One of the things I like about my current job is that it involves a 40 minute drive in the morning and evening (except Wednesdays). You might think this is a pain but if you’re a serial singer like I am then it’s great!
It’s a well documented fact that I like singing and especially when I’m driving. If they handed out record contracts for effort rather than talent I’m sure I’d be mid-way through a world tour. Actually, they do that already – maybe I’m just not good looking enough… But anyway, I’ve heard my singing and while I can sing some songs in key, I’m certainly not going to be putting myself forward for the next series of X Factor. As an aside, most of the people who go to these talent shows need to realise two things:
- Enthusiasm doesn’t make up for a lack of talent.
- Shouting isn’t the same as singing.
I think 40 minutes is about right for a drive to work. That’s a total of 80 minutes which is just a bit longer than the average length of a CD – this means I can listen to the whole CD and have time to flick through my favourites on the way home. I can then change CDs for the next day and the cycle continues. Any less and my voice doesn’t get the chance to get properly warmed up in the morning (some might argue that it never does get going). And more means I’m in danger of playing a CD to death and considering – I dread to say this – turning the radio on.
My in-car singing has some interesting side-effects though. Firstly, when I’m playing some 80s power ballad I’ll naturally want to look to the heavens, close my eyes and clench my fists to really hit the high-notes (think of the chorus to any song by Spandau Ballet). This is not a good idea when you’re either driving at high speed or nosing through traffic – I’m pretty sure there’s a section of the highway code on the subject. Secondly, there’s the possibility of an audience. When I still lived in Scotland I was once stuck in traffic in Dundee. I was on a filter lane to get onto the Tay Bridge and was signing my heart out as usual. I had this strange urge to look to my right and saw a car full of girls watching me and laughing at my performance. I just smiled at them and carried on – I believe the song was coming up to the chorus and there were some high notes! Yep, if you’re going to do something you might as well go all out for it – there’s no sense holding back.
The other problem comes when I get to the office and listen to more music through my headphones. I’ve just spent the last 40 minutes straining my vocal chords and I have to remember to not burst into song in an office full of people. You can get away with it in a car – at least the people outside can’t hear you killing Tony Hadley’s finest hour…