Or, better yet, very good?
If it’s you, first of all, I’m jealous.
Secondly, did you have to work at it? Or were you - as Leonard Cohen says - “born with the gift of a golden voice”?
I ask because, when I’m driving and singing along with “Sweet Baby James”, I can convince myself very easily that I’m matching James Taylor note for note.
But deep in my gut, I know the ugly truth: I ain’t no JT.
I’m also interested in whether carrying a tune is as effortless as it appears when done properly.
I don’t have an amazing voice, but I can sing decently (on key) and harmonize if the song isn’t too complicated. I think it runs in the family - my parents sing pretty well and so does my brother.
As for carrying a tune, it depends on the tune, I suppose. I can do a pretty good rendition of Sweet Baby James though.
I don’t have a solo quality voice, but put me in a trio or quartet, and I rock. I have a very blend-friendly voice. My ability to match pitches, especially relatively, is excellent. (By relative pitch, I mean you sing a note and if I’m supposed to be singing a fifth or a third or a seventh relative to that pitch, I’ll nail it. I can in no way sing a B flat if that’s what you tell me to sing.)
I was not born with the gift of a golden voice, but the more I sing, the better I get – at sight reading, at intonation, all of it.
I sang in a choir for years that regularly won contests and took prizes in competitions. I’ve done solo and ensemble competitions and taken high marks in all of them. And I’ve got the medals to prove it. So yes, I suppose so. But I don’t have a golden voice or anything–I’m just musically friendly. I’m good because I work at it, like anything else in the world.
I’m not a good singer, but I have friends who are – and they worked at it. I suspect that they all started out with better raw skills than I have, but they’ve all at the very least have whatever training you get in a school or church choir (not to mention the regular singing practice), several took voice classes in college, and one has a Master of Music degree in voice performance. She’s fantastic, but she worked very hard to get to be as good as she is.
I’m a classically trained tenor. Does that count?
I’m a decent singer. Not terrific, but decent. Good enough I tended to earn the leads in musicals and solos in high school, and earned a vocal scholarship to a university with a very well-reputed music department (they earned an Grammy nomination for their work with the Cincinnati Pops during my time there). However, I am not good enough to have been among the best there. I was, essentially, B-rank to the HOLY CRAP THOSE PEOPLE CAN SING! A-rank folk.
Because I sang second alto and was trained to harmonize all the freaking time, I can harmonize pretty easily with anything. Some songs I know so well singing harmony to, I may struggle to sing the melody simply because I’ve gotten used to accompanying it.
For me, singing came pretty effortlessly. I was singing as soon as I could speak, and my ear is pretty refined. That’s natural; I really had no training at all vocally until college. My hubby, who has dual degrees in Music Education and Music Theory, and who is a very skilled guitarist (and musician), and who teaches music full-time, frequently laments that I can more easily identify and perform from memory the correct pitch and melody of a song than he, a trained musician, can. But, he sure as heck knows a helluva lot more than I do, and I’m useless with any instrument outside my voice.
My voice is a fluke, BTW. My sisters can kind of hold a pitch (one, barely–:::shudder::: ) to a song, but my mother and grandmother make eyes water for all the wrong reasons when they sing. My Dad’s side of the family never even attempted.
Every now and then I like to freak my students out and sing an Italian aria from my one of my vocal recitals, and their jaws hit the floor as it’s just not the kind of sound they’re used to hearing out of their math and science teacher. Heh heh heh.
I used to have an excellent voice (classically trained). But it’s like being a professional athlete - you have to constantly work at it and I didn’t have enough dedication. I’ll still sing at the occasional friend’s wedding but I don’t like to - people will tell me that I have a beautiful voice but I know it’s nowhere near what it once was.
I have a trained voice and sing with one of the main choirs* here in Sydney. We’re a chamber group, so 30 or so members.
I also do quite a bit of solo work in the church choir, and at weddings, funerals etc.
- Excerpts from our most recent concerts can be heard here
My husband has always had a beautiful voice, and has never worked at it. Not an operatic range, but in his tenor range, he’s great. Lucky for me, I get to enjoy it. I wish I had a better voice; it’s just okay. Training helped with range a bit, but the raw materials just weren’t there.
I learned to sing in acting school as part of my vocal training. I’m not on par with classically trained singers, but I have a very nice singing voice.
I’m a good singer – my college choir did some touring and won awards and such. I had four years of classical training then, though I’m a bit out of practice now. I recently performed in an original musical, and after a music rehearsal my voice would get really tired.
I’m comfortable singing solo; I’m also pretty good at improvising harmonies and descants to music sung in a group.
Part of it’s natural talent, but a goodly portion of it is training. My voice teacher in high school sucked balls, unbeknownst to me, so I went into college (and a music minor) with some really awful habits. I spent a good portion of the first year un-learning those so I could learn how to sing properly. Once I did, my singing voice was completely transformed though – well worth the effort.
I sing in a band. I haven’t been kicked out.
I sing in a mini-band (pub gigs) and do a number of solo songs. I can also harmonize with no problems.
I used to sing in choirs, and chamber choirs, and did a lot of musical theatre.
I had vocal training at college, both classical (which I hated and dropped out of) and ‘natural voice’ (which had stunning results).
I’d say my voice is OK; some people say it’s amazing, others imply it’s adequate. I have a very wide range, and am lucky to be able to go from mid-tenor down to bass.
I have no control of vibrato: sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.
Although I always wanted to be able to sing, I cannot rightly say I am a good singer. Being bad doesn’t always stop me from doing it.
I’m really a pretty good singer–at least that’s what I’ve been told all my life. Maybe I could’ve been great if I’d trained in more than school choir (but it really WAS a fantastic choir and you did have to audition to be in it). I do know that I love to do it (hence my username), and wish I still had a decent karaoke venue where I could sing regularly. I enjoy SingSnap, but I seem to have trouble with getting the sound levels right, so I don’t go there as often as I used to!
You write the songs - that’s doesn’t count!! Heck, it’s the only reason Lou Reed has a job. :D:D Since I have your CD, I can attest that you have a great voice.
Yeah, I sing in a band, too - but I can’t even claim songwriting ownership for why I get to sing. You see, I have the “character voice” - you need someone to honk like Fred Schneider of the B-52’s? I’m your boy. I also do David Byrne - we do Psycho Killer and Life During Wartime. Oh, and let’s not forget the Violent Femme’s Blister in the Sun…
So - can I sing? Nah - not that you’d notice. But can I sell the song? Oh yeah!
Hey - you work with what you’ve got…
This. I was a mezzo soprano. I took lessons and sang in two choirs during my senior year of high school, and my range was pretty impressive (I was in the alto section, but I once managed to belt a C sharp above the register). I still sing along with my music at home, but I can’t reach those higher notes as effortlessly as I used to. I can still sing in the alto range fairly well, but only if I know no one’s watching.
OK, 'fess up: who else here read the responses while singing Sweet Baby James?
I sing passably well. Everyone in my family can carry a tune. My mother had a very sweet alto voice; my father was a decent tenor before he ruined his voice with cigarettes and whiskey (and of course, before he ruined it all by dying. . .)
Back when I was in high school, I was in the choir and getting regular lessons, and like others here have said, practice and ‘exercise’ definitely helps! I can’t hit those soprano notes anywhere near like I used to!
These days, I just sing along with the car radio (a couple of weeks ago, my 9YO said to me ‘Mom, do you know all the words to all the songs on the oldies station?’ I told her yeah, pretty much; I seem to have an amazing memory for lyrics), and my CDs while I’m doing the dishes and cooking dinner. Oh, and I sing in the shower. Usually something by Bette Midler or The Carpenters. Not that I flatter myself that I’m anywhere close to The Divine Miss M, or anywhere near Karen’s class! But I will say this: many times, over the years, I’ve been caught off-guard by someone walking in on me while I was singing, and had that person say “Oh! I didn’t know you could sing!”
As far as Dopers go, I don’t think Antares JB is around anymore, but I’ve heard her and she’s really good! FU Shakespeare sings well, too, but it’s secondary (or so it seems to me) to his mad guitar skillz!
I was in a “competitively” chosen choral group in highschool. We won awards and recorded albums. Nowadays, I always get surprised looks and high fives when I karaoke. I’ve been told I sound like Cher. So, I don’t know, but I think that’s bad.