Monday, August 23, 2010

The Karaoke Musical Education

I could already sing, and I enjoyed it, but I must say that my years of experience singing Karaoke in Thailand have benefited me dramatically.

The attached picture is from a recent party on a “seminar weekend” of my department faculty. I don’t have any pictures of me singing at this party, no one needs to see that.

The biggest benefit has been the enhancement of my ability to sing high. My voice generally is not the best, I’m sure it’s pitchy, as Simon and the gang would say. I do have an okay voice though, with a pretty good ear and a good sense of time, it’s a strong voice, and I sing with great enthusiasm. Now I’m much more comfortable singing in higher registers and keys than I used to be.

At this particular party, I sang my hit, “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” and my new regular, “Just the Way You Are,” there’s always lots of Billy Joel on these Karaoke programs. I also sang “Take It Easy,” associated with the Eagles, who are very popular over here. The song contains good advice, and is fun to sing. I recommend it.

Given my ‘druthers, I’d sing in the key of “C,” like most people, they don’t call it “the People’s Key” for nothing. Usually, though, I get sucked into singing in “F” or even “G,” which can be very challenging. I have given up trying to get the key changed, it can be done but it just makes you look like a prima donna, and the operators have low confusion thresholds. So I started to swing with it, and I discovered that I can do it. I have to let go a little more, which seems to help the singing in every way. So I’ve learned something.

At this party, I also sang “La Bamba,” in Spanish. It was a request, and a few people seemed really anxious to hear it. Somehow, this song has caught on in Thailand, although I can hardly imagine how or why. I mean, I love the song, the flip-side of “Donna” by Richie Valens, but I’ve never met a Thai who could speak Spanish. So it’s a mystery, “La Bamba” in Thailand? It’s a world of surprises, that you can always count on.

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