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Old 10-23-2013, 07:47 AM   #76
JudgeHoldem1848
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

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Originally Posted by alexeimartov View Post
i don't really care where the definition starts personally but this much is clear to me.
Clear to me too. In a sense you skirted the argument, that being that not everyone is entitled to titular status - that there must be discretion in assigning titles to retain integrity, but I recognize also that not skirting it is quite dangerous. One of my favorite musicians of all time around which I can assure you no consensus of experts exists



Who at times reminds me in raw emotional depth of the Arch Non Skirter, himself having been denied a title by a consensus of experts

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Old 10-23-2013, 05:35 PM   #77
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

alexei is simply thinking about it the wrong way. Think about it in terms of percentiles. There is some arbitrary point where a certain percentile of piano player or singer is generally considered "good". It's not easy to quantify but theoretically there is a group of people who are top .1% in the world at piano skill and singing skill.

Just because you were born with vocal chords does not make you a singer. And just because you practice doesn't mean you will get significantly better. People that play the piano play pianos that sound good and are in tune. That's like half the battle right there. You don't have to be born with a piano you just go buy one. Some people have vocal chords that are the equivalent of a broken down, 50-year old piano. And they cannot just go out and buy top of the line vocal chords.

Not to mention it's significantly harder to be unearthed as a great singer because, as he argues, everyone has vocal chords. So almost everyone on Earth has tested themselves at singing at some point in their life. There are millions if not billions of people alive who have not seen a piano in person, much less touched one. So those who make it to the top of the piano world have been tested against a far smaller global talent pool.

Hope this helps. Any fantasyland belief that every precious little snowflake out there can become Pavarotti is absurd fantasytalk that moms tell their kids to feel special.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:11 PM   #78
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

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alexei is simply thinking about it the wrong way. Think about it in terms of percentiles. There is some arbitrary point where a certain percentile of piano player or singer is generally considered "good". It's not easy to quantify but theoretically there is a group of people who are top .1% in the world at piano skill and singing skill.

Just because you were born with vocal chords does not make you a singer. And just because you practice doesn't mean you will get significantly better. People that play the piano play pianos that sound good and are in tune. That's like half the battle right there. You don't have to be born with a piano you just go buy one. Some people have vocal chords that are the equivalent of a broken down, 50-year old piano. And they cannot just go out and buy top of the line vocal chords.

Not to mention it's significantly harder to be unearthed as a great singer because, as he argues, everyone has vocal chords. So almost everyone on Earth has tested themselves at singing at some point in their life. There are millions if not billions of people alive who have not seen a piano in person, much less touched one. So those who make it to the top of the piano world have been tested against a far smaller global talent pool.

Hope this helps. Any fantasyland belief that every precious little snowflake out there can become Pavarotti is absurd fantasytalk that moms tell their kids to feel special.
This post is great, and ironically it kinda goes to what Alexei was saying. Ok, so I might argue Billy Holiday had those broken down 100 year old piano vocal chords. Only like a 2 octave range or whatever. I won't tell you she wasn't a great singer cuz I think she was - so does everyone else. But what you're saying is largely true.

The thing specifically with the piano, not that this has bearing on the main point, is that 200 years old or brand new Roland synth, on the piano its pretty easy to demonstrate skill. It's kind of a technical thing you'll have to take my word for or if not I could prove to you.

Your point about voice is very interesting and one I really never considered, about the size of the talent pool because it is certainly correct. One thing I can say is with the piano there is a higher "skill ceiling", I mean much much higher. There's a recent thread in poker theory about skill ceiling and much the same applies to piano imo.

But what you say about the talent pool being exactly the world's population, all people at some point having tested themselves seems unquestionable to me.

So singers aren't really specialists after all because it seems the whole world is a practitioner. That makes Kurt Elling even more distinguished than I thought (here dude is singing perfect vocalise to Coltranes improv)



Sinatra (my favorite singer) weeps in his grave to this sickness
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:25 PM   #79
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

most people have tried their hands hitting a few notes on a piano too but it's not like anyone expects them to just immediately be able to play it. there are some people who grew up around singing and spent a lot of time singing songs back (which is a good way to develop ear training) as kids who i'm sure you guys think 'have naturally amazing vocal chords' or something. those kids tend to be raised in environments where singing is a normal part of life. you just don't count the 'training' they do as work since they are raised around it.

being a 'naturally good singer' is really just like being naturally good at running when you are young. if you grow up in a very sports oriented family you are pretty likely to develop some ability as a matter of course, and if you're not a big black dude you probably aren't going to win the olympics for sprinting. but basically any body can achieve a level of fitness that is able to run a marathon. similarly, any person that isn't totally tone deaf (i'd say less than 20% of the population) is able to achieve a level of technique / musical hearing / vocal health that allows them to sing with a relatively sonorous tuneful tone that allows them to express whatever ideas they have through the voice. these ideas and melodies might be sloppy and poor but this has nothing to do with the genetics of their instrument.

there's a reason that musicians children often end up with pretty good voices- it has nothing to do with their parents superior genetics, it has to do with being raised in an environment that fosters the intellectual and physical development of musical imagination / auditory inner hearing, and physical adaptations that are related to this. your brain physically changes as you learn music, as does the vocal tract / vocal folds when you sing a lot, and the coordination between your muscles and your mind increases also.

anyway whatever. i just think this is a very misunderstood topic. being good at singing has little to do with lucking out with good voice box genetics.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:41 PM   #80
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

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Originally Posted by JudgeHoldem1848 View Post
This post is great, and ironically it kinda goes to what Alexei was saying. Ok, so I might argue Billy Holiday had those broken down 100 year old piano vocal chords. Only like a 2 octave range or whatever. I won't tell you she wasn't a great singer cuz I think she was - so does everyone else. But what you're saying is largely true.

The thing specifically with the piano, not that this has bearing on the main point, is that 200 years old or brand new Roland synth, on the piano its pretty easy to demonstrate skill. It's kind of a technical thing you'll have to take my word for or if not I could prove to you.

Your point about voice is very interesting and one I really never considered, about the size of the talent pool because it is certainly correct. One thing I can say is with the piano there is a higher "skill ceiling", I mean much much higher. There's a recent thread in poker theory about skill ceiling and much the same applies to piano imo.

But what you say about the talent pool being exactly the world's population, all people at some point having tested themselves seems unquestionable to me.

So singers aren't really specialists after all because it seems the whole world is a practitioner. That makes Kurt Elling even more distinguished than I thought (here dude is singing perfect vocalise to Coltranes improv)



Sinatra (my favorite singer) weeps in his grave to this sickness
Yeah the "broken down old piano" analogy wasn't meant to be so literal. If a broken down old piano had a certain flavor to it, it would be deemed "good" by a large percentage of the population.

I'd probably agree with you about skill ceiling. The best pianist possible would be some person who can play an ungodly number of notes and make super complex compositions that sounded pleasing to almost anyone's ear. The best singer I don't think has that type of "show off" outlet.

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Originally Posted by alexeimartov View Post
most people have tried their hands hitting a few notes on a piano too

anyway whatever. i just think this is a very misunderstood topic. being good at singing has little to do with lucking out with good voice box genetics.
Your first sentence is debatable and I probably shouldn't have read further. But let's say "most people" in the world have tried to play the piano. That's still not the same as "everybody", which is probably true of singing.

Your last sentence is just straight up wrong. Let's say arbitrarily that 1 person in 100,000 is a "good" singer. In a city of 5 million people that means that city has 50 "good singers". That group of 50 has come from a larger group of maybe 200, where many of the top 50 have put in significantly more life work than the 150 that are stuck in the 51-200 range. So yes, hard work matters at the top. But when you look at the group of 200 singers out of 5 million people, you're still talking about 1 in 25,000 talents which is all natural talent. Think about that, to be considered a "genius", your IQ needs to be like 1 in 100 or something. And we're talking about 1 in 25,000 talents. You don't become a 1 in 25,000 talent through hard work. Everyone is born with a ceiling somewhere and you simply cannot work your way through it.
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:42 PM   #81
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

I want Fabian to know this debate is not about him, but about probabilities in general.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:52 PM   #82
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

i'm not saying becoming a star i pointed that out. the difficulty to become 'good' at singing is not that high, so is the ceiling to learn to run a marathon and so is the ceiling to learn how to filet and cook a fish at a passable restaurant quality. if we are talking about becoming a professional pop singer, running in the olympics or having a 3 michelin star french restaurant, sure all the statistics **** you are talking about comes into play.

the genetics in the vocal tract are also probably the smallest factor in the things you are considering, nurture and a keen musical mind are far more important. anyway this conversation is a rather silly derail i understand you are saying that it is hard to be top level at **** by definition but if the definition is learning to sing in a pleasing manner then you are wrong, that ability is in reach of most of the population who aren't tone deaf and who are raised and nurtured in an environment that fosters musical advancement. pretty much every professional level musician be it jazz guitarist or classical pianist can learn to sing at a level you would say is good as their musical imagination and skill is already at a high level. it is just learning the mechanics of how the singing connects the mind / musical imagination to the body which is really just technique which is learnable.

any musician who spends 500 hours learning to sing / singing is going to be quite good it after that much time. you can't do that much on a piano in that period of time. as far as piano having a higher 'scope' in how good you can get relative to singing, that is really just down to what styles you sing. once you introduce improvised singing (as jazz singers do), the skill cap is basically unlimited.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:53 PM   #83
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

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Your first sentence is debatable and I probably shouldn't have read further. But let's say "most people" in the world have tried to play the piano. That's still not the same as "everybody", which is probably true of singing.
I would just reiterate that I think this point is very interesting, 100% true and that I've never seen it made before anywhere. Sure, probably a lot of people have banged on a keyboard at some point but I think its probably safe to say that if we were to measure seriousness of effort in some objective way, call it "song hours" or whatever where we're talking about the amount of time invested in concerted effort at acquiring the feel or tone of a particular song, I think total vocal hours spent would so far dwarf serious time spent on the piano in the general population that it would render the latter totally insignificant.

A couple of distinctions there: someone who is banging on a keyboard is probably not actually trying to recreate a song, they're probably just f***ing around in the vast majority of cases due to the complexity and esoterics of the keyboard. For example how many of your friends could just haphazardly figure out Mary Had a Little Lamb in the key of F#? How long would it take them and was that the kind of inquiry they were attempting the last time they touched a keyboard? Contrast that with almost everybody having made a serious attempt to imitate their favorite song. Those are qualitatively and I would venture to say quantitatively different endeavours. I think A-rod's original point is completely valid.





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there's a reason that musicians children often end up with pretty good voices- it has nothing to do with their parents superior genetics, it has to do with being raised in an environment that fosters the intellectual and physical development of musical imagination / auditory inner hearing, and physical adaptations that are related to this. your brain physically changes as you learn music, as does the vocal tract / vocal folds when you sing a lot, and the coordination between your muscles and your mind increases also.
There's a lot to this if we're talking about relatively low level skill in the general population and I don't doubt you could show correlations in children's skill based on parents musical aptitude. One thing this argument ironically overlooks is that it's relying on first degree genetic relations to prove the dominance of the "nuture" side of the nature/nuture coin.

Overall I would expect that thesis to hold if we're talking about the lead singer in the church choir. It's also true that a lot of world class musicians come from musical families. But many more don't. Childhood environment alone imo does not account for exceptional talent, the people for example that a jazz critic might name if you asked "who should I listen to". I don't have a whole lot more to add on that but I strongly suspect that musical talent is determined by something like a 90/10 distribution of nature/nuture. I also think that talent like diseases and every other inhereted trait will not be phenotypically evident 100% of the time or even 50% of the time, will skip generations etc. Art Tatum's brother, nearly the same age as him, didn't play anything afaik.

Oh edit: I don't think the derail is silly at all in fact it might be a relatively pure point of study for phenotype/genotype dynamics.

Last edited by JudgeHoldem1848; 10-26-2013 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:06 PM   #84
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

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any musician who spends 500 hours learning to sing / singing is going to be quite good it after that much time. you can't do that much on a piano in that period of time. as far as piano having a higher 'scope' in how good you can get relative to singing, that is really just down to what styles you sing. once you introduce improvised singing (as jazz singers do), the skill cap is basically unlimited.
And this is technically wrong. The piano you can readily hit up to 12 notes at a time in any permutation where order matters in time out of a pool of 88. Maybe someone else could explain the combinatorics of that but its significantly or I might even say astronomically more complex that single note instruments vocals included.

Technical arguments aside I essentially agree with you
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:59 PM   #85
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

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And this is technically wrong. The piano you can readily hit up to 12 notes at a time in any permutation where order matters in time out of a pool of 88. Maybe someone else could explain the combinatorics of that but its significantly or I might even say astronomically more complex that single note instruments vocals included.

Technical arguments aside I essentially agree with you
you can only hit a note on the piano in a certain number of tones. singing you can sing a note in a much wider variety of timbres. comparing the two is stupid, it's clear that you only have so much mental capacity to digest information and that singing improvised music or playing saxophone, while listening to the other musicians you are playing with, is easily complex enough to fill all total available mental space. you only have so much mental space. between listening and playing improvised music simultaneously there is ALWAYS too much information for your mind to process and you have to pick and choose where to zoom in and out of your focus listening etc.
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:18 PM   #86
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

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you can only hit a note on the piano in a certain number of tones. singing you can sing a note in a much wider variety of timbres.
Haha, good point.

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comparing the two is stupid, it's clear that you only have so much mental capacity to digest information and that singing improvised music or playing saxophone, while listening to the other musicians you are playing with, is easily complex enough to fill all total available mental space. you only have so much mental space. between listening and playing improvised music simultaneously there is ALWAYS too much information for your mind to process and you have to pick and choose where to zoom in and out of your focus listening etc.
Not stupid. The piano is the rubric see? Singing with all its variation and ability to make middle c something other than 261 (yes I had to look that up) hertz it is captive to the piano because the piano is the basis of western music and so any test devised will be set upon that instruments terms. So its not stupid it just is how it is. And that's what the skill ceiling argument is about. I can't memorize 2000 moves on a chess board, I would probably have difficulty memorizing 10 but Bobby Fisher can. Is his memory that much better than mine? Maybe so but it has more to do with familiarity. The more heavily practiced the skill, the more meaningful degrees of freedom there are, the more extraordinary the practitioner will seem, particularly ones with natural talent.
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:26 PM   #87
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

In an effort to get this thread back on the track it was originally meant for, here's a piano cover I did a while ago of Sting's "Shape of My Heart". I experimented around with some vocal effects and looking back still not sure whether I really like the decision or not.

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Old 10-26-2013, 09:53 PM   #88
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

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I would just reiterate that I think this point is very interesting, 100% true and that I've never seen it made before anywhere.
I've made the same argument in sports. It's actually a well-known sports argument with complete validity.

When people talk about how dominant Tiger Woods is at golf and how we'll never see another golfer that good... I'm quick to point out that a very, very, very, very small % of the global population has ever played golf, much less has the gobs of money required to play and buy equipment.

Soccer (futbol) players ... those at the very top of the game are the real deal because a very large percentage of the global population has played soccer at least enough to know if they are good enough to pursue it as a career.

People say Shaun White is the best snowboarder of all-time... well there are like 120 snowboarders in the entire world! Who cares? Who is the best MMA fighter today? 20-50 years from now if that is still popular, the king of the hill will be way more battle tested than the guys who dominate today.

There are literally 18 year old kids in Korea who watch Tiger Woods swing on YouTube and teach themselves how to play golf. There is a kid on one of the pro tours who has only been playing golf for a few years and learned from YouTube. Once the entire planet can learn golf from youtube, the global talent pool for golfers will be severely more strong than it is even today, which is the strongest it's ever been (way stronger than when Jack Nicklaus was dominating for instance).
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:30 AM   #89
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

I'm no Mike Patton, but dammit this is fun to play

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Old 11-22-2013, 05:23 PM   #90
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

Didn't know where to post this but I'll try here. I've been playing piano for a couple of years and I'd like to learn to play the piano part on Outkasts 13th floor/growing old. Seems easy enough but I can't figure out the notes/chords with my limited knowledge and I can't find the sheet music online and there's no tutorials/covers on youtube to help. Any pointers would be appreciated.

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Old 12-07-2013, 02:29 AM   #91
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

One of my fav Depeche Mode songs, transposed 2 whole-steps down because lol @ me trying to sing in the top end of Dave's register



edit: this is an "interpretation" fwiw
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:34 PM   #92
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

Must........ keep...... thread........ goingggggg........

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Old 01-02-2014, 09:39 AM   #93
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

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Old 01-04-2014, 03:59 AM   #94
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

Nice Jab, nice. Great dynamics in that one
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:26 PM   #95
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nice piano there
 
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:51 AM   #96
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

A little bit of APC

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Old 03-03-2014, 04:54 AM   #97
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:33 PM   #98
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

How about a little 90's nostalgia? My favorite Soundgarden tune...

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Old 03-08-2014, 03:35 PM   #99
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

well done.
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:59 PM   #100
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Re: Piano/Song Covers

TY
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