September 12, 2017 at 9:33 am #716803
From a LW:
I would love to hear your advice on a situation I’m surprised to find myself in!
My darling husband, “Jeff,” has played the guitar for about twenty years, and although he’s quite good, he’s shy about it, and hasn’t sought to perform publicly, or play in bands. I have a musical background too, and I even used to play the piano and sing folk songs in coffee shops when I was in college – but that’s been about eleven years ago, and I haven’t kept up with either.
Jeff’s and my second wedding anniversary is coming up this fall, and he just mentioned to me that he’d like us to learn a certain love song he feels symbolizes our relationship, and play it together as a way to celebrate. He explained that he’d like to play it, he’d like me to sing it, and furthermore, he’d like us to record the song and post it to our social media accounts and play it live for family and friends!
I’m touched, and I think it’s a sweet idea. Jeff never wants material things, and I’m so happy to be able to give him something he really, truly wants and will love. But – and this is very shallow – I’m out of practice. And I’m worried about it. Jeff will be amazing with the guitar part, I know, but I don’t think I could do as good a job with this as I once could’ve. If this were to be a private gift to each other, I wouldn’t care – Jeff has heard me sing plenty of times and still thinks my somewhat frog-like croaks are beautiful. (But then, of course he does!) Knowing he wants to share this project publicly fills me with stage fright! I’m always willing to look silly in front of Jeff, but admittedly less so in front of others. Also, I feel it would be one thing if this were something I just out-and-out sucked at – it’d be funny! – but this is something I used to be quite good at and rather proud of, and I’m not anymore.
Can you help me minimize my discomfort with this? I feel silly about this, but I’ve been really nervous about it. I couldn’t stand to disappoint my sweet husband, and I’m so proud of him for finally being ready to share his gift! But how ironic that I’m now the one who would rather keep quiet. I have not and will not voice my trepidation to my husband, but is there anything you can suggest to help me put my objections out of my mind and just have fun doing this with my husband? I know this is a really neat anniversary gift to each other, and I just want it to be as good as it can be, on my part.
Please Listen Through Rose-Colored EarbudsSeptember 12, 2017 at 10:40 am #716811
I’m not sure yet how to best handle your situation, but I understand your anxiety. I think it’s very touching that you want to work through your discomfort to create music with your husband. I think focusing on your love for him may help you overcome your negative thoughts on how others may react.September 12, 2017 at 10:59 am #716817
Do you know someone who can produce it? I did something similar for my wedding… my husband wanted me to sing a song live, but I felt I wouldn’t be able to. So as a surprise, after we’d picked our song for our first dance, I made my own recording of it to play instead of the artist’s version. I tried to do it myself, but my recording was awful. So I went to a friend of mine who does local music producing, and recorded it with him. And when he was done it sounded fantastic. And no, not because of autotuning, lol. It was my voice, but with professional equipment and producing it doesn’t sound so “bare”, if you know what I mean. And it sounded like a real song. Can you try something like that? A small local producer who can help you make something that sounds great? Maybe with the caveat that if yyou still feel like you don’t sound good enough, that the two of you keep it as a private gift to each other?September 12, 2017 at 11:07 am #716820
That’s a GREAT idea, RedRover! Especially if you can give a copy to friends and family after you play it for them.
It may also help your confidence to hear how nice you sound on the recording, in case your husband is really set on a live performance. I’m positive you’re a better singer than you claim. 🙂September 12, 2017 at 11:41 am #716828
Also may I suggest you book 3/4 music/ singing lessons for yourself to be able to gain confidence again in the relative privacy of a one to one session. Even famous singers go back to lessons if they’re feeling less confident or a note they wish to gain a new skill.September 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm #716833
Yes to the lessons and yes to the professional recording. My husband has suddenly picked up music (and is surprisingly good at it, especially considering he’s 65% deaf) and knows I used to sing and play and I am dreading the day he starts to plan a collaboration instead of just talking about “some day”. These are my plans for when that day comes.September 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm #716834
I’d get some voice lessons and then do what RedRover suggested with the producer. Work on the specific song with the voice teacher and then record it.September 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm #716840
Have you told him that you wouldn’t mind doing the song together, but don’t want to post the full version online? I get wanting to do something that makes him happy, but a compromise is OK too.September 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm #716841
My Mom is an excellent piano player, owns a baby grand piano and takes private lessons. Sometimes I’ll sit by the piano and tell her to play something for me – half the time she gets flustered “I haven’t practiced enough!” or the piece she’s working on isn’t ready! She’s finally learned that I really don’t care if she makes a few mistakes – a) I might not notice them and b) if I do I don’t really care bc it’s still impressive to me bc I can’t do anything like it.
You can always say you want to keep it private but the people who love and care about you will have the same mindset as I do with my Mom – and will think it’s extra cute that you two are doing to together.September 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm #716842
The voice lessons and an outside producer are great ideas. If the production is too expensive, can you compromise and say yes to recording it, but only share it if you’re ok with the recording after hearing it? Either way, he will have it recorded to listen to whenever he wants.September 12, 2017 at 9:23 pm #716885
I have not and will not voice my trepidation to my husband,
Here’s my thing, though: why not? I’m not saying refuse, because it doesn’t sound like you’re at that point. But your fear seems to be less of your own self-image and more of disappointing Jeff, and I totally get you feeling that way. But why not talk to him?
Look, you have to remember that some guys get WAY too carried away when they’re super excited about their significant others. It sounds like Jeff is more focused on bragging about you than he is about being the next Eric Clapton, which is a wonderful thing to feel for someone you love. But if you told him your concerns, I bet he’d drop the social media thing for a bit and focus on just playing it and having a recording for yourselves. And maybe if you talk to him about it he’ll be able to have the right words to say that will make you feel more confident about your skills.
(And, seriously, if you guys end up posting it and you don’t mind outing your identity here, I’m pretty sure this entire thread would LOVE to hear it 🙂 )