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Is singing talent more natural

  1. Jul 28, 2009 #1
    than other skills?

    At least, that's the general impression I've seen people keep. If you see the best basketball player, it's just hard work and dedication, and people tend to think you could become one of them if you put enough effort and dedication. But if you hear someone singing beautifully, people say (s)he is naturally talented (plus dedication).

    Is there a more natural skill to singing than some sports? To me, everything is muscle control.
    An internal muscle like diaphragm is much harder to control than your hamstrings, so in case of diaphragm, there is more dependency on the natural geometry of ones muscles and size than improvisation.

    but how about someone with great elocution skill or sense humor? His brain network is naturally wired for that. So singing is no more naturally talented than a great comedian.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2009 #2
    Singing is all about hard work and honing your abilities day in and day out. Natural talent merely helps you speed up this process.

    Don't be fooled by the general thought that "someone with great singing ability = great natural talent". There are quite a few artists (I'm referring to classical) that have been trained and have honed their skills to a fine point but who never presented any natural talent.

    In Indian Classical music for example, traditionally young kids who are given the opportunity to learn from a Guru are taught the scales in a very slow and methodical step. This involves singing each note over and over again for months at a time. My teacher for an Indian music class at Berkeley related his own personal story where he was asked by his Guru to sing the note "Sa" over and over again for a month. This was to clear up wavers and unintentional pitch changes in his voice. He wasn't allowed to sing any other note during this 1 month period.

    (You can try this by yourself actually. Sing middle C with the sound "aaaah", and you can notice that you don't always sit at middle C, and that it in fact wavers).

    Once they reduce this wavering, the student is taught nearby notes, and combinations of notes. Then more and more notes until the scale is fully taught. This takes years of practice (can you imagine doing nothing but scales for years?).

    During this period and also of course once the scales have been taught, Raagas (melodies) are taught. This is a particular sequence of notes among "Sa re ga ma pa da ni sa" ("Do re mi fa so la ti do"). Then once the singer has mastered various melodies, songs based on those melodies are taught.

    This is at least 3-5 years worth of work, and then about a lifetime of practice at home, singing in public, and whatnot.

    The moral of the story is: anything can be done by anyone at anytime. You just have to put your full effort into it and learn the intricacies of that particular subject. Natural talent merely helps to shave some time off.
  4. Jul 28, 2009 #3
    The mark of the artist is to make the art seem artless.
  5. Jul 28, 2009 #4
    I think too much emphasis is put on talent. Like it's a magical ability granted by the gods. So many factors effect how good someone is at something, so for someone to automatically conclude it's "talent" not only sounds like a cop out, since it provides no reason for why the person is good, but it seems to take away from all the hardwork the person has done.
    It's the only statement that doesn't require ANY proof.
    "How is that guy so good?"
  6. Jul 28, 2009 #5
    I believe there must be some level of inherant skill involved. Personally I can not sing at all.

    The only reason I learned the diatonic scale was for scrabble play.
  7. Jul 28, 2009 #6
    Maybe it works like language skills? It is easiest if it is practiced at an earlier age.

    I'm of the opinion that anyone can sing. The largest obstacle is people telling themselves they can't do it. Bonnie Tyler had vocal cord surgery and learned how to sing well with a new voice. There are people with questionable voices that make excellent singers. There are also excellent singers that intentionally use questionable voices. The voice is only an instrument for the singer. Proficiency with the instrument, regardless of the quality, is what makes the singer.
  8. Jul 31, 2009 #7
    There is the part of technique which allows you to sing without ruining your voice, yes. But the beauty of your voice's timbre is a natural gift so it really is 50/50.

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