There are physical exercises, breathing exercises, warm-up exercises, how to get your voice range and pitch, how to mix the head and chest voices, how to protect your vocal health, to name a few. There’s an enormous amount of vocal training tips out there. They are all important things for a singer or becoming a singer.
What I want to talk about here is a different type of “tips”, I’d like to say recommendations. I’m going to walk you through 5 things a singer needs to know and consider very seriously.
We all are at different skill levels in our singing abilities, don’t we? Some just want to sing for fun, for himself or herself, for friends and family, or for a certain audience. There are the serious ones that are committed to honing their craft all the way through, beyond just casual singing.
They have dreams that someday they will hit the “big league” and many times, the way to get there is through a process, a competition, an audition, hoping that some producer comes along that might lead as a turning point to someone’s career later.
What Type of Music are You Drawn To? Cultivate a Passion for It
There’s nothing wrong with being able to sing every style of music. Being a versatile singer is remarkable, but to be identified in just a few of them is beneficial. In my opinion, it will dictate your identity, your trademark and why your audience connects and follows you.
There are several music genres that we all know – Hip-hop, rock, R&B, musical theater, folk, country, classical, to name a few. What do you most gravitate to when listening to music or when singing for yourself?
One of the ways to develop the passion is to immerse yourself by listening to lots and lots of songs and sing regularly and consistently. This is crucial if you want to be the best at it. I mean, you’re going to do a job here and if you want to do it right, why not shoot for the stars, as they say.
Don’t allow someone to say you’re average, why not be the best that you can be. Someone said, I quote, “Good enough is not good enough if you can be better, and better is not good enough if you can be the best”, which I have no doubt, you can be.
How Far Do You Want to Go with It, And Why?
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this article, some just sing for fun, and others are going all out. If you have come this far, I assume you might be the latter. If you want to be the best, put your blinders on and don’t even think twice.
I must warn you, though, if you’re going to shoot for the stars, you’re going to fall down many times. But you know what? Rock bottom is a good place to start to build, to grow. Sometimes, our condition must be painful enough to push through the threshold.
Google any successful singer, or better yet, listen to their stories on YouTube. They have inspiring stories to tell, how they failed many times over, and keep getting up. Don’t be afraid to fail, it’s a good thing. I also recommend studying from other successful people in other fields, how they made it and how they got there, despite setbacks along the way.
They just didn’t show up there without going through tough times. They inspire and change our outlook in life in general. The great thing these days is we have Google and YouTube and the internet readily available on demand. We don’t have to buy biography books or go to the library anymore.
It’s very crucial to determine where you want to go with your singing if you want to reach your dream. Obviously, if you intend to be a casual singer, that’s what you get. The level of success depends on where you want to go and how bad you want it.
A famous quote from Henry Ford says, “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”. If you have determined that early on, then half the battle is won. It won’t be easy, but the rest will become less strenuous and it will all be worth it.
Burning Desire Brings You There. How Much Do You Want It?
You heard about the phrase, “It’s All About Attitude”. The attitude of an intense desire will automatically exclude you from mediocrity, from being good enough and from the rest of the pack.
Most, if not all successful people started from the bottom and struggled in their journey before they got where they are now. They didn’t get there overnight. What made their career is a strong desire, determination, and persistence to get where they wanted.
I loved to sing so much that I didn’t have to discipline myself because it was already integrated into my daily routine. When I am studying a certain song, I work on it until I don’t have any more left in me. Even so, I always felt like I need to keep working until no stone left unturned.
When you’re at that point, the determination and love for what you do (sing) is into full bloom, and you are headed to something great. You feel there’s a source of unstoppable energy.
Working hard is not hard work anymore if you’re burning with desire and loving every minute of it. Time goes faster, you don’t even think of it, just like breathing, you just do it. Success is inevitable, it’s just a matter of time.
A Course of Action
In learning how to sing, there are many technical aspects of it. They are all very important for a singer. If you go back to the first paragraph of this article, I mentioned a couple of them there, but that’s for another discussion down the road. What I am going to talk about in this section is something that you can do whether you have a teacher or not.
I already mentioned it here, but I want to emphasize that you immerse yourself with music, your genre, lots and lots of it. Exposure is key or experience, if you may. Like applying for a job, education is important, but without experience, there’s less chance of getting hired, isn’t it?
The one that has the experience is more likely to get the position than merely having a college degree. The same is true of singing. Listening and singing to tons and hours of songs will give you an advantage. Eventually, you’ll gain so much confidence that nobody can stop you. Something special in inevitable. Work is not hard work anymore, but at the same time, hard work works every time.
There are some parts of the world that love to sing more than the rest of the world. People, without even having a single singing lesson in their entire life, just come out the stage with amazing voices. I’m not saying, having a private teacher is unimportant. I want to emphasize that a group of people that integrate singing to their lifestyle (culture) have the most chance of being great at it.
A Voice Teacher is Critical. How Do You Look For One?
There’s always something we don’t know that another individual knows, especially if that someone is good in what he does. A voice teacher that has gone through the process himself from start to finish will have a lot to say and we need to listen very closely. This is necessary for guidance, to improve what is lacking. Even if we think we already heard everything, a good teacher can fine tune, fix and tweak stuff.
There’s always something new to learn, regardless if you are a complete beginner or a seasoned singer, it is necessary to keep up and be evaluated by someone that has the extensive background under his belt. We hear ourselves differently when we listen to ourselves talking or singing, and a teacher might have the right ears to assist us. I said “might”, because we must find the right one, don’t we?
How to find out if someone is a good voice teacher?
This is a whole topic on its own and looking for one is a whole undertaking just the same. You can’t, there’s no absolute answer until several lessons deep into the relationship between you and the teacher. It’s a subjective matter, depending on the goal of both sides and at least some tangible results after a couple of sessions.
Here are some things that you can find out before the start of the first lesson. Teachers are now globally available because of the internet; online lessons are rampant via Skype. You can pick anyone you want, anywhere in the world these days because of technology.
Of course, a great local teacher is more preferable if you can find one so he can work on the physical aspect of the vocal apparatus, like the larynx, diaphragm, the jaw and so on.
Cautious and meticulous of course, with a bit of skepticism, will help in your search for your teacher. Read a lot about this person. Again, Google, YouTube, Facebook are good places to start, it’s free. What are their accomplishments, their students’ comments and testimonies, who they worked with?
You might find a video or audio online demonstrating an outstanding prospective teacher. Look for someone specialized in your genre. Anyone can claim to be a voice teacher but confirmation is vital. Look for the best that you can find that you can afford.
I must also add that you can have voice lessons in the comfort of your own home. There’s a ton of them on the internet. A reputable one is Robert Love, available by clicking here if you’re into popular music. If you don’t know him yet, you’ll find out very quickly.
Now, listen up. Christina Aguilera has her own singing masterclass online. Can you believe that? Check it out here.
Albert Einstein defines insanity as, “…doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result”. In singing and in all other areas, if you don’t do something different now, you will be where you’re at 5 years from now, guaranteed.
Please, leave a comment below, so I may better serve you in my next post. Thank you for stopping by.