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

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Can anyone learn to sing

Related threads:
Solo Unaccompanied Singing and Songs (143)
Whiskey voice - what is it? (34)
How To Sing With Power? (23)
Singing, can it be taught? (16)
Perfect singers (108)
Why can't I sing in tune? (122)
Singing thru the tears- how? (87)
Vocal techniques (16)
Exactly what's a true contralto? (67)
Singing: Exercises to improve high notes (47)
Is the voice an instrument? (56)
Help: singing unintended Vibrato/ Control (19)
do I need a vibrator? (66)
Speech Level Singing (42)
How are Soprano and Tenor Defined? (29)
Help: How can you tell which voice you've got (83)
Tuners for VOICE not Instruments (33)
The Mouse that Roared (Finding Your Voice) (25)
singers: who do you emulate and why? (65)
Breath Control While Singing (44)
Threads on the Singing Voice (36)
Improving voice without lessons (43)
What type of voice? (37)
how can I improve breath control (26)
Info on voice ranges (21)
fellow sean-nos singers? (45)
Unaccompanied Singing - How & Why! (89)
Singing - Alexander Technique (19)
how do you prepare to sing? (54)
What's a 'good voice'? (93)
Is that really you? (64)
Help, singing in noisy environments (41)
voice quality? (49)
Singing in Scenic Outdoors (33)
Does it get easier??? (singing) (50)
spectrograph - voice analysis (14)
Vocal training resouces? (11)
Singing in a dome (39)
How versatile should your voice be ? (20)
Gender and the soprano voice (79)
What is singing? (40)
Current Thread on the Singing Voice (5)
Song suggestions for higher lyric voice (9)
Vocal Instruction for Singers (2)
Learn to sing harmony: Good instruction tapes (4)
voice range - how to extend it (please) (14)
Vocal embellishment - guidelines? (31)


Pete 18 Mar 98 - 02:19 AM
steve t 18 Mar 98 - 03:17 AM
Eric 18 Mar 98 - 04:45 AM
Jaxon 18 Mar 98 - 09:11 AM
Alice 18 Mar 98 - 10:43 AM
Alice 18 Mar 98 - 11:22 AM
nobbler 18 Mar 98 - 11:25 PM
Moira Cameron 19 Mar 98 - 01:05 PM
Art Thieme 19 Mar 98 - 01:47 PM
Joe Offer 19 Mar 98 - 02:53 PM
Jon W. 19 Mar 98 - 04:07 PM
wolf 19 Mar 98 - 06:22 PM
Pete 19 Mar 98 - 06:30 PM
wolf 19 Mar 98 - 06:33 PM
Alice 19 Mar 98 - 06:38 PM
Charlie (Toronto) 19 Mar 98 - 07:36 PM
steve t 21 Mar 98 - 02:42 PM
Alice 21 Mar 98 - 02:51 PM
MAG 21 Mar 98 - 07:26 PM
Dan Keding 22 Mar 98 - 01:08 PM
Dan Keding 22 Mar 98 - 01:09 PM
Jack (who is called Jack) 22 Mar 98 - 09:44 PM
Frank in the swamps 23 Mar 98 - 05:33 AM
Alice 23 Mar 98 - 10:58 AM
Barry Finn 24 Mar 98 - 01:23 AM
steve t 24 Mar 98 - 02:06 AM
Frank in the swamps 24 Mar 98 - 06:13 AM
Moira Cameron 24 Mar 98 - 10:44 AM
Alice 24 Mar 98 - 11:13 AM
Jerry Friedman 25 Mar 98 - 07:06 PM
Barbara Shaw 27 Mar 98 - 08:54 AM
steve t 27 Mar 98 - 01:16 PM
Barry Finn 27 Mar 98 - 11:19 PM
Alice 02 Oct 00 - 10:35 AM
KingBrilliant 03 Jan 02 - 09:21 AM
Alice 03 Jan 02 - 09:47 AM
Mr Red 03 Jan 02 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,misophist 03 Jan 02 - 10:43 AM
53 03 Jan 02 - 11:45 AM
John J 03 Jan 02 - 12:01 PM
8_Pints 03 Jan 02 - 05:40 PM
Deckman 03 Jan 02 - 06:27 PM
Celtic Soul 03 Jan 02 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,GrammarPolice 03 Jan 02 - 10:52 PM
Miken 03 Jan 02 - 11:53 PM
KAS 03 Feb 02 - 05:23 PM
Peg 03 Feb 02 - 05:52 PM
Alice 03 Feb 02 - 08:19 PM
53 03 Feb 02 - 10:24 PM
KingBrilliant 04 Feb 02 - 05:42 AM
Steve in Idaho 04 Feb 02 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,Lisa 04 Feb 02 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Lisa 04 Feb 02 - 06:44 PM
little john cameron 04 Feb 02 - 06:51 PM
Mark Cohen 05 Feb 02 - 02:57 AM
Townes 05 Feb 02 - 09:31 PM
michaelr 05 Feb 02 - 09:47 PM
Alice 05 Feb 02 - 10:08 PM
Dave Bryant 06 Feb 02 - 05:51 AM
Alice 06 Feb 02 - 09:28 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 07 Feb 02 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,andrew2002 05 Mar 02 - 03:46 PM
Mark Ross 05 Mar 02 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Steven G. 05 Mar 02 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,enigma509@yahoo.com 14 Mar 02 - 10:02 AM
RichM 14 Mar 02 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,Signe 20 Dec 02 - 09:40 PM
Merritt 21 Dec 02 - 01:45 AM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 21 Dec 02 - 11:12 PM
sharyn 22 Dec 02 - 12:40 AM
Roger the Skiffler 22 Dec 02 - 03:36 AM
John MacKenzie 22 Dec 02 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,COCO 22 Dec 02 - 07:01 PM
Genie 22 Dec 02 - 07:24 PM
Janie 22 Dec 02 - 11:14 PM
mg 22 Dec 02 - 11:20 PM
sharyn 22 Dec 02 - 11:40 PM
BusbitterfraeScotland 24 Dec 02 - 08:35 PM
Genie 04 Jan 03 - 02:53 AM
Alice 04 Jan 03 - 11:29 AM
KingBrilliant 05 Jan 03 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,Diana 28 Jan 03 - 06:30 PM
NicoleC 28 Jan 03 - 06:40 PM
pattyClink 29 Jan 03 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Diana 29 Jan 03 - 07:17 PM
Just Amy 29 Jan 03 - 07:30 PM
Alice 29 Jan 03 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Helen 31 Jan 03 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Stefan Codrington 02 Feb 03 - 03:01 PM
Melani 02 Feb 03 - 03:24 PM
Frankham 02 Feb 03 - 05:31 PM
mg 02 Feb 03 - 09:57 PM
Nevada 03 Feb 03 - 02:19 AM
Frankham 03 Feb 03 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,Diana 13 Feb 03 - 09:48 AM
Alice 13 Feb 03 - 10:32 AM
sharyn 13 Feb 03 - 09:59 PM
GUEST,Diana 20 Feb 03 - 02:54 PM
MMario 20 Feb 03 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,Eddie 20 Feb 03 - 03:11 PM
Merritt 20 Feb 03 - 04:39 PM
Frankham 20 Feb 03 - 06:57 PM
Alice 20 Feb 03 - 07:05 PM
Carly 20 Feb 03 - 07:54 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 21 Feb 03 - 06:30 AM
GUEST 27 Feb 03 - 10:41 AM
duncan the drifter 27 Feb 03 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Diana 27 Feb 03 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Craiggy 29 Nov 04 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Nov 04 - 12:21 PM
IanC 29 Nov 04 - 12:39 PM
GUEST 08 Dec 04 - 01:40 PM
Peace 08 Dec 04 - 01:55 PM
*Laura* 08 Dec 04 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,Peter 08 Dec 04 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,M 01 May 12 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,Rog Peek 01 May 12 - 05:45 PM
Megan L 15 Oct 12 - 03:40 AM
GUEST,Desi C 15 Oct 12 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Oct 12 - 09:19 AM
John P 15 Oct 12 - 09:35 AM
Mark Clark 15 Oct 12 - 02:15 PM
kendall 15 Oct 12 - 04:16 PM
kendall 15 Oct 12 - 04:17 PM
Jeri 15 Oct 12 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,999 15 Oct 12 - 05:39 PM
Stringsinger 15 Oct 12 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,Punkfolkrocker 16 Oct 12 - 12:54 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 12 - 03:49 AM
kendall 16 Oct 12 - 09:32 AM
GUEST 16 Oct 12 - 12:29 PM
John MacKenzie 16 Oct 12 - 12:33 PM
Jeri 16 Oct 12 - 12:44 PM
kendall 16 Oct 12 - 01:02 PM
kendall 16 Oct 12 - 01:04 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Oct 12 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 16 Oct 12 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,mg 16 Oct 12 - 01:09 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 16 Oct 12 - 07:40 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Oct 12 - 01:15 AM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 17 Oct 12 - 02:46 AM
Roger the Skiffler 17 Oct 12 - 06:47 AM
Barbara Shaw 17 Oct 12 - 10:17 AM
John MacKenzie 17 Oct 12 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 17 Oct 12 - 10:31 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Oct 12 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,999 17 Oct 12 - 11:02 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Oct 12 - 12:07 PM
Barbara Shaw 17 Oct 12 - 09:20 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Oct 12 - 03:47 AM
The Sandman 18 Oct 12 - 07:12 AM
The Sandman 18 Oct 12 - 01:32 PM
Barbara Shaw 18 Oct 12 - 01:45 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 12 - 02:45 AM
Tootler 19 Oct 12 - 11:46 AM
Barbara Shaw 19 Oct 12 - 12:52 PM
GUEST 19 Oct 12 - 01:15 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Oct 12 - 02:41 PM
Stringsinger 20 Oct 12 - 01:11 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Oct 12 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Psychologist 21 Oct 12 - 07:11 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Oct 12 - 08:03 AM
Barbara Shaw 21 Oct 12 - 10:56 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 12 - 03:10 AM
GUEST 22 Oct 12 - 12:55 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Oct 12 - 03:41 PM
GUEST 22 Oct 12 - 05:30 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 12 - 03:38 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Pete
Date: 18 Mar 98 - 02:19 AM

I have played Bouzouki and Mandolin for a while now mainly celtic music sessions, recently I have purchased a guitar and progressing quite well. Now is the time for me to get some songs together to join in the singing at our house sessions.

My friends (who can sing) say anyone can learn to sing. Is this true do you think? My first efforts raises serious doubts in my mind re the validity of their statements. Through my tune playing I understand the chord structures needed and I have dozens of songs I would like to sing, but to be frank they don't come out to well as yet. Obviously practice, practice, practice is the way to improve, but where is the starting point. Any sugestions Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: steve t
Date: 18 Mar 98 - 03:17 AM

I don't think everyone can learn to sing passably. I've met a partially deaf person and a "mentally challenged" person who were both just plain irritating. Everyone else I've *ever* heard was somewhat pleasing to my ear...but singing well? That takes years and years of practice, as well as physical ability and musical talent. A good warm-up also helps.

I think the hardest thing to do for most beginners is to concentrate on the music instead of the emotion. It feels awful not to concentrate on the emotion, but concentrating on the music will eventually pay off.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Eric
Date: 18 Mar 98 - 04:45 AM

Hi Pete! I'm no technical singing expert but I've been there, so I can beak off a little. A true story! Sorry, this turned into a bit of a novel, but it's nice to share something near to my heart with someone...

When I started in bands at about 16, I had no singing experience but my ear was somewhat trained from years in school band and my exposure to a lot of music in the home. So, while I would work out the hard parts and teach the other band members the parts, the bastards would not let me near a microphone. Of course, I was no doubt terrible, but looking back I should have been much more demanding of a chance to try. Hell, I owned one of the three mic's!

I slowly got the odd chance to add a bit here and there as backup vocals, mostly ooh's & aah's. My first attempts at lead vocals were actually not bad because by total fluke, I had picked cover tunes that were not too demanding, probably because I was still very insecure. Then, with the ice broken, I thought I was on my way. I grabbed songs that were totally out of my range (range? what's that?) and proceeded to make a fool of myself. I learned the hard way that what you can sort of pull off in the relaxed, controlled rehearsal situation requires a whole different approach live. With the stage volume stupidly loud and the monitors non-existant, I couldn't hear a thing, so I pushed harder and blew my voice out. Very embarrassing. Furthermore, we had about three weeks of work ahead. Somehow we struggled through, then I quit. The thing is, I then thought that I had no talent for singing. I retreated into my shell and did not try again for a long time.

Anyway, the years went by (now in my upper-mid 20's) and I became just somebody's bass player for many years. Not much singing lately. Good guitarist's were always a dime a dozen, so I got more work on bass. Then, I began to get calls for fill ins on country gigs and old rock&roll acts. I realized that not all music required on to sing really high notes to be efective and appreciated. I met nice people that were more interested in the feeling that I tried to put into my vocals rather than any technical wizardry. I began to feel relaxed and welcome to the microphone. I still wasn't very good but I was learning.

By this time I had been doing a duo with a guy who was a very strong singer. This is what I recommend! Find a similar situation, listen, learn and practice your harmony singing. I find it interesting that some think of backup singing as the easier role. Ha! You generally end up singing higher parts, you have to learn to nail a note cold, from nowhere, and you have to project just as loudly plus forming a vocal tone that blends well. Great training though. Work into the lead singing gradually. Singing all night at the volume required takes fair energy and careful pacing.

Anyway, eventually, I wanted to get off the road because my first son was born and I wanted to watch him grow up. There was very little duo work in town so what to do?

A single act. Scared the hell out of me! All by myself! Took some little gigs 1 hr. out of town where no one would know me, singing mostly old country and old R&R with a dinky P.A., a 12 string acoustic and a cheezy beat box. By God, they liked it and no one insulted my singing! I'd beaten my worst ememy, me.

Singing in a way that most people will sit and listen to does require that you can sing moderately in tune. This requires experience. However, I remember taping several nights of my duo in a packed club, singing our asses off and thinking we were dead on! The best gig we'd ever done! The place went nuts and we played 1½ hours overtime. I listened to the tapes 2 days later and discovered that I was badly over-singing and maddeningly and consistantly SHARP all night! It was horrendous - but who cared? Who really noticed? Our enthusiasm and energy that night far overshadowed this. Sometimes we worry about all the wrong things.

I'm now 42. I play every weekend in pubs, lounges and one nighters (dances & parties)as a single act. I sing everything from Frankie Valee to Willie Nelson, ZZ Top to Roger Whittaker, Beatles to Tom Waits, Stan Rogers to Billy Idol, Proclaimers to Gary Moore, Waylon to Van Halen. It's a riot! I make good money doing this. If i had not has "big ears" and an open mind, I would have ended up a one trick pony and certainly not doing this. This was total luck, not foresite, but I'm a happy camper. A lot of people laughed at my attempts over the years and suggested I move along. I'm glad I'm stubborn, and didn't quit. I'm still not "super vocalist" and my tone is not incredible but what the hell. Many think I am very good and a lot of old faces that have since drifted off the track can't believe it. I love entertaining and the rest is details.

My experiences have taught me: be persistant and insistant, don't worry too much about what others think (for now), sing songs you like, don't be afraid to transpose down a key or two (if the song still has some kick), try different styles of music early in the game. There is no substitute for hands-on experience. Start now, go hard and believe in your dream to be a singer.

I believe that with practice, just about everyone can sing. Who's to say whether you can or can't? Listen to some of (my fave's)the great character voices like Dylan, Prine, Waits, Hiatt, even the guys from AC/DC. Millions love 'em, some don't, so who's right? Who cares? Listen to all the singing styles that you can. Borrow from many. Discover your natural range, get really familiar with it, the expAND it. Try harder stuff.

Love it or hate it, Karaoke has given a lot of people an opportunity to find a talent they might never have discovered otherwise. Actually, it's excellent training! It really is.

Well, it's late and this prolonged rambling has gone quite long enough. Though totally off the cuff, I suppose it has been fun to share my thoughts but most importantly, I hope that if you are even a bit more inspired to go for it a bit harder, it's not for naught. Man, I wish that someone had given me some basic belief back then.

Peace, & happy trails!

Eric, from Alberta, Canada


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jaxon
Date: 18 Mar 98 - 09:11 AM

Hey Pete! If you know when it doesn't sound right then you have an ear and you can learn to sing just fine. If a piece you've been working on sounds fine as an insrumental but off when you sing then you should experiment by changing keys. Find the key that suits YOUR voice to the song. True story; I never sang growing up. No confidence etc.. I would sing along at the folk masses in my parish because the psalm says "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord". It doesn't say sing in tune. After one Mass the woman sitting next to me told me how much she enjoyed my voice. Since we were in church I half believed her. I went to the leader of our folk group and asked him to listen to me. A week later I was singing at Mass and within a month I had picked up a guitar. All at age 42! Now at 49 I play in song circles, open mics etc..

Something I learned was to sing a capella and bring the guitar in. If it didn't sound right I changed the guitar, not my voice. Good luck.

Jack Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 18 Mar 98 - 10:43 AM

Pete, I have talked about my classical voice teacher in other threads, (so forgive me those who have already read this before) and I must tell you that having a good voice teacher makes all the difference in the world. (I have a page about how 'you are never to old to sing' at my website if you want to check that out.)
http://www.mcn.net/acflynn/

I am lucky that I found an excellent teacher and performer who charges me only $10 a lesson!! She could charge $100 an hour if she was in a city, but we are in a little town in Montana, so she knows that is what people can afford. I went to her because I knew I wanted to have the confidence to sing Well. I found out that although I had years of choir in school, from grade 4 thru high school, NONE of the really important techniques had been taught to us about how to use our vocal chords, muscles in the mouth and face, placement, and how to breathe correctly to have support for a good sound as well as enough breath to phrase the music correctly (not breaking to take a breath in the middle of a word, musical line, or lyrical phrase.) I tape each lesson, and she sometimes videotapes me so that I can really hear and see what I am doing. A Good teacher will give you challenging classical pieces to learn, even though you never perform in that style, because it stretches your voice to use the techniques that are necessary to really know how to sing. One of the first things she told me is, this is all physical, like an athlete. You have to think of it the same way an athlete does in training. Every day you use the muscles in your body in certain ways, and in training them to do things correctly, they get stronger and you get so that you can control muscles you didn't even know you had. She is right. It is just like training to do gymnastics or track or any other physical skill that requires knowledge of technique, daily practice, and good coaching. To sing well, you have to be able to lift the soft palate (the roof of the mouth in back) to create space for a good sound, to be able to hold the muscles on the floor of your abdomen down to allow room for the diaphragm to contain as much air for as long as it can, and to learn to control the muscles that move the ribs, so you can expand the ribs out to allow more air in. You have to know how to relax muscles in the face and mouth that want to tighten up, where to place the tongue, etc. This and more takes training by a good teacher, and practice. BUT, just like in athletics, if you were not born with the necessary physical attributes, no matter how much you practice, you won't be as good as someone born with what it takes. For singing, it takes a set of good sounding vocal chords, and a good "ear", or ability to hear when you are singing the right note. Singing is my passion. If you want more information on technique, just email to me or leave a message here.
acflynn@mcn.net


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 18 Mar 98 - 11:22 AM

If the web address I posted above doesn't work, try this
http://www.mcn.net/~acflynn/index.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: nobbler
Date: 18 Mar 98 - 11:25 PM

The fact that you are learning (or improving on) your guitar skills might a valuable tool in loosening up the old warble box and vice versa.

Many years ago, something that helped me no end was simply singing the notes I played whilst learning various scales. Eventually that turned into singing the notes I played in simple solos and finally I was in the position where I could pop a finger on the fretboard and sing the note before I'd actually played it. It also allowed me to immediately reach for and play a note I was singing, which is very handy when writing melody.

You don't have to have a great sounding voice, you will know if you are way off key if you play music as you've said, slightly out of key you can get away with if you do it confidently. Hell, Dylan's been getting away with it for years!

Remember, most people sing flat, so sing flatly with a sharp voice and all will even out. :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 01:05 PM

I strongly believe that anyone can sing. I suppose different people put emphasis on different things; but for me, it is not the quality of voice that impresses me most, but the spirit behind it. Quality will improve with time and practice.

I basically learned to sing a capella first, then added instruments. My husband was the opposite. For years, he put most of his energy towards perfecting his guitar playing. Then, when he started singing he basically was singing to accompany his guitar. He didn't realize this at first, of course. A lot of guitar players do that, we've noticed.

I tend to disagree with Steve T's message above about learning to concentrate at first on the music rather than the emotion. Obviously, you need to concentrate on the music, but I don't think you need to do that exclusively. If you can hold a tune, I wouldn't worry overly much about its musical quality of acurracy. That's something that will develop over time, with practice. What most people hear is the message of the song, not the technical aspects of the music. And the message comes across in the story and emotions you feel, not in whether you are singing in 'head tones' or from your 'diaphragm'.

The most important advice I give to people who want to sing is: don't worry if you don't sound like so and so whose voice you really admire. Every voice is different. You have to try to discover what's special about your own voice and learn to make use of it. Imitating other people's singing styles is useful only if you are trying to learn more about your own voice's potential and limitations, but if you don't find a style that is uniquly your own, your singing won't sound as true (with or without bum notes.)

Good luck,

Moira, from Yellowknife


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 01:47 PM

If Stephen Wade could learn to sing, ANYBODY CAN!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 02:53 PM

I think that most people sound only so-so when they sing solo, but they sound wonderful when they sing together. Singing together is one of the most wonderful forms of human interaction I can think of. One suggestion I'd like to propose for group singing - sing so you can hear your voice blend with other voices, but not so strongly that your own voice is the only voice you hear.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jon W.
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 04:07 PM

Confidence is very important. My wife is an excellent singer, has sung in choirs in college, with the symphony, etc. She also nearly destroyed my confidence early on when I started attempting to sing with my guitar for family and friends. I think she was embarrassed when I was off key. To this day I have a hard time singing when I know she is listening. My cousin, on the other hand, who is also a great singer, has always tried to boost my confidence and compliment me on my progress. We have performed together a few times and I have sung lead on some of the songs we've done, even with an audience. I'm an over-inhibited white Anglo-Saxon male and it takes a heap of confidence to overcome the inhibitions that bind up my tongue and vocal chords.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: wolf
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 06:22 PM

yes. i live in phoenix and have a pick up band and have helped several people withthis same problem


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Pete
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 06:30 PM

What a great site. Thanks everyone for your advice and encouragement, it certainly has reinforced my commitment to learn to sing.

I sang for the first time in front of friends last night with positive reactions so I guess thats a start.

Look forward to joining in your discussions in the future

regards

Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: wolf
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 06:33 PM

keep going and don't stop for anyone or anything cuz if music makes you happy it will be with you for life


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 06:38 PM

Pete, you are on your way! Sing every chance you get, alone and for others. It only gets better!

alice, montana


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Charlie (Toronto)
Date: 19 Mar 98 - 07:36 PM

The statement "Anyone can learn to sing" is as true (no more, no less) as the statement "Anyone can learn to play the fiddle [or substitute any other instrument]". This truth is encouraging or discouraging according to how you view the second statement.

Someone should be honest with you: you might never be really good. Still, the more work you put in, the better you'll be; no doubt about


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: steve t
Date: 21 Mar 98 - 02:42 PM

About concentrating on the music instead of the emotion: you definitely need the emotion. What's the point in singing without it?

But oh! what a wonderful feeling you have when you believe that you're singing as close as you want to musical "correctness".

If you can stand it, yes, do what Alice suggests, and take lessons from a professional. But keep in mind that you're trying to have fun. If the lessons dry up the expressiveness that you want, drop 'em. Musical "exercises" may be the fastest way to get good, but I loathe the idea of such "exercises" in something that feels fairly sacred to me. I'll keep getting better very slowly, thank you :-)

I think, far better than lessons, is a place to practice and make mistakes without embarrassment. You'd need that to benefit very much from the lessons anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 21 Mar 98 - 02:51 PM

I think that an important aspect of taking lessons in anything, whether it is music, art, or anything else, is that the teacher and the method should create an experience that you ENJOY and not something you feel you have to "stand". I guess I have been lucky in finding teachers both in art school and now in music that became my friends and were just as excited and joyful in my progress as I was. alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: MAG
Date: 21 Mar 98 - 07:26 PM

Whether you take lessons or not, you need to know warm up exercises to avoid raunching out your voice, and feedback on getting the sound you want saves a lotta time. Lessons from a decent teacher save a lotta time, and if you don't have lots, they are worth it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Dan Keding
Date: 22 Mar 98 - 01:08 PM

Just sing. Keep singing whenever and wherever you get the chance. Listen to great singers and sing along with their recordings. If you enjoy singing don't worry about the rest of us. If we don't like it we can leave the room or suffer through the experience. Its folk music. its for everyone, its for you too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Dan Keding
Date: 22 Mar 98 - 01:09 PM

Just sing. Keep singing whenever and wherever you get the chance. Listen to great singers and sing along with their recordings. If you enjoy singing don't worry about the rest of us. If we don't like it we can leave the room or suffer through the experience. Its folk music. its for everyone, its for you too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jack (who is called Jack)
Date: 22 Mar 98 - 09:44 PM

I think the answer to this question is yes.

Anyone can learn to sing.

But I don't think anyone can learn to sing in any manner whatsoever. For example, I could train and practice the next 5 years and I will never sound like Van Morrison or John Gorka, I just don't have it in me. Everyone has their own individual voice (or in some individual cases several voices), that they have to discover and cultivate through experimentation. I think the main barrier to fully developing ones own voice is the fear of just "letting it all hang out" until the best that you can do finds its way to the surface.

If you are not sure what your own voice is, one of the things I recommend is to listen to different kinds of singers and try to imitate the way they sound on record. The goal of this excercise is not to mimic for its own sake, but to exploring the limits and qualities of what your own voice can do. You will quickly find certain vocal styles that you pick up easily, and others that you just can't get. Also, you will find the mimicry will only go so far, and that in the end your own voice will come through in the end.

And don't be afraid to really let loose in this effort. (I recommend to you the documentary film Say Amen Somebody, where a person instructing gospel singers in a workshop told one of her pupils to stop smiling and start snarling when they sang. "You can't sing with a pretty mouth!", was the way she put it.).

Another suggestion I have is exactly the opposite of the one above. Try as much as possible to sing using your own natural diction. That is, try to sing words the way YOU would typically pronounce them them in normal conversation. No vibrato, no operatic tone or timbre. Just try to talk the words to the melody. You will be suprised at first how much concentration this takes. In all the effort to make the melody or the emotion come out, we stop making words in way that is natural to us, and doing so we lose our own natural voice.

Some individuals who are wonderful at singing in their own voice are Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Mississippi John Hurt. I also recommend the singing of Ginny Hawker, a mountain ballad singer from West Virginia.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 23 Mar 98 - 05:33 AM

Possibly my favourite singer ever is Billy Holiday. She had very little range and really, no tone or "sound" that would get anybody's attention, but she could take that beat up, raggedy instrument and sing like an angel.

I found Steve T's, comment about emotion interesting. This would be a case where a good teacher, or an honest critic could be helpful. Someone who is over-emoting can be downright embarrassing to listen to, but of course feeling is the magic ingredient. I know I'm not a very good singer myself, so I just focus on getting the tune right. If the song is good, people like it fine so long as you don't hurt their ears.

Frank I.T.S.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 23 Mar 98 - 10:58 AM

The idea that learning some singing technique will suddenly make everything you sing sound like opera is ridiculous! It would be absurd to sing non-classical music in a classical manner. My point is that you can take what will help you and sing in your own way, singing any kind of music you want. The idea that voice lessons will make you sound unnatural is a misconception. How many of you have taken some lessons on an instrument and then gone on to play the instrument exactly the way that felt right for you? It's the same with singing. Whether you learn technique from a teacher or not, the point is to sing in the way that feels right for you. But, just as it is hard to listen to someone try to play the fiddle who is painfully off-key, it is hard to listen to someone singing painfully off-key. I agree with Frank about Billy Holiday. Some people are born natural singers, and develop that talent without formal training. alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 01:23 AM

Yrs back in grammer school, 1957, I tried out for the school band (wind inst.), the Nun asked me to sing the scale & then said I wouldn't be able to play an instrument, so I also took it that I couldn't sing, & I really didn't want to. My family couldn't carry a tune, so I didn't have a clue. As a late teen I hung out with singers & musicians & didn't care if I could sing or not, I enjoyed it. After some long while of being asked to sing & being told 'I Could Sing', I started to believe it & started singing in earnest. The most guidence came from other singers, the best came from those that listened, from them I could read what was enjoyable to hear. I found that for my voice I'm best with blood & guts & hard hitting work type stuff, fits my personalty, I'm hard pressed to do emotionally well on a sweet love song, although there are a few I can do. I guess I'm saying I pick what I like, & what I think will be a perfect union between song & my voice. I also think emotion & personnel taste is important, you won't sing a song great if you don't feel great about it, the best you'll do is mimic it. And Jack (who is called Jack), you'd be wasting your 5 yrs to sound like them, they have a personnel style that has made them appealing, like Dylan, a fair voice can be enhanced with styling & other means, it all helps. Sorry for carrying on & on. Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: steve t
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 02:06 AM

This topic draws me and draws me.

Regarding over-emoting. I'm not a great singer -- certainly worse than all but a very few professionals -- but occasionally I impress someone. Suzanne. Ain't no Cure for Love. A few other songs. I've had people I respected say your version, Steve, was the best I ever heard. But it *never* happens on my favourite songs.

My final comments: the most important part is getting to where you enjoy hearing *some* of your songs sung by yourself to yourself. The hardest part is learning to confidently sing *some* of your songs with other people. After that, it's all down hill. But you'll never be able to sing *all* the songs you want to as well as you'd like to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 06:13 AM

Alice's comment about the stereotype of a trained singer always sounding formal reflects a broader attitude to music education. I don't know how many times I've been asked if I play by "music" or by "ear" as if the two were incompatible. I do both. To me it's like asking if you're literate or do you speak natural. Obviously music studies are not for everyone, I don't know squat about computers, but I use them. You can become a fine musician without any formal training, and if you're having fun without any long term goals of musical achievement, lessons could well be a waste of time. But it's a foolish person who disregards the accumulated experience of others.

My first guitar teacher was a fellow called Tiny Hostetter, he was wonderful guitarist with a horrible thin, reedy voice. Often he would sing and play. He told me not to be afraid of singing, that it would improve my playing, and that if I was too embarrassed to sing, just whistle. As much as he taught me about guitar, he taught me much more about life. He's gone now, and I'm getting emotional thinking about him.

Don't be afraid to sing, Frank i.t.s.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 10:44 AM

In Yellowknife, where I live, we have monthly song circles. They are open to anyone, whether they think they can sing or not. I've been amazed, and frankly pissed off, at the number of people who, as children, were strongly advised by teachers and other adults to "mouth the words" and not even try to sing. This kind of advice went a long way to shattering the self esteem of these young children.

I'm happy to report, however, that after a lot of generous support and encouragement, these paople, now adults, are singing again at our song circles. They won't be performing any time soon, but it's a start.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 11:13 AM

A final comment. Having no teacher at all is better than having a bad teacher. Moira and Barry's comments brought back dark memories of my school years. I was always put in the alto section from grade 4 thru 9, then in second soprano in high school. It wasn't until I started lessons at age 44 that I found that my natural range was soprano. I think the nuns may have put me in alto because I had piano lessons and could read music. Maybe they needed more music readers to figure out the harmony line. From third grade until 7th, I had a piano teacher who was a sweet, eccentric old lady. When she became senile, my parents switched my piano classes to the school. The nun who taught me seemed to really resent my shy nerdiness. I could see her disdain of my ugly glasses and bad haircuts. Needless to say, she killed all my interest in taking piano lessons, and I didn't continue with them.
RAINBOW TRAIL
(Navajo song)
Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.

alice, mt


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 07:06 PM

Sorry, Moira, I was never told to just mouth the words but I figured it out for myself. I can tell I'm not singing the same notes as everybody else (or as an instrument), but I can't tell whether I'm too high or too low.

To answer the original question, I think everybody can learn to improve their singing. I could probably even learn to sing along with others if I were willing to spend the time training myself or getting the training. Maybe I could even learn to hit the final tonics, which for some reason are the hardest part.

On technique and emotion: Bob Dylan is said to sing with a lot more feeling than Joan Baez, but Baez's best songs move me a lot more. Partly it's her beautiful voice, and partly it's her restraint. If the emotion is in the music, then you "just" need to sing the music--expressively, but not emoting--and I for one will get it. If the emotion's not in the music for you, then you should probably be considering performing other songs (and you probably are).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 27 Mar 98 - 08:54 AM

Can't resist commenting on this.

NO. Everyone can't learn to sing. My older son is a monotone, which is a genetic trait he inherited from his father, my first husband. As much as he loves music, he is incapable of "carrying a tune." I don't know if monotones hear it wrong and reproduce what they hear or just can't reproduce the correct sounds.

But if you can carry a tune, you can sing already. Some of my favorite singers are the old-time mountain voices, the more primitive the better. I also like opera. Each has its appeal.

The first time I sang a lead in a jam session, I was mortified that I sounded awful. Afterwards, someone came up to me to say how much he enjoyed my song, and what a beautiful voice, etc. etc. It's all in your outlook. Sing out!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: steve t
Date: 27 Mar 98 - 01:16 PM

I think the next thread should be, Can anyone learn to dance? :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Barry Finn
Date: 27 Mar 98 - 11:19 PM

Please, I'm just getting over 2 broken legs, have a hard enough time singing Crooked Jack & A Begging I Will Go (*grin*) with out having to pay the piper for it or laugh myself into a fit. Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 10:35 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 09:21 AM

Couldn't resist reviving this one.
I've been taking singing lessons since first reading this thread, and its amazing how my opinions have changed, and how much of Alice's advice (in this and other threads) is spot-on.
First of all - proper tuition and exercises make a huge difference to the voice. I used to sing low and loud all the time, but it turns out I'm soprano & haven't been using the best part of my voice at all.
When I first started the lessons I had a very powerful developed chest voice & just a really weedy head voice. Over the initial weeks the position of the breakpoints revealed that my natural range is soprano. I gradually built up a range of good quality high notes by exercises & these are now just starting to be accessible to me in songs (to start with they were only there in the exercises).
Up until very recently I was concentrating so hard on technique that the songs Tania was teaching me via were coming out very unemotional and dull. There was also a very definite gulf between what I was learning and what I was singing at pubs & sessions (which was lagging the lessons in quality but retained the emotional expression - I continued to sing in my old voice because the new one isn't ready yet...).
Over the last few weeks Tania has been concentrating on getting me to put some communication into the songs - which is coming along slowly. Steve t advises (above) that if the lessons take the expressiveness out of your voice then drop them - but I'd argue that its worth sitting it out a while because the expression will very likely come back in just as soon as the techniques become second nature (which they do, and then you'll have more tools to express with.....)
I'm really pleased that I'm taking lessons as there is no way I could have got this far on my own. The only downside is that the more you learn the more you realise how much there is left to learn. But its well worth it...
The techniques I have learnt have spread from the exercises to the taught songs and then into the folk & blues songs that I really love singing. Just because the teaching is done in one style of music doesn't mean that it doesn't apply to the style you want to sing in.
The thing I'm struggling with at the moment is that transition between chest & voice - and trying to get the two powerful ends of my voice to meet in the middle (big gap at the moment I'm afraid).
Reaction from friends is that the lessons have been worth while and have made huge improvements in my singing, one saying that I've gone from "someone that turns up and just does their best" to one of the better performers at the session. I even impressed my husband two weeks ago at a party - but then he had been drinking.......
Another thing in favour of vocal exercises....... I assume its to do with the muscles used, but after singing practice I feel exactly the same way as I do after a damned good seeing to! Sets you up for the day, it does!
So - if you're thinking of taking lessons - then my advice is to go for it.......

Cheers'm'dears
Kris


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 09:47 AM

Kris, I'm very glad to hear this. I, too, had to be patient and really work consistently to get my low and high range to sound like one voice - just takes time and work, and you are on your way. It sounds like your progress was just about like mine, at one year of lessons. Eventually it does become second nature, and the joy of having all that power and confidence comes through in every song. I started lessons when I was 44, and I just turned 50 on December 20. You're never too old to sing!

Alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Mr Red
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 10:18 AM

we can all sing, it just depends on how well the result is judged and by whom
and how much we want to learn - for us not for Mum, Dad or whoever.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,misophist
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 10:43 AM

Of course anyone can learn to sing, even the "monotones' mentioned above. The question really is: Can anyone become the kind of singer you would pay money to hear? The answer to that, unfortunately, is no. The solution is: sing anyway, even you monotones. The first reason to sing is to please yourself; if you can please others too, that's nice but unnecessary. After all the great advice given above, the only thing I can add is to cite Stravinsky: "It's not enough to hear. A duck can hear." Listen! Listen to yourself the same way you listen to others. You may not be able to equal them but you can certainly improve.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: 53
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 11:45 AM

i've been playing guitar for 37 years most of the time professionaly, and in a working band, but until i retired i did no singing, but now i sit at home and have learned to try to sing and i think i'm doing pretty good, anyway it;s a lot of fun, glenda and i play guitar and sing together almost everyday, and that's a blessing. BOB


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: John J
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 12:01 PM

Well if I can get away with singing, anyone can!

Good luck with your singing, it's lots of fun.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: 8_Pints
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 05:40 PM

I was one of those people who was not allowed to join the school choir. For years I thought I couldn't sing and only realised as an adult that it was because my voice didn't fit in to the range my music teacher required. He only asked me to sing high - I could never be a soprano however long I tried! I started joining in singarounds at folk festivals, at first with the choruses and then singing solo. I remember being amazed when I was introduced to someone as "a singer", I had just not thought about myself in that way! I have listened to many, many singers over the years and have learnt something from most of them. I sing most weeks at the Ducie Arms in Manchester (The Song Carriers Club), where I have received a lot of support and encouragement to extend my repertoire and to try out stuff that I might not have dared, had I been left to my own devices! I was a Primary school teacher for several years and used to do lots of singing with the kids - from this grew the confidence to run song workshops at Folk Camps. Singing, and listening to the singing of others, is one of the greatest joys in my life. I'm so glad I have met people who have encouraged me (especially Bob, my husband) and who told me that I COULD sing! Thanks to you all! Sue vG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 06:27 PM

I'd like to respond to Barbara Shaw's comments regarding how she sounded "just awful." It's important to remember, or perhaps learn, that your voice sounds entirely different from the "inside" than from the "outside." As your vocal tones are produced, thru the various mechanisms and chambers we all have, it resonates thru your own particuliar nasal passages, sinus cavities, etc. Each of us is different, and our heads, body cavities, sinuses, etc., are different. That's a large part of why we each sound different. What you hear of yourself when you sing is from the "inside." What others hear of you has the added enhancements of those cavities. When you hear yourself, you mostly are hearing your voice thru bone conduction, not the ears. So, you don't sound as bad to others as you sound to yourself. CHEERS, Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 10:06 PM

My first and favorite vocal coach said it thusly:

Anyone can learn to sing *better* than they already do. Not everyone is destined to sing well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,GrammarPolice
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 10:52 PM

"how to use our vocal chords," ~ Alice. The grammar police will chide you over this one, but gently: they're vocal cords
bind up my tongue and vocal chords. JonW too



The GrammarPolice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Miken
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 11:53 PM

Thanks,Bob , I feel better already! Several years ago when I was singing very little I came across a song that really grabbed me. I worked out a simple guitar bit and since I had a small recorder handy, I taped myself singing it - it sounded terrible. My then wife passed the room and asked who the hell that was on the tape. I said "me" and she said no way was that the same person she'd heard from the kitchen earlier. Granted, it was a poor recording, but I was prepared to believe I really sounded like that. Point is I think I'm far more critical of my musical efforts than others are; maybe my sinuses aren't as bad as all that. Happy New Year to you and Judy, see you Sunday. Looking forward to it.

Mike Nelson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: KAS
Date: 03 Feb 02 - 05:23 PM

Yes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Peg
Date: 03 Feb 02 - 05:52 PM

there is a person who comes to the singers' club in Boston sometimes who has the monotone problem described above. This person seems to like traditional music but cannot reprosuce anything resembling a melody...it seems impolite to tell this person they are not welcome, or they'd be better off listening than singing...but how can you tell someone they sound a lot worse than they think they do? I mean, we're not talking poor singing, we're talking noises not the least bit musical...no notes and no rhythm either..what to do? How can you tell someone they just can't sing? Also doing something like that is not that different from leaders of instrumental sessiuns rudely telling some players they can't take part because they're not good enough or don't know enough songs or whatever...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 03 Feb 02 - 08:19 PM

Dear Grammar Police, I know it is vocal cords, not chords. I made a mistake when typing. No one is perfect. Get over it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: 53
Date: 03 Feb 02 - 10:24 PM

If they try.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 04 Feb 02 - 05:42 AM

Peg - that's a really difficult one. It can be squirmingly aweful to listen to someone like that - but I don't think you can tell them they're really bad & shouldn't bother. Neither should you tell them they are good of course. The best you can do really is to try to find something good to focus on, even if its just the choice of song, or the lyrics.
I've only ever heard one person that fell into this catagory, and listening to her made my teeth sweat. But it was at an open-to-everyone singaround, so she was quite welcome to have a go.
Is it OK for people to join in quietly and try to guide her (tactfully)?

Kris


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 04 Feb 02 - 06:21 PM

If Lyle Lovett and I can sing - anyone can -

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Lisa
Date: 04 Feb 02 - 06:41 PM

(Actually, the correct term is "vocal folds." We now return you to your regular discussion.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Lisa
Date: 04 Feb 02 - 06:44 PM

RE: the singers' club person -- maybe they could tactfully be steered in the direction of recitations!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: little john cameron
Date: 04 Feb 02 - 06:51 PM

Years ago i was is a pals car an' he was hummin away tae hiself."Whit are ye hummin" I asked him."Danny Boy"he answered.Weel,ah wis dumbfoonert,it wis naetin like Danny Boy.Mah wife is the same.TONE DEAF!!!wHIT ABOOT THEM THEN? LJC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 05 Feb 02 - 02:57 AM

Many years ago I took a class called "Seeds of Singing" with Susan Osborn, who used to sing with the Paul Winter Consort. She is a firm believer in the old proverb, "If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing." The muscles which control the larynx are among the tiniest in the body, and are incredibly sensitive to thought and emotion (ever get "choked up" or feel a "lump in your throat"?) It's possible to learn to relax those muscles, using her techniques or others, and to let a singing voice come from a previously "monotone" throat. I've heard it happen...and it's amazing.

Aloha,
Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Townes
Date: 05 Feb 02 - 09:31 PM

G'day Catters I'm Pete the person who posted the original thread back in March 1998. (Was it really that long ago!). Well I can't speak for all, but my tale is worth telling. After the info I received from the regular contributor's back then, I went away and taught myself to play the guitar and started to practice singing. I now sing in a band doing skiffle, country and green grass (as we call it) along with Celtic material certainly not settling on one particular genre that's for sure. But without doubt my greatest pleasure is the home sessions with friends sitting around and singing till the early hours or until the Guinness runs out. Sure beats putting on a CD. The hardest thing I found was to actually sing solo in front of others for the first time. A very daunting experience and for me at least, it took a lot of nervous tries to actually carry out. But once you do it, you're on the way. When you progress and get into the band thing the buzz of playing to a live audience is an unbelievable. You want to come back time and again.

I said in another thread recently music is a platform to a higher ground. I say if you want to sing, go out and do it! forget about the embarrassment the nerves etc (most of it is in the mind) and most of all enjoy.

Regards Townes


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: michaelr
Date: 05 Feb 02 - 09:47 PM

Singing along with records is what helped me get started. Pick songs you know well and that are in your range (where you can hit the high notes without straining) and sing along with them A LOT! (The same method helped me hear and sing harmonies.) I had about a one octave range when I started, and through practising a whole lot it's now up to about 2 1/2 octaves.

I do believe, however, that some people are "tone deaf". Sure, they can sing, but you wouldn't want to listen...

Cheers,
Michae;


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 05 Feb 02 - 10:08 PM

Townes, that is great news. I am so glad to hear about what you've been doing since this thread started.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 06 Feb 02 - 05:51 AM

I think everbody can sing - no learning required. The end product might be vitually inaudible or have everyone running for cover and set all the neighbourhood dogs barking. I think the question is really "Can training/practice improve this innate ability ?". The answer has got to be yes, but how far depends on you own musical sensitivity and even more on your motivation.

Folk music is a medium that will allow a much wider variation in quality of singing than most. I have always believed that "Telling the story" is more important than producing beautiful, but incomprehensible, sounds. The skills of delivery and phrasing can make up for all sorts of deficiencies in pitch and tone. If you are singing in public, projection is needed, but if you will be using a PA, not to such a great degree. Careful choice of material is VERY important - choose songs that will suit your voice/style, not just songs that you like someone else singing.

In order to sing, you must want to communicate with an audience. Performing of any kind is an ego-trip and to some extent a control-freak thing - if you don't see it that way, then why do you want to do it in the first place ? Keeping this in mind, try to develop a style and repertoire that best helps you to achieve this.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 06 Feb 02 - 09:28 AM

I have used the term vocal folds instead of vocal cords in other threads on this topic. At the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center site which I linked to in other threads, it shows pictures of "Normal Vocal Cords", with this caption - Click Here"Normal Vocal Cords Here is a sequence of the vocal cords during voice production (adduction) phases of vocal fold vibration."
On the FAQ of the Voice Center site, there is this question and answer:"I have heard that drinking water is good for my voice, is this true? And how much?

Yes. The vocal cords (also called folds) vibrate against each other 100-400 times per second and require constant lubrication. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water and avoiding caffeinated drinks(cola,tea and coffee) is recommended for the "vocal lubrication."

Here is an interesting site on vocal anatomy, using both terms, "cords" and "folds". Singing Voice: Vocal Anatomy

It was strange for me to read what I had written here back in 1998. I stop in here with little time to write, and I can see that back then, too, I was typing down choppy thoughts and submitting without time to proofread. Ah, well. Time to get to work.

Alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 07:42 AM

This has been a fascinating thread, and I've learned a lot from it so far. But for me, the most economical statement on the question still remains this limerick:

There was a young lady from Tring,
Who said, when they asked her to sing:
"You may think it's odd,
But I cannot tell God
Save the Weasel from Pop goes the King!"

If , unlike this lady, you recognise a tune when you hear it, then you are not "tone deaf".

If you can recognise tunes, but still sing them inaccurately, or with an unpleasing tone, then good teaching and regular practice can improve your technique. (Though it may never turn you into a virtuoso.)

If, despite giving it your very best, you still hit the odd bum note, console yourself with the thought that even the best singers do this occasionally. There is a lot of snobbery in the musical world on this topic – don't let it get you down.

When an operatic diva hits a wrong note, critics say: "She's having trouble with her intonation tonight."

When a jazz singer hits a wrong note, critics say: "That was an interesting improvisation – but it didn't quite work for me."

When a rock singer hits a wrong note, critics say: "Aw, the kid's tone deaf!"

And when a folk singer hits a wrong note, critics say: "Well, I suppose folk music is meant to sound that way – isn't that why it died out?"

So, if you were written off at the age of five by your first music teacher, and ordered to open and shut your mouth in silence while the rest of the class sang - don't be discouraged. Work on your technique – be cautious about what you sing, and where – don't overtax the tolerance of your listeners – but don't give up trying. Remember, folk music belongs to the people. All the people. And that includes the many who are not gifted with brilliant voices, as well as the few who are.

Wassail!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,andrew2002
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 03:46 PM

is there anything on the web that can help me to learn to sing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Mark Ross
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 05:24 PM

The hardest part of learning to sing is finding the right key. I have know a lot of people who play music. Some(like my brother)are glued to the sheet music and spend so much time trying to get the instrument to sound right they have never given a thought to whether or not the key suits their range. If you can find the right key than that is 50% of the battle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Steven G.
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 05:55 PM

Well for me, I learned to sing by being part of choir a few years ago. Which was great for about 4 years, I certainly learned a lot.

An being a amateur musician, I am constantly listening to the radio, and with my guitar learning new tunes, and trying to get the song. And I agree, Ross, that it is a challenge for me trying to sing the song at the right key. Sometimes, I tried to sing it the way the songwriter wrote it in, and it didn't work for me. So I work on the chords until I finally find a combination of chords I can the song it in. Unfortunately, I cannot read music, but I always thought having a great ear for music was good enough anyway. But it would be great someday to learn to read music.

Anyone can sing, all it takes is practice and practice. And have a great time playing and singing

Steven G.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,enigma509@yahoo.com
Date: 14 Mar 02 - 10:02 AM

Does anyone know of any good singing lesson/programs, instrucional videos/books --for children????????

please emial me......

thank you


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: RichM
Date: 14 Mar 02 - 11:07 AM

For young ones? I'm reluctant to advise print/video/audio tape methods. Simply because each child should be assessed as to the best way to help him/her learn; i.e., a human teacher. At least to start with.
For a kid,musicexperience has to be enjoyable. And some kids are better at learning visually, others by ear. A music teacher can best decide.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Signe
Date: 20 Dec 02 - 09:40 PM

This was interesting reading. I went to a Chroisters Guild convention once and heard about the Mable Boyton or Boyter method for teaching children to sing on pitch. It worked for a young lad in our junior choir at church and here is how it was done. You put your temple against the student's temple facing each other and close off the outside ear of the student so they can really listen to the sound they make. Then you hum a note and ask them to match the pitch. Another way is to ask them to sing a note and then you match it. It takes patience and a cooperative student.
I think that all children should be encouraged to sing from early in life. It's awful to tell a child to just mouth the words.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Merritt
Date: 21 Dec 02 - 01:45 AM

Just read this whole thread. What Jack (known as Jack) said awhile back resonates with my experience: "Everyone has their own voice (or in some individual cases several voices), that they have to discover and cultivate through experimentation. I think the main barrier to fully developing ones own voice is the fear of just "letting it all hang out" until the best that you can do finds its way to the surface."

I've gone from non-singer to singer over the last few months at the age of 48/49. This is a revelation for me – something bordering on spiritual – so am a bit reluctant to post.

As a young child, I never sang because I didn't like my voice. Played folk-rock in high school, then rock in bar/dance bands. Always sang back-up harmonies, but never considered myself a "singer." Quit music for 20 years; got back into it playing guitar in an instrumental duo in the late-90s.

When the duo broke up, and I was faced with continuing as solo performer, putting a group together, etc., I actually started to learn to sing. Went solo last May – threw myself into the soup - found my voice and am still getting know it. No formal training involved, but attention to ways that singers across a range of genres use their voices. There's a confidence-building component to this, as well, as someone earlier in thread mentioned. My full-voice vocal range has expanded from low Eb - C# just above middle C to low C# - high G. On a good night, I can hit a high A or even B, but it's not consistent enuf to claim yet. So far, it's all been a process of just finding, claiming and getting inside my own voice.

With practice or performance, find that the longer I sing, the better my voice feels and sounds. Am picky about keys, arrangements, etc. that work for my voice.

During breaks and after performances, people I don't know walk up to me and tell me how much they enjoy my voice, my singing. I'm amazed and grateful. I feel like the outfielder who catches a flyball while daydreaming & scratching his head with his glove. Wish I could've figured this out when I was twenty. But, who knows? Maybe I didn't have a voice when I was twenty.

- Merritt

"It's all one big note." – Frank Zappa


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 21 Dec 02 - 11:12 PM

Pete,
When I was in junior high school I was told by my chorus instructor not to sing but to mouth the words. The irony of it is that I'm making a living singing.

In high school I got terrible grades in my harmony class also. I make a living playing music.

Getting a good voice teacher does help a lot.

The most important thing in my book is find material that you are committed to...that you love...and sing that. Do only the songs you love. You'll be all right.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: sharyn
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 12:40 AM

Yes, except possibly the deaf and hard-of-hearing (this depends on level of hearing impairment). The "tone-deaf" or "monotones" can be taught to sing by matching pitches, as someone mentioned above -- often tone-deafness is merely inattentive listening to pitch, sometimes caused by fear or anxiety. Normal human speech uses a range of pitches, so we all have the capacity to sing, unless we cannot hear.

There is a good description of how to teach "tone-deaf" people to sing in W.A. Mathieu's book, The Listening Book (Shambala). It's the chapter called "Tone-Deaf Choir."

Also, the singing voice responds to stress, illness, emotions and thoughts quite strongly: I have found that the more I am present with my thoughts, emotions, physical states etc. the better I sing -- if I know I am tired or ill I can sing in those states if I need or want to as long as I acknowledge that I'm tired or ill and take steps to enhance my singing: for instance, I once went to a ballad camp with a heavy head cold and was able to sing for two nights until three in the morning by drinking quart after quart of water. Take care of your voice and it will reward you. Pay attention.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 03:36 AM

Encouraging responses ...but in my case I think the jury's still out!
RtS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 01:44 PM

Think of Shane McGowan, if he can dare to get up and do whatever it is that he does, then anybody can.
Giok


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,COCO
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 07:01 PM

Can anyone learn to sing? Of course you can,not saying how good you'll be. Like everything else we practice you improve as you go along. you sound like me,I memories songs pretty quickly and sing everyday usually its only my 2 dogs that put up with my singing. Still I love singing have always thought about going for lessons. Anyway I've sang in many public places ie: cafes takeaway food places parties and karaoke. I sang a meatloaf song this night and was told I'm a great entertainer but I would have to practice my singing. Of course that was a few years ago. They reckon my entertainment has improved{my singing}!!! well its not much different still it never stops me at least I'm out there having fun and expressing myself. Much more fun than sitting with your mouth shut silently wishing you could sing out loud....Go on,be like me'Live a daring life" JUST KEEP SINGING .. GOOD LUCK. I.d also like to add I have never drank alcohol so all my singing comes from my heart.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Genie
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 07:24 PM

Something that puzzles me is how a person can play an unfretted string instrument perfectly by ear and not be able to distinguish one melody phrase, or one note, from another when he sings.


I'd assume that this person, who plays stand up bass (in addition to guitar and mandolin), could be taught to hear vocal notes and melodies, too, but when I tried to work with him a bit, he really seemed unable to repeat a short melody line after hearing it, even when singing along with me or a record. Sometimes it was a matter of being off key, but other times he was just plain singing different notes.

He is neither tone deaf nor a monotone, and he can actually sing a few melodies that he knows really well.

Any of you voice teachers out there ever run into this sort of thing? I.e., someone who can play a guitar or mandolin, even an unfretted bass, by ear but can't "play his voice by ear?"

Genie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Janie
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 11:14 PM

It really strikes me how many of us find our voices in middle age and beyond. Might it have to do with the confidence that comes with maturity? Not confidence in our talent, perhaps, but confidence that it is really okay to do what you love; to do what feeds your spirit. Or perhaps its the confidence to try and sometimes fail or err badly in public, knowing that all you did was make a mistake like other humans do all the time.

I have been singing all of my life, but only in the past few years have I been comfortable enough in my own skin to relax enough to sing with confidence with other people. And as some of you know from another thread, I will be starting voice lessons next month, at age 51.

So many of you who have posted to this thread, and to other threads about singing and voice, are incredibly encouraging. Mudcat empowers music and musicians!

Happy Holidays,

Janie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: mg
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 11:20 PM

I'm the opposite I guess of the person who can play on key but sings off key...when I was playing the fiddle people would always say to me..you know, you sing on tune...I'd say thanks and know what was coming next...so how come you can't play the fiddle on tune..don't know...I have a wide range of notes I'm satisfied with I guess..can't tell if I am sharp or flat and when I ask people always said both.

mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: sharyn
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 11:40 PM

Re: Genie's question (the person who can play in tune but not sing in tune): Sometimes people have to hear the melody notes in their exact range -- they get thrown off by octaves or even overtones because the notes don't sound exactly the same. Mathieu covers this in his book. If your friend is a man, get a man with the same vocal range to match notes with him -- tenor with tenor, bass with bass, etc. That should help. If it doesn't, have him have his hearing checked for certain frequency losses. If his hearing is O.K., it's an anxiety-problem or a listening problem and he can improve.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: BusbitterfraeScotland
Date: 24 Dec 02 - 08:35 PM

Yes everone can sing, some better than others however we can sing except those who are mute.
who just can't sing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Genie
Date: 04 Jan 03 - 02:53 AM

Well, I never could PLAY the fiddle in tune very well, even though I took a couple of years of classes as a kid. But I could TELL it sounded bad, and I could tell when the notes sounded right.

In the case of my friend, it was not a matter of being a bit off key. He just couldn't tell an A from a C sometimes. Gotta be related to what Sharyn is talking about, though his voice was considerably higher than the lower range of his stand-up bass and he had CDs of male singers to hear. I'd imagine it's a matter of training your ear to hear what's there rather than anticipating.

Having said that about "not telling A from C," I've gotta admit that sometimes I sing harmony without intending to and don't realize I'm doing it until someone points it out (like the choir director who's trying for unison or whole-octave separations)!

Genie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 04 Jan 03 - 11:29 AM

Hi, Janie,
Regarding finding the confidence later in life, for me it was the awareness that time was running out and at 44 I felt like I wanted to take private lessons to know what the greatest potential of my voice could be. I'm 51 now, too, and I just returned from a smashingly successful performance in Great Falls, Montana, for their First Night New Year's Eve celebration. I sang unaccompanied Irish and Scottish songs, mixed with instrumental tunes and accompanied songs, all acoustic with no microphones. I specified that I wanted a venue with natural acoustics and got an old bakery/deli with high old tin ceilings, brick walls. I had the audience hanging on each word as I walked among them singing. I set up at one end of the long narrow room with my son on mandolin and a bodhran player and my old classical Martin guitar (the fiddler in our group couldn't make it). Between instrumental tune sets I sang unaccompanied as I walked about the tables where people were sitting. One of the audience members later told me that it was as if everyone was aware that they were *really* listening again instead of being blasted by music coming from speakers.

I had printed a stack of cards with our band logo and some info about us. The back of the card had five verses of Auld Lang Syne. Through the performance of songs, as I walked among the listeners, I handed out the cards. At the end of the night, they joined me in singing all of Auld Lang Syne. I know it was a great experience for them to be able to be included in the singing, too, and not just on the chorus. There was a woman from Galway in the audience who came up to me at the end of the night and said she was happy to hear real Irish songs. Among others, I had sung Kitty of Coleraine, Easy and Slow, Skibbereen, The Flower of Magherally... I know that when I started taking voice lessons about 7 years ago I had an OK voice, but with the training and practice I learned to have the confidence to make my performing dreams come true.

The experience was just as I had dreamed to some day be able to perform, to sing unamplified, to be close to the people and have a personal connection as they listened. It was great!

Have a wonderful new year and enjoy those voice lessons.

Alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 09:50 AM

Alice that sounds fantastic!!!! Its wonderful to have your dreams come true. It sounds such a brilliant evening - its made my day just to hear about it.

Kris


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Diana
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 06:30 PM

Hello My name is Diana, and I just have a few things I'd like to know. I am 21 and I've always loved to sing, when I was younger I would always sing to Opera like music especially this band I love Nightwish, metal band with a Female vocalist Opera style vocals there excellent. Anyway, With never taking lessons my voice was pretty good,not as good as I'd want it to be though. I wish I would have taken lessons when I was young, it seems like that's when everyone takes lessons. Instead at the age of 12 I took guitar lessons which didn't work out because I didn't have a passion for it. But now at the age of 21 I decided to take pravite Operatic voice lessons, I found a teacher in my area who charges $40 an hour It's a bit expensive for me but worth it. I've only had 2 lessons so far and now I'm learing how to breathe the right way, how to stand and how to keep my abdominals the right way as well, and I'm learing a simple song. I practice everyday for an half in hour. I guess what I am asking do you think I'm to old to learn being that I'm 21? and never before had much experience in singing. Do you think some people can't learn to sing even if they've practiced for years? My teacher told me anyone can learn to hold a note and sing but if they don't have a good voice then they won't be good. The thing is I already kind of have a good voice I just need to learn how to sing the right way but I have not develop my voice yet. with alrady having a good voice do you think these singing lessons will pay off? Well that's all So sorry it was so long, Thank you for taking the time out to read this I appreciate it. I hope to hear from you soon take care bye bye


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: NicoleC
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 06:40 PM

Hi Diana,

While it's true that the young learn faster, there's something adults have on kids when it comes to learning -- discipline and experience! I don't buy the theory that you have to start as a kid to be good at something. Whether or not it will "pay off" is up to you, and also depends on what your definition of "pay off" is. If you mean will you get better, the answer is YES!

Of course, I think 21 is pretty young to be worried about being too old :) Enjoy your lessons. You're never too old to learn.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: pattyClink
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 04:08 PM

Diana, you are definitely doing the right thing. You will learn to make the most of what you have. More importantly, if your teacher is any good, you will learn how to not damage your voice while using it a lot. This is priceless stuff.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Diana
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 07:17 PM

Hello, Thank you for the encouragement I appreciate it :-) I think this is a great site. I have a another question how will I know if my teacher is a good voice teacher? My first 2 lessons I've already learned how to breathe, standing the right way and keeing my abdominals the correct way when I'm singing,and she plays the keyborad while I macth the note using vowel's like V, A , La, etc.. Well that's about it Thank you!

                                                            Yours,
                                                            Diana


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Just Amy
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 07:30 PM

Diana - it sounds like you have a good voice teacher because those are the first things you should learn. Hurray. You go girl! 21 is the perfect age to take voice lessons. I didn't start until I was in college.

As a voice teacher I always thought that everyone could sing, but I must say that one friend of mine has totally blown that idea away. So, I will say that most people can sing but there are some (a very few)who just can't do it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 07:43 PM

Congrats on finding a good teacher, Diana. Actually, twelve would have been a little young to start voice lessons. Some people will take children as students, but I really think until puberty is over and the voice has settled in that technical lessons are not right for a child's voice. You can see now when Charlotte Church sings that she has been pushed into doing repertoire that her voice was not right for... there is alot of tension in her jaw so that it shakes up and down when she sings. She had a young sweet voice that was pushed too early.

Learning how to preserve and use the voice has been one of the most gratifying adventures of my life (and I started lessons at age 44).

Alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Helen
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 02:59 PM

Hello Everyone, I would just like to know something I hope this question is not to odd but, I've noticed when my stomach is full because I've eatten to much or I am bloated,I find it harder to sing and practice breathing. I feel like I don't have as much air and I can't hold notes as long, like I don't have my fullest of potential. Is this normal? Thank you!

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Stefan Codrington
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 03:01 PM

Hi!

Is anyone here of the opinion that what you eat can alter the effectiveness of your singing voice?

I find that when I have dairy products, my throat becomes more filled with mucus.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Melani
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 03:24 PM

If you've got any kind of voice that's not totally irritating in the first place, yes, anybody can learn technique and sound okay. Last night I heard somebody who was previously really bad sound great, just because he had been practicing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Frankham
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 05:31 PM

Diana,
It's been my experience that people with voices that are considered "bad" by many voice teachers have made a living as professional performers. What can you say about Louis Armstrong? He was great! Dave Van Ronk, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Mr. Dylan are able represented on recordings. Woody, Leadbelly, many many traditional folk singers have voices that are not considered to be particularly good by many voice teachers. I think that the most important thing a voice teacher can impart is how to save your voice without blowing your cords.

I think that one of the aspects of an acceptable voice is that it contains a "personality".

I haven't encountered a voice that everyone likes, yet.

Frank Hamilton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: mg
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 09:57 PM

not Linda Rondstadt? mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Nevada
Date: 03 Feb 03 - 02:19 AM

To Steve T, (2nd message), & anyone else for that matter.
How can you tell someone to concentrate on the music, not the emotion, when the music IS the emotion???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Frankham
Date: 03 Feb 03 - 08:53 PM

Mary,

I admit that it'll be hard to find someone who doesn't like Linda's voice but of course I am a fan. :)

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Diana
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:48 AM

Hi, I have a question, does everyone have vibrato in there voice? or is that something that takes training to learn how to use? because I find it a bit hard for my voice to do that. In time with my voice lessons will I get to that?      Thank you,

      Diana


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 10:32 AM

Diana, vibrato is a technique you can develop. Some people mistake a wobble in their voice as vibrato. Your voice teacher should be able to help you get a good sounding vibrato. Something to watch out for, don't let your jaw shake when trying to create vibrato. It should be produced without strain, but with strong breath support. If you don't have support, the vibrato can be uncontrolled (too much vibrato).

Alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: sharyn
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 09:59 PM

For Just Amy: Just what is it that happens when your friend tries to sing? Does he or she have any significant hearing loss?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Diana
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 02:54 PM

Hello everyone, I just have a few things I'd like to say that are bothering, that I'd like to get off my chest. I love to sing and now that I'm taking lessons I'm very happy, but when I sing my father laughts at me and this discouragers me alot, I also have my couisns who live up stairs from me that hear when I practice and they also laugh, saying I can't sing why bother taking lessons like I'ma big joke. This really hurts my feels and it makes me feel like I'm not reaching my fullest of potential becuase I'm scared to be a little loud because someone mite hear me and laugh. My boyfriend is that only one who supports me with my singing,he says I have a lot of potential. He said my family doesn't know anything about music so who are they to judge.but this really really discouragers me. Do you think if I really wasn't any good would my voice teacher have told me?
I don't know I think I have potential, but when my father laughs or says something all that goes away. Well thank you for reading this.

Yours,
Diana


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: MMario
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 03:06 PM

Diana - thirty years later I am *still* dealing with the emotions caused by my family laughing at my singing; though intellectually I know that the people who tell me *now* that my singing is okay *are* telling me the truth.

Ignore the family.

The boyfriend may be biased; *grin*; but since he is encouraging you *don't* ignore him.

The teacher should be able to give an unbiased critique - you might ask for a review - what are my weak points, what are my strengths type thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Eddie
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 03:11 PM

I am interested to know, if after all this advice, you have learnt to sing ? mine is, practise inside your head.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Merritt
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 04:39 PM

Diane,

Ignore all those who laugh and doubt. Find your voice and enjoy it.

Vibrato is a likely a vocal "technique" you can learn, as suggested above. For me tho', vibrato is part of my natural voice that I'm getting to know. The more I sing and relax into my natural voice, the more the vibrato finds its place, pace and proper resonance.

I'm not recommending an untrained approach necessarily, just offering a path that's working for me.

- Merritt


"It's all one big note." - F. Zappa


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Frankham
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 06:57 PM

Diana,
Keep at it. Pay no attention to your father. I sense an agenda underneath his laughter. Your boy friend is right. The more you practice, the better you become and the laughter is irrelevant. Your voice teacher is not in the business of playing games with you. (I say this without knowing who it is but voice teachers have a vested interest in the success of their students.)

When I was in junior high school in California, I was asked not to sing but to mouth the words of the song by the teacher. The irony is that I have been able to make a living as a singer. If you love to do it, you will get better.

Frank Hamilton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Alice
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 07:05 PM

Diana, keep practicing and close your ears to the teasing and laughter. The exercises your teacher gives you are going to sound unusual to anyone who doesn't know what it takes to develop vocal technique. You are learning what it takes, your teacher is guiding you. Trust your teacher and keep going. If you have to go into the shower to practice, do it there or in the car, where the other people won't bother you. Don't give up. Those muscles you are training will get stronger and stronger as you build them up with practice.
IT IS WORTH IT IN THE END. Some day they will realize that you have become a singer because you were willing to persevere through all the training exercises and classes, and when you have that voice polished, no one can take it away from you.

Alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Carly
Date: 20 Feb 03 - 07:54 PM

Frank,

Your music teacher must have migrated from Maryland. I had the identical experience in a required junior high music class. I was told I was a valuable member of the class, however; I could sell tickets to the concert. I was a closet singer after that, until my college roommate, and the combined support of many FSGW members, got me to open my mouth. I am not one of the world's great voices, but there are people who seem to like my singing, and have even been willing to pay to hear me. Most importantly, I love to sing, especially in groups of poeple, and I will not deny myself that joy.

Diana, Do not let ANYONE keep you from singing, especially that interior voice of doubt that has been planted in you.

Mmario, I sympathize with your interior struggle. I still suffer from attacks of terror that I will open my mouth and people will flee.I deal with it in public by concentrating on the thought that whoever is listening will love the music, the stories and the emotions, and forgive my shortcomings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 06:30 AM

Diana, is there anywhere you can practice away from the hearing of your family? It really is painful to be laughed at when you are doing what you love. I applaud you for continuing with it- and I echo the others- keep at it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 10:41 AM

Does anyone know any exercises you can do to develop vibrato in your voice? Thank You


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: duncan the drifter
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 12:33 PM

I feel that most people can sing,however, I also believe that it takes lots & lots of pratice & confidence is a must.Without confidence there is not much hope.Like someone said find a singer you like & sing along with him,after awhile you will find your own style.I found that ? very interesting & enjoyed reading the many answers. thanks & have a large DAY


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Diana
Date: 27 Feb 03 - 12:54 PM

Hello, I believe that singing to a group or a singer you like will help your voice, I would never have thought I could even come close to singing in a Operatic style if it weren't for this band Nightwish I listen to all the time. However, I also felt like I was trying to copy her voice to much to where I was forcing my voice to go lower than it can really go. But now that I am taking voice lessons I'm starting to realize my voice is much higher(Which I never would have thought, because it sounds so hard)and I can sing to Nightwish but at my own range. But singing to singers you like I think that really does help, when you enjoy singing to something you love I think that helps you learn better.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Craiggy
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 11:23 AM

Ofcoarse ANYONE can sing. All you need is a voice and an ear.
Every human is made in the same way. Excluding deaf people, we all have the ability to listen, and all have the ability to talk.
That's all you need. Ofcoarse one needs to listen and learn, but everyone is able to sing.

:)
Craig


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 12:21 PM

not had time to read all this thread yet..

i believe anyone can be trained to perform a song
to some degree of tuneful competancy
if the individual is confident enough
and puts in the work required to learn..

my problem which prevents me having the confidence
to move more centre stage
is i just cant remember lyrics..
not sure how much this is due to
under-developed personal skills and techniques of recall..

or plain and simple aging brain cell deterioration..

my mrs however has an uncanny photographic memory for songs
but no sense of rythm or melody whatsoever..

[she really loves kareoke, i'm not so enthusiastic..!!??]

i really envy mates who can work as vocal duos with their wives/girlfriends..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: IanC
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 12:39 PM

If you can walk, you can dance;
If you can talk, you can sing

old czech proverb.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 01:40 PM

Maybe anyone can learn to sing, but should they? After all, there would then be hardly anyone in the audience. I went to a local folk concert last night with 5 different groups of performers (about 10 altogether) and barely 20 in the audience.

An English poet, I think it was Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in "Epigram on a Volunteer Singer", wrote;

Swans die before they sing; 'twere no bad thing
Should some persons die before they sing

Actually it is a myth that swans sing before they die (or at any time; the common "Mute Swan" of the British Isles merely hisses, though the Whooper and Bewick's Swans which are winter visitors make a sort of trumpeting sound - I think the Whooper may be known in North America as the Trumpeting Swan, but am not sure). However all this does not, in my opinion. invalidate Coleridge's point.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Peace
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 01:55 PM

If you can walk, you can dance.
If you can talk, you can sing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: *Laura*
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 02:19 PM

I've always had the problem that if I try and sing very loud it all falls apart. But I've just started having singing lessons (mainly because I want to audition for the Les Mis schools edition my theatre company are doing) and it's really helping my voice and my confidence.
I think everyone can learn to sing really - you just need to find a style you like, and that suits you - and get up the confidence to go for it!

xLx


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 06:06 PM

If I work hard and practice a lot then I can be an indifferent singer. Just isn't worth the effort when I am a good dancer anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,M
Date: 01 May 12 - 01:03 PM

Hi ,

Singing is not really easy. You need lot of practise to become a good singer. I recently downloaded a mobile app to learn singing.
I am more interested in learning Bollywood music but have found excercises in this
application very useful. I can see lot improvement in my vocal quality in last
few months.



If anyone wants to try its here:



http://gaapp.co.uk/




Good luck


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Rog Peek
Date: 01 May 12 - 05:45 PM

This thread reminds me of a cautionary quote from Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

"Swans sing before they die - 'twere no bad thing should certain persons die before they sing."



Rog


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Megan L
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 03:40 AM

Both Ian C and Peace quoted

"If you can walk, you can dance;
If you can talk, you can sing
old czech proverb. "

However a recent experience on youtube sincerely has me doubting the veracity of the proverb.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 07:53 AM

I'd say 95% can learn to some degree, but if you'd heard my Brother and Brother-in-law, you'd realise there are a few who really shouldn't even try


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 09:19 AM

Nonsense. Anybody has the right to try. And perhaps with a skilled teacher, the brother and brother-in-law could learn to sing.

There are only a few normal people who absolutely cannot learn to sing a tune. (Handicapped people seem to be a different story.) The rest of us either do it naturally or can be coached.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: John P
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 09:35 AM

I think it all depends on what you mean by "learn to sing". I agree that almost anyone can get from bad to adequate, but I've never heard anyone get to professional quality who didn't start with a lot of natural talent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Mark Clark
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 02:15 PM

Leeneia said “There are only a few normal people who absolutely cannot learn to sing a tune.” I would argue that just because those people aren't missing limbs or suffer from sensory deficiencies doesn't mean they are "normal." The inability to learn to sing is probably the result of a learning disorder or other handicap. Scientists are telling us that singing probably came before language in human development.

      - Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: kendall
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 04:16 PM

Babara is right, no. If your ears are unable to tell the difference between a 440 aND A 438 YOU WILL SING FLAT.
Iq has nothing to do with it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: kendall
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 04:17 PM

A one legged man can not win a foot race.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 04:25 PM

Kendall: not so true anymore.

I've heard that pitch sensitivity can be taught/learned, and I don't know enough to argue against it. I'm pretty sure Pete Seeger once wrote an article on it. I'm "pretty sure" because I remember reading it, or about it in SingOut!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,999
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 05:39 PM

Neat article here with good remarks about singing, etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Stringsinger
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 06:46 PM

Alice is doing a service here. One of the most important things said is:
"I think the hardest thing to do for most beginners is to concentrate on the music instead of the emotion. It feels awful not to concentrate on the emotion, but concentrating on the music will eventually pay off."

When you go for the emotions, you can sometimes tie up the cords.

As to vocal quality, one of my favorite singers is Louis Armstrong. (Go figure)

Then, Tony Bennett.

I like Jussi Boerling and Pavarotti too and Renee Fleming.

They all have found their individual voice and just like a fingerprint, everyone's voice is different. The trick is to find your natural voice and this comes with some kind of training.

I think it's very important to find a good vocal teacher who can mirror correct technique for you which you can't get from books and tapes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Punkfolkrocker
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 12:54 AM

Apparently I was a good enough singer in infant school
to do solo spots on the stage in morning assembly.
But totally lost interest not long after.

By my late teens I was such a self-concious adolescent
I wasn't even capable of braving up to doing backing vocals
in our punk band...

Tried a couple of times at band practice and completely froze with fear.

Teen band scene social drug experimentation induced panic attacks did't help much either...

Never ever attempted singing again
[unless extraordinarily drunk in later life].

But I somehow think I may need to try again
just for the sake of recording demo tracks at home.

I'm obviously older now and much more self assured
and confident at things I'm good at
- and I'm sufficiently mature not to give a shit if I do embarrass myself in public.

My problem nowadays, is that even if I do have a raw innate talent for singing
that could be nurtured by a good teacher,
I no longer have a good enough memory for lyrics...

bollocks....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 03:49 AM

It's been my experience' after 20 odd years of working in singing workshops with people of varying levels of starting skills, that unless there is actual physical damage or deformity of the vocal equipment (extremely rare) that anybody can sing. Some find it harder than others - in the long run, development of the voice depends entirely on the amount of time and effort you are prepared to put in, both at the beginning and throughout the time you wish to sing.
In The Critics Group, and later in the London Singers Workshop (and various other groups), we used a series of voice developing, singing and relaxation exercises to develop and maintain the voice - they worked for those who were prepared to use them.
The danger was, if you were not careful they could become an objective in themselves rather than a means to an end.
Singing is, or should be, the passing on of emotions, ideas and information via musical sounds married to poetic texts - the voice is the means by which you do this - a collection of tools, all with specific functions which you learn to understand, control and keep in good shape so they are fit for purpose.
Not everybody is going to reach the same level of skill, but if we let this be a factor we would never do anything - you will always find someone who is better than you at whatever you try.
I have to say that I find the logic of the modern method of 'teaching singing', at the various singing weekends I have attended - the passing out of texts, teaching the tune, than singing from the sheet "parrot-fashion", totally unfathomable.
'Learning to sing' is a long-term job which, in my opinion, has to begin with becoming familiar with your voice in order that you can take control of it and push out to the boundaries you feel you want or need to.
As the feller said, the way to The Carnegie Hall or wherever is 'practice' - I don't believe there are any shortcuts.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: kendall
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 09:32 AM

Jeri, these new prosthetic s do replace lost legs, but they are still one legged people.

Try this analogy No Mule ever won the Kentucky Derby. They simply lack the physical ability.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 12:29 PM

why, of course......anyone can learn to sing!
And everyone should.
Whether or not you can sing in public and be appreciated by others...well, I still would vote for doing it if it makes you happy.
Singing is meant to be a natural as a breath...self judgement is the biggest critic.

Just do it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 12:33 PM

But don't inflict it on the whole world, even if you have the technology.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 12:44 PM

Inflict away, the "whole world" can deal with it.
It's not so much the people who wish to sing badly in your face who are the problem, but those who've been told they can't sing, and believe it. It's the ones who want to silence them. Ain't gonna happen anyway.

The teachers who tell children for whom they're responsible they "can't sing", are really saying they can't teach.

I started writing a song. I think I should finish it.

Once I had to learn to walk
Then I learned to tie my shoe
And my teachers taught the alphabet
And adding 2 + 2
I didn't know how to do those things
But no one ever said
"You can't do that, so you'll have to go
Outside and play instead"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: kendall
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 01:02 PM

When my friend, Gordon was in grammar school he was told that he was a monotone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: kendall
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 01:04 PM

Ok, let me add something. If people walk away when you sing, or no one asks you to sing, you probably shouldn't.

I can't speak for anyone else, but people who sing off key drive me bonkers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 01:06 PM

It needs to be remembered that the natural, open 'folk' voice is considered ugly by many conventional (particularly classically trained) exponents and teachers.
If anybody tells you you are incapable of singing, get a second opinion - preferably from somebody familiar with the genre that interests you.   
In thirty odd years of work with singers I never met anybody who "couldn't sing" - plenty who were not used to it, and hundreds who had been told they would never be able to, but none who couldn't be developed with a little work.
Group work on individual singers really worked wonders with many new singers.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 01:07 PM

Acording to my mother,
I was a good singer and enjoyed singing solo at infant school.

I have no memory of why I stopped, or if I still sang at junior school.

At Grammar School our music teacher was ex army
and seemed to resent being stuck teaching us
instead of travelling the world persuing his dreams.

He was strict in going through the motions inflicting classical music upon us.

If he ever made me sing in class
it may have been so traumatising my memory is wiped
with permanent amnesia...???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 01:09 PM

I don't mind individuals singing off key by themselves but I find it very difficult if there is a group of people singing and one offkey person...mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 07:40 PM

Anyone can learn to sing. But not everyone can learn to sing. I offer your humble correspondent as proof.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 01:15 AM

Some fairly recent studies by apparently qualified researchers have identified certain unusual characteristics in a few people that would suggest that learning to sing may be impossible, or so difficult that they are unlikely to be interested in the attempt.

Although probably rare, there are some who simply can't recognize differences between sounds of different pitches. There are others, similarly rare, who "aint' got no rythm" and really can't dance. In a few cases reported, the individuals not only are unlikely ever to be able to sing, in the conditions studied "they can't even learn to listen" to the extent of being able to recognize and distinguish between music and street noises.

It is unlikely that persons with these conditions will ever show up at a "how to sing" session, so belief in the ability of those who do come to improve on their abilities is justified. It probably is not appropriate to assume that everybody can learn to sing or even that everybody wants to.

For those who really do want to learn how, it's possible that the specification and "giving a name" to some of the barriers may be helpful to those who find themselves attempting to help, in some cases. Individuals with those handicaps probably need very professional help.

For the "social singers" just wanting to help a few who have indicated an interest and are already able to at least "croak interestingly" those studies probably are not something to be concerned about.

Even though it appears that there really are some people who simply can't learn to sing, it is likely that anyone who recognizes and enjoys listening to music probably can learn to join the choir in appropriate situations.

For willing people of the latter kind, good teachers and skilled persons to sing with can help a lot.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 02:46 AM

Singing is a natural function like walking. People may not like the way you walk, but unless you've got some medical problem, you can sing.

I alway like something Christopher Isherwood the writer (Cabaret) said, go to the seashore stand in the crashing waves and make up operas, sing them to the sky...

I suppose anywhere except down the folk club (that's me!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 06:47 AM

I went to a voice coach and asked him:"Can you train my voice?". He replied, after my audition :"Not even with a chair and a whip".

RtS
"Most of the words and some of the notes"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 10:17 AM

Well hello again. I said it before (1998 above) and I'll say it again. No, everyone cannot learn to sing. It's likely that everyone can gain some improvement in their vocal quality and delivery, learn things like breath control, vibrato, phrasing, better tonal quality. What I insist, however, is that some cannot reproduce correct pitch. I have seen it in my family. Pitch imperfect, never to be learned.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 10:20 AM

Oh don't teach them vibrato, they'll end up sounding like Bryan Ferry. ;)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 10:31 AM

I'd quite like a singing voice with built in tremolo and overdrive distortion
just like a good vintage Vox AC30 guitar amp...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 11:00 AM

I hear the echoes here of the teachers who told me that I couldn't sing, nor would I be able to, so to attempt to try was a waste of my time.
The same teachers were also telling me that all I needed to know when I left school was to be able to tot up my wage packet when I left whatever factory I managed to get a job in, at the end of the week. It was an damning arrogance that put me off music altogether until a series of happy accidents re-introduced me to it and gave me a love (obsession) that has dominated my life for half a century.
Nobody has the right to tell anybody they "can't" sing until they know what lengths they have gone to to learn, and, for that matter, how much effort they are prepared to put in to achieve some sort of a result.
I was lucky enough to have met people who were willing to pass on what they knew and share what they had in order to help me develop whatever little ability and interest I might have started out with.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 11:02 AM

"I was lucky enough to have met people who were willing to pass on what they knew and share what they had in order to help me develop whatever little ability and interest I might have started out with."

Same here, Jim. Thanks for saying that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 12:07 PM

It needed saying.
I get a little tired of people who think they can telling others that they can't.
Perhaps if people who have worked with others, as either recipients or helpers, shared their successes and failures with us, we might learn where and where not to go rather than telling others that they'll never make singers while they have holes in their a****.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 09:20 PM

In fact I never told the "monotones" I knew that they couldn't sing: they told me. We all sang anyway, some of us closer to pitch than others.

You could be right, Jim Carroll, that with extensive effort at great lengths, they could be taught to correct the pitch problems. I only know that these two tried quite a bit for quite awhile and finally settled for happily singing off-key.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 03:47 AM

Barbara
We worked with a number of singers with severe pitch problems - with a degree of success in all. To my recollection it was always a case of aspiring singers not knowing how to use their vocal apparatus because they had never tried to.
In such cases we started simple ten minutes or so exercises on a song with a basic tune; with our group it was usually 'Johnny Todd' - a children's song that had been naused up by being used for the theme tune of a television police series.
The 'victim' would be asked to learn it and bring it back a week later. If they were having problems we devoted some time per session to it, usually by getting one of the group to sing a line and asking the 'struggler' to repeat the line. We persisted with this for as long as he or she was prepared to put in the time; these weren't in any way "extensive efforts at great lengths", simply persevering.
There are other 'tricks' - the much-derided 'finger-in-ear' - cupping the hand over the ear is a millennia-old technique universally used to stay in tune; as is learning to relax, tension being one of the basic causes of not being able to control pitch.      
We all learned practice pieces to improve different aspects of our singing:
Mouth music (Tail Toddle) for accuracy and breath control - a verse and a chorus in 1 breath.
A piece of Gilbert and Sullivan for diction accuracy at speed.
A Wagner piece ('Tis Ended) for handling large intervals
Another (By Evil Craft) for unusually small intervals.
Etc....
Once they are learned they remain with you, I still use them forty years on when my voice is rusty.
The voice needs to be viewed as a musical instrument if you want to sing - nobody would expect to pick up a fiddle or a concertina and play it right away, and they'd be daft to abandon the idea if it didn't work out first time round.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 07:12 AM

There are other 'tricks' - the much-derided 'finger-in-ear' - cupping the hand over the ear is a millennia-old technique universally used to stay in tune;
absolutely, i find it helps to hear oneself better, i normally make sure the hand is also on the jawbone as well as the ear


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 01:32 PM

ear ear, or ere ere


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 01:45 PM

What's curious is the genetic factor. The monotone son sang just like his monotone father. The other son (different father) is a musical prodigy and excellent singer. Both had me for a mother, both were always sung to and sung with and had therefore much the same musical nurture, different nature.

To overcome that genetic predisposition was not something the one son cared enough about to attempt to fix, and I'm not convinced it would be fixable. Your techniques and tricks with motivated students may indeed improve and correct the problems with singers without the hereditary predisposition or with marginal pitch issues, but I remain skeptical regarding my own experiences.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 02:45 AM

Has anybody isolated a gene which predisposes us to one particular artistic pursuit? If so, I'd be extremely grateful for more information on it.
Someone growing up in a background of music, painting or theatre is quite likely to react (positively or negatively) to these influences, but this has nothing to do with genetics, and to suggest that it has is to banish those of us not lucky enough to be born with these inbuilt tendencies out in the cold.
Sorry - all art is a matter of exposure and hard work as far as I'm concerned.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 11:46 AM

A genetic predisposition does not necessarily involve a single gene, it may involve a combination of genes. If one looks back over generations and sees a pattern, then a genetic factor is a possible explanation.

It seems in the case of Barbara's son, such an explanation should not be ruled out. Otherwise, on the whole, I agree with you, Jim.

I'm one of those who kept being told be couldn't sing till I found out otherwise. My regret was I believed them, in spite of evidence to the contrary, having sung when I was younger.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 12:52 PM

"all art is a matter of exposure and hard work " - so does Jim Carroll believe we could all be Renoirs or Mozarts with enough hard work? If one presumes the existence of talent in some, one can also presume the lack of its existence in some. Also not sure what Jim means by "inbuilt tendencies" if not heredity.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 01:15 PM

there are two separate major componants involved with "singing" - the brain and body ( combination of vocal chords, mouth/face, hearing parts, breathing parts). there are people who are atonal because the brain connections aren't in place to synthesize the final product we call music. There are some interesting books out there on the subject - interesting for the geeks, anyway.

Assuming that the brain can interpret sound waves as music, then the question is can the body perform all the needed tasks to reproduce sound waves that another person will interpret as music/singing.

I tend to believe that if you can talk and hum, then you can learn to sing... just how well is the question. But if the physical tools are there, a person should be able to improve their singing voices with work & some guidance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 02:41 PM

"Jim Carroll believe we could all be Renoirs or Mozarts with enough hard work?"
No - of course I don't, nor Callass or Joe Heaneys ot Epsteins or Sumacs
I am talking about the basic ability to sing in tune - nothing more.
Achieving excellence such as to be found those you mentioned depends on all sorts of things.
It is totally depressingly unfair that you should set the bar so high as to put people off from even trying.
What do you suggest - we are never going to be as good as the best - most of us would never have been given the opportunity anyway - so we really shouldn't bother, but recognise our place in society; god knows, I hasd enough of that when I was at school
I was lucky enough to meet two people who were at the peak of their profession as singers, yest, instead of of pursuing their careers they chose to devote a night a week working with younger and less experienced singers - I never found out how much time they spent preparing for their workshops, but I guess it was a considerable amount.
I think myself to have been very fortunate, especially when I consider the elitists I might have met along the road.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Oct 12 - 01:11 PM

There are people who were born with a singing proclivity and they have enlarged vocal apparatus which is suitable for opera. This is generally shown at an early age.
The rest is perspicacity combined with a drive to do this.

The raison d'etre of a good vocal coach is to help the student save his/her voice from deteriorating by the use of sound vocal technique.

Abuse of the vocal folds is common among performers who belt and strain in their styles. Unfortunately, some of this spills over into folkie territory.

We know aging performers who have lost their voices due to abuse.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Oct 12 - 01:39 PM

If you eveolve your own exercises there is no reason whatever to call on the services of a vocal coach.
Singing at the level most people are involved in rely on familiarity with and control of the voice.
I agree that the 'precious' world of classical singing (which I believe to be unnatural) calls for different disciplines.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST,Psychologist
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 07:11 AM

Barbara, if your son couldn't learn to sing he'd be so profoundly damaged that you couldn't hold a conversation with him.

If he talks normally, he has normal pitch perception, and the problem is you and your labelling of him. I'm not going to guess for a second what the factors were that stopped him learning to sing but it sure as hell wasn't his genes (because their aren't any).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 08:03 AM

Thank you guest.
The greatest barrier to overcome when attempting to encourage anybody to sing is the one carefully constructed by those who insist on telling people they can't - threads like these produce examples of people who have been discouraged in this way every time they are started.
My musical education was, I would guess, typical of anybody who came from a working-class background - no practical teaching, just an introduction to LISTENING to music - we were trained to be 'audiences'. There was never any pretence that this was the objective - our lessons were called 'musical appreciation classes'.
Our 'singing' education, if it had any practical objective, was to produce possible recruits for the school choir;if you didn't measure up then you were told you would never make a singer and instructed to sit and listen while those who could did.
Beyond that, it was listening to the same half-dozen scratch old records.
The only other singing we encountered was at the school assembly at the beginning of the day, where it didn't matter if you sang in tune or not, nobody was really listening anyway.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 10:56 PM

Congenital Amusia

Congenital amusia (commonly known as "tone deafness") is a lifelong impairment of music perception that affects 4% of the population. To estimate whether congenital amusia can be genetically transmitted, its prevalence was quantified by direct auditory testing of 71 members of 9 large families of amusic probands, as well as of 75 members of 10 control families. The results confirm that congenital amusia is expressed by a deficit in processing musical pitch but not musical time and also show that the pitch disorder has a hereditary component. In amusic families, 39% of first-degree relatives have the same cognitive disorder, whereas only 3% have it in the control families. The identification of multiplex families with a high relative risk of experiencing a musical pitch deficit (λs=10.8; 95% confidence interval 8–13.5) enables the mapping of genetic loci for hereditary amusia.

Amusia

Over 21,000 other links for Congenital Amusia


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 03:10 AM

To establish whether anybody is 'tone deaf' would require expert medical opinion, as would establishing whether that condition has been passed on through the family or merely a single occurrence - an isolated accident of birth.
Arbitrary diagnosis by non-experts would be both highly irresponsible medically and would act as a disincentive to anybody wishing to attempt to sing.
I would be interested to learn if you have expertise enough to diagnose 'tone deafness', or whether the above has been cut-'n-pasted from the internet.
'Tone deafness' is one of the most common reasons given by people for not being able to song; in every case I have come across it is an unqualified self-diagnosis never backed up by any medical examination whatever. It is a cop-out for not putting in the effort, usually arising by having been told by non-experts that they are 'tone-deaf'.
I would also be interested to learn what experience you have of working with aspiring singers.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 12:55 PM

Its the abstract from the paper in the link...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 03:41 PM

Still doesn't anwer any of the questions - have you ever participated in a workshop with new singers and do you have expertise enough to tell someone they are 'tone deaf'?
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 05:30 PM

Have you read the paper ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Can anyone learn to sing
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 12 - 03:38 AM

Yes - tells me nothing I didn't know, and it still doesn't answer the questions I asked.
It certainly doesn't explain why an unqualified individual (your silence on this matter confirms that this is what you are) should take it upon themself to discourage potential singers from trying to sing.
Nor does it give us any inkling as to how many 'failures' you have encountered to back up your somewhat destructive attitude (your silence on this matter suggests you have never worked with potential singers).
As we used to say in the 60s 'if you're not par of the solution, you're part of the problem'.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 July 10:29 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.