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Gilliangirl

If you could sing like anyone......

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Based on how my wife reacts every time she hears Michael Buble sing "I'm your Man..." I would have to say it would be nice to channel his voice occasionally' date=' but in reality his voice is not my thing. Given the choice, I would be happy to have a voice like Clapton... not too powerful, not to sweet, just natural and nice.... (I have heard he used to really dislike his voice but I think that has changed now.) As it is, I can't sing too well, my voice is too low for standard tuned songs, but when I play my 12 string tuned a full step lower, my voice doesn't sound so bad on the blues songs I like to croak out. [biggrin'] As always, a bit of beer makes me sound better.... at least to me! [biggrin]

 

 

I use that story about Clapton not liking his own voice all the time with people who say they can't sing.

 

It was Delaney Bramlett that convinced Clapton he should sing. Excerpt from "Crossroads: The Life and Music of Eric Clapton" by Michael Schumacher:

 

At one point, Bramlett mentioned that Clapton had a good singing voice and asked him why he didn't sing more onstage. Clapton replied that it wasn't necessary for him to sing much in Blind Faith -- not when the band had one of the finest vocalists in rock music. Besides, Clapton added, he didn't have a lot of confidence in his voice. Bramlett was hearing none of it. If Clapton didn't use his gift, Bramlett argued, God would take it away.

 

Clapton held is ground. "No, man," he said. "I can't sing."

"Yes you can," insisted Bramlett. "Hit this note: Ahhhhh..."

 

It took some effort, but Clapton finally matched the note. Once that barrier had been broken, Clapton gave Bramlett's encouragment more serious consideration. "I started to feel that if I was to gain his respect, I ought to really pursue this," he recalled. "That night we started talking about making a solo album with his band."

 

The result was one of the most fervent love songs in rock (Layla) and the birth of one of the greatest rock vocalists in the world. IMHO.

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I think most people do the same things with sports ...singing ...anything that requires practice.

 

I go out and I jog 2 or 3 times a year .....then a friend asks me to join him running a 5K. "I can't run... I run like an old lady....I am outta breath just going to the fridge during TV commercials ....."

 

Well...obviously...if you rarely do something and think you can't because you are deficient in some way.....then you can't.

 

If you wanted to run a 5K you would start off slowly ....train regularly .....slowly increase your endurance.....read up or work with a friend to learn training techniques and skills.

 

Learning to sing just takes some dedication, practice and learning a few fundamental skills . I am certain that anyone here who has learned to play the guitar ....has the ability to learn to sing.

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Learning to sing just takes some dedication' date=' practice and learning a few fundamental skills . I am certain that anyone here who has learned to play the guitar ....has the ability to learn to sing.[/quote']

 

There's truth to this. But, the same can be said for guitar playing. But, to decide to become good at both may be too big a time commitment for some of us. Sure, I could practice singing and limit my guitar playing to strumming and the occasional G-run. I decided about a decade ago to choose guitar playing over singing. I'd love to be exceptional at both, simultaneously, like Blind Blake or Rev. Gary Davis. But, that's just not gonna happen with me. I just returned from gigging in Athens, Greece and Istanbul, Turkey. All instrumental, 2-hour sets. Folks liked it. I'm happy with my choices.

 

Still, to be able to sing like Ray ...

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to decide to become good at both may be too big a time commitment for some of us. I just returned from gigging in Athens' date=' Greece and Istanbul, Turkey...[/quote']

 

Definitely an MO, there JT! I hear what you are saying about wanting to rise to a standard. More power to you. Me, I love the songs, so croak along as best I can.

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If I could sound like one singer' date=' it would be Ray Charles.

 

 

[/quote']

 

+1!! Or Levon Helm....or Buddy Miller...or....

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Interesting thread. Speaking as someone who can't sing to save his life......

I find it fascinating to hear James Taylor singing today, to my ear his voice sounds like it did 20-odd years ago!

However, also speaking as a patriotic Welshman, Tom Jones' voice on his latest album is unbelievably good. The gospel/soul/blues feel to the album really suits him. I think the album was recorded "live" in the studio - it certainly feels like it was. Love it, and if I could express myself like that, I'd die a happy man...

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Interesting thread. Speaking as someone who can't sing to save his life......

I find it fascinating to hear James Taylor singing today' date=' to my ear his voice sounds like it did 20-odd years ago!

However, also speaking as a patriotic Welshman, Tom Jones' voice on his latest album is unbelievably good. The gospel/soul/blues feel to the album really suits him. I think the album was recorded "live" in the studio - it certainly feels like it was. Love it, and if I could express myself like that, I'd die a happy man...[/quote']

 

Good point BT Bob.

 

+1 Tom Jones' new album. He's abandoned the Grecian 2000, tight leather jeans and medallions and gone for a bluesy choice of songs. The voice is awesome and really suits him.

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....Tom Jones' voice on his latest album is unbelievably good.

 

I haven't heard anything from his recent work, but holy mackerel that man can sing! His voice is incredibly powerful! I remember watching his TV show, late 60s-early 70s, and having the hair stand up on my neck listening to the power in his voice. I didn't sing or play guitar at the time but I was very impressed with what he was able to do vocally. He's still on my all-time favorite singers list.

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I'd mostly just like to sing in the same key I'm playing in. And have a range of more than half an octave.

 

But if I could sing like anybody it'd be Fred Neil. He's pretty obscure other than writing "Everybody's Talkin'," but he's the best damn singer I ever heard. Pretty fine on the 12-string too.

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Personally, I have been amazed at how many truly horrible, toneless, yet successful singers have been thrust upon the buying public by recording companies over the last 40 years or so... Especially from the 1980's up to now. The QUALITY of voice seems long gone.

 

That's just my opinion, and it doesn't matter to anyone else, apparently, because more throw-away recordings are released all of the time.

 

However, as a male, lousy singer, good guitarist and song writer, I'd rather have the trained voice of Frank Sinatra, Steve Lawrence, or Bing Crosby...

Why? Because they had TONE, STYLE, and they bothered to learn how to pronounce the words in the lyrics they sang. They sounded so good that they didn't even need a band or orchestra behind them.

Tom Jones has often had lousy material, but man can that guy belt out a song, and he has tone as good as anyone ever did - probably the most versatile singer ever, sort of a Welsh Tony Bennett. I have a LOT of respect for Tom Jones' singing ability.

 

Folks like Bob Dylan or Willy Nelson are great writers, but their capabilities as singers are nil. Still we like them because they sing honest and pure.

On the other hand, the great majority of female "pop" singers all sound like a kid shredding a cereal box. This is understandble since it is CHILDREN that buy their recordings, and children stay children for a much longer time these days.

Now a modern female singer like Allison Krause (hope I spelled that correctly), just floors me... Her voice is SOOOOOooooo Goood!

People knock Barbra Streisand as being too commercial or just "too Barbra", but she has a wonderful voice and has proven it so many times...

A FEW truly fine vocalists have appeared in the last few decades... Even if their range has been limited, they sound wonderful given the material they've recorded. Think back to Oivia Newton-John in the '70's; she had very limited range, but the delicious quality and TONE of her voice was truly dreamy. Going back a few decades further, Ella Fitzgerald had such wonderful style and TONE that she may be considered the greatest non-opera singer of all time... Wow! Incredible. The Manhattan Transfer group, in both of two incarnations, blended their voices so well that hearing them can be a truly moving experience.

 

As to "Pop" well...Paul McCartney...This guy has done so much, and he's been an excellent singer and a horrible singer, depending on when you hear him and the particular song, but you always get the best he can give on any day. If I could sound half as good as McCartney I'd not be content, but I'd be a lot happier with my voice than I am today...

 

People can improve their singing, and they can "copy" the tone and style of others that they respect or happen to admire, and that's a good place to start if you want to sound like someone else or simply sing BETTER. I'd like to sound like me, but a heckovalot better, and with some quality tone... !

For the most part, our limitations are physical, genetic; we produce the sound that our "equipment" will allow, but with practice we can learn to make the most of what we have. So, if you want to sing, DO IT! Find a quiet room so you don't disturb the neighbors and their dogs, but SING!

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"I am certain that anyone here who has learned to play the guitar ....has the ability to learn to sing." Not like a bird, not like Caruso, but to carry tune, yes, I do think so. It comes faster however, if you fingerpick and can find the melody line on the high strings.

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Folks like ... Willy Nelson are great writers' date=' but their capabilities as singers are nil. [/quote']

 

Willie (unlike Bud Dolen) hews to the melody line and is expressive in an understated way (vs the brassy T-Jones and etc). Blue Eyes, to name one tune, nails the essence of loss & regret. There's actually similarity to ol' Frankie there, in the way he plays with meter, though again, its a case of reeds vs brass.

 

Moving to generalities, big and brassy can be impressive, as are rosewood dreadnoughts and Les Pauls. Not handled correctly, they are just.... loud.

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"I am certain that anyone here who has learned to play the guitar ....has the ability to learn to sing." Not like a bird' date=' not like Caruso, but to carry tune, yes, I do think so. It comes faster however, if you fingerpick and can find the melody line on the high strings.

[/quote']

 

 

pretty sure you are correct yet you are giving a fair width in "has the ability to learn to sing"

 

I belive I used to sing quite well in "the beat groups" in the 60s but years of smoking didn't help!

 

I think one probably has to sing to someone as opposed to droning on in the attic.

 

Funnily enough of all the good guitarists I currently know only AJ sings. My son,who is technically superb (IMHO),tends to hide behind his stack and Therm? In all the years I have known him, I have never heard him sing a note but G.I.H. can he play.

 

You do make a precise point about fingerstyle and melody lines. In later years I have spent more time with less plectra and I do find that it is easier to match the plucked note with the orrible sound that comes from my mouth.

 

Mind you my favourite singers would probably be Janis Joplin, Lennon, Freddie and Domingo so in terms of ever hoping to sing as they did.......... I have had it!

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pretty sure you are correct yet you are giving a fair width in "has the ability to learn to sing"

 

. Oh' date=' plenty of latitude. I'm talking about carrying a tune. Expression is extra. Getting some wind moving helps, so you're are coming from the gut not the throat. And you've got to feel it, which is why I harp on finding songs you can connnect with: pathos (which, for me, means Delia, Shake Sugeree or Talco Girl), humor (Chump Man Blues, Hesitation Blues), or sardonic (Dying Crapshooters Blues, Statesboro Blues--at least David Bromberg's version with the extra verses). Cheers. J

 

ps re' my favourite singers would probably be Janis Joplin, Lennon, Freddie [skip'] so in terms of ever hoping to sing as they did.......... I have had it!" Hmm, no Caruso's here [except Domingo]." All about attitude. Keep at it.

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I can't believe no one has mentioned k.d. lang. I would love to be able to sing like her.

If I was a guy, I think the most beautiful live voice I've ever heard was Ian Tyson one night many years ago in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

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I can't believe no one has mentioned k.d. lang. I would love to be able to sing like her.

If I was a guy' date=' I think the most beautiful live voice I've ever heard was Ian Tyson one night many years ago in Medicine Hat, Alberta. [/quote']

 

 

gretchen

 

You are so right Kd lang and for that matter her mate the big O have/d a starnge mournful tone sing with passion.

 

You are also spot on re Ian Tyson one og the great folk/country voices.

 

The list goes on and on but apart from the lead singer of the Archies I can't ape any of them LOL

 

So many singers, so many songs and in my parlence "so many notes"

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I can't believe no one has mentioned k.d. lang. I would love to be able to sing like her.

If I was a guy' date=' I think the most beautiful live voice I've ever heard was Ian Tyson one night many years ago in Medicine Hat, Alberta. [/quote']

 

 

gretchen

 

You are so right Kd lang and for that matter her mate the big O have/d a starnge mournful tone sing with passion.

 

You are also spot on re Ian Tyson one og the great folk/country voices.

 

The list goes on and on but apart from the lead singer of the Archies I can't ape any of them LOL

 

So many singers, so many songs and in my parlence "so many notes"

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Have noted off and on in this thread a liking for singers with big voices (Clark, Jones, Laing to name 3). Impressive to be sure. Its kind of like rosewood. Or humbuckers. After the "wow" factor wears off, its kind of a relief to hear someone more understated. Willie Nelson in Country or Mance Lpscomb in blues (mahogany?). Or Ray Price/LeRoy Carr (maple?). Us challenged singers might do well to not get in comparisons or "if-only" with the former and give more of a listen to the latter?

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Have noted off and on in this thread a liking for singers with big voices (Clark' date=' Jones, Laing to name 3). Impressive to be sure. Its kind of like rosewood. Or humbuckers. After the "wow" factor wears off, its kind of a relief to hear someone more understated. Willie Nelson in Country or Mance Lpscomb in blues (mahogany?). Or Ray Price/LeRoy Carr (maple?). Us challenged singers might do well to not get in comparisons or "if-only" with the former and give more of a listen to the latter? [/quote']

 

+1

 

JK, I love the analogies to tonewoods.

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.....I love the analogies to tonewoods.

 

Hmmm. What tonewood could we use to describe a voice like that of Tom Waits? Marine-grade plywood? [cool]

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