Friday, May 25, 2007

Ego Bender

So I practiced with the church worship team last night for the first time in a long time. Having just come off of three weeks of stellar voice lessons and lots of practice at home, I was feeling pretty excited to try out my new skills.

We started into our songs (never any warm-up, mind you) and I concentrated hard; lots of air support, open the throat, form vowels with the lips. You'd be surprised how many things there are to remember when you learn how to sing properly.

"I'm sounding pretty good. Wonder if they'll notice....." I thought to myself.

As we progressed through several songs I had a hard time staying with my technique, just seeing the darn words on the page and getting them out of my mouth sometimes takes all I've got.

So we get to this one song. I looove this song. I really like to sing the harmony. So, I'm singing along happily. Then the leader stops us and says, "there's something off".

So we sing it again without the guitars, just vocals. It takes me a few times to notice that all three other singers are looking at me during a certain line of the song. The sound lady calls out across the room, "The "YOUS" are flat".

Much to my mortification, by a process of elimination it is concluded that it is MY VOICE which is flat on the word "YOU". The leader asks all of us to sing melody instead. Then only his wife is asked to sing harmony (she has a great voice of course). Then the other guy says, "I can do that harmony too."

Then during the next break, the wife tells me and the other singer all about how she is always flat, has a hard time holding long notes and tries to thing "soaring", "lifting"...etc. when she has to hit a high note. Inside I am thinking, "Is she actually trying to teach me about hitting high notes, but doing it obliquely?"

Probably she wasn't and I am just projecting my insecurities onto the situation.

But it was a seriously ego bending experience. I have them almost every time I sing with the church team. I can't figure out if it is because I'm just awful and can't hack it, or if God is trying to keep me humble. The jury is out on that one. But I am definitely humbled either way.

My teacher says it takes at least 2 years to really become a good singer. Sigh..... 18 months to go!