Why is Vocal Technique Important?
I encounter a fair few non-believers in vocal technique who rattle off a number of famous singers who have apparently never had vocal training and are super dooper amazing.
I usually nod, smile and agree that there are some people who have a natural and extraordinary gift and were probably also nurtured to express themselves musically while growing up (it helps, a lot).
But most of us have our own fears and baggage that come along with singing and a lot of technique is about training the body to enhance our voice and grow our confidence.
Learning the mechanics of how to sing never seems as glamorous and appealing as simply belting it out in the car and not giving a damn about what you're doing, so I'm here to try to dress it up a little for you and then you can make your mind up yourself.
So, let's check out the 3 MAIN REASONS YOU MIGHT WANT TO LEARN ABOUT TECHNIQUE.
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intro to singing technique, I've got you covered.
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Singing technique has evolved over time to keep finding new ways of using the voice efficiently and safely (while pushing the boundaries of where we can take it).
When singers discover their instrument and begin to know it inside out and out, how it works and what it's capable of, they're less likely to push it too far. They know what singing should and shouldn't feel like.
Most of us have probably experienced some form of vocal strain after we've pushed our voices past their limit...
Smashing some Beyoncé while on a road trip and ending up with no voice.
Having a yelling match with your kids/partner/annoying neighbour and feeling very croaky the next day.
Sing-screaming along to a rock concert and waking up mute.
The vocal cords are tiny and need to be looked after. They can do some amazing things but only if the body supports them in the right way.
Learning how you can train the body to work efficiently to produce the sounds you're after is really important.
Too many singers have had to have vocal surgery lately (Sam Smith, Meaghan Trainor and Jess Glynne are a few) either because of inefficient technique or over-use.
Learning how to sing usually involves practicing (unless you're naughty like me when I was younger). Replacing the old way of singing with a more thoughtful technical approach over and over again means you build muscle memory.
The muscles start to remember the new, streamlined way of singing and can then replicate that time and time again, making your singing more consistent.
Eventually you don't even have to think about how the technical pieces work together, the body will remember how to do it.
Have you ever had that one SingStar session where you absolutely killed it on a particular song and then went to sing it the next time and it was rubbish?
Yep, consistency makes a big difference - especially to our confidence.
You want to make choices about what will come out of your mouth and trust your voice rather than get anxious about what type of lucky dip sound you'll end up with.
And as a bonus? When your voice is consistent and you start to build faith in your ability, you also start to let go. You start to trust yourself.
That's when you can stop thinking about technique and allow yourself to really FEEL the music. Express your emotions. Let them direct the performance. And THAT'S THE END GAME.
One of my favourite by-products of students getting the technique of singing down is the variety of sounds they are then able to make.
They find that they are able to sing all sorts of different styles and change the colour of their voice to suit each one.
Most of us think we have only one voice and it'll always sound as bad or as good as it naturally comes out, BUT you can learn a lot about changing the tone of your voice once you've worked with technique for a while.
Vocal technique is like the building blocks of a building or the ingredients to make a cake.
Once you've made the cake itself you can then start to add the icing, sprinkles and all the delicious decorations you want, but it's important to understand the foundations first.
You can experiment with bright sounds, dark sounds, breathy tones, strong, loud, quiet, nasal and everything in between, and you'll start to know what you do and don't like.
Technique just gives you the knowledge and the tools to start crafting your own voice. Sure, we're given a certain body with a certain mouth shape etc but there's still a lot we can do to get it closer to something we're proud of.
If you'd like to dip your toe in the water with a free
introduction to singing technique, I've got you covered.
Enter your details below if you'd like my online workshop on where to start and how delivered to your inbox.