Many summers I have to learn a lot of new-to-me music for weddings. While it’s a fair bit of work, I’m glad for it, and I’m enjoying singing them and having them stuck in my head.
Some of the songs are ones I’ve heard many times but never played, and some are just all new. One of the former category, Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”, has become my go-to happy song for the summer. I find it impossible not to feel happy all over with that song on right now.
Some of you may know the song better than I do, and I know it’s been played a lot and you are probably sick of it – especially as it DOES stick in your brain and won’t leave. It even has one line that doesn’t make sense lyrically, and normally that sort of mis-writing turns me off a song forever, but not this one for now.
WHY? Why does this song make me happy? The tempo, rhythm, feel, lift of the song is so energising. You kind of have to move to it. And it is so darned sing-able. AND (you knew this was coming), he does this “doo doo doo” scat improv thing that is quite fun and loveable. That last bit made me think of a challenge for you: take a song you know well – maybe one with a chorus or repeatable bits – and improv over it. To get an idea, think of Paul McCartney at the end of “Hey Jude”. This kind of improv is a safe step towards trusting your own song, and you can always fall back into singing with the band. Another good one to try might be “Sit Down” by James. Definitely try Eva Cassidy’s “Wade in the Water”.
For those of us whose new year starts in September, we are already considering what’s rapidly coming up. I’d encourage you to sing loud and proud (in the shower, in the car alone, while vacuuming….) and think of how you might let your own songs out to play this fall. We’ll be gathering most Thursdays in Canmore for some vocal improvisation adventures – register here if you can make it. Hopefully I’ll see you out at a jam or an open stage too.
In the meantime, I’m putting that catchy tune back on while I make lunch for my kids. I can’t hesitate no more – no more – it cannot wait!