Your Ad Here

Music Marketing Center - the Marketing Center for Musicians

Musicians learn how to market your band and your music.

Home About the Music Marketing Center Contact Us

Selling Your Music When You Can’t Really Sing

Do dogs howl when you open your mouth?  If you are one of those people with a limited vocal range, don’t let that stop you from recording your songs. When the music is good, nobody minds. Think of Bob Dylan. Think of Madonna. Madonna? That’s right Madonna.

In case you never noticed, Bob Dylan and Madonna can’t sing very well, but that didn’t stop them from achieving rock stardom.  It doesn’t really matter to me if you can sing or play your instruments.  Just make some noise, call it a song, and sell your music.

In Bob Dylan’s case, the guy has a bad voice and that’s it. He probably should have seen a doctor about his nasal problems, but he never tried to hide it or fix it. His huge ego probably had something to do with not caring what he sounded like, but it doesn’t really matter. He wrote and sang great songs that spoke to and represented a generation. And frankly, his fans like his voice.  There are probably some people that like the sound of chalk on a blackboard also.  What the heck, I can listen to Lou Reed all day long.

On the other hand, Madonna does care. She has a vocal coach (unfortunately, it didn’t help much) and she sings to her own backing tracks using a harmonizer. This was a kind of open industry secret until Elton John (for some reason never fully explained) told the whole world. But fans knew something was up at Live Aid when the soundmen couldn’t sink up the tracks properly and she had to sing without them. It was glossed over in the press by saying Madonna had an off day.  She really just had an off voice.

The whether singing to your own backing tracks is cheating or not debate is back in the news with Jennifer Hudson and YoYo Ma. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter one bit and that is good news for the tunefully challenged. You can (as we used to say) “fix it in the mix” in the comfort of your own home studio.

Backing tracks are made by putting your vocal line on as many tracks as possible. That will make a thin sounding voice fuller and stronger. For those who have trouble staying on key, a harmonizer is something to invest in. This is a fantastic invention for the ‘hard of singing,’ and you can now buy one for your home studio. It takes all the wobbly notes, the sharps and the flats notes out. In a way it makes your voice sound the best it can. In a professional recording studio, it’s not only used for the lead vocalist, but for harmonies because it makes them sound super tight.

Hmmm. I wonder if I can get a waterproof one of those harmonizer gizmos for my shower?

Now you can be confident in your vocal abilities even if they don’t exist. Start recording now, so that you can go out and sell your music. Rejoice in your bad voice.  Yes, even if you sound like  Edith singing the theme from ‘All in the Family you can still make hit records.  Isn’t technology a wonderful thing?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.