The joy of headphones

It’s that time of month when I get cravings for sugar and … other things … and when my face breaks out. Meh. I have got to find a way to fix that. The cravings I can handle, the skin problems, not so much.

So I’m sitting in my room with the lights off and my headphones on high. Also, some e-books from the pretty boy that I adore. Thank God for sweet guys.

About those headphones.

I have heard people sing with headphones.

Hehehehehe.

I always assumed the reason they sounded so … tortured … was because they can’t quite carry the melody. Like those people who try to sing you a famous song [and they will even tell you its name and artist], but you still have no clue which one they mean coz the tune is … well, it just isn’t there!

Or being serenaded by a teenage boy. Not the pretty castrato type, I don’t mean those. I’m talking about the regular my-voice-is-breaking type that vascillate between ‘sexy’ inaudible mumbles and frightfully girly squeaks.

Also, really, anyone singing Halo and sounding like a strangled cat has to be at least partially tone deaf, right? Can’t blame them entirely though, coz those modulations and ad libs can get tricky!

But I love to sing, and I do it fairly well. So when I’m getting some headphone therapy, I sometimes take said headphones off for a few seconds while I sing, so I can listen to my level of, you know, [strangled] catitude. Of course I sound fine, and conclude that my, er, singing, is bothering no one.

So here I am, singing along to Justin Timberlake’s ‘What goes around comes around’ as I read my e-book and wham! It hits me. It’s not about tone at all!

Well actually, it sort of is.

See, I assumed that the reason for headphone-itis is that you can’t hear yourself, so you can’t tell when you’re off key. Or, alternately, with songs in rock or Beyoncé … without the instrumentals or the ad lib, they just sound wrong. Try singing Naked Eye with the guitars & drums on mute and you’ll see what I mean.

Consider as well that many modern songs are more like, you know, chants. Every line sounds the same. Think Monica-Brandy boy is mine. Or Savage Garden-Truly, madly deeply. Take away the [instrumental] track and you basically have people droning. It’s not even real talking, coz there’s no inflection. Transcribing these songs into solfa is torturously dull. Believe me, I had to do it for music class.

But the true cause of headphone-itis is pitch.

Let’s face it, we’re no Justins on Mariahs. So while we may all be very good with the actual tune, it’s not quite so easy to jump between the high and low parts.

For example. What goes around. In the verses, his voice is kind of low and mournful. I believe the right term would be weepy.

Then in the chorus, he totally changes and goes all whinny.

Result being, I sing the verses an octave higher just so I can keep up, then when I get to the chorus, I can sing in my normal baby voice.

And of course it’s worse with the harmonies, since you will start out singing lead, then jump to the back-up then back to lead … and with true rock songs, you can actually sing the guitar.

Think 911 by Wyclef Jean and Mary J. You start out singing Wyclef’s part, then you jump to Mary’s part, and by the time you get to the pweo-pweo-pweo guitar part, anyone watching is thinking ‘Please God, just shoot me now!’

Now, this all sounds fine to you, you have an in-speaker orchestra.  But the person outside just hears rumble-rumble-rumble-squeak-squeak-tenenenene-bam-kaPow!

Hence, headphone-itis.

But but but…

… it’s just so fun!

Go on, grab some headphones. You know you want to…

♫  AwenaKassim

I just love the way he whines ‘penzi langu hulihitaji Awena-a-a-a-a-a-a … kipenzi changu Awena-a-a-a-a-a-a-a’ Then the instrumentals tu-lu-lu-lu-lu and the humming at the end na-na-na-na-na…

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2 Responses

  1. I like this blog. The everyday-ness of life

    thank you 🙂

  2. lol crystal u got me laughing. Been singing as soon as I could talk so my mum says n when I am learning a new song it drives everyone mad cos I walk around with headphones on singing bits of the song. I never knew what they were on about until I heard one of the guys I sing with do the same..thought there was something stuck in his throat

    🙂

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