Are Vocal Lessons Necessary For Songwriters?
Do you feel stuck or the urge to improve? Your songs sound great until you start recording your vocals? Well, maybe you need some vocal lessons to take your music to the next level. I had vocal lessons for a couple of years and I tried different teachers.
Today, I want to share my thoughts about vocal lessons and if I think they’re necessary and what I learned from them.
Feel free to report your stories, experiences and thoughts about vocal lessons!
Why You Should Consider Vocal Lessons
Unless you’re naturally blessed, your voice will hit its limits eventually. When I started I wasn’t a great singer at all and I was very young and had no idea how to improve by myself. Back than money was an issue as well. Additionally, YouTube didn’t have as many helpful tutorials.
My first singing experiences were as background singer in my high school band 10 years ago and I was eager to improve. That’s when I realized I should probably get vocal lessons.
I started with a free trial lesson in a musical school here in Berlin. I prepared a song that I could present to my teacher. Luckily she didn’t say I was a failure. That’s when I started with regular lessons once a week. I was still attending school that’s why I had a huge discount for the vocal lessons.
Take a look if you can get discounts while you’re a student.
She taught me some very important things that I didn’t quite understand at first or didn’t know how to solve specific problems. Singing should come naturally, breath control will improve my pitch, I have to work on my lazy ear, vowels are the most important things… How on earth could I come up with this myself?
Technically you could learn about those things from books. They will cover most of these issues and more. But books won’t correct you or tell you your mistakes. My teacher always told me that the human body likes to remember mistakes.
So if you sing something wrong but you might think it’s right or sounding good your body will remember the mistake and I can tell you it is much harder to correct mistakes that are already deep within you.
Try to avoid singing with the original song at all costs. Listen first and then sing without the original because you won’t hear what you actually sound like when there is the original voice. Record yourself so you really know what you sound like.
I haven’t been doing voice lessons for about a year now and I do miss them. Some things take time and practice to improve but I much prefer it if there’s somebody guiding me the way. In all honesty though, vocal lessons aren’t cheap…
How Much Do Voice Lessons Cost?
As I mentioned above, I got a discount back in the days. But even as student I had to pay 90€ a month for 45 minutes a week. That makes about 22€ or 25$ per week and I had zero income as student… thank you mom. When I went to university the discount wasn’t as big anymore. I suddenly had to pay 120€ a month or 30€ a week. Additionally I had to pay tuition fee now. You can imagine I had to drop vocal lessons eventually.
After I dropped my lessons, I still had E-Mail contact with my teacher. I got the opportunity to take private lessons at her place for 20€ per week which was the cheapest way to do it. I can only advice you to find a private teacher if you’re on a budget.
Fast forward to today.
I dropped my lessons again because of work and time issues. But since last year I made up my mind to change my lifestyle being a full-time musician/songwriter. It’s still a long way to get there but I want to improve much more and educate other people. That’s when I realized, I really want to take voice lessons again or even go to university studying music.
Now I realize how lucky I was with 20€ a week…. I’ve seen lessons reaching from 40€-80€ a week (up to 320€ a month).
That’s a lot of money that’s why I have to investigate a little more.
I joined several Berlin Musician Facebook groups to find a private person to teach me. By now I haven’t found the right person but I will report as soon as I get there.
Another option is the world of internet research. Online courses are cheap alternatives but are they really useful?
What About Online Courses?
I’ve seen lots of musicians praise Udemy on Twitter lately. At first I was confused because I heard rather bad things from Udemy. The course I’m interested in that I might try for you guys is “Master Your Voice” by Matt Ramsey. After I’m done with this course I will tell you my honest feedback.
Another cool thing I like to do quite often is asking YouTube for help. There are so many helpful people there answering my questions. The songwriting videos I found there are just incredibly inspiring.
Don’t forget though… I’ve already had voice lessons and I might know how to apply the tips they tell you in those videos a little better. Maybe I understand the goal of the video a little better. Like I mentioned before don’t let your body learn wrong singing.
That is why I do not recommend singing online courses if it’s your first or only lesson. Only if you’re already a good singer, those will help you. If you are like me and you start as a pretty bad singer, do yourself a favor and search for a professional.
They will give you specific advice and exercises just for you and your voice. They can work on your mistakes and the progress will be much better.
Most of the trial lessons are either for free or very cheap… Try those out at first!
Sometimes music schools or private persons make exceptions when you’re on a tight budget.
I hope you found this post helpful in any way that would mean a lot to me.
Keep your positive attitude and I will talk to you very soon.
Take care you guys!
Do you think vocal lessons are necessary?
What are your experiences?