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I'm talking about, singing to the level of American Idol singers, with no natural talent for singing, but rather years of experience and practice with vocals.
Is that how its usually done?
 

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Well I have vocal lessons myself because I was horrible at it at first. I did everything wrong. I think that having a good singing voice or not is something that you can't teach someone. But you can learn to sing in tune with good breath support etc.
 

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American Idols vocalists are not singers, IMO. Anyone with a decent ear, good rhythmic sense, and a sense of musical drama can be a decent pop vocalist.

Operatic singers are born with a good instrument, and have extensive training.
 

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Singing is great fun and it's like most skill things. Some folks have a natural talent and a pleasant sounding voice. But an awful lot of people who think they "can't sing" can go from sounding pretty bad to sounding pretty good just by being shown some stuff and by listening and practising.

You see it with saxophone playing. There are some players who have a natural talent and seem like geniuses when compared with the plodders. But how often does it happen that someone who was a "natural" didn't progress while someone who was a plodder seems to bloom late?

Idol is about show business, not singing.
 

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American Idols vocalists are not singers, IMO. Anyone with a decent ear, good rhythmic sense, and a sense of musical drama can be a decent pop vocalist.

Operatic singers are born with a good instrument, and have extensive training.
Nicely said, Hak! I couldn't agree more. I'd call the former group "entertainers" more than "singers" (and that is certainly not meant as a put-down). And then there are the huge numbers of us (i suspect we outnumber both of the above groups) who fall somewhere in between, who enjoy singing and harmonizing, maybe have taken a few voice lessons or not, who get immense pleasure from singing for or with friends, in church choirs or community choruses, or with other ensembles, e.g. barbershop, blue grass, early music, a cappella, et al groups. I'm just back from a regional "choir fest" which was both educational and musically gratifying.

As to whether anyone can "learn to sing", I think there is still disagreement about whether "tone deafness" can be corrected with training, or whether it is inherent and non-correctable. Tangentially, a friend of mine, a professional musician who does quite a lot of teaching, believes that there is an analogous anomaly----rhythm "deafness"----that there are some among us who can't internalize, or at least have excessive difficulty in internalizing, basic rhythms. Any thoughts about that?
Ruth
 

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I'm talking about, singing to the level of American Idol singers, with no natural talent for singing, but rather years of experience and practice with vocals.
Is that how its usually done?
I disagree with many of those posting above.

I detest "Dancing with the Idols", and most other game shows where contestants dance, sing, lose weight or eat bugs before a bunch of has-been or never-where judges. But it's very hard to be a successful pop singer or entertainer of any type. Just like on the saxophone, you will need a lot of natural talent, a huge amount of hard work and the drive to endue almost anything to succeed.

Of course, as with Chris Alan, it helps to be from Arkansas where being a final contestant on a national game show makes you the biggest news in the state. Especially in a state where a lot of folks have nothing better to do than to go to viewing/voting parties where they learn to "turbo-vote" on there All-tel cell phones as taught by a paid representative of that Arkansas-based company which also wanted to sponsor Chris Alan. But surely Chris just won because he could sing and play guitar at the same time. Right?
 

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I sing in my church choir, and sing a lot of vocal harmony parts as a backup vocalist. Most of the time I can sing in tune and on time, and thus I am effective in those roles. But even if I were young enough, I don't have the vocal chops for American Idol - not even close. Assuming we are talking about the better singers on American Idol (ones that make the later rounds or finals), these contestants have an actual "vocal instrument", and that is a gift and a talent that I will never have. A decent ear and good rhythmic sense are not enough (again, assuming we are talking about the better singers on that show, not the ones brought in for comedy).

Some of the contestants on American Idol do have the "vocal instrument", but are lacking in some other aspects of training, discipline, or good judgement. Perhaps this is what some people were thinking about in the posts above.
 

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I have Welsh heritage, with many great singers in my family tree, but I can't sing worth a tinker's trinket. Talent or training, I got short changed!
 

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I have Welsh heritage, with many great singers in my family tree, but I can't sing worth a tinker's trinket. Talent or training, I got short changed!
The late David E. Davis, an auto journalist of Welsh heritage, wrote after a trip to Wales that a Welsh men's chorus sounded like a bunch of men jumping barefoot into a vat of frogs.
 

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Although American Idol is second only to the world-wide application of Karaoke in destroying all the things that are good about music, I think many people under-estimate what it takes to sing at a professional "pop" level, let alone compete at an American Idol level. It's easy to sing along in your car or in the shower and consider yourself "able", it's another thing all together to sing lead on a four-hour gig more than one or two days per week.

Of all the instruments available in this musical world, I believe that people have delusions of grandeur when it comes to their singing voice more so than any other.
 
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