Great vocal instructors are hard to find. Unfortunate, considering they can be the difference between an average, and an amazing voice, that gives you something to sing about!
Because of the area I work in, I happen to be friends with many singers. Skill wise, some are really brilliant, some are not so great, and some fit somewhere in the middle.
Because I have a lot of interest in the voice, I constantly bombard these people with questions about singing. I’m always interested in how a singer discovered their voice (or didn’t)
Now, my singing friends sometimes get a little frustrated with my obsession over developing a great voice. That said, we do have some very interesting discussions as to how the voice works, and why the voice sometimes refuses to work.
I realized very early on that there are two types of singers. There are the ones who can naturally sing with great technique. These people rarely come across vocal troubles.
But, there are not many of these people around. Only a few of my friends fit into this category. For the rest of us? Well, we must earn our voice…..
Just about every other singer, at one point, has dealt with vocal troubles. This is what I will address in this article. While I was chatting to my singing buddies, there were a few common problems that kept coming up.
In many cases, correcting the problem was a matter of making a few simple adjustments.
Before we begin, I must bring up a very important point.
This point seems to be overlooked by the majority of vocal instructors, and can cause many tiresome singing difficulties.
Here it is...
Keep singing easy and simple! When I say easy, I mean, it shouldn't take huge amounts of effort to sing. Singing is not like running a marathon! With great technique, singing actually becomes almost as easy as speaking. This applies to any note in your range.
You should never have to strain to reach an extremely high, or extremely low note. If you are straining, this means you are pushing your voice, which is incorrect.
When I say simple, I mean that you should not be trying to concentrate on ten things, all at once. In my experience, many vocal instructors try and provide many different exercises that each cover a single aspect of singing.
A breathing exercise, a voice placement exercise, a tonality exercise, and so on…..
Then they will get you to try and add all these things together. They would say, “remember to think about your breathing, and support…..oh also your placement. And if you get the chance, focus on your vowel sounds too…..”
I find this method frustrating, time consuming, and ineffective!
A good vocal instructor can show you exercises that will address all these important singing procedures at once. A good teacher will also keep things very easy to understand. You will not be left confused. You will have a very clear objective for each exercise.
And things like breathing, resonance, tonality, control, and vocal freedom, will all flow naturally, without having to add them all together like a complicated mathematical formula!
Most important, a great vocal instructor will keep things easy and simple. Because singing is easy. It is not a complicated process, accessible only to the extremely gifted.
To become the singer you want to be, all you need is patience, motivation, and a excellent singing teacher, who can show you correct technique.
A great place to learn how to sing with correct technique is with the Singing Made Simple program, developed by Roger Burnley (one of the best vocal instructors around).
This program literally got rid of all my bad habits, and taught me how to sing with excellent tone, freedom, range, and character.
This program is based upon the speech level singing method, and actually guarantees that you will extend your vocal range by an entire octave!