Hmmm, AC, you might as well embarrass yourself further by writing one more post dealing with your musical shortcomings. Well, why not? On the bucket list that I’ve been loosely following, there’s a question about whether I’ve ever sung a solo, so here goes.
The sad answer is, “Yes. I have sung a solo ... or attempted to.” And the result, along with my choir and fiddling experiences, seems to indicate that my music should be limited to being between my iPod and my ears. Voice and performance should not be attempted by AC – not in public at any rate.
Once upon a time, I was an emerging teenager and going to a very small charismatic church. They began to hold a young peoples meeting in a house. Since there weren’t many of us to call upon, I was asked to sing a solo one night. Well, I had no idea how to prepare a solo, such as work it out with the accompanist ahead of time. What the adults, including my parents, were thinking, I don’t know. Yes, I do; they didn’t know either. Anyway, the result was predictable, and I was never asked for a repeat performance. I sang When the Roll is Called up Yonder, and I’m sure that just about everyone was fervently agreeing in prayer: “Even so, come quickly, Lord.”
There was a later attempt, also involving church and young people, but it requires a little more explication.
These days, many kids want to play in a rock band, but back when I was a religious teenager and when gospel concerts (southern style) were all the rage in my circle (anybody remember All Night Sings?), it seemed that everyone wanted to sing in a gospel quartet. Because I had and have a pretty deep voice, I was asked to join a new quartet. We called ourselves The Royal Sons – great name, lousy group.
Without prattling endlessly about all of the details about the quartet’s trials and tribulations, let me skip to the end and reveal that in the fullness it fell upon Mr Bassman (who was found lacking “that certain something”) to sing a solo part. After much rehearsal, I seemed to have it down to passable standards in practice but, then I mysteriously struggled onstage on the three occasions in which I performed it publicly.
As I thought about it, I realized that when performing for an audience, I was struggling to reach the higher notes. When I mentioned to the self-proclaimed leader that I thought we needed to bring the key down a notch, he confessed that they moved the key up on me during performances because he, the lead singer, needed the notes to be higher for the refrain. Can you imagine the cheek of sabotaging the soloist in a piece? What unChristian-like gall!
So, you see, I have sung a few solos. And none of them worked out very well. I should have sung so low that nobody could have heard me.
Considering my recent confessions about choral singing, fiddling and now soloing, it really does seem I should limit my musical experiences to sticking the iPod in my ear, or at least the earphones attached to said device. The poor souls who have been forced to listen to my various attempts to make music, however, would no doubt prefer to shove the whole iPod … er … ahem ... blush ... yeah ... you know where.