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Guitar Rag

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derek_r
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This is the latest bit of guitar picking / singing: Merle Travis's Guitar Rag. http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12639313 There really aren't many notes to sing in this tune (or indeed in any of the tunes I carefully select to sing) but nevertheless any comments are welcome.

I'm working through a selection of books on singing at the moment but at sometime will want to dig a bit deeper with a more formalised course. I'm drawn to singer-songwriters - almost, but not quite, country singers - and have no desire to sing rock or metal. Big fan of the Beatles though :-)

Anyway there it is. I know my breathing is pretty poor at the moment. I mean, generally my breathing is poor because of years of asthma and right now this 100 day cough that is going around, but I'm hoping that when all this damp weather goes I shall start to feel a little healthier!

Kind regards

Derek

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Pretty Cool Derek.

It is hard to get someone to comment on a folk or country type song. I have worked on some Merle Travis songs. The finger picking is fun to do.

With a song like this it just doesn't seem to matter if you are true to pitch or not. It is more about the feel given off. But your pitch seemed fine and the feel was definately there. :cool:

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Pretty Cool Derek.

It is hard to get someone to comment on a folk or country type song. I have worked on some Merle Travis songs. The finger picking is fun to do.

:

That's a good point, MDEW. I think part of it, here anyway, is that not a lot of people are familiar with country music or may view it as not challenging because it's not always about raspy notes in the 5th octave. But pitch accuracy and interpretation, breath management and phrasing are just as important. Even if a country or folk song sounds "talky," it is still singing and technique to give it the illusion of being "talky." An incorrect vowel can still pull a singer off the note, even if it is only in the upper 3rd octave, for example.

And there is still the matter of having the song sound believable. Granted, that is aesthetic and not really technical, though one can use technique to make a certain sound.

Part of me learning to sing to "my audience" is to be realistic in my expectations. If I sing a country song, as I have done more than once, I should not expect a lot of comments from people who are more into the style of heavy metal bands, even if I find the demands of singing either genre equally demanding.

Singing is singing, regardless of genre. Then, again, I am a music freak and listen to just about anything, whether I comment or not.

For me, it's about the song. And my singing, as I work at it, should be more about serving the song rather for any perceived glory for any of my technical abilities.

And that has been a learning experience, for me.

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Thanks for taking the time to reply, fellas. I appreciate it. I plan on taking some lessons, maybe investing in a course sometime soon, but as mentioned above at the moment I'm trying to get my breathing right. When I focus on proper breathing technique I do notice an improvement in my singing but I'm a long way from doing it automatically - and as many of my tunes have quite a complex (for me) guitar pattern I tend to focus on that rather than the breathing. Still, one step at a time :-)

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And I am the opposite, in some ways. I've played guitar since 1974. But in 1988, I learned how to make my upper end "full voice." And realized I was more of a singer than a guitar player. Kind of a discovery by accident. Anyway, so, when I am working on a song and I, like MDEW and perhaps you, often play and sing at the same time, I will simplify the guitar arrangement so that I can coordinate the two and not take away from the singing. A number of times, a person has said "interesting arrangment." Well, of course. Because the original studio release was 4 or 5 parts plus orchestration. And I am consolidating that to one vocal line and one guitar, simultaneously. And believe it or not, that is my comfort zone.

So, Derek, and I have seen a few of your vids and you really are quite good, it depends on what the song needs. If song needs more attention to the squiggly noodle-y guitar parts, then simplify the vocal line, and vice versa.

I re-arrange stuff all the time, sometimes change a word in a lyric that has similar meaning so that I make a more cohesive vocal line. And I can get away with that. A number of hit songs were written by songwriters not associated with artist or band who recorded it. And while the lyric may have read easily enough, singing is a different thing.

Just ask Bruce of Iron Maiden. Others in the band, including control freak Steve Harris, would write convoluted prose worthy of Shakespeare and expect Bruce to sing it with full volume in the upper 4th octave while running across the stage. Because they are not singers.

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