Brave Stinker 4
We are looking now at two cohorts of singers, each of whom is--or was--at the top of the profession. Surely, they must have more in common than raking in piles of cash. I'm pretty certain I would be annoyed by Battle singing "Me and Bobby McGee" (or, heaven forbid, "Oh Lord, won't you Buy me a Mercedes Benz"), just as I wouldn't want to hear Joe Cocker's rendition of "Che gelida manina." Of course, I might be surprised by how well these artists cross over to other genres, but I suspect my preconceived expectations (prejudices?) would be confirmed. So, these great singers do not share repertoire and have vocal timbres from opposite sides of the spectrum. But they do have one extraordinarily important common denominator: each sings (or sang) remarkably well in tune. What follows is the nine-word version of this article, which I wish I were brave enough to run with as the entire column:
Brave Stinker 4
Basta. Or not quite. Everyone sings a stinker at one time or another; we are human beings who play our own bodies as our instruments, with all the accompanying day to day variations in health, mood, and intention, any of which has the potential to impact our ability to sing in the middle of the pitch. I'm speaking here of chronic intonation problems that do not resolve quickly with study and technical growth. Most of us have worked with developing singers who temporarily sing out of tune while first learning their craft. But those issues should clear up before the completion of an undergraduate degree and must be conquered prior to seeking professional work in any music genre. The question is, what tools do we have to help conquer this fundamental...