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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Songster Bob When NOT to sing (188* d) RE: When NOT to sing 18 May 09


I hope I'm not in the "sings when he shouldn't" category, and in particular, that I'm not the singer Big Mick mentioned, a friend who sang over you at a Getaway. If so, I'm sorry. I did notice myself a few weekends ago, when my enthusiasm for "Old Bill Bailey Played the Ukulele," got to me and I sang along with another friend, when it wasn't called for at all. There are times, even at my age, when enthusiasm overcomes taste and sense.

Me culpa.

I'm both a singer and musician, and one of my curious desires is to be an accompanist, when one can help the song, rather than a member of the chorus, so my chance to join in depends on a specific kind of session, and when I encounter that kind (essentially, country/bluegrass song-swaps, or blues sessions, or, as it were, "accompanied singarounds"), I have to be careful to not overdo it. If I'm the third or fourth guitarist in such a session, I'll pick up the mandolin or banjo or harmonica, or sit it out.

I could see doing it the same way if I were an accomplished harmony singer, I might make the same sing/don't-sing decision if I was not likely to help the sound by adding my voice -- if they didn't need another tenor or baritone, or if the harmony I could add was 'skew' to the kind of song being sung. To me, to sing or not to sing depends on what I can add with my voice or instrument, and how well that would fit the song & singer. In DC, we tend to sing a lot, when an opportunity presents itself. If it's a house concert or singaround, even more than a formal concert, but even then we're compelled by something inside, so have to almost artificially pull back if it seems like the wrong situation.

My contribution here seems to reinforce the "use your sensibilities" faction here. Unfortunately, that faction seems a little small, or at least not as outspoken as "some people here." Speak up for good sense, folks!


Bob Clayton


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