Sing! Sing! Sing!

Thu, June 11, 2020 by Jessica

Like to sing but don’t feel confident?

Like to sing but can’t remember the words?

Like to sing but can’t remember the tune?

Can remember the name of a song but neither the words nor the tune?

In times of isolation, you’re missing opportunities to sing with others?

I have a single answer to all these difficulties!

It’s a well-kept secret but in the spirit of mutual aid I’m going to spill the beans to you.

But first, a note on my own difficulties here. 

A year ago I started taking singing lessons. These were a revelation, and an enjoyable one. Damion Oxborough in Skipton helped my singing improve a lot, and he made it really fun too. He accompanied me on piano or guitar, providing a great framework so I could concentrate on my voice. But in these times of isolation, I can no longer visit him. And singing over Zoom doesn’t work because of time lags. Boohoo!

The solution?

YouTube videos. 

Specifically, YouTube karaoke videos.

You can think of almost any song, and somebody, somewhere, will have done a backing track for it. And to make things easy, the lyrics will usually appear on the screen at the right time. Just start the video and sing along. 

Don’t get it right the first time? Just do it again, and again. You’re in isolation, so (almost) nobody to hear! 

Let’s take an example. I was remembering the other day a catchy song from my childhood that intrigued me then, as it didn’t seem to make sense. It was called ‘Catch a falling star.’ 

Is it on YouTube? It certainly is. I just type in ‘catch a fa….’ and before I finish, the menu offers me lots of choices for ‘Catch a falling star’.

I can listen to the original by Perry Como to make sure it’s the same song I remember. (It is!)

I can listen to a cover version to see what other people have done to the song.

I can listen to Perry Como’s version “with lyrics”, which means I can sing along with Perry Como while the words appear on the screen at the right time. So if I can’t quite remember in detail how the song goes I can practise with the singer.

Or I can click on ‘Catch a falling star karaoke’ and that gives me a backing track (no Perry Como voice!) with the words appearing on screen at the right time. This version works well.

Time to sing along!

And once you get really competent, there are sometimes videos which don’t have the lyrics – so you have to sing from memory. Good luck!

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