Sunday, January 13, 2008

Falling Down Vocal Track

I haven't listened to myself sing in a long time.  That's a big mistake: listening to yourself for the first time in a long time.  I think you're always going to be shocked by what you hear because the sound in your head is different than the sound everyone else hears.  When you first do a playback of your vocal track, you'll probably feel like I did (if you have any honest musical listening skills)... "Whoa that sucks!"  "Is that ME?"  "Why did I think I could even bother to record myself?"

I experienced all these emotions this weekend as I attempted to lay down some vocal tracks for my song, Falling Down.  I went through the full range of emotions ranging from:

  • "I need to re-record the vocals" to
  • "perhaps I should ask someone else to sing instead," to
  • "I should rewrite this whole song in another key perhaps and then I can sing it better," to
  • "I should just give up songwriting and especially singing!"

Let's just say that for this song to have survived this weekend is a miracle.  I've had this song in my brain for over a decade and it's so close to being completed... and it almost dies, because I don't like my vocal track.  I think the problem here is that I like all the peoples' voices on all the other songs I listen to (and some of these people really can't sing well at all!)... but I don't like my own voice.  Honestly, is Mick Jagger all that great as a singer?  I think if you pick some of the biggest "stars" in rock history, very few, if any, could have survived through a season of American Idol.

So the real issue isn't if my voice is any good.  My voice is fine - I can sing better than many rock stars, but that's not what made them rock stars... Nope.  What made them stars and what continues to separate the mediocre from the great is in their presentation of the song.  U2's Bono is no vocal Pavarotti, but what he lacks in  vocal training he makes up for in emotional content. This is where the rock stars really deliver the goods.  Kurt Cobain and Nirvana never really displayed musical virtuosity in either singing or playing, but they redefined a musical genre (and I'm very thankful for the influence of the grunge rock of the 90's).  Billy Corgan (of The Smashing Pumpkins) is sometimes flat out annoying to me vocally, but I really enjoy his music!

Now I'm re-inspired to go back and record some vocals.  This time I'm going to focus on the emotional delivery of the lines and not the technical aspects of good vocal delivery.  This isn't choir or a choral / vocal contest!  This is my song, my music created by me, mostly FOR me (and anyone else who enjoys it).  I got this song in me and I gotta get it out.  I think only I could possibly do it right... if I can't nobody else will.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't like the tamber of my voice. I like the control of it I have, and I like the style I can sing with, but I tend to think it's a little high and thin for me. Of course, I spent a lot of time singing Police tunes as a young person, so that couldn't have helped. :-)

My Music - The Phos

#Google Analytics