How to Learn to Sing Twice as Fast as You Thought Possible
We never seem to have enough time these days. We struggle to fit in work, social engagements, family time, exercise and our hobbies always seem to come last. It's tough!
Students often ask me how long it takes to learn how to sing to the best of their ability and I always ask them "How much time are you willing to put in?"
You can attend weekly lessons and see improvement but if you're not going over what you've learned regularly, it'll take a little longer to unleash your inner diva.
Practice makes perfect as we all know, so it always depends on how long you put in and how you practice. Now I know, I know "But isn't watching The Voice/Idol practising in a way?" Good try but not so much. Here are a few more useful suggestions:
WARM UP YOUR VOICE EVERY DAY
This doesn't have to be half an hour in front of the piano every morning, but you should spend at least 5 - 10 minutes every day gently stretching and moving your vocal cords.
For days when you will be doing longer stints of singing (eg. karaoke/Sing Star nights, performances or more diligent practice sessions) you should aim to take about 20 minutes preparing your voice.
REALLY FOCUS ON HOW IT FEELS/SOUNDS
Not all practise is the same. If you're rehearsing in the car (or the crowd favourite, in the shower) but not really paying attention to your technique, you're simply repeating old habits and not allowing the muscles to pick up the new ones you'd like to hold onto.
Focus on how it feels when you sing, where the sound seems to be coming from/being produced and what the end result sounds like. If you sing like an angel in your lesson but return home to something resembling a cat in pain, you might not be focusing on the new technique and tips from your teacher.
I know that this can be as confronting as buying a swimsuit straight after winter but it is a fantastic tool to help you develop faster.
It allows you to really pinpoint areas of your vocal technique that need work and helps you become in tune with the subtle changes you can make in terms of sound quality, resonance and pitch.
The best part is when you compare your recordings over time and can really hear how much progress you're making.
SEE YOUR TEACHER REGULARLY
Regularly means different things to different people and it will depend on what your goals are around your voice. You may find that touching base once a month is enough if you're simply learning to sing for fun, or you might need weekly lessons if you're performing or to prepare for a recording session.
Think of it like this: If you want to be a professional athlete, you would go to the gym every day but you would also book in to see a personal trainer or coach often.
If you train at the gym by yourself, you may be building your levels of fitness and strength but you may also be doing something slightly wrong technique-wise and end up injuring yourself without the guidance of a professional.
The same goes for your voice - you can get to a certain point by yourself but should always consult a singing teacher on a regular basis - that way you know you're practicing correctly and safely.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
Decide on a time of the day that you will practise your vocal exercises and write it into your diary/schedule. We all know that if it's not scheduled, if often gets overlooked in favour of reality TV or a sneaky glass of wine!
Get up the courage to record yourself singing a song you're fairly comfortable with. Listen back to it and write down all the things you can hear that might need some work. Send this to your teacher for feedback.