CHAPTER 1 - Music Studies: Songs and Lyrics.
The first thing any singer must know is the words or lyrics to the songs he or she wants to sing. Don't just guess. Buy the sheet music or a recorded version of the song and learn the correct words to the story as written by the composer. Most song lyrics are available online. You can type the name of the song, a line from the song or the composer's name in the search engine. Also, see:
Always have at least 10 good songs in your repertoire - five ballads (a short song in a slow tempo, usually with a romantic or sentimental text) and five up-tempo tunes (swing, samba, bossa nova, blues, R&B, pop, etc.). You'll probably only sing three of them to start, but learn lyrics to as many songs as you can on a weekly basis. By the end of the first year of studying, you should have a repertoire of about 25 to 30 songs you can sing well.
Remember, most songs you hear on records or CDs are being covered and interpreted by someone other than the composer or the first singer to record or perform the song. So, don't just settle for any recording of the song. Try to find the original recording of the song and, then, listen to a variety of renditions. Your goal should be to sing the song in your own style. This may take a little time and practice, but it's better than simply copying the way one singer sings the song. Don't be a copycat or carbon copy of another singer. Find your own voice. This comes with life experience. Refrain from singing songs that you don't understand or believe in your heart. For instance, refrain from singing a song like Love For Sale if you believe you will not be willing to sell your love. It's really very simple. Sing what you feel.
You don't have to go to college or to a conservatory to learn music, but it helps. A private instructor can offer one-on-one instruction. Learn piano basics. Study key signatures, scales and chord progressions. Explore what keys are best for your singing range. Are you a soprano, alto, contralto, bass, tenor or baritone?
Learn composition - how to write music and transpose songs from one key to another. Try writing your own songs from your life experience. This will help you find your own voice and will definitely be a plus, when you perform them!
It is rare that you will see key signatures with lots of sharps or flats. That's because music with few flats or sharps is easier to play and write than music with lots of sharps or flats.
So, You Want To Be A Singer?
A Manual for up-and-coming Divas, Musicians and Composers
©2008 Joan Cartwright
All rights reserved.
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