If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sasscer Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Observations of a Respectable Bass by Warren Bull

Observations of a Respectable Bass by Warren Bull

Stick out your tummy and drop your jaw. Make your mouth tall not wide. Sing through a straw.  Speak like Julia Child. Talk like a robot.

Those are just a few of the suggestions I have heard in voice lessons. Sing a scale while fluttering your lips or sounding a trilled R. Sing only the vowels in the lyrics. Pretend you are stroking a tarantula. Those are other instructions. I have decided there is nothing natural about singing. If I feel comfortable while singing, I must be doing something wrong. 

There are vowels. They don’t sound like AEIOU in singing. Pronunciation differs from location to location throughout the English-speaking world. It differs within each country and over time. If the song is a traditional English ballad you may prefer Eye-thur over EE-thur for either.  For a spiritual you may want to drop the gs from words ending in ing. There is a difference in how American and English singers pronounce Latin words. The vowels you do want extends as far as you can take them.  Rooow saaand thooorn. (Rose and Thorn) Stick those ending consonants on the start of the next word if it starts with a vowel, e.g. My hooom i zooover Jordan. My home is over Jordan.
You may see pictures of people singing. If you look closely you might notice how they are contorting their faces.

You rarely see photos of singers warming up. I believe that is because the exercises they use are downright odd. I recently sang in a concert choir. One of the warm up exercises had us buzzing. Others had us rolling our heads around our necks and singing like we were pulling a thread of light.
Apparently some people believe “natural singers” don’t need instruction. If you believe that, I can introduce you to a naturally gifted cutter. He can perform whatever operation you need bypass, biopsy, knee replacement etc. He didn’t go to medical school, but then he’s a natural, right?

Of course some singers have amazing voices to start with. Singers may get “on the job” training from other singers, family members or church choir leaders without taking formal classes or getting individual lessons. As a group, singers are supportive of each other and willing to tell others what they have learned. Apparently some singers downplay the amount of instruction they receive to maintain the appearance of naturalness.


Julie Tollefson said...

Interesting, Warren! I sang in two concert choirs in high school. I was always terrible, but some of my best memories are of the people in those groups.

Tina said...

Can't sing at all, but I am grateful for those of you who do. Sing on!

Alice Duncan said...

I love to sing. Unfortunately, I'm a tenor. Worse, I'm only 4'11". Next life I want to come back as a tall bass (and a man). I mean, a female tenor who's only 4'11' is silly, because I have to stand behind the sopranos, and they're all taller than I am. Phooey.

Shari Randall said...

How I wish I could sing. I DO sing, but I pity those around me when I do.
Sing as if you're stroking a tarantula? Did the instructor want you to sound terrified?

Margaret Turkevich said...

Last fall we heard a UCincinnati-CCM chorus sing Rachmaninoff's "All Night Vigil" a cappella, in Old Church Slavonic, at the Basilica in Covington, KY. The professionals who sang the bass part had the deepest, lowest, richest voices I've ever heard.

I didn't have a clue about the lyrics or music, so I sat back and let the music wash over and envelop me.

Carla Damron said...

Singing has always been a very important part of my life. And, as I age, my voice gets lower. So I don't hit a decent high G anymore. I've descended from Soprano to Alto, though if I'm being accurate, I'm really a Sopralto.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I love to sing, but I have no idea if my voice is any good or not. I did sing in a high school choir, and one of the things I love about Mass at my church is being able to sing the hymns with others. Sometimes, I sing at home, too, and just as fun is when I go to a folk concert, and the group playing that night has the audience participating. I can't imagine not having music in my life.

KM Rockwood said...

I'm pretty much tone deaf, but I enjoy the enthusiasm created by the audience at live performances. I'm well aware that I am also clueless as to what is involved in singing. Thank goodness for people who are talented and work hard at it so we can all enjoy the results.