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Thread: The "I can't sing" people!

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickingtone View Post
    The fundamental frequency does not DEFINE the sound, the feel, or anything musical about the sound (I mean it is not a musical DEFINITION of a note).
    It doesn't define any of the things you list but the fundamental frequency is the frequency from which the note name is derived.
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  2. #22
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    We have had discussions previously on this topic and the term "tone deaf" and there are those here who would claim there is no such thing. Recently a friend of mine and his wife decided to have a baby via a surrogate..This is not an inexpensive venture and when preparing the eggs for fertilization they discovered that his wife carried a gene that increases the chance of being "tone deaf".... about 4% of the population is born with this feature at a level that merits this label. like being born with blue eyes or brown eyes. They were able to somehow select or modify the eggs they used ..( not sure exactly how they did this but they did it) so that the child would not be born tone deaf... wow...

    Here's an article on the topic The Genetics of Congenital Amusia (Tone Deafness):

    If you have this it will be impossible to sing in key or play an instrument by ear....period end of discussion. This said, The other 96% are not all at the same level of musicality. Anyone who has played / jammed with several groups of musicians over the years knows some just "get it" and catch on to a tune almost instantly where others must struggle to figure a riff or melody out. Thus the same with singing. I sang a lot growing up and took a voice class in college. Yes breathing from your diaphragm is an important part of the singing process providing the energy / wind to get those vocal chords projecting ....but, like a car with no wheels ....all the gas in the world isn't going to get you down the road. If you can't hear that you are out of tune. breath technique is not going to help anything other than singing out of tune louder.

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  4. #23
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    I know this is going to sound stupid but I never considered tone deafness at all. I know it exists......but I guess I assumed that people who wanted to be singers (or other musical roles) knew enough to avoid the art if they were tone deaf. But.....that assumes that they knew they were tone deaf. I guess if they didn't.......no amount of feedback from us would ever make sense to them.

    Good point TAE.
    Just A Song Writer..........

  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickster View Post
    I know this is going to sound stupid but I never considered tone deafness at all. I know it exists......but I guess I assumed that people who wanted to be singers (or other musical roles) knew enough to avoid the art if they were tone deaf. But.....that assumes that they knew they were tone deaf. I guess if they didn't.......no amount of feedback from us would ever make sense to them.

    Good point TAE.
    It's really impossible to put yourself in that position.
    I mean, you can 'imagine' being blind but, really, you can't; Not properly.

    People who are legitimately tone deaf not only can't tell that they're singing the wrong note, but they can't tell that they're meant to be able to tell! lol.
    Seriously, think about that. They don't know that they're meant to know... Twists my mind a bit.

    It's the equivalent of thinking you just strum a guitar and move your hand wherever and the right tune comes out,
    but because that's a physical skill and knowledge of the instrument is required, no one ever really thinks that way.


    It's not something I'll argue with anyone but I don't think I'll ever move on the idea that tone-deafness, or genuine inability to perceive differences in pitch, is a thing.
    Now, contradictory to that these same people can tell the difference between "It's all good!" and "It's all good?" which is really just a difference in pitch.
    That sort of baffles me, but I have met plenty of people who, when tested, simply could not tell me that two notes played on a piano were the same, or different.

    The same people, when trying to sing, usually hovered around the same note regardless of what the melody was meant to be.

    Some say that anyone with a voice can be taught. I usually say that anyone who demonstrates an awareness of pitch can be taught.

    It's why I often say to 'bad' singers around here, "You're clearly aware of pitch", because there are plenty of people who are loose or inaccurate and really sound quite bad but they know up is up and down is down.
    They're moving in the right direction at the right time, just not necessarily the right amount. :P
    I'd liken that to playing an out of tune guitar quite well. They know what they're doing, but the instrument needs attention.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    The thread is not really about tone deafness. It is about people who are most likely to have an advantage in musicality, but who claim that they cannot sing. The reasons are less likely to be psychoacoustic.

    Quote Originally Posted by TAE View Post
    We have had discussions previously on this topic and the term "tone deaf" and there are those here who would claim there is no such thing. Recently a friend of mine and his wife decided to have a baby via a surrogate..This is not an inexpensive venture and when preparing the eggs for fertilization they discovered that his wife carried a gene that increases the chance of being "tone deaf".... about 4% of the population is born with this feature at a level that merits this label. like being born with blue eyes or brown eyes. They were able to somehow select or modify the eggs they used ..( not sure exactly how they did this but they did it) so that the child would not be born tone deaf... wow...
    Yep. "wow". I don't buy it. It shouldn't be difficult for you to google up the designation of this "gene" or set of genes that monitor for tone deafness. That would certainly make the research paper you posted redundant.

    Quote Originally Posted by TAE View Post
    Doesn't look like sound research to me. I'd go as far as to say that it is practically junk.

    By the way, the research does not test for congenital tone deafness (or "amusia"). It assumes the 4% figure from somewhere (I don't know where).

  7. #26
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    Steen.....who could dispute your points? It's getting more and more clear as to why and how this "Can I Sing" section of the forum can be so frikkin' annoying sometimes.

    Now......accurate timing in a singer is certainly not caused by tone deafness.....right? But we sure see a lot of bad tempo / timing in some of the posts. Just throwing that in to add to the overall conversation.
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steenamaroo View Post
    Now, contradictory to that these same people can tell the difference between "It's all good!" and "It's all good?" which is really just a difference in pitch.
    That sort of baffles me, but I have met plenty of people who, when tested, simply could not tell me that two notes played on a piano were the same, or different.
    Very interesting example.

    My problem with the piano thing is that, although I could tell you when the notes change, I may sometimes tell you that the same note is two different notes. Maybe second time you pressed the key harder or something, I don't know. If I hear a difference, I am not always sure if it is "pitch" that has changed. Even if I sing it back to you accurately, loudness change and all, I may not know if the pitch has changed.

    Also if you play three notes going up and back to the same pitch, it may not be obvious to me that that is what you have done. But, once again, singing it back would not be the problem. Isolating what part of the change is "pitch", that's the issue.

  9. #28
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    I read an article a while back, about aphantasia, which is a condition of having no "mind's eye".

    People with aphantasia cannot picture things or people. After reading the article, I wondered if there was an acoustic equivalent of no "mind's ear". That could be the cause of yet another kind of "tone deafness". There are so many possibilities. Does colourblindness have its acoustic equivalent? Whatever the possibilities, surely they are significantly reduced if you can express yourself musically in an area other than singing.

    I think that the way I (and a lot of people) would reproduce a melody is to first "imagine it" -- hear it in my mind's ear, then instruct my conscious mind to render it to sound. This bypasses all the analytical skills of isolating pitch etc. Maybe there is also a feedback loop, as well, but I would be surprised if adjustments worked by isolating pitch.

  10. #29
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    I've always been a visual person. If I can't see it working in my head, it doesn't work in my head.
    Doesn't really matter what it is. Folder + file structures on a computer, programming classes, repairing a machine, music...It's all visualised in some way.
    I think, as a child, I probably 'saw' rudimentary sheet music before I knew what that was.

    If you played an ascending melody and asked me to sing it back, I'd have a fussy visual image or rising steps, for example.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

  11. #30
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    When I think of the 7 days of the week......for any reason......a picture with 7 squares in a row, starting with Sunday, pops up in my mind.....every time. Have no idea how that started. I think we use visuals in our mind to facilitate the "next step" or thought in terms of what we're dealing with at that moment. And when I'm playing any instrument......I visualize the next move the same way every time. Don't we all do that to some extent?

    Not in the same thought......but when I think of any musical chord or note......I visualize it on a keyboard......having learned how to read music on an accordion. Just more of my 2 cents.
    Just A Song Writer..........

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