Monday, May 5, 2014

Off topic, aka It's my blog, and I'll write what I want to!!

Not a job post!
But
A me making music post!!

I'm in guitar class right now, as always.  I've also joined the 60's Classics Ensemble at the school.  I joined this class to work on my vocal ability, and my harmonies.  I do not bring my guitar to this class, just me and a tambourine.

Both graduations were a week ago.

For guitar, we chose Just Like Heaven by The Cure.  I had known my teacher was awesome before I had signed up for class (she's a friend of mine), but when I saw that she had The Cure AND The Muppets in our song packet? I was excited.  I like my classmates - even though they had been together for months before I joined, they were very welcoming and friendly. 
So, I practiced and practiced and practiced the riff of the intro that I had been assigned. Our class is pretty big, so we had split up the intro into six parts. Two dudes and I had been assigned riff #1, which is awesome tab, but also is repeated throughout the song.  I already know ALL of the lyrics, because, c'mon, it's The Cure.

I had dinner with my teacher before class, as we do every week.  I told her I would be willing to sing, merely to sing OVER a super annoying and off-key ding dong in the class. Teach laughed and said ok.
We had about 20 minutes to practice before graduation.  No mention was made of who would be singing.
Our turn came up at graduation, and the program director asked who to mic.  Teach pointed at me and said "Von".
UM
I had zero water and was a little tipsy. I'm going to sing?!
I turned it down, but ended up with a mic in front on my anyway.  At least there were also a few other mics around, so it wasn't just me.
I NAILED the riff, every time.  I was soooo excited.
I also lost my voice right after the first verse of the song.  I didn't care. 

For whatever reason, I compartmentalize my musical attempts.  Guitar is for guitar - 60s is for singing. I dunno, I'm just weird.

Two days later was 60s graduation which was at a bar.  I tried to tuck myself into a corner, I thought it would work, since we are a huge group. Nope.
This teacher looked at me and motioned me to the front - to my own mic.
I was terrified.
It was a blast.  I had a great time.  A few of my friends and a bunch of my family came. I was nervous and self-conscious at times, but I had fun.
The next day, I asked VonSis for critique.  Not that she is a music critic, but at least she's honest.  She said that I got self-conscious at times (true) and I didn't sing out like the rest of the group.

I thought on that for a few days.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

As long as I can remember, I've loved music.  To me, it's like breathing, it's just always there and I need it to survive. I've also been singing as long as I can remember.  This was fine, probably, when I was a toddler, belting out to Fleetwood Mac and CCR, and Heart.  It was maybe even "cute"
Then, the 80s brought the invention of my life - a walkman.  That thing was surgically attached to me from the moment I got one.  Now, I was singing, but I had headphones on, and didn't realize how loud I was. I sang all day and all night.  VonSis would come in my room and tell me to shut up.  On long car rides, the whole family would tell me to knock it off.  I kept singing, they kept shushing me. A vicious circle of singing and shushing, shushing and singing.
I developed a compromise
I kept singing, but very very quietly.  Almost mumbly. Around all other humans.  All the time.
When I was 20, I got my driver's license, and a car.  I spent hours and hours driving around and singing. Alone. In my car.

Now, here I am, nearly 40 and wanting to sing.  But my vocal muscle memory tells me to shut up, to shush, to mumble.

I'll have to relearn to sing out.  To belt (a little).  To remember that I love it, and even if I suck, the joy outweighs that.

Plus, no one thinks I suck but me.  It's that whole "listening to your own recorded voice" thing.  I hate it when I hear my recorded voice - like when I hear a voicemail I've left, or a message. Yuck.  It's the same thing with my recorded singing voice - the lyrics? correct.  the key? correct. high C for 8 measures? correct.  In tempo? correct.  I just hate it.

At least this is a flaw I am working on with determination.

1 comment:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

My blog never started out to be a birdie blog, but there you go.

You can make it whatever you want!
~