Range

It struck me as I watched Ben Gibbard sing. He wasn’t struggling one bit to get his words out. Every note was flawless, every inflection perfect.

Yes, Ben Gibbard has an incredible voice, but in a very different way than an Aretha Franklin or Freddie Mercury. Ben has his own range. It’s not very big, but he owns it.

Not long ago, I was trying so hard to sing like Ben Gibbard. Just as I had once tried so hard to sing like Dave Grohl, as I had tried so hard to sing like James Hetfield, as I had tried so hard to sing like Billie Joe Armstrong.

But they weren’t in my range.

But I pushed it. I wanted to belt the high notes in Iris. I wanted to scream the emotion in Monkey Wrench.

But they weren’t in my range.

Finally, now having seen a master of his craft stick to his range, I realize I’ve been wasting too much time out of my own.

Your most reliable work will always be within your range. Go just a bit outside of that to show your passion and stretch yourself. But go too far beyond that and you’ll be so strained that ultimately the work will suffer.


Originally published at patdryburgh.com.