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April 30, 2021

I have spent my life singing songs. From the earliest days of kindergarten, I can remember my life in song. Back when I was five we sang a song about a mockingbird that sang the whole night through. I moved onto singing in church (yes, in Latin) and then onto singing along with 45 RPM records in my teens. All the while I was eagerly learning the art of music and singing.

At this point, I should interject that I don’t have a stellar voice. I can handle most songs in a generous two octave range comfortably but I’m not great. I did make an honest living years ago singing in nightclubs and steak houses so my voice does have some merit. I embrace the advice I always give others: Sing because you want to, because it makes you feel good, not because you have to possess a perfect voice.

I have many friends and even a wife who are afraid to sing because they believe their voices aren’t worthy of the effort. If the music stirs your soul, let it all hang out! (I love this old expression from the 1970’s.) Unless you are making a living selling your records, the quality of your voice is relative and not that critical in the scheme of things. Have a little fun and enjoy the musical ride! (Sorry Neil Young, I just had to borrow that one.) Also, if you need a little confidence, just listen to Nico’s rendition of Jackson Browne’s These Days and remember that she was a “professional.”

Advice that I often give to new or shy singers is to first just hum or vocalize the tune, paying attention to the changes. It’s like only committing half way. When you’re comfortable with the tune, apply your full voice. You’ll be surprised how well you sound.

The important aspect in all of this is that you have an emotional connection with the particular song. If you’re just not into a particular genre of music, stay away from it and explore music you like. For instance, outside of Amazing Grace, I tend to stay away from gospel because I have more emotional connection with lyrical ballads.

One last piece of advice is to choose your music on the basis of vocal range. I would not recommend to most people that they tackle the Queen of the Night aria from Mozart’s Magic Flute.  The notes are impossible to hit by all but a very few trained sopranos. Most singers do well with material that falls between a two octave range in their natural key. (I for instance sing in G natural.)

So go have some fun! Sing from the heart and your heart will be much better for it.

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  1. Clearly Allen you have never heard me *sing*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was in the middle of a long comment when it disappeared. Great post my friend and I am glad you encourage people who enjoyed singing to do so. It lifts the spirit and the heart. Singing is also a great outlet for emotion. Sounds like you had a good time and had a successful career in the business. Not something most can say. Thank you for encouraging others to sing to their hearts content whether they can carry a tune or not. If something makes you feel good and your not hurting anyone, certainly at my age, what’s to stop you. Have an amazing day my friend. ❤️Joni

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Like you I had to sing in Latin in church, The nuns always tolg me to sing softer. I made a much better altar boy.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Mia madre una donna Gioiosa e vitale era stonata come una campana Eppure la sentivamo cantare canzoni difficilissime nei momenti in cui pensava di non essere ascoltata.
    Un abbraccio 🌹

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Keep singing.

    Liked by 2 people

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