How to Sing the Blues!

How to Sing the Blues!


This is not a "how to feel sad" tutorial...just the opposite, when you sing the blues, you will feel better. So start singing.


There has been a certain tune playing in my head for the last few weeks, and the only thing that might get rid of it is if I write about it.

It’s the blues.

I kept thinking, “I am supposed to teach my readers how to sing the blues...literally.”


So now you, too, can learn to sing the blues.

And just to make it more official, I have also included a downloadable MP3 of the blues that you can take everywhere with you so you can sing the blues anytime.

I will make this version of the blues very uncomplicated for you. It’s a simple 3 line blues that can make you look like a professional singer wherever and whenever.

Here are a few things to remember when you are singing the blues.

  • This first thing may be the most important thing to some of you - you do NOT have to know how to sing in order to sing the blues. “Yes,” there is a melody that you COULD sing if you wanted to, but you can get away with just speaking the words, and it will still come across as the blues.
  • You will be making up 3 lines of the song.
  • The first two lines are rather short (5-8 words only)
  • The 3rd line is exceptionally long compared to the first two lines (10-15 words)
  • The rhyme scheme goes A - B - B (meaning the word at the end of the first line  [A] doesn’t have to rhyme with anything, but the second [B] and third [B] lines should rhyme)
  • After you sing the 3 verse lines you made up, you end the verse by singing, “I got the ____ _____ ____ blues,” twice.
  • Start with the end in mind. If you are singing about walking the dog, the third line should be like a punch line of a joke...giving flavor and fun to the verse. So start with the punch line, figure out the word that you would like to rhyme with. 

~~~

Let’s say, for example, that you have the “Walk the Dog” blues.
What are some things that would be a hardship when it comes to walking your dog?

  1. Getting awakened all hours of the night to walk your dog
  2. Walking your dog at a certain time so you can “see” someone else who walks their dog, but your dog doesn’t cooperate
  3. It is time consuming
  4. Dog's are expensive to keep up
  5. Cats don't need to take a walk

Here are some blues that go along with what we just listed:

My dog woke me this mornin’
It was a quarter to four
I wanted to keep sleepin’, but his barking I couldn’t ignore
I got the “Walk the Dog” blues
I got the “Walk the Dog” blues

  • or

I was walkin’ my dog
He started chasin’ a squirrel
Which makes it hard to hook up with that dog-walkin’ girl
I got the “Walk the Dog” blues
I got the “Walk the Dog” blues

  • or

I’m now walkin’ my dog
This is not what I wish
Next time I want a pet, I will just get myself a fish
I got the “Walk the Dog” blues
I got the “Walk the Dog” blues

  • or

I went to the store
To buy me a pet
And now I am not lonely, but I owe a lot of debt
I got the “Walk the Dog” blues
I got the “Walk the Dog” blues

  • or

I bought me a dog
Instead of a cat
If I had purchased Fluffy, I wouldn't have had to walk that
I got the “Walk the Dog” blues
I got the “Walk the Dog” blues

In all of these verses, I thought of the third line first so I would know what word to rhyme with, then the second line had to rhyme with the third line, and the first line is just anything (as long as it fits within the “5-8 words only” parameters)

After a few verses, you get to end the song with the line,

“yeah, it’s bringing me down, cause I got the _______ ______ ______ blues.”

This part of the song is slow and very bluesy so have fun with it.


Yes...have fun with it. Which brings me to “WHY” you should sing the blues.

1- Even though singing the blues is associated with being sad (or blue, thus the name), in all actuality, singing boosts your spirits.

I remember a long time ago being dumped by a girl and I was in a bad way. I would sing songs about being dumped including Frank Sinatra’s “Learnin’ the Blues.” I would cry through the whole thing, but I would also feel better just because I had been singing. You see, singing releases endorphins (chemicals which make you feel happy), so even when you’re sad, it’s good to sing.

2- When you are making up your own lyrics to a song, it gives you a sense of accomplishment. It may seem like it’s a difficult thing to do, and that’s why it is so impressive, but when you get the system down, you will see that it is actually quite easy.

It’s like writing short poems, which is impressive in and of itself, but when you add music to it, it is awe-inspiring, not just to others, but to yourself. It really feels good.

3- A lot of times, if you are singing the blues about a problem that you really are experiencing, you often come up with a solution to that problem when you make up the verses and sing it in the blues.

The other day, true story, I was sitting at a piano and was surrounded by some friends who started singing the “Sunglasses” blues...because I was wearing sunglasses at a time that I didn’t need to be wearing them.

The thing is, is that I DID need to wear them because my hay fever had gotten the best of me that day and my eyes were red and puffy, and I didn’t want people to be frightened by my red eyes.

While everybody was singing, I thought of a solution: take off the shades and just squint a lot. I know, not a mind-blowing solution, but that’s when it came to me, and that’s when I knew it would be OK.


So now you know how to sing the blues...go ahead and get started.

You’ll be happy you did!


The first MP3 below is a sample of me singing the “Walk the Dog” blues (all 5 verses - with one verse where I don’t even sing - I just speak it all [3rd verse])

The second MP3 below is the music without me singing (minus track...or karaoke version, if you will). In this version, I gave you three verses to sing, with the wrap up at the end.

Each song has it's own download option.

So be happy being blue!!


Click on the note to listen to
The "Walk the Dog" Blues


Click here to listen to 
The "Blankety Blank" Blues
or
(The Blues Minus Track)


Click here to download your
FREE copy of

"The Walk the Dog" Blues

Click here to download your
FREE copy of

The "Blankety Blank" Blues


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S. Frank Stringham

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