Saturday, June 02, 2012
It Won't Be Long
My son has to learn how to sing.
He already sings pretty well, it's true. None of his musical friends can carry a tune in a bucket with two handles, and he's had to sing everything he's ever performed with others. But he doesn't know what he's doing. I have to help him.
I never learned to sing properly myself. I sang quite a bit in the last band I was in. I was awful all the time. Sometimes (rarely) people would compliment me on my singing, and the (very) odd person said it sounded better than my bandmates' singing. What they didn't understand was that I was just bellowing out a song they liked better than the others, and because the other fellows knew how to sing, and accompanied me, I sounded better than I was. I was of little to no use to the others when they sang. But I seen my duty and I done it.
My older brother taught me to play the bass. Later, I wanted to learn to play the guitar some, too. He told me to get The Compleat Beatles, and learn all the songs, and when I was done I'd be a guitar player. I never finished, and the book's out of print now. Oh, well.
Along those lines, I know from experience that if you want to know how to sing, you just need to learn all the Beatles songs and then you're a singer. It's how my friends that knew how to sing did it. They were a Beatles tribute band before I met them.
First off, you have to understand that John Lennon had a bad singing voice, and George Harrison was a lot worse than bad. Ringo didn't have a singing voice of any kind, so there's no point critiquing it. George, especially, always sounded like he was gargling while being garrotted at the dentist whenever I could pick out what he was doing. And all that was before you factor in the scouse ladled all over the top of everything as camouflage. But.
It's a BIG but. Those fellows knew how to sing. Someone must have told them to learn the Everly Brothers songbook, even though there wasn't one back then, and they did. More likely no one told them anything and they figgered it out on their own. Paul McCartney has a pure, high-register singing voice, really rare. But you put it with Lennon's odd and wonderful counterpoint and slip Harrison's weird and effective croaking down low interspersed with a hopscotch up high, and it's as sophisticated as Scarlatti.
Speaking of Italians, as I said, I had to find someone to show my son what I couldn't: How to sing like the Beatles. My Google-fu is strong, so, I found the two most charming teachers in the wwworld -- a world which encompasses both Liverpool and Bologna, of course -- Galeazzo and Danilo!
True harmony singing is electrifying. It's a form of audio alchemy. Disparate elements, perhaps not very valuable on their own, meld in something spectacular. I can't recall the last time I heard it done in front of me. Good singing is rare.
*** burp ***
(Galeazzo Frudua on YouTube)