I actually remember the exact moment I first got the two to sync. I’d been awkwardly trying to sing over power chords (White Stripes covers) for months, and one day I was sitting in my front yard with my guitar, and I just forced myself to get through a whole song. I overcame errors with volume and a will to surge forward. It probably sounded awful, but that first time opened the floodgates. That will to surge forward is at the heart of every creative process for me. Way more people are trying to create than creating. Just do it. Sometimes I give myself 15 minutes to write a song just because it will ensure that a song is written; it usually doesn’t sound amazing (though sometimes pressure creates diamonds), but if I didn’t give myself a deadline, nothing would happen. So next time you try to get them in sync, I recommend you don’t take no for an answer. Force your hands and your throat to get through the whole song and refuse to be shy or embarrassed about it.
On a more constructive note, I’ve learned over time that you often have to sacrifice the instrumentation for your vocals. That is, you can’t be doing something complicated with both simultaneously. Think of yourself as trading solos back and forth between your voice and your instrument. The problem with covers is we often cover bands. There’s no way you can sound like a four-piece band alone, so stop trying. Simplify the instrument’s part when it is time to sing, so you can focus on that. Put a song through your personal filter: alter the rhythm so it feels more natural to you, change the key, whatever it takes. I’d also recommend writing your own songs because you can build them up one piece at a time. And no one can tell you you are playing an original the “wrong way.” It’s very liberating.
Some nights, I sing about love
until I lose my voice.
Some nights, I write about love
until my fingers bleed.
This may not bring you to my door,
but that’s not my choice.
All I can do is sing and write
and hope you listen and read.
Do you like to sing? I need the recordings of many voices to make a group chorus in a song I just wrote called “A Beer With A Friend”. Don’t be shy. It’s a jaunty, pub song, so beautiful singing voices are not required (or even encouraged). For more information on how to help, click here. I greatly appreciate anyone who takes the time. I’ll be sure to credit all contributors when I post the finished product. Thank you, lovelies! — KC
Singing is the voice’s gentle way of making love;
it reaches out with trembling notes until it finds someone to touch.