I’ve learned to focus more on getting-on-with-living than the I-have-cancer bit. Over the past few years, I’ve been learning Spanish and completed a public speaking course. When the latter ended, it was time for something that’d grow my soul.
You know those, “I wish I had time to do xyz” / “I’d love to abc”? Grabbing the horns, I signed up for voice training 6 months ago. I’ve written about singing before and more recently, my range has increased. “Air is free! Breathe.”, my teacher has to remind me. It’s finally starting to stick. Every now and then, I even stop thinking totally about what I’m doing and the sound comes out far better. That’s the thing with singing. It doesn’t sound good just because you hit the right keys at the right time. You’ve got to enjoy singing it, or at least sing it with the right anger / energy / lightness / depth for it to come out right.
I’m pretty good with the technical stuff. That is, I learn quickly, and if I don’t, I’m like a dog with a bone until I get it! I’m currently learning a song by Sara Bareilles that I call my unicorn. Technically, it’s all over the place. There’s a piano. That’s it. No backing vocals to guide me either. The range is a stretch. The timing is odd, and at first, I couldn’t even make out where the bridge is! But I relate to the lyrics and it has a beautiful sound. It’s a big song. I WILL get it.
So, here’s a little proof. Through the voice training school I go to, I got to record one of the songs I’d been working on in-studio. It was very exciting until I stepped up to the mic and then I was all about controlling nerves – mostly because I sounded different in my own ears. I did 3 takes to the backing track and then left it to the pros to remaster and remix it. This is how it’s come out. I was going to clip it and upload only the decent portion but decided not to and to rather let you wince with me!
I tend to be critical of my efforts – largely in the interests of improvement (because I aim for excellence; it’s what I do) – and agree with my teacher who said she can hear me thinking through the first half of the song. There’re a couple of bum notes, the timing’s a bit off, and there’s no feeling. By the end of the song, I’d relaxed into it, stopped thinking, and simply sang so the end half is a decent indicator of my ability.
Although I sing every week into a mic facing a speaker, this is really the first time I’m hearing how I sound. I covered my face when I first heard it:-)
Now I have even better direction. Even when I did the public speaking course, it was so helpful to video myself to pick up ways I can improve.
Yay to more food for my soul as it soars on the soundwaves!