All singers are different. We each have years of habit in using our voices that shape the way we sing today. These habits dictate our success in singing, and knowing our habits (both good and bad) helps us to build the voice more efficiently.
You see, learning to sing isn’t like learning to play the piano. Before one takes a piano lesson, they more than likely haven’t played before. They are free of preconceived notions and bad habits, so building their knowledge is straightforward and systematic.
Singing is a completely different ballgame. Many of us have been singing for years before we ever have a lesson, and even if you haven’t, you’ve undoubtedly been speaking for years. The singing voice is just an extension of the speaking voice. That said, we each have years of habit establish within our voice. Some of these habits help us while others get in the way of what we’d like to accomplish vocally.
For example, if you sing with a good amount of tongue tension, then you’re going to get tired much more easily. If you lack healthy vocal cord closure or a consistent flow of air, then your sound will be breathy, and you won’t be able to hold out long phrases. If your larynx comes up as you ascend in pitch, then you’re inevitably going to crack. And finally, if all of these factors (and sometimes more) aren’t in place, then you’re nowhere near accomplishing what your capable of when it comes to range and vocal freedom.
All that said, it’s important to know which aspects of your vocal technique are solid and which ones need a little work. Naturally, the coordinations that are solid don’t need much attention, so you can now spend more of your practice time establishing better habit on the aspects of technique in which you fall short.
Having a vocal coach can help tremendously in this endeavor. A solid coach will be able to hear what’s out of balance and show you methods you can use to correct those issues. Naturally, if you’d like some individual guidance, I’d be happy to help. I teach singing lessons on skype and out of my home studio in Orlando, FL.
If lessons aren’t right for you for whatever reason, you can also check out my Grow My Range training series. In this video training series, I help share many different aspects of the voice that need to be balanced and show you how you can do at least some of that balancing work on your own. You can sign up for Grow My Range here.
I hope this article helps and wish you all the best of luck in moving forward in creating better habits with your voice.
~ Vocal Coach Ken Taylor