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

WWK's May interviews will be: 5/2--indie author Bobbi Holmes, 5/9--TG Wolff (aka--Anita Devito), 5/16--Chocolate Bonbon author Dorothy St. James, 5/23--Lida Sideris, 5/30--Food Lovers' Village (and multiple Agatha winner) Leslie Budwitz. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our May Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 5/5--John Carenen, 5/12--Judy Penz Sheluk, 5/19--Margaret S. Hamilton, 5/26--Kait Carson.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here.

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

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. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with the authors in this anthology on 4/14! Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.


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.