Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Sound Of Your Voice.

With very few exceptions, people who have told me over the years, "Oh, I can't sing," were lying. Only thing is, they didn't really know they were lying. For whatever reason, they either didn't like the sound of their own voices, or had no confidence in their abilities.

I sang in public for the first time when I was 6 years old. (I'm 43 now, so you can do the math.) To this day, I can't stand to listen to myself, and I've talked to other singers who feel the same way. It's not that I don't like the way my recorded voice sounds - I think it has more to do with the fact that I'd rather be singing than listening to myself, if that makes any sense. Plus, the voice you hear inside your head is a little different from what the people outside your head actually hear. But I digress.

One thing I've discovered about singing, or even public speaking, is that in order to do it reasonably well, I have to be aware of the sound of my own voice. How high or low can I go? What are my voice's limitations? What are its strengths? In order to answer these questions, I have to do more than simply hear myself - I have to actively listen. We hear our own voices all the time and as a result, we don't really take the time to listen. Now, hearing vs. listening is a whole subject on its own, and we won't go there today, but just for a minute, think about listening to your own voice without cringing or freaking out. It's probably not as bad as you think.

This isn't to say that everyone can sing. I think we all know that not everyone can sing. BUT, I also know there are a good many of you who think you can't, but you really can. You're just afraid of the sound of your own voice. Well, don't be. A voice is an instrument like any other and it takes time and skill to master, so don't expect to sound like Pavarotti on your first try. Pavarotti didn't spring full-grown from the head of Zeus his ownself. And besides that, there was only one Pavarotti, which means there's only one voice like yours.

Like a lot of other musicians, I've listened to someone and thought, man, I wish I could sing like that. I wish I could fiddle like that. But I can only sing like ME. I can only fiddle like ME. It's no use feeling intimidated by those who are better, because trust me, no matter how good you get at anything, there's always going to be someone you think is better. (Dang artists. Never satisfied with their work.) So don't worry about that. Just focus on YOU.

Listen to the sound of your voice. Own it. It's yours and no one else's. You never know what you can do with that voice till you give it a try.

Till next time ---

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for saying this and I'm gonna make Waylon read it. He has a perfectly good unpracticed tenor voice and won't sing even when it's just me. As a singer from birth myself, I think the only people who can't sing SOMETHING are those who are tone deaf and that's nothing they can help. If you can mostly stay on tune, in rhythm, you can sing. So stop saying you can't!