Why You’re Not Getting Better
You’ve got a shelf full of singing books, a popular singing CD course and you practice regularly. You might even be taking private lessons, yet you are in a singing rut
It may be time to reassess your singing path to make sure you are getting all that you can out of your precious singing time.
Not Taking Private Lessons (or taking the wrong lessons)
This is an obvious one. Only a private voice teacher can instantly identify subtle imbalances in your voice and instantly correct them. There is no home study course that can do this for you.
While I believe there are some very good self-study programs out there, a great private teacher is your quickest route to achieving your singing goals.
Another problem is studying with the wrong teacher. If you are looking at singing as a career you need the best teacher you can afford.
Skilled voice teachers have many years of study and experience and they often don’t come cheap. This is not the area to go bargain hunting. A poor teacher can not only slow your progress but actually create even more problems with your voice.
There are studies that show regular testing is crucial to making new skills and information permanent. There is something about the “trial by fire” of performance that really cements your understanding and skill.
There are so many aspects of performance that you need to experience, from the audience to monitors to interacting with live musicians.
Find any and every opportunity to perform. You will find your skills will take a huge leap forward.
Not Taking Risks
Some students resist performance because of stage fright or other issues. Others only sing songs that are easy and comfortable.
Here’s the truth: no one willingly pays good money to watch performers play it safe.
Get on that stage in spite of your stage fright – sing that song with challenging notes or runs. The pressures these risks provide are essential to push and motivate you.
Check out my blog on dealing with stage fright if this is holding you back.
A few years ago I read a perfect description of deliberate and non-deliberate practice.
A golfer goes to the driving range and hits a bucket of balls. He doesn’t really pay much attention other than vague notions of his stroke and where the ball lands. This is non-deliberate practice.
The second golfer hits a bucket of balls at the range. However with each ball the golfer has a specific goal of where to land the ball. He then analyzes where the ball landed and makes adjustments to his swing.
The golfer then repeats this process on every swing. Goal, analysis, adjustment.
You need this in your singing practice. On each exercise, what is your goal (less tension, power, etc)? You then need to constantly analyze how close you are to the goal and make adjustments. This is how you really improve.
Going Too Fast
This is an extension of non-deliberate practice – running quickly through songs at full speed. All the while you are missing notes, your riffs are sloppy, etc.
You need to SLOW DOWN!
There is software that will slow down tracks without changing the key. I use the Amazing Slow Downer (www.ronimusic.com) You need to utilize this to take songs and really concentrate on them. Get every note in a run correctly, find those little notes where you are out of balance. Fix everything slowly and you will sound amazing at full tempo.
Besides slowing down you need to isolate and repeat the more difficult parts of the music. Repetition is the key to mastery.
If you are doing the entire song every time you will not be able to spend enough time on the problem sections. Don’t worry if your practice is only a few measures of a song, repeated over and over. This is some of the most powerful practicing you can do.
Not Studying Music
Your higher goal, besides being a singer, should be to be a great musician. Don’t be content just hitting notes, learn as much as you can about this amazing world of music.
Ear training, theory, studying a musical instrument should be part of your daily practice regimen. All of this will make you a more expressive, commanding and powerful musical performer.
The world quite frankly has enough singers, what we need is more singing musicians.