On Monday afternoon I will be recording a group (6-7) of non-singers singing a parody song for an event. The song being parodied is a novelty song and the only instrumental/karaoke versions of the song I've been able to find are rather sparse keyboard or guitar only tracks...which means that the non-singers will need to carry the tune. This isn't a singing competition so while the key priority is everyone has fun, what are the "simple" things I can do to make it sound like we can sing even just a bit. [more inside]
I sing. I also have started lifting moderately heavy weights fairly recently. Will the latter mess up the former? Details inside. [more inside]
I'm going to be singing in front of an audience soon. I'm confident in my voice but am a lousy performer -- awkward, stuff and timid. What can I do to improve my physical presence on stage before Thursday night? [more inside]
As someone who spent a significant portion of her childhood in choral training, I know that some aspects of voice work, like practicing breath control and singing in key, are helpful to have in your arsenal regardless of what kind of music you make-- but I also have heard far too often a certain generic well-practiced classical or jazz or country vocal style (think "American Idol" contestants). How can I develop a stronger, more versatile voice that's nonetheless my own? [more inside]
We use Gillian Welch's "I Dream a Highway" for a car sleepy song for our kids. I can sing along alright, but when I try to sing it by myself (without the song playing) I can't seem to get the tune right... [more inside]
I'm one of the tour managers for a university orchestra tour. We've got a symphony orchestra of 70 students mostly aged 19-21, and we're packing them into a coach and driving them to the Netherlands, which will take a fairly long time. How can I force them to have fun, ideally while they're on the coach? [more inside]
I'm an amateur singer trying to look for songs that best showcase my voice. I'm not particularly trained in music (I was at a point in my youth but have since forgotten), so I have trouble identifying what it is about a song that makes it well-suited for my voice. Maybe the hivemind can help me figure it out/suggest some other songs that might work? [more inside]
I'm going to be auditioning for a chorus in August, and I'd really like to brush up on my sight-singing, since that's part of the audition. I had rather not take a class, so I'm looking for other resources. Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
I'm going to callbacks for a production of Carousel tomorrow. Yay! I'm in the running for the role of Nettie, as well as the ensemble. I'm primarily a singer and will be asked to read sides and perform some quickly taught choreography. What can I do between now and tomorrow to improve my acting and my dancing? Tips, tricks, and anecdotes welcome, assume I'm starting from zero in both skill sets. Thanks!
I'm trying to sing jazz songs, but am failing big time. Anytime a note comes that is past a certain threshhold it comes out like opera. I'm female if that matters. [more inside]
I sing every so often at what I like to term "showtunes karaoke" -- we bring sheet music and a live accompanist plays. I am a classically trained singer with zero acting aptitude who is always in need of new songs. Any suggestions? [more inside]
I'm singing in the chorus of Handel's Messiah tomorrow at Carnegie Hall, and as luck would have it, I seem to have caught a whale of a cold, which by now has more or less calmed down to just a pretty bad cough. I'd rather not collapse in the middle of the Hallelujah Chorus (or any other choruses, come to think of it). Any advice for dealing with a pretty bad cough in the short term when you can't just take to your bed? [more inside]
The harmony singing of Pacific Islanders is very distinctive. It has a brightness to it, almost an artificial loudness. Why? [more inside]
How worried should I be that I'm losing my voice? My voice started sounding crackly and husky on Monday and has got worse and worse over the week. I am a personal trainer and singer, so I rely on my voice. I have no pain and no symptoms of being unwell. Is there anything it could be besides vocal nodules? Should I visit my GP? What should I do? [more inside]
I'm looking to temporarily join a community chorus in Manhattan for a few months this winter. I've found van.org but as far as I can make out it lists mostly pretty serious choirs and chorales. [more inside]
I seek Saturday night karaoke in Manhattan, with the following parameters: [more inside]
I know the lullabies my mother sang to me, but I'd like to learn some more lullabies or lullaby-like songs (we can go broad, but I think "soft, sweet and slow" are our watchwords) that I can sing to our child. [more inside]
I've been digging for about a week and I can't find audio examples of a japanese-speaker singing Disney songs phonetically in English. I know it's a thing, because I think I remember being shown this sort of thing vis-a-vis The Circle of Life a few years back by someone who was bilingual, and I got the impression from the number of videos then that this was a common practice among Japanese (and maybe other Asian countries?) kids to do. Can someone find me a link? Or give me better search terms? [more inside]
We are going to have a big campfire singalong next weekend with a group of very awesome musicians. We want to have a few songbooks available so everyone can play and sing along. Our vibe is 70s/80s/90s pop tunes. Surely someone has made a songbook of these songs and posted them on the internet. Can you please help us find it? Our google searches have turned up nothing pre-made. We know about Rise Up Singing, not really our jam (plus not freely downloadable, which we would prefer.) Thank you for your help! [more inside]
The King's Singers did a beautiful version of Paul Simon's "Spirit Voices" back in 1997. You can listen to the mp3 here - it's track 2 on the album also titled "Spirit Voices." I want to sing this song with some friends, just for fun, but can't find sheet music/a choral arrangement anywhere. Are there secret choir-only websites I don't know about that might have the music? If it was just one tune I'd be fine just singing along with the track, but there are multiple harmonies.
I'd like to write arrangements of folk songs for (one) guitar and (one) voice, but I don't know where to start. More details below the fold. [more inside]
Baby WanKenobi loves the song Little Boxes. I think she likes it because it's bouncy. I love singing it because it's subversive and snarky. What other songs might we enjoy? [more inside]
Your stage experience has mostly been variations on the Vagina Monologues, political spoken word, or absurdly sexual burlesque. You secretly want to be Joan Jett. You're auditioning for something that asks for a monologue or song that is PG-13 at the most - what do you pick? [more inside]
My singing partner and I like adventurous music with tricky harmonies. She sings soprano and plays mandolin, I sing alto and play guitar/banjo. We can harmonize by ear, create harmonies as needed, play with arrangements. We like traditional musics, though not exclusively. What music can you suggest for us to try? (Some examples below the fold.) [more inside]
I'm desperately shy about my singing. I really want to be able to sing in front of other people. When I'm alone, I have a versatile, powerful, emotive voice. In front of humans, or even when I hit the record button, my voice breaks up, drops to a whisper and becomes atonal. I hate this. Even singing happy birthday with other people makes me crazy. I love to sing, and I'm envious of people who can do it so comfortable in front of others. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Our group is a charitable/educational one. We do not charge admission to our meetings, but do pass a hat to collect donations to cover expenses. We'd like to sing a popular song or 2 as a group, with several members providing musical accompaniment. We certainly don't want to violate copyright. Are we expected to get permission or pay the copyright holders? Please provide cites/links; thanks!
I'm looking for examples of pop songs based on male/female vocal harmony, where the man is singing at a higher pitch than the woman. It sounds so fascinating to me. Every once in a while I'll hear an example on the radio, but I'm completely at a loss to recall them. Can you think of any? Bonus for songs where the man isn't employing falsetto to achieve this.
I'm looking for songs with similar harmonies to First Aid Kit. Any genre considered, and songs with more than a two part harmony are welcome. Practising harmonies with some friends and need some practice material :) [more inside]
I have been singing more - again! - recently. I've always loved to sing, but I haven't done it any organized way since high school. I warm up, I've read about proper vocal technique, but I am clearly doing something wrong because my throat is starting to feel tight. Help! [more inside]
I realized recently that a good 90% (at least) of the music I like features male singers. Which then led me to realize that I have fairly specific requirements/tastes when it comes to female singers. Help me find more women who rock! [more inside]
I'm looking for suggestions for songs and/or free songbook pdfs for a sing-a-long. [more inside]
Please advise me on the best microphone to buy in order to record vocals at home. [more inside]
I've taken up singing as a hobby and have started a class. I'm confused as to some of the technical aspects we're learning. On the one hand the instructor has mentioned that Singing is merely sustained Speech... but then she has also said that singing is different from regular speech because when we sing we must aim to keep the rib cage up and expanded whereas when we speak the rib cage and intercostal muscles collapses with the breath. So this has left me wondering- Is the collapsing simply a bad habit that many of us do that we should correct during our speech? Or do we really need to breath differently when we sing rather than the rest of the time? I'm not talking about how we would need to take a bigger breath to sustain a note or something like that.. I'm talking about the technical aspects of breathing ie - The use of the intercostal muscles etc... Should the technical aspect of breathing for speech and singing really be that different from one another?
Our two year old loves songs and poems and has learned a bunch of them - but she recites them all as spoken poems, even when other people are singing them with her. My other kids are adopted and sang, and my husband points out that I cannot remember lyrics except as poems, so it appears to be an inherited trait. I can remember teaching myself to sing Baa Baa Black Sheep as a kid with great effort. Melodies and tunes don't connect to lyrics at all in my memory - hum a few bars and I will stare at you blankly. Both of us enjoy music - it's specifically lyrics that just don't compute. What is this particular quirk called? We're not worried at all, but my husband would like to know more about it because he'd like to have her enjoy singing too.
I'm wondering if there's a word or standard definition for the kind of male song vocals expressed in songs like Bob Seger's "Like A Rock" and NewSong's "The Christmas Shoes". [more inside]
Magical video of festive people speaking lines in rhyme about life and fun? [more inside]
What sorts of nice online communities exist for amateur/bad singing sharing? [more inside]
Does anyone have recommendations for a voice teacher in the DC area, preferably Northern Virginia? I'm a 58-year old male lead singer in a band. The band does mostly rock and country, with bluegrass and Great American Songbook stuff thrown in for good measure. I'm interested in extending my baritone range (I don't have a head voice or falsetto at all) and increasing power and volume. A couple of years ago I bought Roger Love's Set Your Voice Free, and I practice the vocal exercises daily, but that's the extent of my formal practice.
I sang once with a group in college because I was walking down the hall and piped up when I heard a bad note, so they brought me on. Back then, the lead told me I should never stop singing and that I had a gift, but I did - because I was embarrassed by the attention. [more inside]
I'm a violinist who wants to learn to sing folk/rock/blues. The problem isn't the notes, but technique: my range is limited and I just don't sound that good. Can I/should I take lessons from a classically trained tenor even though I don't want to sing opera/bel canto?
Why did my singing voice get worse when I quit smoking? How can I fix it? [more inside]
Is it possible to sing more than one note at a time? [more inside]
Do you know any albums or artists that heavily feature very young voices done in a serious matter? Something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dok4wJ4pqo0 [more inside]
I am a trained multi-instrumentalist, and I know music theory, have good ears for intonation and rhythm, etc. I've been writing songs and singing backup in my band, and would like to improve my singing. I have a mezzo soprano kind of range. I really like the voices of zooey deschanel, abigail washburn, and hannah hart-- that sort of low, a little bit breathy, rich, folksy voice. When I sing and record myself to listen back, I can get the breathy part down, but then the tone is not great (as in, the voice sounds thin, lacks body and complexity... like a really cheap violin as opposed to a good one). When I sing with a more "solid" kind of voice, then I sound super nasal-y. How do I get a fuller-bodied voice that's still has that kind of breathy quality? [more inside]
I sing with a small group of vocalists and instrumentalists on a monthly basis. Often it's in a bar/restaurant or other situations where the audience is very close to me (sometimes sitting right in front of me.) Sometimes I sing solos, and I can't figure out where to direct my gaze when I do because of the closeness. Should I make eye contact with the audience, even when they're right in front of me? Should I move my head back and forth and survey the entire crowd? What should I be doing as a performer? Thanks very much for any help you can give me.
I saw a 10-second clip from an old movie or television program, where a man is singing in front of a dirty window with multiple panes. As he sings, he wipes each windowpane with his rag, and behind each dusty windowpane is a woman singing. What was I watching?
I've had a long term singing problem that has been difficult to solve. I have been to a medical voice clinic and had some of the fancy tests and vocal cord images, and I will be going back, but I have a new idea to float to the MD and I wonder if anyone has encountered this issue. [more inside]
I'm trying to source this haunting voice. Is this arabic? A sung prayer? Stumbled on this by accident, no idea what it is. Thanks for any tips...
How to get over embarrassing performance? [more inside]
Lessons are expensive and I never want to sing for an audience, I only want to improve my voice for singing in the car and shower. Is it possible to teach yourself to be a better singer? [more inside]