Good singers fall into two camps: those with a 10 pm voice and those with a 7 am voice.
The 10 pm singer is in tune. When the band changes key, he changes with them. He might apply a bit of vibrato to the end of note for effect. And he knows the words to the song well enough. The audience continues to drink, because his voice is not disjointing or alarming. The final conclusion? He can sing.
The 7 am singer is great…on a recording! On a recording, all the nuances of a person’s voice are captured. If the voice has a glitch, it’s amplified tenfold. A 7 am voice is amazing or it isn’t. It’s legendary or its boring. It gives you goosebumps or it doesn’t. It’s a winner or a loser.
We have many examples on this point. Take Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia. Hunter had great lyrics and a decent voice…but Garcia had a wonderful voice. Take Dean Del Ray and George Strait; Del Ray has a decent voice, but Strait has a special one. These are but two examples. And from these comparisons there comes an important lesson. If you’re a great songwriter, but an average singer, it’s better to let somebody else sing your songs.
The goal is to be GREAT – not average.
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