Guitar Lessons: How Do I Tell My Friend To Stop Singing/reading Aloud My Work?

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My friend, Mark, is an absolutely lovely guy. I love him like a brother, but sometimes I want to slap him. I’ve been working on a series of songs for one of my personal writing projects, and I intend to take guitar and singing lessons in order to give them life, and because Mark always gravitates toward me while I’m working on my projects, he feels the need to give me advice, and I’m happy to get his advice because he’s specialising in poetry for his degree.

It’s the way he does it which annoys me. When we’re alone, he reads my work silently and gives me constructive criticism. When we’re in a public place such as, oh I don’t know, the library, he SINGS. He has a good voice and all, but because I haven’t given the songs their melodies and keys yet, he sings every song in the same key and in a very flat voice. This, as you can imagine, draws some unwanted attention and I have to ask him “Mark, can you please not sing?” whenever he does this, and bear in mind he does it every single time.

I’ve explained to him how personal this project is, but it’s like he insists on singing, and I’m finding it exhausting to tell him to stop. On top of that, he gets upset about the most menial things, and what I want to avoid is this thing he does with his voice when he gets upset: his voice increases by several octaves and cuts right through you… To give an example of how bad this is, we were at a meeting for the university newspaper, and we were joking about something which Mark was annoyed by, his voice went high and the Editor’s glasses cracked.

How should I tell him that I don’t want him singing my work? It’s like he’s forgotten what I told him about it being personal.

Thanks,
G x
I hadn’t thought of it like that, Claudie =/ Interesting, although my first book has been out since April and he still hasn’t bought it, so another thing which annoys me is that he doesn’t know the context of the songs.

Comments

  1. Claudie says:

    Be honest with your friend, Mark and jist have a heart to heart with him explaining that your creative works are labours of love which mean a lot to you.

    A real friend would understand and give you breathing space. You could also recommend writing a few pieces together. It sounds as if he is completely oblivious to how you really feel and simply means now harm.

    Who knows he’s technically your biggest fan to date :) and could be a muse??