Tuesday, July 1, 2014

PERFECT PITCH? Who, me?! (uncovering the truth about my singing)

Many people ask, after listening to me sing live, if I have perfect pitch. This astonishes me because I’ve always had trouble staying on pitch when singing unaccompanied.

Narelle Worboys: uncovering the truth about her singing

Two years ago, the difficulties of accessing a piano, or finding instrumental backing suited to my voice, prompted me to dare something radical and scary – singing acapella.

I like the freedom it brings. It makes it easy to bless folk with a song at a moment’s notice, and my song ministry has become more portable. I’ve also worked extensively on improvisational singing. But I’ve observed this year, singing daily but without applying set perimeters to my ears and vocal production, and often performing after eating and without warm-up or rehearsal, that whatever natural pitching ability I may have is suffering.

My health issues are always a factor, but in this instance, I’m hoping that time spent studying at the piano (and I don’t know yet how I’m going to manage that) will help correct the pitch sliding noticeable in recent videos.

Image credit: http://bobbyowsinski.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/would-you-take-perfect-pitch-drug.html
As to why people suppose me to be blessed with perfect pitch, I think what they may be referring to is the unusual tonal quality they hear, especially when I sing high. That, I wasn’t born with. It was a gift from God, supernaturally endowed after I lost my voice aged 19 (click here to hear the story).

Because of that gift, I keep sharing song despite my lack of technical skill, praying that God will empower me to give it proper support. I will certainly apply myself to it this month, because I’ve got a fabulous singing gig coming up on a subject I love – a War Remembrance Concert to mark the beginning of World War I a century ago.

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