C&W and soul-searching 19yo angst-ridden singer-songwriters, and it was very well received.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 11 May 01 - 12:25 PM

Lassie wi the Yellow Coatie, Mairi's Wedding, Green Grow the Rashes Oh, spring to mind. Most of Ewan McColls songs, do a search for his name in DT. You could try using a music stand for your sheets, somehow it seems more professional, seen LOTS of people using them too(including my group). Just keep doing it though. JohnB


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 11 May 01 - 12:27 PM

How about "Men of Worth"? It's got a lot of "la-la-la's" in the chorus which helps you when you're trying to recall the words in the up-coming verse.
Also, "Love and Freedom" is good too. Really any song that has an easy chorus that your mind doesn't have to stress over while you're thinking up the next verse in your head.


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: Roughyed
Date: 12 May 01 - 01:22 AM

I've got a really good bit of magic to help with nerves - after all your logic and reason isn't going to work on your subconscious or you wouldn't be scared in the first place, so magic does.

Sit somewhere quiet and comfortable,close your eyes and relax. Become aware of yur body starting with your feet and working upwards until you feel calm and relaxed.

Now think of a time when you felt happy, fulfilled and on top of the world. A time when everything was going right for you. Try to recreate the scene in your mind as vividly as you can. hat the weather was like, the smells the sounds. When you have got the feeling as strongly as you can, gently touch your thumb and middle finger on the hand you use less together.

Without opening your eyes, again try to recreate that feeling as intensely as possible and then touch your thumb and finger together, then do it a third time and slowly open your eyes.

Now try touching your thumb and finger together. You might get a little buzz. If it doesn't happen first time, don't worry. Try again over the next few days and then just as you get up to sing, touch that finger and thumb.


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: Deni
Date: 12 May 01 - 03:20 AM

What about Robert Burns' Ca' The Ewes. a truly beautiful tune and not too many words.

Deni


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: lady penelope
Date: 12 May 01 - 03:55 AM

I too start with rather more vibrato than I actually intend ( as my Daddy would say " a bit potty head" ) but it does wear off. A few deep and well timed breathes ( like you would make if you were going to swim under water ) do help to get you through the first bits of your song. As for breathing through the rest of the song, that is practrice. It is time to annoy the neighbours. It's no use doing it quietly, because when you sing in front of people ( like in a sing-a-round ) you're not singing quietly then. You may wish to have the excuse of being in the bath but you must do it at the volume you intend to sing at! If you're worried about hitting the right notes, practice with your ears covered. You'll find you start 'feeling' the note rather than listening for it. And of course you shouldn't sing just scottish songs! Your accent ( or any accent at that ) will actually lend to what ever you are singing not detract!! remember there wasn't a "standard english accent" until a couple of hundred years ago and for most of that time it was spoken only by a very few. Most folk songs ( and others) were written with an accent attached. Keep going you'll get there. Remember it's supposed to be fun and that you're not the only one!

TTFN M'Lady P.


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: GUEST,Willa
Date: 12 May 01 - 06:10 PM

How about 'Aye wakin oh'?
Fairly short;3/4 verses.and a scottish song. Can post the words if you like, though I think you'll find them in DT


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: Boab
Date: 13 May 01 - 05:48 AM

The "Chorus song " suggestion is a good one. Here's another ---when I started singing in public at first, I had the same problems [everybody does except those who are pissed---and then it's usually "My Way :-)] . I made a discovery; make 'em LAUGH . As soon as you get a response from an audience, even if you are a novice, your nerves tend to disappear.There is no more tangible response than laughter--provided of course, that is the response you are aiming for! Sing some comic songs like "Maids when You're Young", or Adam McNaughtan's "Hamlet". You'll soon be at your ease.Anyway, stick to it regardless---and Ive been singing for a wheen o' years and still get calls for an interpreter! Boab


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 May 01 - 07:38 AM

The Shearings Not For You is a lovely and easy to learn singalong song with scots dialect all over.
I don't agree with the lyric sheet idea. Look around making eye contact and stealing smiles.
Best wishes,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 13 May 01 - 04:16 PM

Julie you have a beautiful voice, won't you come along to the Dog and Partridge Monday nights to give John a rest (too many bodhrans not enough singers)

Roger


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Subject: Help, how do i sing them all?
From: cait
Date: 13 May 01 - 04:30 PM

that is my problem...

shaky or no, i'm bound to do it.

*caiti*


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: vectis
Date: 13 May 01 - 04:55 PM

Sing the songs you like. If you are enjoying singing them your audience will catch the love of the song from you. If you get the shakes Frankie Armstrong always says that if you deliberately shake all over violently for a couple of seconds the shakes lessen or disappear. I recommend that you don't do this in front of an audience or they'll be so hysterical they'll miss the song. Never give up singing, the human voice is the best and most portable of instruments there is.


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: Marion
Date: 14 May 01 - 12:23 AM

Song suggestions: if it isn't too important to you to sing only traditional songs, you might try "Johnny Be Fair" by Buffy St. Marie (lyrics in DT). It sounds like it could be an old British ballad, and it's funny - I don't often sing a cappella but I've performed this one a few times and really felt like I had connected with the audience.

As for forgetting words: I've had similar experiences with performing on instruments - the stress makes you perform badly, which makes you more stressed out, which makes you perform even worse, and so on...

If bananas or self-hypnotism or plain old experience alleviate your stage fright, great. But unless and until you can lose the stage fright, I think the best you can do is perform songs that you know so well that you can do them now matter how stressed out you are. Stage fright takes away your newer and fancier material, but not the material that you can do in your sleep.

So know your material well! Run through the lyrics mentally while driving or walking or chopping vegetables - although you may have the words memorized consciously, the extra repetition will help you to memorize them unconsciously so that you can sing them on "automatic pilot".

Having said that... it's a perennial dilemma for me because when I have a chance to perform, I want to bring out my newest and fanciest material, not the stuff that I consider child's play. But it's very risky to do so, even if I can play them reliably in my room, as I've found out over and over again. Oh well, live and don't learn...

Marion


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: JulieF
Date: 14 May 01 - 07:31 AM

Thanks to all for the advice. I'ld certainly try the the bananas and other calming devices. I'm not so sure about the chorus songs. I haven't quite got used to people joining in and worry that they may carry the song away from me. I think I will do the Highland Widow's lament and I will definately look up the others mentioned. I fancy doing the Proclaimer's Letter from America ( as it mentions my place of birth) but I don't have the lyrics on the LP. Does anyone know where to find them.

Roger - thanks for the compliment. I am staying away from the Dog and Partridge for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I think that Cat may go down and start her session playing there after her GCSEs and the last person that she would want about would be her mother. Secondly, once John knows that I sing he will encourage me - as he does everyone else which is wonderful but there are quite a few events which we are both at where I would much rather fade into the background. Give me a bit of time, I've got a few places where there a few regular singers and I'm building up my confidence slowly.

Thanks again and I will let you know how I get on.

All the best

Julie


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: Noreen
Date: 14 May 01 - 08:14 AM

Julie, find a song that you really love, and has positive associations for you- then you will include those feelings with your performance. Then find a supportive environment to perform, and remember that people want you to sing well! I know this doesn't always stop the shakes- it's something I still have to battle with- but it does get better, the more you do. What about The Back of Rare's Hill or WILL YE GANG, LOVE ?

It would be nice, in some ways, to have the attitude of a friend of mine, that "they know where the door is" so you just please yourself about what and how you sing...

Swan, thanks for that; it goes with other things I've been working on.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Help What Do I Sing next
From: GUEST,Dooley
Date: 14 May 01 - 08:47 AM

Hallo Julie - I've just discovered this chat line and I can say unequivocallky that Ihave never had anything do do with them at all thuus far; however this looks fun!!

I am a resident singer in a club in the south of England and sing most weeks. I still get nervous after 25 years of singing but I stress nervous rather than terrified. If I am not nersous then thatis the time to worry - it helps you concentrate. I have done my fair share of forgetting words - usually when I haven't prepared well enough and am distracted by stuff going on either around or more often by my own thoughts

However - for what it's worth a few hints... this is so obvious but...practice the song until you are familiar with it - then practice until you know it inside out - the practice it until you are almosr fed up with it. Get "inside" the song,play around with phrasing and timing until you feel 110% comfortable with it. Then if at all possible sing it to a friend at home / ( maybe not the daughter?!) not for appraisal but so that you get used to the pit falls of performing a song in public. ( You will never sing it on a stage as well as you think you can in practise!) Remember the guests you see sing almost every night and have long since lost their nerves. And if they do forget they just busk it, smile and go on to the next song. For a floor singer the stakes seem rather higher when you're up there.

As some one else said choose a strong and simple song to start with - not necessarily a chorus song but by heck it's a great thrill to have the audience thundering along with you.

Remember - 2 things - the audience WANT you to do well. They are with you always. Equally as important, if I know anyhing about folk club audiences, they want to be entertained - not impressed. And they will be entertained much more by a simple song well sung by an (aparently!) confident singer than a warbling terrified jelly ! Keep it simple, keep it strong, smile and enjoy it!!

Dooley


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