I Can’t Sing

Well, I can sing a little bit, but I don’t have a very good voice.  I realize that few people actually like the sound of their voices, including famous people like Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon, but the difference is that I really think I have a pretty objective handle on what is a good- or bad-sounding voice, and mine is just problematic on so many levels.  Nasal, mid-rangey, low range, a little pitchy sometimes.  I have a hard time intuiting vocal harmonies and so I can rarely sing those, other than bass.  That having been said, I can say I like my voice, with all its flaws.  I don’t love it, but I like it.

The unfortunate thing about this is that my two brothers have great voices, and they don’t record music like I do.  My brother Thomas did get a vocal scholarship in college and my brother David is an awesome natural talent as well, so they’re not wasted by any means, but I do wish I could borrow their voices every now and then.  They had really good voices to start out with.  I, on the other hand, kind of got this junky voice, and what little quality you hear in my songs is the result of years of practice and training and probably numerous vocal takes.

That having been said, I think my voice sounds okay on my recordings because I shape the songs around my voice.  This means that I have to write songs in low keys on the guitar so I don’t have to sing high notes, avoid lots of vocal flourishes, and try not to sing too many harmonies.  The art of writing songs around a weak voice is truly something that takes time and practice.  The master is Kevin Moore, and I hope if for some reason he ever came across this blog he wouldn’t be offended by that.  But I don’t think he or I would say that he has a naturally awesome singing voice.  However, he created a whole new style of music based simply on the cool things he can do with his voice.  Because the themes of his music often center around technology, social isolation and estrangement, and modernity, he does very interesting electronic processing on his voice and it sounds great.  Hear for yourself if you don’t believe me.

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