I can’t sing. I can’t sing a little bit. I can’t sing a lot. I have a great sense of rhythm and my ability to memorize lyrics is amazing but my vocal chords think “EH, close enough“ is an acceptable standard for singing. My ears can tell exactly how badly I am off key – and it is bad – but my vocal chords? They don’t care. Plus, although I can speak fairly well in a non-annoying tone, when I sing it sounds like the kind of noises/tone you’d get if you tossed a goat into a slow wood chipper.
I’m not looking for suggestions on how to improve. I’ve taken classes, done online stuff, etc. It hasn’t helped and that’s not what this thread is for. It’s for stuff that brings you joy even if you objectively suck at it.
Because despite all my terribleness at singing, I still love to do it. I’m a shower singer. I sing in the car, but except for my nephew I don’t sing around anybody else ( because he’s my nephew and embarrassing your nephew a little is one of the perks of being an uncle, I taught him to burp, I taught him the pull my finger game, he can put up with a little terrible singing LOL )
How about you? Play the guitar terribly? Never got a score higher than about 12 in bowling or below 400 in golf? Do you like to draw despite the fact that your pictures look like a kindergartners only not nearly as well composed? Does your cooking make the food in a 1950s army prison seem like Julia Child? What do you love doing that you don’t do well?
Telling jokes. I just can’t do it. I know exactly what could be funny. I logically can understand ‘timing’. I screw it up everytime. People laugh anyway (at me?). I love the idea of making people laugh and have fun. Nope. Can’t do it.
Video games, I’m really bad. I usually play on the easiest setting, at least the first time through. Every once in a while I’ll find that too easy, so bump up to normal. I never play harder than that. I also never play against other actual people online. I tried several times, but never got good enough for it to be fun.
Running. I’m grossly un-gifted when it comes to fitness. The only reason I’m in better shape than most dudes my age is because I try. Literally 8/10 could outperform me if they decided to train up for it. My goal in races is to finish in the top 50% of men in my age group or overall. I sometimes pull off overall, but rarely my age group.
For all the many years I spent with ballet being my one true love, I was never very good at it. Eventually, I was practiced and experienced and knew what I was doing and had built the right strength and flexibility, but I never really had any talent for it. I always sort of knew it, but I still loved it.
I learned how to knit and crochet when I was about 8 years old, and took it up again about 20 years ago. I crank out potholders and blankets, most of which are given to charity - and they are garter stitch or single crochet squares. No fancy patterns or lace, no blocking needed, no patterns needed either. That’s just the way I do it.
I’m another terrible singer who likes to sing. I’ve just resigned myself to doing it where others can’t hear me. How bad? I’ll put it this way - at one point the neighbors were relieved when I switched to bagpipes.
Also terrible at a few other things, but since I don’t like bowling or golf or the rest of them it doesn’t count for purposes of this thread.
And another in the “cats’ chorus” of “terrible singers who like to sing”. Like Broomstick, I do it nowadays, only when no-one can hear. Can recognise, and like, tunes, but can’t reproduce them to save my life – the universal reaction to my attempting to sing, is that hearing it is a horrid experience. Attempts to learn to play any musical instrument, have got me nowhere: likewise, minimal talent – and, I have to confess, extreme laziness.
I recall a remark in one of W. H. Hudson’s books about his time spent in South America a very long time ago, applied to a hapless gaucho-type of his acquaintance. The author’s words were to the effect of, “It is one of life’s cruelties: that very often, the greater a person’s desire to perform musically, the less is their capability of so doing.”
I have zero musical ability, but I love music. A musician friend gave me a harmonica once and told me to keep it in my car. That’s how he learned. He would pick it up and practice at red lights, etc. A few years later he needed a ride somewhere and he saw the harmonica on my dash. I was no better than the day he’d given it to me.
I also own a beautiful ukulele. People see it and ask me to play, but I cannot even tune it. I keep it dusted and occasionally strum it, but I don’t know a single chord.
I find this thread interesting, and look forward to following it. I often think about this on the golf course, when I see people who are TERRIBLE at the activity. Not talking about folk going out for a lark. But some people stink at golf, and get pissed about it! Or others look like they are working REALLY hard at it, but still have no clue. Maybe they are accompanying a spouse or friend…
Personally, I can’t think of anything I enjoy doing regularly that I really stink at. (Don’t ask my wife for her opinion! :o)
I guess a part of it is that I think I am capable of getting better at most things I want to. I also used to think I was a terrible singer. But with a lot of effort, I’ve found a range of music and an approach that does not make peoples’ ears bleed. I even sing lead and harmony on several songs my group plays. And I just picked up the banjo a couple of weeks ago - it is impressive how much improvement I’ve made (make no mistake - I still stink, but can see a light WAY down the road!) by intentionally practicing daily.
I’m curious about the mental/personality aspect that allows someone to enjoy something they are UNABLE to improve at, as opposed to one of the countless things that they would be average or above at. Not criticizing anyone or suggesting they COULD improve, just curious about what goes on inside of you.
And kayaker - not meaning to be critical, but seriously? There are 4 strings, you buy an electronic tuner, and pluck the strings and turn the pegs. You aren’t a stupid person. I’ve taught my 3 yr old granddtr to tune her uke. There are several chords that involve placing a single finger on the fretboard. Download any of the readily available chord sheets, and you COULD quickly play (badly) any number of simple tunes. You simply don’t want to put in the effort.
Korean-style karaoke, that is. Not “stand up at a bar in front of strangers” karaoke.
Book a private room at a Korean karaoke place, with friends or family, and just go to town. Or at a dinner gathering, after the meal, head for the home media room and crank it up. I know I’m bad at it, but my wife and I love to do it.
Plus, if you are married to a Korean and don’t sing karaoke, it’s grounds for divorce.
Eh, some people really have an ear that bad. Or just aren’t motivated enough. That’s OK by me.
Despite being a lousy singer I do have some musical talent - I’ve been playing piano for nearly 50 years now. I’m not a great piano player, but my current neighbors say they don’t mind hearing it, and one of them commented that she thought I was in my “happy place” when playing. I noodle around on the guitar, have some ability as a flute player, and wasn’t too bad at the bagpipes until I had to stop playing (my asthma got worse) - at which point I became the band’s bass drummer.
With singing it’s not that I have a tin ear or lack of musical talent, it’s that the sound quality of my singing voice kind of sucks and I have trouble keeping a steady note. I could probably get away with being part of a drunken chorus in a bar but that’s about it.
I enjoy singing just as I enjoy playing piano - I like physically making music. It’s just that I’m decent at the latter and suck at the former.
Sure - all right by me as well. But you can readily find out that the strings are tuned CGEA from bottom to top. Many folk sing it as “my dog has fleas.” You clip on the electronic tuner and turn it on. You turn the peg one direction or the other until the letter you are seeking is displayed. Repeat 3 more times, and the thing is in tune.
A deaf person could do it (well, unless they completely went crazy and tuned a string to the correct value but an octave off. Not sure if you could do that w/o breaking a string (too tight) or failed to give a reading (too slack).)
There are also tuning apps. I’ve tried them. I have a lousy ear (along with hearing loss). When someone criticizes someone’s singing and I listen to the YouTube documentation it sounds fine to me. I still don’t understand “auto-tuning” because the before/after examples sound identical to me.
As far as learning chords and such, guilty as charged.
I love measuring out the ingredients, mixing them all together, popping the pans in the oven, the smell of flour, eggs, sugar and wotnot baking, and the keen anticipation of something delicious resulting from the alchemy of stuff+heat.
Frankly though, I’m a bit rubbish. I’ll usually forget something, mismeasure something, set the wrong oven temperature, leave it too long or not long enough, or some other imbecility.
I’ll usually achieve something edible, but most likely to be rejected in round one of Bake Off.