Some Things I Learned About Singing (By A Non Singer)

Some lessons I’ve learned about singing.

I am writing songs and I need some way to convey the melody.

Since I don’t have a lot of formal music training and my playing experience is focused on rhythms, I have a hard time sitting down at a keyboard and picking out the melody.

I’m like a dog that sees a squirrel.  I hit a few wrong notes and the melody that I heard in my head turns and goes after those wrong notes.

So if I want to write a complete song I have to sing.

I am not a singer and I will never profess to be one.  I’m pretty shy about singing but I realize if I want to do this I’ve got to get over my apprehension and sing.  I have to record what I sing and let others hear it.

After getting over the initial shock and recoil of hearing my voice, it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be.

I wasn’t terribly off key.   I was at least in the vicinity, close enough that you would know where I was trying to go.

I have learned a simple stupid lesson.  With singing, like anything in this life, you have to practice.

It’s the same as when I hear a rhythm in my head, it doesn’t mean it just translates down my arms and legs onto the kit.

Hearing a melody doesn’t mean the notes are going to come right out my mouth.

I never did much singing and I had expectations that hearing the notes in my head meant that my voice would automatically find them, or at least get close.  I thought it would be like talking but just making sure I stayed in key.  You know, you think of the words and they just come right out of your mouth.

But I learned that you have to find the notes in your head with your voice.  Just like I may have to search around on the keyboard for the note, I have to search and find it with my voice.  Then you have to practice, practice, practice, to be able to find it every time.

You have to learn where the notes are in your body just like a guitar player needs to know where they are on the fret board.

After at least getting close every time and feeling comfortable with the notes then you have to learn your phrasing, how do I make that line fit.

So to all you real singers out there, I’ve gained even more respect for what you do. I’ve always had a ton of respect and admiration for good singers and now I have more.

You are not just born with this golden voice and all you have to do is open your mouth and out comes these beautiful songs.

Like anything else in life you can have all the talent in the world but it still takes practice, practice, practice and then more practice.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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