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at the cafe today…...


onewilyfool

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I'm going to share a little something I learned playing at the cafe this last week. If you have seen my youtube offerings, you know that I am an average guitar player, and mostly I use the guitar to support my singing. As a matter of fact, I may not be able to sing at all without my guitar as support. That being said…..the last few times at the cafe, I've done something different with my songs that has proved to be VERY interesting. Since I don't really know much about music theory or how to explain this in "technical" terms, bear with me. NORMALLY, I let my voice follow the guitar. One thing that has really "improved" with my Cafe sessions over the last few years is my confidence, and actually my ability to sing. Like any muscle, you use it and it gets stronger I guess. These last few mornings, I was trying something new, I was letting my VOICE lead the guitar. Normally I hear the guitar and let my voice follow. Lately, I've been leading with my voice, and letting the GUITAR follow. The difference is amazing. With voice leading, I'm letting my voice try all sorts of new approaches to the music!!! NOT strictly following the melody line. I'm phrasing and spacing words differently, and letting the guitar follow!! Perhaps, I'm not explaining it correctly, but it has been an amazing "breakthrough" for me in my singing, and actually has freed up my guitar playing as well. SO, thought I'd share this with you guys and gals, and see if any others have had this experience??? It is really quite amazing an joyful way of playing!

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Good ideas, Wily. I think you and I have learned some of the same lessons in regards to using our voices to fit our music. You are absolutely right in leading with your voice. I think one has to put their voice out front. Unless you're an instrumentalist, you need to be able to do some singing and not be self-conscious about it. Hell, most anyone can sing if they sing in a key that is right for them. Much easier to hit the notes. Another thing that leading with my voice taught me is to sing a song "my way." I'm not a big rock & roller. I grew-up with and loved the music (still do), but I'm a folksinger. The R&R I do in definitely in a folksy vein. And I really like your comment on not always following the melody line. Cash said in an interview that varying from the expected melody a bit was natural for him and it kind of put his own signature on a cover song. I think there's a lot to be said for doing a song "your way." I do a version of Runaway. Del Shannon was a pretty fair guitar picker and a true rock & roller. I can't play the solo licks as fast as he did (and certainly can't sing the falsetto parts..), but I can play the solo licks up and down the neck slowly, so I kind of do a James Taylor version of a song that was originally uptempo. So long as I play it in Am, I can hit all the notes without straining my voice. My version doesn't sound anything like Shannon's, but it does sound like me and people know the song.

 

BTW, there's nothing wrong with your guitar playing. I enjoy listening to your rendition of Yesterday on Youtube. It's definitely the song I remember from the 60's, but it's done in your way. I think the hammer-ons you do give the song a different flavor. Still a love ballad, but "your" love ballad. For those who haven't had the opportunity to listen-to it, here it is. Simple (as was the original with McCartney), gentle, and a bit different.

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absolutely right wily. well , right for the type of music you're (and me) playing .

 

also ties into the remembering lyrics thread ... can't be fumbling with lyrics while approaching songs the way you are. If you're going to mess with a time signature , it needs to be a well judged adjustment. can easily sound messy if it's taken to far ..

 

if you know what I mean

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I think the key for me has been moving key around to match my voice. If I dont do that, and try to adjust to an unnatural key, I am concentrating too much, and it sounds forced. If I am playing something I am thinking to much about it tends to stink. Same with my singing. And if I am playing something AND singing, and am thinking too much about either.... yikes.

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I agree….finding right key is VERY important…..sometimes I take my "TERZ" guitar to the cafe, it is tuned from A to A….or as if a regular guitar was capo'd at the 5th fret. I can easily use that guitar for all the songs I sing capo'd to the 4th to 6th fret. Sometimes I use the same chords I would use on a regular guitar and try singing….it is a very good exercise…..I find harmony lines to the original melody, I change my voice to suit the higher register….sometimes it works, sometimes not, but it is a great practice to develop range…..

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I have never nor will I ever subject the music loving world to my voice. But as I mostly back singers I tend to follow their voices. May have more to do with my aversion towards practicing though than anything else.

I'm with you on this one. I still remember when I was in grade school and the nun would be walking around to find out who was out of key. I would start lipping it and she would quit searching.

 

Years ago friends were trying to push me into singing. I recorded myself in private and it affirmed my suspicion. I'm tone deaf when my mouth is open.

 

 

 

 

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