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leithinkjesusiscool

learning a song

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I like I'm so lonesome I could cry by Hank Williams and the Drifting cowboys. I found two great covers of the song by Al Green and Jerry Lee Lewis. If you want to sing the song like they did (or like Hank) what do you do? Are you forced to just listen to the song and just sing and hope for the best or are there other ways to learn a song like this one?

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They are two different interpretations. Personally, I am used to the Hank Williams version. Granted, he sings through the nose, quite a bit. But more important than that, he is trying to mimick the sound of a train whistle. Something mournful, like a train in the distance. It's more attitude than some special technique.

So, first, learn all the words, even if you recite them as just a poem. Then you start speaking them in rhythm.

Then, go back to the recorded versions to get your vocal cues.

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When I learn a song, I listen to it until I can play it back in my head. I will usually have the lyrics on screen when I try to sing it, but I don't bother trying until i have it memorized. Or me, I can memorize a song that way listening to it a few times. Some songs take longer than others, but generally 3-4 times and I've got it.

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They are two different interpretations. Personally, I am used to the Hank Williams version. Granted, he sings through the nose, quite a bit. But more important than that, he is trying to mimick the sound of a train whistle. Something mournful, like a train in the distance. It's more attitude than some special technique.

So, first, learn all the words, even if you recite them as just a poem. Then you start speaking them in rhythm.

Then, go back to the recorded versions to get your vocal cues.

through the nose?

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Well if its a study:

Usually I place it on my cell phone and listen to the original until its implanted in my brain, then I listen some more to get the details. Writing them down on a paper with the lyrics is awesome.

If its a song I didnt know before, I cant do it in one day. Weird. Even if I listen like 30 times to it on the same day, it will only be "singable" on the next day.

If its a more complicated song. Then down to some more study, with a Backing Track if possible, that piece of paper with the lyrics, noting down where is head, where its chest, where the dynamics are high, where its low, where it is mid dynamics, a vowel that needs to be highlighted, a phrase that needs a different approach, something like "singing like a pirate" for example. Keeping it short, a plan. Huge help, to allow your head to not worry about keeping track of details.

Then I build a frankenstein of takes on Reaper, then mixdown. And some more listenning on the mp3 to my own version until I know my version too. Then its ready to sing.

Easy songs that dont register much between chest and head, and do not have a difficult interpretation line, usually just knowing the original is enough. But as Keith says, its best that you can play it back on your head. And if you are doing it with a band, I advice that you learn all the parts and help with the arrangement.

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through the nose?

That means he lets too much air come out of his nose when he sings.

As far as learning a song I like to think of it as a story. Usually this helps me keep the verses in the proper order.

Also if the chorus is slightly different after each verse this also helps.

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first off, simply listen to the lyrics...every song has a meaning, or tells a story.

it's up to you to tell or convey that story.

that's your job...make those who listen to you "feel" that story.

you must be sincere and believable...if you're not, the audience will know it.

here are the lyrics.......(this is one sad song)

Hear the lonesome whiperwill

He sounds too blue to fly

The midnight train is whining low

Im so lonesome I could cry

Ive never seen a night so long

When time goes crawling by

The moon just went behind a cloud

To hide it's face and cry

Did you ever see a robin weep

When leaves begin to die

That means he's lost the will to live

Im so lonesome I could cry

The silence of a falling star

Lights up a purple sky

And as I wonder where you are

Im so lonesome I could cry

the line "i'm so lonesome i could cry" is the core message.

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