Sunday, 12 June 2011

Self-pitying whining post

One of the problems I’ve been afflicted with since birth is tone deafness

I didn't even realise the problem until fairly recently, when, a few years ago, I attempted to analyse the reasons I can't sing (even though, as I shall explain, I think I can).

I don’t know how many people reading this are tone deaf, but I suppose not too many. So, this is an attempt to explain tone deafness to you, and how it affects me.

Think of a song. Let’s say, Doe a deer. Now, when you people listen to this song, you probably hear variations in tone in the lines. I say probably, because this is what it sounds like to me:

Doe a deer, a female deer (flat)
(At a higher pitch, but still flat) Ray, a drop of golden sun
(At a still higher pitch, but otherwise still flat) Me, a word I call myself
(..and so on)

You understand? I can only distinguish changes in pitch. I accept that there is something called “tone” which you people can hear, but for me, trying to understand that is like a blind person trying to comprehend the colour blue.

And the problem with this is...?

The problem with this is, that I do enjoy music. And, like many people who enjoy music, I do like to sing along, and, in my ears, what I’m singing does approximate to what I hear. But not to anyone else.

This means, all right, make fun of me if you hear me singing, that’s all right.

But you’re doing the same thing as someone laughing at someone who’s congenitally unable to see or to smell.

(OK, sorry for the whining. I'll try not to whine any more.  Thanks for the patience.)


  1. I thot this was about botching the lyrics, Bill. I once thought that Snoop Dogg's song is "Strumming my Guitar" when the correct lyrics is "drop it like it's hot". I committed other worse mistakes like that. -swerver

  2. Bummer about being tone deaf. My sister is too, and it annoys the crap out of her when people point it out.


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