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The Journey Back – Asking Am I a Talented Singer?

A stunted journey

I have always struggled with the question – am I a talented singer? I am reasonably comfortable with backing vocals but the whole idea of being the person at the front, singing the song is scary. It is hard to have had some really discouraging feedback. I have even been told bluntly – do not sing and then come back from that. As a songwriter it is hard to create a song and not sing so I have always comforted myself with the idea that I only had to play the song to a singer who then sing it.

Break through or set up for disappointment

Last week I presented 4 new songs to my lectures for their assessment with the understanding that someone else would sing them. The response was surprising from the lecturers. They could not understand why I would not want to sing. They pointed out that I could sing. My pitch was good and there was, emotions in my vocal delivery. I wasn’t ready for it. The week ended with me having a singing lesson with a vocal coach that I really respect. She had never taught me and when I played the songs to her, I got the same response. She is going to help me be even better in the new year with weekly lessons. She not only liked my voice but also said that she also liked my songwriting style.


She raised the question – which singers do I feel I sound like?

I feel close to the storytelling style of Bob Dylan and the vocal delivery of singers like Elvis Costello and Nick Cave.

Bob Dylan

Elvis Costello

Nick Cave

The resolution

The hard choice to make was simply am I going to believe that I am a better singer than I thought or do I believe those negative voices of the past. I have accepted that I am a better guitarist, a better bassist and a better songwriter. Is it really a stretch to believe that all the work I have done on my voice has made me a better, talented singer.

Only time will tell.

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