Sunday, February 19, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 924: Singing in the rain or the bar or wherever


SH and I are taking a singing class together so we can have a hobby in common that's not eating. Eating is about the only thing we have in common. And [wxyz]. But you can't eat all day long and you can't [wxyz] all day long, so there is time left over.

We started playing tennis a few summers ago, but tennis is not an option during the winter here unless you are willing to pay a lot of money to join a tennis club, which we are not. We'd rather pay our mortgage.

I wanted to make swing dancing or salsa dancing our winter joint hobby, but SH was all "Whooooo!" when we went to the swing class run by the two women who kept referring to the "leader" and the "follower," even though every single couple in the class consisted of a man and a woman. Maybe they expected the women to lead in some cases. I just know that when I have gotten impatient with my partner and started leading, my partner was not happy.

So we are taking a singing class through the recreation department. SH went to the first class last week - I had a meeting I couldn't miss - and then we both went to the class this week.

What I learned in the class is that I have a specific range and it goes up to C4 or something like that.

What I also learned in the class is that just because it is a completely optional class that nobody is making anyone take and that it costs money to take, it doesn't mean there won't be four teenage girls, giggling and passing notes and goofing off in the corner and then refusing to sing when the teacher wants to test their range.

After the class, with my range in hand, SH, The Nighttime Wife, Q'ryz T'na, and I retired to a nearby karaoke place. "Just a song or two," SH said.

I decided that because I had had one, yes one, singing class where I learned how to do some breathing exercises and how to stand properly to sing and where we had sung the C major scale a few times that I was now qualified to sing in public.

No, there was no alcohol involved, although that is a safe assumption as that is usually the case with amateur karaoke singers.

Ringers like Rubi don't need booze. She has sung professionally or almost professionally, so for her to take a karaoke mike is like me baking a cake for someone who thinks Oreos are good cookies because that's all he had as a kid. I've baked my entire life (although actually, I make crummy cakes, or at least not pretty ones, because I never really believe you are supposed to let the cake cool completely before frosting it - but YOU ARE), so it's easy for me. I've had baking training from The Big Factotum and from the Grand Factotum. Baking is in my blood.

Maybe I should use bread or apple strudel as an example of my baking abilities instead of cake. Let them eat strudel.

Anyhow, baking is easy for me but it looks impressive and super hard to an Oreo-eating non baker.

Just as singing is easy for someone with 1. talent and 2. training.

Apparently, one class does not count as "training" and the talent - well, that's debatable.

But I decided to sing. I was not horrible for my first song - "Let Me Be There," first sung by Olivia Newton John, who is a goddess with a golden throat. SH and The Nighttime Wife cheered and Buttons the guy running the karaoke show cheered.

They shouldn't have done that.

They just encouraged me.

So I sang another song.

"Blue Bayou" is not as easy as "Let Me Be There." I had to keep changing octaves because guess what? Linda Ronstadt and I don't sing in the same range.

But that wasn't what sealed my "You suck!" fate.

I had to go and try something I just liked as opposed to something I wouldn't screw up too badly. "Sing another Olivia Newton John song," SH suggested. SH knows. He has been karaoking for years. He knew what mistakes to avoid.

But I wanted to push myself as an artist.

So I picked a Gordon Lightfoot song.

Note that Gordon Lightfoot was a man.

I am a woman.

The song as structured for karaoke is for a person who sings in the same range as Gordon Lightfoot.

That person, I discovered, is not me.

Oh you guys. It was bad. If I started in one octave, I had to switch in the middle of the phrase to be able to reach the next note. And then switch back.

A song does not sound good when sung that way.

It also doesn't sound good when the singer squeaks. I was squeaking. Then I stopped squeaking and stopped singing.

I heard some boos from the pool table. I turned to Buttons and said, "Help me!" He picked up the mike and started singing. I dropped my mike. I didn't want to ruin the song for everyone. I should have just let Buttons finish it, or turn it off, but I thought, contrary to all evidence, "Oh I can finish!"

But I couldn't. SH was laughing and shaking his head. "You nailed the first one," he said, "but this one. Well, it's a common karaoke mistake. You have to pick the songs you can sing, not just the ones you like."

The good thing about karaoke and alcohol is that even if the singer isn't drinking, the other people in the bar are. And alcohol numbs the senses.

Still, I think I'll stick to baking from now on.

4 comments:

webb said...

Why not just stick to Olivia? Sounds like you have her "sound". Try Ann Murray, too, I think they have a similar range... maybe. I think the lesson is: karaoke good, Gordon Lightfoot bad.

Beryl said...

I have never even been in a place that had Karaoke, but I am a big fan of alcohol. I'm glad you found a common interest. I need classes in Enjoying The Golf Channel - TV and XM Radio.

Rubiatonta said...

It's a karaoke rookie mistake -- everybody's done it at one point or another.

My rule is if I don't have the genitalia, I don't have the range. (Some exceptions -- as for Frankie Vallee -- may apply.)

Class factotum said...

Webb, that is a great idea and exactly what I shall do.

Beryl, if you like alcohol, you might like karaoke! As far as the classes, maybe that's a business opportunity for you.

Rubi, that's a good rule. I bet you could sing Andy Gibb, though.