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Why Do You Sing?

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Joy-Sikorski
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Hey guys.

I've been tossing around this question "why do you sing?" for awhile and would truly welcome your ideas about it.

These are the things I'm wondering about:

1. What makes you want to sing?

2. What do you get from singing? (self-value, pleasure, conquering fear, expressing anger/love/confusion/joy, something else?) In other words, "what's in it for you?"

3. What does singing give you that nothing else can?

Looking forward to what you think.

Thanks,

Joy

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1. What makes you want to sing?

I guess it was a natural progression for me. I got tired of being the drummer who was always stuck in the back who couldn't really contribute to song writing, so I learned a few chords on guitar to increase my songwriting role in my band. Then I got pretty good at guitar. Then I picked up bass and got pretty good at it. The last thing was to learn how to sing well so I could be a one-man band, lol. Besides, my ego is too big to be confined to one role.

2. What do you get from singing?

A sense of accomplishment? The satisfaction of being able to record my own songs and have them sound at least pretty good for a home recording? Sore vocal chords?

3. What does singing give you that nothing else can?

I think I answered this one with the last question.

:D

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Hey guys.

I've been tossing around this question "why do you sing?" for awhile and would truly welcome your ideas about it.

These are the things I'm wondering about:

1. What makes you want to sing?

2. What do you get from singing? (self-value, pleasure, conquering fear, expressing anger/love/confusion/joy, something else?) In other words, "what's in it for you?"

3. What does singing give you that nothing else can?

Looking forward to what you think.

Thanks,

Joy

the truth? i'm a passionate, emotional type who was restricted as a kid from expressing myself. i sing to tell a story, to make hearts bleed...i gravitate towards tear jerker blues, r&b and rock power balads. the sound must contain root emotion or suffering, loss, heartache..... i've got to move you (and myself).

if you ask me to sing a happy- go- lucky song, it's kinda hard....lol!!!

it's funny. at 57, these people in karaoke who don't know me see me come in with a silver ponytail and glasses and my flannel shirt and i know they're thinking ......this guy is gonna be boring....lol!!!

once, some hot-looking babe came up to me and said....how does a guy that looks like you, sing like that!! you look like a carpenter...but you sound so black!

she was african american.....lol!!!

i guess i get off on the whole love of expression, and the "wolf in sheeps clothing" thing is kinda fun too.

hope i answered your questions...lol!!!

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1. What makes you want to sing?

I didn't start learning how to sing because it was a passion of mine. I've always enjoyed listening to music, but I never wanted to make it myself, or to become an artist, not even of the bedroom kind. I didn't even have the habit of singing around or humming radio hits. I just had a great need of feeling I could make myself accomplish something, being able to overcome challenges and all of that nice talk. One day, I found out my friends loved to sing and, after listening to them (not worthy of a repeat), I just thought it would be a good idea to start with that, since I had no clue about singing at all. Now, I still don't consider singing a real passion, but it certainly is something that relaxes me and that I ended up enjoying and studying a lot (I'm the technical/analytical kind, I can't just open my mouth and sing expressively). Besides, since I'm still far from getting where I want to be, so I can't stop yet or it won't count as a success, lol.

2. What do you get from singing? (self-value, pleasure, conquering fear, expressing anger/love/confusion/joy, something else?) In other words, "what's in it for you?"

Hmm... Among your options, self-value would be the closest answer, yes. I am some kind of an intellectually advanced teenager with a severe lack of ambition, so I feel a lot of undesired pressure to be this and achieve that and do justice to my abilities, whatever they are. By establishing a specific goal completely out of the sphere of what people expect from me, I end up remembering myself that I can easily have all the motivation and dedication necessary to achieve something; I just need to pick my goals myself. Singing is my randomly chosen goal to serve as evidence. Now, I just need to find another goal that I can actually use to pay my future bills while still feeling fulfilled, aha.

3. What does singing give you that nothing else can?

Well, it's an amazing excuse to make awful and loud noises. Super cool. Finding out that I have a "naturally" large range makes it even better. Poor invisible neighbors =O

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I'm lovin' these answers, including the humor! You guys are funny!

Very interesting to me that everyone has a different take on it. Reminds me of how every single one of us has a different take on technique, style, desire to be heard, to be taken seriously about our voices (and guitar playing, drums, bass, piano, harmonica ;))

Interesting note about it relaxing you, anonimuzz. Did you know that singing releases endorphins into your body?

It's good for health on top of all the other benefits it gives us.

(and getting girls--jonpalls -- and swearing into a harmonica--raphaels! :))

NCdan: are you getting sore vocal cords? Or is it your humor? I'm guessing it's your humor.

VIDEOHERE: "love of expression". That gets down to the foundation of things, doesn't it? That's what makes technique work for singing, doesn't it?

Joshual: There was a great singing teacher from the 1800s who said "Don't sing unless you'd die if you didn't." Your comments back him up!

So my next question is, where do you most feel your voice inside your body?

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It may sound corny, but for me, it's always been like flying without having to get on a plane.

I love this poetic take on it!

When things are going well I don't feel my voice much at all. I feel effort in my support muscles, specifically the ones maintaining my chest position, but it kind feels like singing is what happens when I don't hold back the air.

Sounds inspiring to me! Did you know that you've hit on a key to it all? The air will carry the tone effortlessly when we support it well.

And I love this so I thought I'd throw it in here: the root or origin for the word inspire (or to fill the lungs with air) comes from the Latin word inspirare, which means to inspire. When we breathe in we are actually inspiring so when we sing.....wow!

Check this out from the Dictionary included on Macs:

ORIGIN Middle English enspire, from Old French inspirer, from Latin inspirare ‘breathe or blow into,’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe.’ The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense [impart a truth or idea to someone.]

Pretty cool, huh?

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1) Tricky question. Just hearing music I like can trigger the urge. But also, what I derive from doing it. I just like it. I'd even say I need it. It's my drug :)

2) Peace, of the body and mind. I'm just the stereotypical shy guy that has his emotions buried so deeply... I can let them go. I feel better. I don't sing for others, at least most of the time, though I'd do the occasional cover for one of the two and a half friends that have ever heard my singing voice.

3) Well this will go along with some mylife.com, but I have to set the context to provide the answer. Unfortunately, it's nothing fancy like jonpall, since I never ever sing in public ;p

I had been going through a four years depression, more or less revolving around bipolar disorders with increasingly more lows than highs. I couldn't get out of there, even with the help of my friends. The best I could do was keep the head out of the water. I had a lot of morbid thoughts at that time. I barely spoke to anyone. It's actually been like a 2 and a half years long silence. Prior to that, I was singing all the time along to my idol of the time, and then during this long time depression I listened less and less to music. Never sang.

Then one day, while I was looking for an avatar on the internet for a RPG character I had already wrote the description for (yes, I play pen and paper RPGs, and back in those time, it helped me cope. I honestly don't think I would be there otherwise), I noticed there was a show playing on the tv. I merely thought " well, cool ". And continued searching. I glanced at it three times because " damn, it reminds me of something ", " Well is it the same group ? How come I never noticed it ?", and then there was Sam's Town. I read my description of my character, looked at the screen, read the description and again, and, wow, I had described the Killers' frontman without having seen him.

Since I liked this band, I listened to it, and, it's a bit strange, but listening to their music got me out of my depression. I was very tired of it all and tried my best, but my best was just not enough. I just needed a small boost, and there was a something that just clinged with me. A general sense of hope and ambition. And then I decided I would sing again along to their songs, and here I am, since I wasn't quite satisfied with what my voice had become : I felt I didn't do the song that saved me justice (and I still don't as much as I would like). That was a year, a month and a week ago, give or take a few days. I haven't been depressed ever since. But even nowadays I sometimes feel it lurk around me. When it happens, I just put my dear Sam's Town song loud, and sing my heart out along with the singer, and I remember this weird moment where I looked at the screen, and saw the exact portrait of my character singing, and it puts my darkest thoughts to rest.

So what does singing gives me that nothing else could give me ? I'd say life and hope.

Singingmastermind : we still have the two meanings in French, " inspirer " still means " to breathe air in " and " to inspire ". I never thought of it this way, so thanks for pointing it out :)

"Don't sing unless you'd die if you didn't." : WOW.

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What a beautiful question. And so zen. I think back on my life with a fresh perspective and realize I have been surrounded by people singing. My mother would sing along with the radio. My father started his college career as a music major at the University of South Dakota. His original compositions were similar to Aaron Copeland, and I expect probably only Steven Fraser will get that reference. My grandmother sang country and hillbilly around the house. Hillbilly is actually an american evolution of celtic folk singing. My step-grandfather loved classical music and sang in the church choir, which included both hymnals and musicals, such as "Fiddler on the Roof." Some of my fondest memories are watching him rehearse "Sunrise, sunset."

I have listened to the radio for as long as I can remember. I can remember being a toddler propped up on the couch listening to Glen Campbell's new release, "Wichita Lineman." (I was born 03-19-1964. Yes, I just had a birthday and I am 47.) As a child, I grew up watching the televised edition of "Jesus Christ, Superstar" with Ted Neely, Carl Anderson, and Yvonne DeCarlos. It blew my mind. When I was 10 years old, in 1974, a few weeks before we would move from my birthplace of California to Texas (my mother's birthplace), I picked up my grandparents' classical guitar, which they didn't do much with. It only had 3 strings left on it. I remember laying on the floor in the living room of their house in Simi Valley, California and picking out the arpeggio to "Who'll Stop the Rain?" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. I was hooked.

A few weeks later, we moved to Texas. My mother had a student guitar she had bought when she and my father thought about music together (he played piano.) She couldn't afford lessons. What she could afford was a set of strings and Mel Bay's Book of Chords. And I was off like a shot. My stepgrandfather, an electronic tech, taught me how to read sheet music. And I would sing, sometimes, while playing the guitar. It helped the phrasing of the guitar. I could sing most of baritone and I had an okay falsetto tone. But full headvoice was beyond me, at the time. My voice never cracked. It descended from boy, to sounding like a woman, to sounding like I do, now. "Dust in the Wind" totally caught my fancy when I heard in 1977. I immediately picked it out by ear and started singing it, even if it was in falsetto. Later, I bought a book on lead guitar, based on the modes or scales, such as blues, phrygian, locrian, etc. Again, self-taught.

Along about 1987, I had just married my first wife. And there was this wild song out I might have heard once or twice called "Welcome to the Jungle." But in 1988, my mind was blown away, once again, by a song called "Sweet Child of Mine." I heard it twice and picked it out in C. (Turns out it was in Db.) I knew then, I wanted to sing. Even more than guitar, which I had been playing for 14 years, at the time.

Again, I taught myself, with a book by Graham Hewitt called, oddly enough, "How to Sing."

I think the question of why do we sing is more than just why do most people "sing." Most people sing, to some extent or another, to some level of ability, or another. What makes us here strive to the heights and technical ability that, quitel frankly, most people never attain in their mumblings along with the radio?

Because it is something we must do, whether we become Ronnie James Dio or Axl Rose, or not. It's just as much a part of us as it is a part of them. I think the question is similar to asking a mountaineer why he or she climbs a mountain. Because it is there, that's why. Something in singing moves us. It makes us feel special. We have contributed. We have something uniquely our own. And you can't get more unique than the human voice. Jackson Guitars can produce a line of guitars on an assembly line and have quality control in place to make sure every guitar falls within certain parameters. Not so with the human voice. There will never be another Steven Tyler and that's the beauty of it. There will never be another Ronnie James Dio. Or Janis Joplin, or Bon Scott. And that is the way it should be.

And each person here is just as unique. More easily than a guitarist. And what sets on guitarist apart from another? It's not just the brand of guitar. It's everything. The guitar construction and action. The amp and signal chain set-up. And the guitarist's own sensibilities and intonation.

Just as with a singer.

After all the technique and modes and exercises and mental images, years or months or days of insights and lessons, singing is finally from the heart.

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Why do I sing? I guess it starts because music has really moved me all my life. And although I've put serious study to other instruments as well, I always thought that the Voice was the ultimate musical instrument - capable of so much expression. So, why not try to master what I believe is the ultimate instrument in Music which has always moved me in a big way.

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Ok, I will allow myself to be serious for a short while and tell you why I sing. It's the same reason why I play guitar and listen to music and write songs. When I hear a great song, I sometimes simply go to another place. In my mind. A place not of this earth, I'm sure. I can't put my finger to it, but it's like I'm suddenly in an old, familiar place. Like I'm ... home. The feeling I get when I experience this is so strong I feel I could explode. Many years ago, I joked that, when asked who I could have been in a previous life, I was not some person or even an animal, but a melody. Some series of notes, dancing around for eternity. Music is where I think I belong to. And every now and then I can get back to that place when alone with my thoughts. Usually when listening to extraordinarily beautiful music, but sometimes just when playing or singing while onstage or even at home. Last time it happened when I was listening to this:

. A song like this reminds me of my love to my family and kids. Me, I sing to bring some of this feeling back to someone who might be listening out there. Maybe one day I can do that.
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That was downright poetic, jonpall. Thank you for stating it so eloquently. We hit that that note, in that song, whatever it is, and we are somewhere else, we are someone else, we are something else. We cannot conceive of not doing it. It is a zen moment, as it were.

I wonder if that is what Robert Plant was driving at with his solo album title, "Now and Zen."

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Hey guys.

I've been tossing around this question "why do you sing?" for awhile and would truly welcome your ideas about it.

These are the things I'm wondering about:

1. What makes you want to sing?

2. What do you get from singing? (self-value, pleasure, conquering fear, expressing anger/love/confusion/joy, something else?) In other words, "what's in it for you?"

3. What does singing give you that nothing else can?

Looking forward to what you think.

Thanks,

Joy

Hey Joy,

1/ Because I must. I love the beauty and the sincerity of music. I want to draw my listeners in the emotion. I want them to have fun, to cry, to lift, to breathe, to feel the joy, the release, the awesomeness. Take a moment out to enjoy something just for the fun of it (the sassy, cheeky jazz song), or indulge in a moment of soulful awareness, that we are not just intelligent animals, but spiritual beings with a wide pallet of emotions, spirituality and faith.

2/ The opportunity to connect with my audience on whatever level they give me. The opportunity, the empowerment of proudly being me. Connect with my spiritual self, to God using the gift He has given me for soulful expression in front of an audience.

3/ Expression, creativity, self confidence, self respect. The chance to inspire people and reawaken their soulful, spiritual and beauty and light loving selves.

I don't usually preach my faith, I believe it is a private matter. However, my faith is deeply connected to my singing and I thank God for the gift He has given me.

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