I can’t sing as I’m tone deaf – is no excuse anymore
We have never met any person who is completely tone deaf when it comes to singing. And by that, we mean someone who is unable to differentiate between a low and a high tone at all. Because by definition, tone deafness means someone who cannot detect different tones, and cannot tell if you are singing high or low. Which makes me suspect whether there is such a thing as complete tone deafness.
Because it really is quite difficult to be tone deaf, in our opinion. You would have to be totally unable to detect changes in speaking and singing pitch. Most people who have pitching issues would label themselves as tone deaf quite quickly, without realising that it really is something that is rather difficult to have. Sort of like a rare gift!
If a singer is able to sing high and low, and able to tell that he or she is singing higher or lower, then that singer is not tone deaf. Perhaps that singer is having some tone deficiencies, and is unable to hear certain pitches accurately. And well, that can be trained. But it does take time, and regular practice.
There was one singer who came very close though. She was standing behind me in church, and singing virtually in only 1 or 2 pitches throughout, for any song. I guess that was the closest I ever came to hearing a tone deaf singer sing. So, the next time you wish to label yourself as tone deaf, think again. It’s really more rare than you think!