I will begin with an apology
to all solo entertainer who can sing – and of course I don’t want to generalize here… But this is my story:
Yesterday was Fathers’ Day. Although I have been a father for some 23 years (and became one a second time 7 months ago), and will be 50 this year, I am lucky enough to still have a father myself.
And so it happened that my father suggested we have lunch in a festival marquee.
Not only do I really hate that kind of event, but it was also too hot – but what wouldn’t you do for your loving dad?
The lesson in the marquee
Anyway, there was an old-school solo entertainer playing there. The guy was around the same age as my father, had hundreds of songs in his repertoire, and had been playing every weekend for at least 50 years, sometimes several times.
But was still singing like a complete beginner!
No, I am, of course, NOT going to say who it is. That would be insulting and unfair, both to the person himself, and also to all the people who love him and have spent hundreds of thousands of Euros over the course of many decades to hear him perform.
But I am offering him as further evidence of some of my most important key messages described within the following articles:
- That after years – or even decades – of practising, you’ll never learn to sing if you practice incorrectly.
- That after years – or even decades – of practising, you will still sing like a complete beginner if you don’t pay enough attention to your intonation. This man was not unmusical. But he constantly sang flat, because he wasn’t listening to himself closely enough and had not developed any awareness for the accuracy of his intonation.
- That you don’t have to be good to succeed. OK, he’s not a pop star like those you know from the TV, but he made a good living from his music throughout the whole of his life, which can’t be said of most other musicians.
- He did not live from subsidies paid by the taxpayer, like I did, for example, as an opera singer, but earned his bread exclusively on the basis that certain people wanted to hear him over and over again.
Why that is will remain an eternal mystery to me, but I entirely respect and accept the honesty of this business model! Supply and demand!
Back let’s get back to learning singing
So if – unlike him – you want to improve your singing over time, there are a few things you need to understand:
- You can practise as much as you want, but you will never make significant progress if you don’t understand the essence of singing and therefore practise in the wrong way.
- You can practise as much as you want, but you will never make significant progress if you have too little talent. (But beware of over-hasty judgements!!!)
- When singing, always remember: Head beats larynx! Know what constitutes good singing. Feel what constitutes good singing. Don’t just bleat something out stupidly like the crowd in a football stadium, but make music with the voice.
So decide whether you want to be a singer or a solo entertainer!