Can I Sing? The age-old question
Humans are among the few species besides whales, birds and surprisingly bees that have the social ability to harmonize sounds to communicate. Singing is an evolutionary adaptation that has enabled us to vow members of the opposite sex, inspire deep religious sentiment, and communicate messages.
So it’s safe to assume all 7 billion of us have the ability to sing coded in our DNA, which answers the question: “can I sing?” Of course you can!
The more pertinent question is “can I sing well?” or “can I sing better than most of the people I know?” Well if you have reflected deeply on the question, chances are you have come to the conclusion there is much room for improvement unless you have been compared to the likes of Pavarotti or Aretha Franklin by someone with auditory function and honesty .
If you fall into the 99.9% of the population who has never heard the above compliment, fret not there are some techniques which can bring your vocals up a notch.
Now, these techniques are the basics which you can start on immediately without any help and will go a long way making YES the answer to that question that landed you here: “can I sing?”
Firstly, you must know the tone of your voice. Is it husky, rough, mid range, trebly, bassy, nasal or powerful? This is the most important step of all. Why? Because knowing the tone of your voice will allow you to select songs and genres that will suit your voice and you will be able to save yourself the embarrassment of belting out the theme from the Bodyguard especially if you have the tone of a dial up modem.
Secondly, you must identify the range of your voice. How many octaves can you hit? An octave is the higher or lower sounds of the same note .Try it out by doing Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do from the lowest until the highest you can go. If you can do 3-4 cycles you have a narrower range.
You should stick to a repertoire of country and western, jazz standards, and sugary pop. If you can do anything above 5 you have a higher range and probably could show off with some power ballads, R&B, Latin etc.
Now you know what your voice sounds like and what songs will suit your voice tone and vocal range. The next step is to practice on one song over and over again .This will train your vocal chords to memorize the song, much like musicians rely on muscle memory.
You will also notice your diction improving, and this is very important if English is not your first language. This, my friend will be your show piece ! Can I sing? … At this stage you will be embarrassed you even asked yourself that.
So now you are ready to wow audiences with your vocal chops. Once you make the transition from just watching from the sidelines to absolutely nailing your favourite songs when you hit the karaoke joints, you will be looking for ways to improve. There are many readily available vocal trainers, techniques and classes at your disposal.