Are You Making These Common Singing Mistakes?
When you’re enjoying a performance by a talented vocalist, it may seem so effortless…singers often make it look so easy…you want to be just like them, but there is more that goes into a good performance than meets the eye. These vocalists have more than likely gone through rigourous training, learning and practice. They have learned the the common mistakes so many singers make, and have learned to correct and avoid bad practices.
Could some of what they have learned be the very things that may be holding you back from performing vocally at your very best?
These are common mistakes made by many singers:
- Not enough practice: They say “Practice makes perfect”…well, maybe not perfect. Perfect practice makes for perfect performance. To be a good singer takes dedication, and the dedication you can give is by investing your time in practice. If you feel like you already practice enough, make a commitment to 10-15 more minutes each day, the effort will definitely pay off. if you feel like your practice sessions are too difficult, consider cutting them in halves or thirds and practice 2-3 short periods a day rather than 1 long one.
- Not focusing on what you are practicing: Do you find yourself simply going through the motions? Instead, each time you practice, focus on one aspect of your singing that you want to improve on: maybe it’s breathing, enunciation, how you sing your vowels, or phrasing. Because you don’t want to form any new bad habits, ask your voice coach to help you with your areas of focus in order to get them right. As you do this, set some realistic goals for yourself, just like in any other aspect of life…without a target to aim for, your efforts are random and you could soon lose interest.
- Not properly warming up your voice, or not warming it up at all: Have you ever seen a professional athlete “take the field in competition” without warming up his muscles? The muscles you use as a singer, are just as important as those of an athlete, if you don’t warm them up, they can’t perform at their best, and stand at risk of injury.
- Shouting rather than singing: All too often a singer tries to sound like his/her voice is louder and more powerful than it really is. The effect she creates sounds forced, and you can damage your vocal chords. Instead, work on learning how to project your voice, sing with emotion, develop your stage presence, and learn your voice’s limits.
- Not eating properly or drinking enough water before a performance: These are both key components to using your voice at it’s best…Eat nourshing food that supplies your body with the the nutrients it needs and be sure to drink enough water to keep your voice hydrated, rather than eating greasy fast food or drinking soda, which only creates phlem build-up (a singer’s worst enemy) and a lack of stamina. With excess phlem, you’ll find yourself needing to clear your throat all the time, and your performance will be much less than perfect. Also, each time you clear your throat using sound, your vocal cords rub on each other, creating friction and swelling. A better technique for clearing your throat is to only allow air to come through the cords as if behind a “hot” microphone. Don’t allow yourself to engage the cords during a throat clear. if you’re in a hurry, take the time to eat and drink healthily.
- Not practicing good posture: When your body is slumped over and not in good alignment, your chest and rib cage collapse downward, not allowing your diaphram or your lungs to get enough oxygen or open up and produce the best sound you have.
- Not breathing properly: Gasping for air, or taking shallow breaths, rather than breathing from the diaphram or low lung (feels like air is filling your stomach and abdomen) make it obvious that this is an untrained voice, and lowers the quality of the performance.
Looking for a voice coach? I am Carol Stanley and I am a Voice Performance and Presentation Skills Coach. I train speakers and singers (business owners, ministry leaders, stage performers, beauty pageant competitors, workshop leaders, etc.) to gain confidence, poise, and command over their total voice, body, mind, and spirit. I can help you strengthen your voice and show you some very effective voice physiology and performance skills, skills that will strengthen your whole phonation system and not damage your vocal cords. Remember your delivery is 97% of your communication and only 7% is your content.
Contact me, I offer Private or Group Coaching, and I would love to speak with you.
See my new book, Born to Be Awesome, A Guide To Presenting With Brilliance on Stage or Camera Through the Power Of God in You.