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Gulp - Partly Inspired By RSJ.

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Scrybe
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Okay, I really am an idiot sometimes. I say things or suggest things, and only afterwards does the full extent of what I've said really hit me. Like today, for example.

I don't sing much. And I never sing in public. Not even when drunk. But last night, I sang a few tunes into Audacity just using my laptop's built in mic, and me playing and singing at the same time. There's tons of stuff that's wrong with it, but there's also a slight....something...there. A something which, if I could work on eliminating/reducing all the bad stuff, could be listenable. It's something I hear in the records I love the most, it's a pleasing tone. You have no idea how absolutely stoked I am to hear it. Really really really stoked, even more so than I was after meeting Ron Carter, and that's saying something! :lol:

Anyway, in a haze of excitement, I foolishly said to my bass player that I'd work on a few songs over the next month or two, to try to develop some consistency with intonation (think it's mostly learning how to warm up correctly, actually learning the words of the songs instead of reading them, and working on breathing better), and then would he accompany at an open mic, and he's up for it.

My bassist is a pro musician, and doesn't have many gigs lined up over the next 12 months, but his girlfriend is expecting their first child in February, so he needs to gig as much as possible to pay the bills. If I can develop my voice to a passable level on the intonation and breathing aspects, we might recruit an extra guitarist and/or fiddle player or something, and do some gigs as a blues-folk-soul band in addition to our jazz band. I'd really enjoy it, too - as much as I love jazz, I'd be singing the songs that I really grew up with, the old blues records, Bonnie Raitt stuff, Susan Tedeschi tunes, mebbe even a few jazz standards, Aint No Sunshine kinda stuff. Thing is (and I swear this isn't a brag cos I have mad intonation consistency problems right now and couldn't hack it singing every night in front of an audience yet), I actually seem to have a really good tone in my voice that lends itself well to doing exactly the kind of music I love.

And, for another upside to it, if I can gig (even occasionally) singing, it's adds an extra point to my 'urgency criteria' when I get seen by the NHS over my jaw and neck problems, so I get seen more quickly and it gets taken a bit more seriously than if I didn't do music. Score!

But, what have I got myself into? Heh heh, I'm prone to doing this...suggest it to someone else, so that I then have to do something about working on it regularly. Might be we drop the idea if I don't improve enough, but it might also be that I perform in public singing and it doesn't go all bad. Which would be rather cool. Being at this year's RSJ, and seeing everyone working hard to do their best inspired me to stop being such a numpty about this, and instead just accept that I have some vocal niceness and a lot of work to do to be able to perform consistently. But it's potentially doable. So, thanks to everyone at RSJ for that little epiphanal moment. And, yes, I will be annoying Nick and David with a load of How To questions very shortly....hope that's okay. :wink:

Oh yeah, and my jazz band.....well, we're not really sure whether our drummer is gonna continue with us - a shame cos he's really technically gifted and the best 'available' jazz drummer we know of by far, but we're gonna play as a trio and get another drummer if necessary. We used the practice space our drummer rented for our rehearsals, so we've had nowhere to rehearse for a while, but I'm gonna speak to a bar/cafe in town and ask if we can use their spare room on afternoons to hold an 'open jam session' - if other people turn up, we'll run tunes with them, but if not we can use it to rehearse our tunes. Getting the space would be great, and cos it's jazz and not loud heavy rock, I reckon they might give it to us for afternoons for free (there's not a great deal of space for an audience in there, especially if we have people coming down to jam with us). We're gonna look for somewhere to play a weekly gig doing just the stuff we love, and also look to do a quiet restaurant gig and/or wedding gigs as a trio, including some more commercially stuff like instrumental arrangements of a few Beatles tunes like The Long And Winding Road, and Yesterday, and more ''classic' jazz standards.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe

 
Posted : 13/08/2010 2:45 pm
Apache
(@apache)
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Wow - that sounds very exciting, keep us all updated on your progress :D

 
Posted : 14/08/2010 10:12 am
rparker
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So you recorded some bits with Audacity? I bet I can head over the the Hear Here section and give them a listen, right? :D Best of luck with all of that. I've not got the nerve or voice to do it. The pub thing sounds like it's ideal for you. A stranger or two here and there as you come up to speed. Sounds like a good situation.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

 
Posted : 14/08/2010 1:23 pm
Scrybe
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So you recorded some bits with Audacity? I bet I can head over the the Hear Here section and give them a listen, right? :D Best of luck with all of that. I've not got the nerve or voice to do it. The pub thing sounds like it's ideal for you. A stranger or two here and there as you come up to speed. Sounds like a good situation.

Alas, I appear to be having some upload problems with boxnet and the like (soundcloud and soundclick), so I don't have anything there yet.

Gonna record my practices every time, so I can objectively monitor my progress (as objectively as possible). If I can get some improvements on my own, I may look into getting singing lessons for general help once my funds improve a bit. Right now, I feel like I'm guessing too much where the notes are, like I don't know in advance what note is gonna come out every time I try to sing. That's not good.

The other positive about singing is it will further encourage me to look after my health - I'm finding some of my sour notes, just before I sing them it feels like my nose blocks up and I get mucusy build up. I suffer really badly from sinusitis and stuff, so will have to keep on top of netti potting and fresh air and all that, which I should do anyway for general health.

Any tips on how to practice effectively would be appreciated tho. And thanks for reading!

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe

 
Posted : 14/08/2010 4:28 pm
Scrybe
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oops, posted in the wrong thread. having "one of those days".

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe

 
Posted : 14/08/2010 4:35 pm
rparker
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:lol: :lol:

I was just yanking your chain. It's about the only thing I'm good at. Besides, you have posted before. I remember a video with you and Vic and a couple others. I could not believe anyone could read chord charts standing up while the charts were on the floor. Age....sigh. Heck, never could do that before or after LASIK.

Best of luck on the Sinusitis. I'd advise you stay on top of it, but that doesn't garrentee succuss. You've heard my singing in Hear Here clips. I can't sing loudly. It's almost a whisper. The reverberations in my head from all the sinus/ear related crud. Hurts like the dickens. So, please know I was just yanking your chain. I know where you're coming from.

and I still hate you for your eye sight of an Eagle. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

 
Posted : 14/08/2010 5:47 pm
Scrybe
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No worries, Roy! As soon as I get my upload problems sorted out, and record something that isn't replete with mistakes, I'll post it in Hear Here. Until then, I continue to practice, and to berate the NHS re health issues. Seriously, the only thing they're good for is the fatal stuff. So much for the language of life chances. :roll:

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe

 
Posted : 14/08/2010 8:10 pm
Vic Lewis VL
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Sinusitis - I suffered from it for years, 'til a newspaper (Today - now sadly defunct) had a pull-out section describing accupressure techniques. Showed you the pressure points all over the body to massage - same as acupuncture, but for wimps and/or those who don't like needles.

I've still got that pull-out section somewhere - had it at least 15 years or so. I'll see if I can find it, scan it and e-mail it to you. I do know the pressure points for sinusitis....on the index finger of each hand, just below the side of the nail nearest to the thumb, and on the web of the hand, between the thumb and index finger, half-way between where the bones connecting the index finger to the thumb meet and the edge of the skin between. You're supposed to massage each point for a minute, then move on to the next one....index fingers first, then the web.

Also works for toothache....the same two pressure points on each hand.

As for singing - all I can say is, don't think about it, just sing. The more you sing, the more you'll get used to your voice - I still don't like my voice, after years and years of listening to it played back - and the more you get used to it, the more you'll actually know what to do with it. I remember years ago listening to an interview where the producer of the Temptations said that to get the best out of David Ruffin's voice, he had to make him sing a full tone higher than his comfort key. Ruffin could sing anything in C - said producer used to make him sing in D or E, making Ruffin put much more effort into his singing. Take a listen to "Ain't Too Proud To Beg," and you'll see what I mean.....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)

 
Posted : 14/08/2010 9:35 pm