Have you ever wondered why many people have been singing all their lives, spent a lot of time in voice lessons with lots of singing under their belt and when you listen to them sing, there is left something to be desired.
There is a secret to great singing that many singers and students of singing fail to uncover in their learning process
No, it is not your vocal range or technique, it is not talent, and certainly, it has nothing to do with the amount of time you put in practice. While all of these are important, I’d like to unlock and present to you this aspect that perhaps will open the door for your success.
It is called self-awareness.
Your inability to figure out clearly the reasoning behind all the things that are being thrown at you is the very thing that slows you down or will keep you from learning. You can’t know that you might have a bad singing voice even if you’re the first one who hears yourself every time you sing.
Being self-aware means that you understand how you stand against a set of standards and implementing these standards without being taught over and over again. Sometimes, there are so many to think about that you completely give up.
Please don’t, until you hear the rest of what I have to say. Here are some tips to help you become more self-aware.
Focus on One Thing at a Time. It Will Stick with You Forever
You become self-aware if you know how to divert your attention from matters that don’t belong to what is being worked on right now. You’ve heard the phrase, “being in the moment”. There’s so much power and understanding that can be sifted to your brain if you can exercise that reality.
If your goal is to learn the melody, do not worry about singing in full voice until you get that straight first in your brain. That’s just one example, but you can apply it in other aspects of your growth as a singer. Being self-aware is something that you will find akin to driving a manual stick-shift transmission car for the first time.
To start with, with the engine off and car not moving, focus your efforts on how to move that gear stick in the right place. And as you go along, you slowly begin to focus on adding the clutch with your left foot and timing it with shifting the stick with your right hand.
You know how that works, right? Again, you start by looking at the gear stick initially to get accustomed with the unfamiliar. Eventually, it becomes second nature to you that it’s almost a thing of the past like it’s not even there.
I was showing my 15-year-old daughter how to drive, but this one is an automatic transmission vehicle. The principle is the same and true, slow and one thing at a time. We parked with the engine turned off and had her drive just like we were moving. She’s also a violin student and her teacher says, “very slow” all the time.
Find Ways to Exercise Patience. It’s Just a Matter of Time
We know that Jugglers, gymnasts, and even a beauty queen can’t perfect what they ought to do on the first try. They fall and fail many thousand times and they know that that’s when the learning begins.
Do you know that failing to learn from a mistake is the mistake? What sets the successful ones apart is they know how to exercise patience in spite of innumerable mistakes. They do not let frustrations get in the way of achieving what they desire.
It doesn’t matter what the journey looks like, including falling countless times as long as they know what their end goal is. They know that they eventually get there, and failure is not an option. It’s just a matter of time.
The same principle applies to singing. Singers do not manage to hit that note on the first try. They have to stop mid-song without dismay and do it all over again, and again, until they find the right approach to completely nail it right.
I have worked with individuals with unshakable determination to accomplish what they set to do. You get tired just by looking at them sometimes, but what an inspiration they are. Associating with people like these makes you one just like them yourself.
I even want to stop here right now and start practicing. Wheww!
Find Your Comfort Zone, You Will Go a Long Way
Learning how to sing requires not only time and effort which are key in your journey, like what I have mentioned many times in my other posts; it requires the ability to make it less of a chore and more of having fun. Many singers sing everywhere. They do it in the car, the bathroom, on walks, or in the living room.
To sing comfortably should be a natural process like walking or standing. The key is consistency, yes, you have to be singing all the time and with songs that you are very comfortable with until you’re ready to move on to the next thrilling thing. Until then, you can command your singing and your voice at will effortlessly now while developing your voice.
Your comfort zone is the feeling of confidence that you can deliver what you have right now and not worry about what you can’t do yet. If you sing with consistency no matter where you are, you are programming your head that you can do it and you’re on your way. As you keep being enthusiastic, you will begin to realize the opportunities ahead of you.
And when you do, you can find ways to conquer your fears and understand that there are other songs waiting for you out there, and perhaps that opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Figure Out How You Look Like, Be as Natural as You Can Be
Singing is mostly what you sound like than what you look like, but it needs to reflect on your face, your head, arms, hands and your whole body what that burst of emotional adventure a song is trying to convey. The parts of your body should naturally follow the drama behind the musical experience.
A mirror is your best friend instantaneously. You see how you stand, how you tilt your head, and how you move your hands on the mirror.
The only problem with using the mirror is that your focus leans more towards it than immersing yourself in the song. I’d recommend recording yourself instead on a video to be able to concentrate on the song and not the mirror. You’ll find out whether you’re stiff, unnatural or completely suitable with the sentiment of the music and/or song at hand.
If you have a handy camera available, you can use it to record yourself, or the GoPro Hero5 will work fine too.
I found a video recorder on Amazon that’s geared towards musicians because of its audio quality microphone that other handy cameras don’t have. It’s the Zoom Q2n Handy Video Recorder. It comes with a portable, lightweight tripod and a 16 GB SD card. You can find out more here.
Get Started Being Self-Aware Today
You might have noticed by now that awareness involves a lot of thinking and focus. We hear it all the time, “it’s a mindset”. Listen, remember, observe, and execute. Conditioning your mind to be where you want to be will help you get there.
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll make sure to get back to you. You can leave your comments or questions below. Also, a vocal trainer device can help you become more aware on how well you’re doing. You might want to check one out.