Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Finding my voice

I was driving home yesterday listening to a Steve Forbert CD. "Romeo's Tune" (a song I love and that he dedicated to the memory of Florence Ballard, late of The Supremes) came on. I started singing with it. I do a pretty dead-on imitation of Mr. Forbert on that particular song. A friend once commented on how eerily I capture his sound.

Similarly, I do a pretty decent imitation of Elton John on "Candle in the Wind" - the one from the Live in Australia album, not the one from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road; I find the former has more emotion than the latter.

Even if a song is not in my key or my range I can transpose and still sound at least a little like the artist. For example, I tend to sing harmony rather than lead on early Beach Boys songs.

When do I sound the worst? When I'm singing 'cold,' without a recorded reference. In other words, I can sing like other people, but I can't really sing like me.

I think this is because I learned to sing from the radio and from records. My goal was to sound like the artists I was hearing. If I were serious about learning to sing I'd hire a teacher, learn to read music, and learn to sing like me.


John said...

I enjoyed this post. I hope you don't mind that I've made reference to it on my own page. Let me know if it's a problem.

Anonymous said...

Not a problem at all. I'm glad that someone got that this was a commentary on something larger than just learning to sing.

I was really trying to obliquely comment on the magic scene. I may have been too subtle...

John said...

Yeah, I caught the label for magic and theory. Whether it's singing, magic or right living, it always helps to have someone that models the behavior or art desired.

Because I like to read and because books on magic are such a great value compared to DVD's, I don't mind learning from them. But there is a lot to be said for being able to watch a performance and actually see a demonstration.

Even for a singer/writer or magician that creates his own effects, there is a lot of showmanship to be learned from watching others.