TRENDY: “I’ve never had voice lessons”
I hear this way too often and it’s false advertising. This is not a bragging right - sorry to tell you.
If you want to be great, you need to train and hone your skills. PERIOD.
The lazy singing trend is resulting in poor ability and injury. It’s not worth it! There’s a better way!
You wouldn’t expect a professional athlete to just hop on the field or court and win the game, so why do we expect the same of singers?
You don’t necessarily ‘need’ a coach but a bit of research and application goes a LONG WAY.
Mainly, I want to talk about this because I am all about prevention over treatment. How can I prevent undue strain and bad habits so I can preserve my vocals for my lifetime. If you don’t know how to use something properly, odds are you’re going to misuse it.
For today's #TuesdayTip I want to myth-bust 3 COMMON MYTHS in saying "I've never had voice lessons!"
#1 Natural ability
#2 I want to feel it (rock n roll)
#3 This is how I ‘sound’
#1 Natural ability
Genetics do play a role in how you sound without training. Some people are physically built to sustain more misuse than others. Some people are physically built to sing some things easier than others.
“Unfortunately, there are huge advantages to having good genes. Things like the size, flexibility and stamina of the vocal folds can be huge factors in singing.”
SOURCE - https://ramseyvoice.com/how-to-sing-well-without-lessons/
However, most great singers who never had any training, eventually seek out a vocal coach to help them preserve their voice for the lifetime of their career. Hence, showing how important it is to research better methods of singing and to APPLY them for the longevity of your only set of vocal cords.
“Healthy singing is not easy to do. So most pro singers don’t even try. They try to sing like Adele (polyps and vocal hemorrhage surgery 2012), or Sam Smith (vocal hemorrhage surgery 2015) or like Freddie Mercury (had vocal nodes but refused surgery).”
Yikes! That’s a lot of vocal damage and they’re professionals!
#2 I want to 'feel it' (rock n roll)
This is one that makes me laugh because at one point, when I was young, I thought this way. I thought that if you practiced and rehearsed too much, it would seem forced and not genuine. I’ll myth-bust this one quickly. The more rehearsed you are, the more freedom you’ll have during a performance to connect with your emotions because your main focus won’t be on actually singing because you’ll feel confident that you can do it!
My mother use to make me practice all my performances with a pretend mic/mic stand so I could go through where I might look or what motions I might want to make with my hands, stance, or if I wanted to work the stage. This way nothing surprised me when I was nervous on stage. I actually felt freer even though practicing these things alone made me feel - frankly, stupid. Now I incorporate video rehearsals into my routine so I can review/critique my vocal and performance.
*Practicing/rehearsing in this ‘dry’ way is a great way to prepare for nerves as well.
#3 This is how I ‘sound’
Now, singing is artistic expression. You should never sound like someone else but you should also sound like yourself. There’s a lot to say about your speaking voice and singing voice not sounding the same. They SHOULD both sound like you.
I think a lot of us use this excuse because of our fear of looking foolish. Especially in this day and age, I find that some of us don’t want to go through the growing pains of learning something new. It’s uncomfortable, it’s challenging, and it’s humbling. THERE I SAID IT. Our pride gets in the way of us putting ourselves out there to learn something new. People these days don’t want to ever be wrong or don’t like feeling like a beginner. But you have to start somewhere!
If you’ve never had lessons or some sort of instruction from maybe school choir (etc), it would be worrisome if you thought that you didn’t need any help.
There’s always room to grow. ALWAYS.
I will say this, no vocal coach should try and make you sound like someone you’re not. Not everyone is meant to sing classically. Finding the right vocal coach for you is important because your priority may be using your instrument best but not with pure classical technicality.
“The truth is, there are way more ways to sing wrong than to sing right. If you pick up everything you know about singing by imitating others, chances are you are singing incorrectly. That’s because the vast majority of professional singers are singing incorrectly a lot of the time.”
To close this myth busting journey, I want to give you some practical and FREE ways you can provide yourself with beneficial instruction so you can healthily grow your voice:
Start following a vocal program. Here’s my favorite available for free on YouTube.
Look up catch phrases on YouTube to find free instructional videos for what you’d like to improve. There’s a video on literally everything. I have a whole #howtosang series you can find here.
PRACTICE. Put the above 2 steps into practice as best as you can. If it feels uncomfortable odds are it’s not the right technique. Relax above all else - drop your jaw and slightly tuck the chin while singing.
Video for self review/critique. Don’t drag yourself down too harshly but be honest with what you hear/see. Pick 3 things from each video that you would like to improve and enact steps 1-3 all over again!
It’s so important to look after our vocal health. I’ve even had a vocal health scare and it completely changed the game for me.
Let me know if you have any questions and happy Tuesday!
See you soon + stay warm! Cx