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singers: who do you emulate and why?

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MAG 25 Sep 01 - 09:38 PM
Allan C. 25 Sep 01 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 26 Sep 01 - 12:36 AM
MAG 26 Sep 01 - 12:43 AM
Deni 26 Sep 01 - 01:09 AM
DougR 26 Sep 01 - 01:12 AM
MAG 26 Sep 01 - 01:14 AM
MAG 26 Sep 01 - 01:39 AM
English Jon 26 Sep 01 - 05:09 AM
Bert 26 Sep 01 - 05:19 AM
kendall 26 Sep 01 - 06:05 AM
mooman 26 Sep 01 - 07:07 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Sep 01 - 07:31 AM
Grab 26 Sep 01 - 07:53 AM
Jeri 26 Sep 01 - 07:57 AM
sophocleese 26 Sep 01 - 08:07 AM
Troll 26 Sep 01 - 08:08 AM
KingBrilliant 26 Sep 01 - 09:06 AM
Bat Goddess 26 Sep 01 - 09:17 AM
MMario 26 Sep 01 - 09:22 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Sep 01 - 10:09 AM
Pelrad 26 Sep 01 - 02:24 PM
Alice 26 Sep 01 - 03:17 PM
kendall 26 Sep 01 - 04:06 PM
Deni 26 Sep 01 - 04:27 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Sep 01 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Ray 26 Sep 01 - 06:27 PM
kendall 26 Sep 01 - 07:01 PM
dorareever 26 Sep 01 - 07:03 PM
Nemesis 26 Sep 01 - 07:35 PM
Alice 26 Sep 01 - 07:46 PM
Mudlark 27 Sep 01 - 01:56 AM
sophocleese 27 Sep 01 - 08:20 AM
Alice 27 Sep 01 - 09:25 AM
Alice 27 Sep 01 - 09:36 AM
dorareever 27 Sep 01 - 10:34 AM
sophocleese 27 Sep 01 - 11:20 AM
DougR 27 Sep 01 - 08:54 PM
Midchuck 27 Sep 01 - 09:31 PM
rangeroger 28 Sep 01 - 12:55 AM
DougR 28 Sep 01 - 01:58 AM
GUEST,Nick 28 Sep 01 - 08:55 AM
M.Ted 28 Sep 01 - 02:32 PM
DougR 28 Sep 01 - 04:11 PM
Armen Tanzerian 28 Sep 01 - 10:37 PM
marty D 29 Sep 01 - 12:45 AM
GUEST,C 02 Aug 04 - 06:17 AM
el ted 02 Aug 04 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 02 Aug 04 - 06:33 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Aug 04 - 08:47 AM
Vixen 02 Aug 04 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Larry K 02 Aug 04 - 10:54 AM
Uncle_DaveO 02 Aug 04 - 10:59 AM
Joybell 02 Aug 04 - 08:36 PM
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Little Hawk 03 Aug 04 - 08:47 PM
biglappy 04 Aug 04 - 02:26 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 04 Aug 04 - 04:03 AM
Roger the Skiffler 04 Aug 04 - 09:23 AM
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fat B****rd 10 Aug 04 - 02:15 PM
maple_leaf_boy 21 Nov 08 - 11:15 PM
GUEST,Charles J. Fish 22 Nov 08 - 11:10 PM
GUEST,meself 22 Nov 08 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,wayfarer 28 Nov 08 - 11:43 PM
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Subject: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: MAG
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 09:38 PM

true to my threat in the "Perfect Singer" thread (which I liked), I would like to continue the discussion of what us singers like in the way of models.

for example, I like the mature Joan Baez voice much better than the young voice which everybody and then some just loved for its purity. I was working so hard to overcome breaks, and hers seemed so obvious, and then in head voice there was so much tremulo, which always sounds affected to me. Now she has a nice warm mellow sound. I like it.

and the way Odetta and Linda Thompson can belt 'em out. How do they get that dull sound throughout their range? (I know, practice practice practice -- or, more accurately, practice with intelligence.)

I drive long distance a lot and throw tapes on to my tape player. I will sing along, say, to Art Thieme's "Wilderness Road," and when I resonate with the song I remember that space. It's a good, connected space.

When I went over to the gathering at Mousethief's, I caught the Woody Guthrie exhibit at the State History Museum in Tacoma. It reminded me of the part in "Ballad of Ramblin' Jack" where he talks about "pretty" voices doing songs which were not meant for pretty -- specifically, people singing about things like hard travelin' when they had obviously never done any. There was a lot of food for thought there. It is so easy to slip into trying to sound arty. I would much rather sound gutsy, without raunching out my voice like Janis Joplin or other rock singers -- screaming is NOT good for the voice. The only one I know of who can really walk this line is Bonnie Raitt. Hey, I should have mentioned her on the "Perfect Singer" thread. Her voice is clear when she wants clear, edgy when she wants edgy, growly when she wants growly.

Anyone?


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Allan C.
Date: 25 Sep 01 - 11:20 PM

I always wanted to sound like The Seekers or maybe We Five.*G* Well, perhaps not. Actually, I have always been a great admirer of Lenny Welch ("Since I Fell for You"). He was a sort of blues crooner. I liked his style. I can't think of anyone else who I especially wanted to emulate. There is a long list of influences that include such people as Paul Stookey ("The Wedding Song"), Jerry Butler ("For Your Precious Love"), Perry Como("And I Love You So"), Lou Rawls ("Love Is A Hurtin' Thing") and Gene Pitney ("Only Love Can Break A Heart"). This is not to say that I have managed to sound anything like any of them. I just feel that I have tried to adopt some of what I think are their better qualities.

I sometimes like the way that Paul Stookey attacks his vowel sounds. Jerry Butler has a resonance about his voice that I would love to capture. Perry Como had a way of hitting notes right on the head without sounding odd or stilted. Perry, with his quietly powerful voice, also made it a point to sing with his backup group rather than over them. Lou Rawls, besides having his wonderfully rumbling voice, also has the sound of laughter in his voice - like he is singing a joke's punchline. Gene Pitney has a unique sound to his voice and like some of the others above, has a gift for phrasing.

The one thing that most of the artists I admire have in common (most of them, anyway,) is the sense of appropriate modulation. They can feel those places in the lyrics where a sudden drop or spike in volume can make all the difference in how the meaning is received. If I never learn anything more than that from any of them, I will consider myself very fortunate, indeed.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 12:36 AM

My sound is mine and mine alone...

But then again, when the yodel part comes, I "hear" ol' Jimmy R in my mind....BUT..it just doesn't come out the same on a playback recording.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: MAG
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 12:43 AM

Yes, Allan, things like noticing how singers modulate to bring things out in a song. Funny you should mention Gene Pitney; "Town Without Pity" remains a classic, in my mind.

anybody besides me develop a fear and loathing of solfage? I know, I know it's just a tool ...


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Deni
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 01:09 AM

Good idea for a thread, but what is solfage?

Ever since i was a kid I've been compared to one singer after another. Sometimes a change of hairstyle was enough to complete the transformation!

I like anyone who can make me feel the meaning of a song, or make me forget where I am and what I'm doing. however half-a-pint of lager at lunchtime has a similar effect.

has anyone any little snippets of which successful artists have modelled their technique on another singer?

deni


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: DougR
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 01:12 AM

I wonder why any professional musician would want to emulate someone else? Garg has the right idea I think. Sound like yourself.

A professionally successful vocalist, I think, is one that when you hear them on radio or on a recording, you know precisely who that vocalist is. Why try to sound like them?

Make your own voice immediately recognizable.

At least that's my thinking on the subject.

As to vocalists I admire: Burl Ives, Eddy Arnold, Jimmy Buffet, Perry Como, Dinah Shore, Jo Stafford, John Prine, Rick Fielding, Kendall Morse, Mary Black, and lots more.

DougR


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: MAG
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 01:14 AM

Do-re-mi, Deni.

Well, Bobby Dylan obviously modelled himself on Woody and Ramblin' Jack Elliot.

Give us an example of someone who makes you feel the meaning of a song, Deni.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: MAG
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 01:39 AM

Any craft involves learning technique. Every great artist learned technique from a master at some point.

You can't sound like yourself until you know what you want to sound like, what your technical limitations are, what material suits your taste and your voice.

Besides, I'm not a pro, DougR. Are you?


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: English Jon
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 05:09 AM

"I wonder why any professional musician would want to emulate someone else?"

which is why all opera singers learn "bel canto" technique. Hmmm.

I guess the point is not to slavishly emulate someone's individual technique, but to pick up general aspects of style which appeal.

EJ


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Bert
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 05:19 AM

Right on there Garg me ol' china. I always TRY to be me, but I'm sure that lots of my Dad shows though, along with bits of Lonnie Donnegan, Johnnie Cash and maybe even a little John Denver Now and then. And I feel kinda chuffed when I can hear bits of Dad in my style.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 06:05 AM

Why, Doug, I didn't know you cared! Thanks Mate!

I've never tried to sing like anyone else. Figured it wouldn't do me any good, and they dont need my help.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: mooman
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 07:07 AM

Tend to agree with Garg on this. I couldn't emulate anyone else and wouldn't especially want to!

Deni...solfage is the term used in French for musical notation, i.e. reading music.

Regards

mooman


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 07:31 AM

No doubt Dylan tried to sound like Woody and Jack, but he ended up sounding like himself.

The thing is to avoid the one trap of trying to sound like someone else, and the opposite one of trying to sound different from anybody else.

The song is what matters, and if you put that first, you end up sounding like yourself singing it.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Grab
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 07:53 AM

Problem is that if you learn a song from a CD, you'll imitate the singer, consciously or unconsciously. To sound like "yourself singing it" (nice one McGrath) is an interesting problem. Myself, the only time I get that reasonably well is when it's been so long since I heard the original, I've forgotten how it went and I can only actually remember how my single-guitar, single-voice arrangement goes!

Graham.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Jeri
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 07:57 AM

I think a lot of people learn how to paint by trying to paint like masters. What sort of brush strokes did they use? What colors were they fond of? What subjects did they paint and how did they place people and objects? It's a natural way to learn, and if artists emulate enough other artists, they eventually learn a bunch of techniques and choose to adapt some bits and discard the rest. What comes out in the end is their own style.

We learn from other singers even if we aren't aware of it. If we try to copy one particular person and force our voices to fit every bit of their style, we sound like wannabes. If we learn how to do this and that the way they do in order for our own voices to come out, it just learning.

I guess I used to try to sound like other singers, but now I mainly try to figure out how they do things. "When did she slip from chest to head voice, and how did she do it so smoothly?" or "what is that little bit of ornamentation she stuck in there?" I don't even sound like me on home recordings - how could I hope to do someone else better?


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: sophocleese
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 08:07 AM

I guess I try to sound like this or that particular singer at times when I like a specific technique and I want to learn it. The same way a guitarist might learn a specific lick on guitar that one performer uses because she likes it.

I like clear and expressive voices best so I tend to try to sound clear and expressive. I also try now and again to sound completely different, because I think its useful to expand the range of music that I can sing.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Troll
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 08:08 AM

I don't emulate anyone but I like the phrasing of Willy Nelson, Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn. For me, phrasing is what it's all about. That's how you put a song across. Even the most beautiful voice is improved with good phrasing.

troll


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 09:06 AM

There are a lot of singers whose singing provides food for thought & I think its fine to listen to how they sing & use those lessons (whether relating to expression or to technique) to enhance your own singing.
Singing to emulate another singer exactly seems to be pretty sterile to me - I might just as well put the CD on. Maybe if you are selling your services as a singer it could be appropriate to be able to work 'in the style of x'.???
Sometimes its really hard to get the 'x' out of a song sufficiently to be able to sing it your own way. It took me weeks to get the Eva Cassidy out of 'Penny to my Name' - but I'm much happier singing the song now I have done so. The Eva Cassidy version it wonderful - but its hers, not mine.
Usually, if I want to learn to sing a song I'll only listen to a source the minimum amount I need to pick up the tune (ish). Then it gets 'plausible-ised' - ie I'll generally get the tune a bit wrong, but close enough to sound right. Then I sing & play it until I get it how I want it. I don't always sing it the same way though - otherwise I'd get bored.
I know some friends who follow the source recording as closely as they possibly can. That's how they like it, and there's nothing wrong with that. Some people DO want to sing the songs exactly like they've heard them.

People I listen to and learn from are:
Nina Simone : for the bluesy feel
Eva Cassidy : for clarity
Bette Midler : for hamming it up
Billy Holliday : for variations & soft bits
Norma Waterson : for sheer willfulness & power
Everyone else in the world : because there's usually something in everything

All of the above I might well emulate for practicing purposes, which I think this thread is partly about. But otherwise sing as myself (I hope...).

Kristin
PS. Oh yes I forgot - the one person I do try to emulate a bit is my dad, because I love the way he sings & I'm a product of him anyway, so it counts as still being me. (I'm still not male though....)


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 09:17 AM

Frankie Armstrong crossed with June Tabor -- maybe with a touch of Norma Waterson. I end up sounding a lot like Linn Schulz, I guess ;-) (At least, I hope so!!!)

Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: MMario
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 09:22 AM

If I ever manage half the projection of Barry Finn I will be in Heaven!


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 10:09 AM

For me, phrasing is what it's all about.

I probably agree with that. But I'm not at all sure what phrasing is.

I think when I say that the thing to do is to concentrate on the song rather than the singing, that's more or less what I mean. But maybe not. It's one of those words I might use for years, and the suddenly reaise I'm not sure what it actually means.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Pelrad
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 02:24 PM

I study Louis Killen's phrasing. I tend to sound like whoever I learned a particular song from, when I first learn it. Then I make it my own when I know it better. I never perform anything I haven't made my own.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Alice
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 03:17 PM

I was taught that unless I wanted to be a professional impersonator, imitating is a no-no, the point was to develop my own voice. Emulating - reaching an equal level of skill, well, there are many good singers I admire. If what you are asking is which singers influenced my singing skills (not just learning lyrics and tunes), then: Keely Smith, Mary O'Hara, and Nana Mouskouri are at the top of my list. I made a breakthrough when listening to Keely Smith, when I was learning Gershwin's "Someone To Watch Over Me".

Alice


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 04:06 PM

Grab, That may be the case with some, or with manny, but, for instance, I have been a Hank Snow fan for 50 years or so. His lyrics make sense, and his melodies are nice. I also like his guitar picking, but, I do not like the affectation he get into his phrasing. No way would I try to emulate him. When I was a boy, I used to emulate Wilf Carter, but, I got over it. (I still like to hear him sing, even though I'm no longer doing cowboy songs)


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Deni
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 04:27 PM

Mag The singers who make me feel the meaning of a song are mostly the ones with characterful voices, like Maddie Prior, Norma Waterson & June Tabor. It's no mistake they're so successful.

doug R.

I asked because there was an interesting discussion in a workshop once, which claimed that after the 'revival' loads of Martin Carthy clones were doing the rounds. I wondered if any of them had lasted, and whether they kept on emulating.

Only curious...

Byee

deni


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 04:52 PM

When I was a Kid I sang along with Croce, Lightfoot, Buffet, Prine ,The Stones, The Beatles, The Eagles, Sinatra, Waylon Jennings, Don MacLean. Phil Collins and many others. By emulating them I trained my own voice such as it is. And as sophocleese mentioned I've picked up vocal licks from each of them. You need those licks to properly sing certian styles of music. They all learned them from someone. Jeri mentioned painting and different brush strokes. I believe a skilled singer develops his/her brushstokes be emulating others just as an art student might go to a museum and copy a master piece. There are a few singers Whose work I emulate now, just to learn their licks and timing... Steven Page and Ed Roberts of BNL, Tom Waits, Billy Bragg and a couple of the singers on the "O Brother where art thou?" soundtrack.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 06:27 PM

Of course you have to sing like yourself.....it is hard to avoid it, but we all have influences. When I was a kid I was certain that I could sing just like Hank Snow...."That big eight wheel a rollin down the track"....Then as I grew up many singers "influenced" me I reckon. The main thing I learned from Woody, Ramblin' Jack and Dylan is to sing the song for your self, the way you feel it and don't worry that much about a particular sound. The great thing about folk songs is that they are written for the message.. and the feelings they evoke....like a lot of art forms.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: kendall
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 07:01 PM

Many of you have my tape or CD. If you think I sound like anyone else, I'd appreciate your telling me. (Really, I would)


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: dorareever
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 07:03 PM

My favorite singer of all times,even tough I don't listen to her records very often being more irish-folk-american-country oriented,is Edith Piaf.But I don't try to "emulate" her,even in a good way cause I could never match her talent and BTW I have my own voice to use which could not be the 8th world wonder but it's pretty good.I like a lots of other singers,from Dolores Keane to Ella Fitzgerald,I just can't stand pretty "folky" voices that seem to be big in these days.I like old style folk female singing like Maggie Barry ;)I like earthy voices.Janis Joplin was great and the greatest thing of her was the wonderful range she had.Sometime people didn't notice that doing to the fact her voice was so rough but she could easily sing alto or soprano as she wanted-I know it's "sui generis" soprano but she was one! Anyway I'm not a folk purist,and I like rock voices...rock musicians (good ones) don't SCREAM they just put some guts in it.In school my teacher used to say "don't shout!! when you sing don't shout" I didn't "shout" and couldn't sing properly until 17 (now I'm 22)cos I confounded "shouting" with "energy".I just did what I felt I have to do and wow...my voice sounded STRONG! Now strong is just a thing..the hardest part is trying to making it sound SOFT.In the last year I've been learning to variate my style.I'm proud to say I have a good range (uhm...nothing stellar...lol),I'm not totally deaf,and I could be clear if I want and growly if I want 5 days on 7.I'm working on the other two.My worst enemies are that I have not a perfect pitch and need some effort to hit the right note sometimes,a voice that on the high notes is too nasal and a anxiety that will condemn me to a Linda Thompson type of destiny if I don't overcome it. But I never thing about someone,I never did..I just sing. I could make a list of singers (male and females) I like and that would be a very long list.I pick something from everyone of them I suppose just as I do with the songs I write but I don't think about it.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Nemesis
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 07:35 PM

The other day at rehearsal, someone said to me "You sound like Shirley Collins" adding hastily "at her best of course". With which the new Shirley Collins disingenuously shifted the sandwich she was eating at the time to the other side of her mouth and replied "Is that good or bad? Can't I sound like Aretha Franklin instead?" "Or Annie Lennox?" and then swallowed the crust the wrong way and couldn't sing anything else.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Alice
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 07:46 PM

Since I mentioned Keely Smith, and hadn't listened for a long time to the old album I have, I got it out and played it again. What I like is her sense of humor and how it comes out in the way she sings (like her cut of Indian Love Call, "calling you, oo bee oo, shooby scooby doo"... it's so impish). I guess because I am so serious myself and tend to sing sad songs, I felt uplifted and challenged by the way she is so playful with music, so well controlled and yet relaxed and flowing in the way she plays around with sounds and words. Hey, and it's not even folk.

Alice


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Mudlark
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 01:56 AM

An interesting thread, Mag.

Since I started listening to folk music back in the dark ages I'm sure I was, and probably still am, influenced somewhat by the singers I listened to the most....Cynthia Gooding, Baez, Judy Collins. Most of the songs I learned back then I got at places like The Ash Grove in LA, or off records that are now long gone, lost or stolen. So at this point any influence is deeply buried...I certainly am not good enough to emulate any of them. .

But what I like about singing is that it is a way to express passion, to tell a story, to feel it as it flows thru me, and to let those feelings show. Which is why, I guess, that I've never liked "styling".....to my ear, at least, it's all about the singer, not about the song. .

As story tellers I like people like Tom Waits, Iris deMent, John Prine...as singers of pure sound I like Anne Hill, Priscilla Herdman, Bonnie raitt, Annie Lennox...all different but all with passionate, beautiful voices, that sing straight from the hip, no fancy styling.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: sophocleese
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 08:20 AM

dorareever, I didn't like my voice much when I was in my teens and early twenties. It was too shrill to my ears. The nice thing about voices though is that they keep changing and as you get older they get richer. Working on breath control can help a lot too.

One problem I've had is that I've been surrounded by people who don't like pretty soprano voices. I like pretty soprano voices and I have a pretty soprano voice and that's how I was born. For years I kept trying to make it sound less pretty and different from what it was. I always felt like a fraud. Now that I'm finally beginning to accept my voice the way it is its changing again as I get older.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Alice
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 09:25 AM

Soph, I can relate to that, another "pretty soprano voice", too.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Alice
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 09:36 AM

Pop stylings.. sheesh. There are local "voice teachers" in my area, who basically are piano teachers, not singers or voice teachers, who are now pulling in lots of young teenage girl students who want to learn "styling". Their parents have not a clue that this does not teach voice technique, basic foundations of breathing and singing are not even covered. These girls appear at weddings with tiny, breathy voices, a microphone against their lips, imitating "pop styling" like they have seen on MTV. If they have a voice, it's not being developed into anything that has tone, range, or individuality.

Alice


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: dorareever
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 10:34 AM

Yes sophocleese my voice changed a lot between 16 and 20,just natural evolution and practice.It's funny you have had trouble with people not liking your "pretty voice"...soprano voices if they are used well are beautiful,I have nothing against soprano or clear as water voices I just don't have one.As you said you have to be yourself and find your own way of singing and I just do it.Funny thing is that when I'm talking my voice is pretty shrill too.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: sophocleese
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 11:20 AM

dorareever, you should hear how shrill my voice can get when the kids start acting up.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: DougR
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 08:54 PM

No Mag, I'm not a professional singer. I have delt with professional musicians (instrumentalists and vocalists), as an administrator all of my professional life though, and the opinion I expressed was based on that.

I didn't say that one should not be influenced by other singers, phrasing, whatever.

I just assumed when you included emulate in the title of the thread, you meant "sound like." I obviously was wrong.

No, Kendall, I have your CD and your tape, and you sound like Kendall Morse. Rick Fielding sounds like Rick Fielding too.

DougR


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Midchuck
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 09:31 PM

My hangup is that my favorite male singer, and the one I wish I could sound like, is the late John Duffey of the Seldom Scene and, originally, the Country Gentlemen...but I'm a baritone. Hell, my wife can't reach Duffey's range.

Singers I admire most with range anything like mine: Stan Rogers, Ian Tyson (would moving to Canada help?), Tom Russell, Jim Ringer.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: rangeroger
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 12:55 AM

Midchuck, one of the great things about John Duffeys' voice was that he was a baritone. It was just that he could take those notes above the tenor range and usually scare hell out of the sound technician.

I think the singer that I've most emulated is Tom Rush.My vocal range and intonation is very similar to his and I dearly love his music.

When it all comes down to it,however,my voice is my voice as others have said.

rr


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: DougR
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 01:58 AM

I wonder how many record producers have said to a new talent preparing to record, "I'd like you to sound just like Willie Nelson?"

DougR


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 08:55 AM

When I was younger, and sang: Kris Kristofferson Leonard Cohen Johnny Cash (more a question of "who CAN you emulate?") Nick


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 02:32 PM

DougR--My guess is, probably a lot--though they probably said, "Let's try for a more "Outlaw" sound--I am not asking for a copy, because, as you know, this is all about getting "YOU" to sound like "YOU", but at the same time, "YOU" with a "Willie" kind of edge"---

I listen a lot to Bing Crosby, Cliff Edwards, Rudy Vallee, Red Foley, Jim Reeves, Eddie Arnold, Johnny Mercer, Tex Beneke, particularly for the way that they handle different parts of their range--Love, but have to consciously avoid imitating Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, Al Jolson, Louie Prima--I love R&B and Blues a lot as well, but had to learn to avoid copying--Nothing I hate more than the sound of a White Boy pretending to be a Black Man--

When I want to learn songs, I try to avoid listening to the records while I am learning it, if I can, so I don't copy too much--(I use Mudcat links to find MIDI's so I can get a feel for the melody without picking up someone's vocal style, and it also helps to get the Lyrics without listening to the recording repeatedly)--


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: DougR
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 04:11 PM

That's an interesting approach, MTed. Makes sense to me.

DougR


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Armen Tanzerian
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 10:37 PM

From the moment I got immersed in bluegrass and country music, some 40 years ago, I gravitated toward the hard-driving, straight-ahead bluesy styles of singers like Hank Williams and Jimmy Martin. (One of the first bands I was in did something like 6 out of the 12 cuts on a Jimmy Martin album.) I hated embellishment or prettification. I remember I didn't like Charlie Waller's voice because he had vibrato. I've mellowed a lot since then, and I now love the operatic qualities of a Webb Pierce or the early Ray Price, even though my voice is now only good for the "corny" sound. But I still want to hear a singer with pipes who puts some soul into a song. The gentlemanly white-bread sound (I won't name any names, but the practitioners are called "folk singers") does nothing for me.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: marty D
Date: 29 Sep 01 - 12:45 AM

I think I TRIED to sound like Tom Paxton when I started singing. Kind of plain and simple but when I'd hear my voice back on tape it didn't sound anything like him. These days I play a lot of old country and bluegrass but I still sound like Marty and not Bill Monroe.

marty


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST,C
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:17 AM

I grew up listening to Deanta so I always wanted to sound like Mary Dillon! However sadly I just can't sing that high. The more different styles of singers you listen to the easier it is to develop your own style without sounding like anyone in particular.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: el ted
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:19 AM

Judy Garland, because I am a transvestite.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:33 AM

Me .......... cos I'm good


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 08:47 AM

I didn't catch this thread when it started, so it's been interesting reading it. I guess all I'd add is that I think everyone learns to sing by emulating other singers. I think that's natural, and good. All the things that are talked about in here... modulation, phrasing, diction (which oddly, I don't remember anyone mentioning,) can all become a part of who we are, the more we sing. And, the more we sing, the more we develop our own, unique style. We may be able to hear influences of other singers in our style, but they may not be all that obvious to anyone else. Sometimes it's the approach to a song that influences us most. Listen to Maria Carey approach a song, and then put on Mississippi John Hurt. There's more than a radical difference in style there. I like Mississippi John's comfortable approach to a song, like it was an old friend.

Someone once criticized me because when I sang I didn't blow him away. What else could I do, but thank him for the kind words?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Vixen
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 10:29 AM

Interesting thread--

I agree with Jerry; everyone who does anything has to admit to some sort of "influence"...

Diction is a curious thing--I certainly don't want to "mumble" my songs, a la Natalie Merchant (though I like her voice and how she uses it).

When I was younger I wanted to sound like the young Joan Baez, Mary Travers, Carol King and Joni Mitchell.

Now I want to sound like me, but I don't really know what I sound like. What I hear in my head is certainly different from what I hear I press "play"! And with a bit of "tweaking" during the recording process, Tim can do things that make me sound like Enya.

I've only recently (in the last few years) learned that it's ok to sing in my chest voice, that it's ok to have notes that "break", that volume and projection come from my being relaxed and solidly full of air in the middle of my body, that curling around my guitar kills my voice, that practicing scales and exercises makes notes and intervals easier to produce and hold onto.

So now I want to add ornaments, and emotion, and dynamic range and other interesting things to my singing, and I'm listening to Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton and others so I can hear how they add ornaments, convey emotion, and use dynamics to be such effective singers.

For me, every aspect of music is a learning process, and I'm one of those people who has to learn from others. I figure I'm learning what the tools are and how to use them--as I get more adept, hopefully I'll be able to use them creatively for my own purposes.

Just my $0.02, fwiw.

V


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST,Larry K
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 10:54 AM

The singer I admire most is Martin Sexton.   Incredible range and various styles of delivery.

For me I just worry about hitting the right notes.   That is more than enough challenge.

I agree with everyone else.   Just be yourself and sound like who you are.   Check out the Joel Mabus song about that topic. I think it is called "Nobody sings my songs like me"


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 10:59 AM

As a late teenager I discovered Burl Ives and his choice/style of folk songs.

Later, about 1950, I stumbled across Pete Seeger, and in the mid-50s Richard Dyer-Bennet.

Each of these three blew me away in his own time. Later, I came to see Burl Ives as maybe a little too simple. I knew I never could play banjo (or guitar, for that matter) like Pete Seeger. I was absolutely certain that I didn't have the vocal technique or the voice to sing like Richard Dyer-Bennet, let alone the classically oriented guitar technique.

What's more, I can't be Pete Seeger because I am not Pete Seeger, I'm Dave Oesterreich, for good or ill. Same thing with Burl Ives and Richard Dyer-Bennet. Better a first-rate Dave Oesterreich than a second-rate Ives, Seeger, or Dyer-Bennet.

Yet these three singers became the constellation of stars by which I steered my singing aspirations: Straightforward story telling, with all words clear, and of course (hopefully) nice voice quality, rhythm, and pitch placement. I sort of wanted to place (mixing a metaphor here) the arrow of my singing style somewhere in the triangle formed by those three.

I don't want to claim that I've achieved the excellence of any one of them (because I know I haven't, and never will), but I think my style and presentation has come somewhere near that target area, and that's A-OK with me.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Joybell
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 08:36 PM

Uncle DaveO you are a perfect example of how I think songs should be sung. When I play your CD it's the songs I hear and a singer who presents them as he feels the SONGS. I can admire a lovely voice and a clever presentation but for me it's the song not the singer that counts.
I have to disagree that we all start out with some sort of style based on other singers. I have sung as long as I've talked. Until I went to school I assumed that everyone did. I first picked up songs from my parents and from sing-a-long sessions at local community halls. (No "style" there I can tell you!) I started out hearing songs as stories to be told in song. My parents sang songs in a very straight-forward way and that's how I still like to sing. There are singers who move me, of course, but it's the ones who sing in the way that is natural - FOR THEM, who let the songs work their magic. Joy


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 09:02 PM

I try to emulate the Irish trad singers I enjoy the most, i.e. Mary Dillon of Deanta, Cathy Jordan of Dervish, Karen Casey, etc. The main reason I emulate them is to learn the ornamentation that "makes" the Irish trad sound...if I can come close to sounding like them, then I consider it a job well done.

When I listen to recordings of me singing songs I learned from them, it's obviously not a duplication. It's a work in progress, of which I'm very proud. I'm very sure there will always be enough of "me" left in there to show through.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Aug 04 - 08:47 PM

Well, my first three favorite singers were Dylan, Baez, and Buffy Sainte-Marie. I emulated all of them in various ways, and that makes an interesting combination since they are all quite different from one another. I was also well impressed with Ian Tyson's singing and Jackson Browne's. Then there was Al Stewart. All of those people influenced me, but I developed my own sound along the way. When I sing Dylan's stuff I sometimes sound a lot like him (and sometimes not). Depends if I want to at the time.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: biglappy
Date: 04 Aug 04 - 02:26 AM

I went to high school with James Taylor. I always thought he was a mighty fine singer.

I listen to Doc Watson and John Hurt the most.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 04 Aug 04 - 04:03 AM

I'd like to think I sing like Fred McDowell,Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and Howling Wolf.
Instead I sound like Robbie Mcdowell, Ellen Terry, Henry McGhee and Virginia Woolf (sorry should have blown the dust off that old joke)
Sort of Lonnie Donegan meets Louis Armstrong really with more than a touch of "Jonathan & Darlene Edwards".

RtS


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 04 Aug 04 - 09:23 AM

Note to self: "Did you mean Roddy McDowell? Or perhaps Andi?"
Reply from alter ego: "Nobody likes a smartarse, Roger".

Rts
(preview, Roger, preview)


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST,larry
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 06:00 PM

I think I sound more like a cross of Barry McGuire and Lead Belly.


My 12-string completes the equation.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 10 Aug 04 - 02:15 PM

Ray Charles, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Howlin Wolf etc. That's in my imagination. In real life, probably a fat 57 year old from Cleethorpes.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 21 Nov 08 - 11:15 PM

I CAN emulate other artists who I like. I choose not to do this, though,
because I prefer to sing in my own voice.
In fact, I've seen ads on another site, where some guy asks, "Do I
sound like these people?" Then, he has samples of him trying to
emulate very famous artists. He thinks that you have to be able to emulate these standard artists to make a career in the music industry.
(Well, they'd like to be able to hear "you" in the studio, and not
"someone else.")
It's much different than "who we'd like to emulate, for the joy of it,
and because we admire their singing which is why I do it, and I'm sure all of you do it for the same reason."


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST,Charles J. Fish
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 11:10 PM

I've always tried to pull off that jumpy half-chuckle A.L. Lloyd had in his voice, meeting rather less success than the piratic career of Captain Kidd (although it's not like I can sing anyway). It might seem like an odd choice, but I warmed to his singing the first time I heard it -- it's rough and natural and you can hear how much joy he took in the music.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 11:18 PM

As for me: Popeye the Sailorman. With a dash of Long John Silver.


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Subject: RE: singers: who do you emulate and why?
From: GUEST,wayfarer
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 11:43 PM

I think it comes down to a matter of balance between emotion and technique. People talk about a singer like George Jones having a four octave range but when you listen to him, and tune in to the pure emotionality of it, who gives a shit about the technique. It's there, but unstudied and purely natural. Other singers that might fall under this rubric would be Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, Howlin' Wolf, Billie Holiday, Otis Redding, Sandy Denny, to name just a few that come to mind. All of which seem to possess a natural gift that others then later try to emulate by imitation and/or training with variable levels of success.


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