First of all, don’t bother trying to tell me you don’t sing in the car. Only Commies and idjits don’t sing in the car. No; wait — since glasnost, only idjits.
Singing in the car has nothing to do with having a good voice. It might be better if you don’t have one. It’s really about self-expression in one of the few truly private moments many of us have all day. Oh yes, the car is a glassed-in bubble visible to much of the world. But here in the United States at least, each driver considers the cockpit his or her private domain. And with the chances slim to none that your wife and all the kids will be out of the house at the same time (unless you have done something very bad), car time might be the only time you can cut loose.
How to make sure you get the most out of your private concert time? This is a tough one. One doesn’t want to waste a rare radio appearance of “Livin’ On a Prayer.” I’m here to help. As a public service, here are my key tips for effective in-car singing, culled from decades of experience channeling Little Richard on the way to the grocery store.
- Never Not Be Singing. Hum lightly if you must, mumble if you have to, but sing something. Your to-do list, your phone, and the butthole who just cut you off so he can cross four lanes will be unable to plague your musical mind.
- L.O.U.D. Once you find the right song, BELT IT! This is no time to be shy. Even if it’s Air Supply, just GO. No one can hear you. Yet.
- Don’t Worry About Things Like Range. Can’t quite get that F-sharp way up high? Well, what do you think this is, Carnegie Hall? It’s not even 57th Street. Your job on those notes is to sound like that guy from The Temptations. Don’t screw it up.
- Passengers Be Damned. They knew the risks. Anyone in your car should be your friend, and they have a choice: handle the backing vocals or walk. Besides, they’re the only ones free to do the dance moves.
- Find Cars With Stodgy People in Them and Pass Them. The world needs to see how much fun you are having. If you do your job right, insouciantly sliding by a disgruntled plumber in his broken-down F150, you will feel better, and he will feel worse. Or he’ll start singing, which would be better.
- Grow a Pair: Windows Down, Keep Going at Lights. Red light? No reason to stop the music. Look at your audience at the light and SELL IT, SISTER (or brother, but that doesn’t sound as good). Trust me, if you can make yourself do this, you can sell ice to eskimos who have just found out their parent eskimo corporation has handed over the whole shebang to Donald Trump. I myself have gotten half a Verdi aria in at some longer lights, and had the light not changed, I’m pretty sure I would have gotten an encore.
- Kids In the Car? Excellent! Nothing sounds sweeter than children singing, or trying to sing. May the wheels on the bus go round and round forever. Everyone, now….
That should get you started. Everyone ready? TAKE MY HAND AND WE’RE HALFWAY THEEEEE-EEEERE…..♦
© 2013 Adam Barr, la la la laaaaaaa