4 Things My Vocal Teacher Taught Me That Changed Everything
Do you know these moments when something in your brain clicks? Suddenly everything is much more logical and you totally understand a specific topic that caused a lot of confusion before? I certainly have those moments every now and then. Wether it is a math topic that is all of sudden much clearer than it was when I was younger or singing the right vowels. My vocal teacher helped me to clear a lot of confusion.
Today we will dive deep into the secrets that my vocal teacher told me that changed everything, for me at least. Some of these things may apply to you but others won’t and that’s totally fine. Everyone is different, has a different voice and way of learning things.
These are 4 of her best tips, in my opinion.
There’s No One Technique Fits All
I’ve been doing research on vocal lessons for such a long time and there are a lot of people, especially YouTube, teaching you many things. It’s hard to decide which one is good for you and which exercise to start with. For a long time I thought I can just watch videos and try my best to copy those people. Copy the way they sing, the way they sound.
It’s more of a life’s lesson to be your own you but in singing I realized it’s simply not possible to copy some people’s techniques. There are exercises that work very good for you, your voice and your body but others won’t. Even though it’s an exercise Beyoncé herself uses it might not work out for you.
I have to be honest here. Til this day I’m struggling to find my own sound and how to sing the best way for my voice. That’s why I want to take lessons once again because it’s been a while. Through the years though, I learned what works better for me and what doesn’t.
The ultimate tip my vocal teacher gave me was… when your throat hurts while you sing or you trying something new, then it’s probably wrong and you’re doing something the wrong way. Up to this day I try to work like that. When learning new songs and trying out new things, I take care of my voice and throat.
Always Do Vocal Warm Ups
You might think they’re boring. Maybe you think they sound stupid. Guess what? You are right. I wish there was a short cut but there is none. Nowadays YouTube is a really good resource for all kinds of warm ups. We all have our favorites and the ones we don’t like and skip from time to time.
My vocal teacher used to tell me this when I complained about warm ups:
Imagine you’re waking up in the morning and somebody comes to you shouting… DO THIS AND THAT. DO IT NOW AND DO IT PERFECT.
You will probably feel really stressed, tired and exhausted. Well, the voice works in a similar way. I mean, we are able to do stressful tasks but not the second we wake up.
Sometimes warming up doesn’t feel quite right or the sound is a little weird and a little off. Don’t forget to use a very light voice when warming up. Because it’s much better having a weird ugly sound while you’re warming up than having it later on when you really want to sing with your full voice.
A pro tip she told me was:
If you have a performance at night, do a lot of short warm ups, lip rolls, scales throughout the day, to wake your voice up really gently.
Singing Should Feel Naturally
When thinking of our most favorite artists, we might think of big performances with a lot of feels and acting but we might forget that there’s a lot of heavy training involved. I can not quite differentiate, when I put on this “fake” wrong voice and when it’s correct. This was driving me insane when she called me out…”Marc you’re trying to sing too much.” What does that mean?
She tried to explain to me that my singing voice should sound and feel the same way as my normal talking voice.
The weight and the stress shouldn’t be at your vocal cords and throats but at your diaphragm. Your voice needs the breath support and thats where it should feel tiring.
If I’ve had to guess, then I would pick this whole topic as my main singing weakness. I can not quite “feel” whether I’m singing with my normal voice or not. But I can trust her to call me out every single time, damn it.
Avoid Singing With The Original Track
This is something I rarely do anymore. I know that I have a bad ear memory and that I have to listen to songs a couple of times until I get the melody right. When singing with the original track, your sound and the original sound start to blur into one and you can not tell if you’ve made mistakes or not.
When singing with a track, try to find the instrumental version on YouTube. Sometimes I sing along to those or I pitch them to the needs of my voice. I never do something like those old PlayStation 2 SingStar karaoke games anymore. If I want to sing karaoke, I will pick the instrumentals of my favorite songs.
Go ahead and record yourself while singing on instrumentals and you can hear very clearly what you’ve done right or wrong. Recording and listening is a very simple and easy trick to improve yourself. You can not quite hear how you sound like when singing. You need to listen to yourself afterwards.
I hope you enjoyed todays post and you learned something new.
Take care of yourself and I will talk to you soon.
Did you learn anything new today? If yes let me know I would be super excited.