A friend asked me last weekend why I didn’t show up for the men’s choir practice at our church. I replied that my singing was so bad that, when the crowds get a bit unruly, some local bars hire me to come up and do a karaoke number at closing time to clear out the place. It’s safer and cheaper than using bouncers and had the happy side effect of letting them skip a week or two of rodent control.
While that might be a slight exaggeration, I did resign myself to the fact that my singing days ended at the same time puberty hit me and my voice changed. And I have anecdotal data to back it up.
When my fraternity participated in a Greek Week singing competition our choir master had each of us try out individually. He rated us as poor, average, and good in voice quality and strength. He marked me down as average in quality and good in strength. I was actually pleased–until I ran across his notes later. He had crossed those marks after I left and put down his true opinion: poor and average, respectively. When I missed practices no fuss was made.
And during a company party I did a few karaoke numbers with a group of close friends. But I noticed that for the finale they invited everyone else up in the team–except for me.
Don’t think that I’m complaining. I’ve been blessed with a number of talents and work on others that capture my interest. As far as voice, if I worked with a coach I’m sure I could become a better–maybe even passable–singer. I sometimes think I should keep in mind baseball great Lou Gehrig’s response to a reporter who asked him why he was expert in so many aspects of the game. Gehrig replied, “I worked at what I wasn’t good at.”
When I sing at church I can “make a joyful noise” and contribute to the volume while those more talented make up for my lack of quality. As far as my solo singing talents I’ll continue to use them where they seem to be best suited: pest control.