It's no secret that I love voices. An interesting voice can turn me into melted wax seeping into the floorboards. I get shivers. I can't keep my eyes open. My whole body seizes up and if I'm standing next to you at a concert, I will grab your arm and cling to you because I'm literally trying to keep myself upright. I want to die. I want to let go of my own life and live inside the reverberating caverns of that voice. It's that intense.
The first time I heard the first voice that grabbed me and never let me go I was a freshmen in high school and I was lazily waking up to my radio alarm clock on a Sunday morning. You know one of those alarms that starts quiet and gets louder to gently wake you. (Which is impossible these days as I now require 5 alarms set to the most piercing agonizing honk beeping terror known to man: the iphone classic 'Alarm' sound.) The sunlight was coming into my room like rays of energy straight from God's hands. The song was A Moment Like This. The singer was Kelly Clarkson. I was seriously never the same. I was certain that I had died and angels were taking me to heaven. Probably because I'm borderline delirious when I first wake up no matter what's happening, but the feeling stuck with me. Few can deny the strength and beauty of her voice. But many may wonder why more classic voices like Aretha Franklin or Karen Carpenter didn't move me in the same way. I don't know. I love those singers too. But everyone has their own frequency that we vibrate to. My crack is KClarks. I can't get enough.
How I normally feel
How I felt after waking up to hearing KClarks for the first time
People seriously need to stop with the weight judging p.s.
I didn't learn to sing by taking lessons. I didn't think that I could sing until I was 22. I was a band geek, and band geeks are proud that they take band, not choir. At least they were in my school. I was a piano kid and I understood music and was really good at reading *playing* it. I had never had to sing. Sure, I spent hours drawing pictures of Harry Potter characters in my basement singing along to N'Sync, and naturally I spent hours singing along to the Best of Queen while playing The Sims and finding creative ways to murder them, and of course I sang along to Celine Dion's These Are The Special Times as I decorated the Christmas tree alone. By myself. One of my favorite memories is vacuuming the stairs while hearing ABBA's Mamma Mia for the first time and then singing along to it over. And over. And over. But I didn't think I could actually sing. In front of anyone.
Ways to kill a Sim #4: build a pool, lead them down the ladder, take away the ladder.
My dad bought me a guitar on a lark for my 16th birthday. I asked him why and he said 'why not?' so I learned how to play it. My BF at the time could play so he helped me learn. My first song was 'December' by Collective Soul. I'm a big fan. He convinced me to sing a song with him at the high school talent show because BARF and because he heard me sing in the car and said I had a good voice. You can't resist a compliment like that from someone you're in love with. Plus I'm a risk taker and I didn't care what people thought of me. Those things also help. I'm gonna write a follow up post about that.
The point of this post is to convince anyone reading that has any desire to sing in front of people that you should do it because it's liberating and awesome. My personal opinion is that the best way to learn how to sing is to emulate your favorite singers. If you want to be able to *read* music, you will of course need lessons. But many people who just want to be able to feel amazing at karaoke simply lack two things: practice and confidence. Sing along to your favorite singers, your favorite songs, try to do it *exactly* how they do. Learning is like osmosis. If you do something every day and are paying attention to trying to copy that thing, you can do it. I seriously mean singing along to the same song or group of songs Every. Day. Somewhere where you can be uninhibited and loud. I prefer the car. At night. You will have little revelations in your self-teaching, and just by doing it, your level of control over your voice will grow. The key is in the paying attention. I guarantee there is a deep well of things to pay attention to and new things that will creep up about the way your favorite singers enunciate, how they use their breath, etc. Singing is like speaking. If you can do a british accent, you have the capability to mimic how someone else sings, but you gotta do the work. 'Well Meg won't that just make me sound like that other person?' No because we're all special snowflakes and also because once you do it with one singer and think you've got it down, do it with another singer. Your own personal style will emerge on its own based on your influences and who you've studied. Not to mention your own timbre is a physiological thing that belongs to you and you alone which is the special snowflake part.
For those of you interested in singer appreciation, I can't recommend Broadway enthusiast and host of the Sirius XM Broadway channel Seth Rudetsky enough. He can break down a voice like no other, plus he's very entertaining to watch.