Working with & training singers for 25+ years, I have seen many singers fail to sustain a regular routine of vocal exercise. Yes, scale work can be monotonous, tedious & repetitive, but it can also be very empowering. That moment you finally master the high note you’ve been desperate to hit, or you conquer that amazing riff, or even sustain that excruciatingly long note with ease. It’s exhilarating & so worth the hard work.
When learning something new or training your body, muscles & mind, whether it be sport, piano, swimming (the list goes on), it can get very repetitive & cumbersome instilling coordination into the muscle memory.
So let me ask you a question...
What are your vocal goals? What is your singing dream?
I want you to write them down. Stick them on your wall, so when you have a moment where you can’t be bothered with vocal practice - read aloud your goals & dreams. Those goals & dreams you've written down will give you the drive to push through, get up & practice! #practice #goals #singing
Consistency Is Key
Understand that consistent practice is our time when we drill down on what our coach or choir director has instructed, so we can establish the most efficient vocal function. It’s a time to refine and inspect vocal technique, not just thoughtlessly run through a song or scales expecting awesome results. Being consistent & deliberate with your practice is vital to keep the muscle memory active & the voice functioning well. Lack of routine makes it easier for incorrect technique & bad habits to occur which keep you further away from obtaining your singing goals.
Even the most elite vocalist has a coach helping to identify vocal issues or bad habits creeping in, whilst developing & expanding on their skill. They will implement consistent vocal routines to help establish longevity of voice. This is true of any athlete or person skilled in an area. Putting in the focused time will help you succeed. #succeed #vocal coach.
Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
I remember my first vocal mentor wanting to re-write that old phrase….“Practise makes perfect,” when it came to talking about practice regimes. She would stress, “perfect practise makes perfect.” The importance of focusing and examining your technique during regular practice is vital to perfect and develop the correct muscle memory. Making sure the muscles are doing what they should be, to establish that healthy vocal function. Unfortunately, for some singers, they misunderstand and incorrectly assume, the more time they spend running through exercises or songs with no real focus on how or why, means greater technical growth. Wrong!
It’s not about quantity, it’s about the quality of your work out.
It’s not about quantity, it’s about the quality of your work out. Making sure you’re executing exercises correctly. Perfect practice does make perfect.
Trying to not instil wrong technique into your muscle memory by repeating errors over and over again, will move you closer to your voice being easier to use. So when practicing, try to correct errors as quickly as you can & instil the correct instructions. You must focus on hearing, feeling and understanding your instrument to produce growth. Producing growth leads to excitement & momentum, which makes practicing & performing much more enjoyable.
So, what do I mean by hearing, feeling and understanding?
It comes down to being more self-aware. Being able to recognise & feel sensations,
vibrations, sounds & the mechanics of your instrument. When you become aware of how the bones vibrate, or how it feels when you move through vocal registers, or the feeling of a good support system for example, then your instrument becomes easier & more pleasurable to play. This is what I want for you!
There can be a lot to think about when you start out, but that’s why we have consistent practise routines. You will gradually learn to have an overall awareness & coordination of your physical mechanism. Training yourself to become conscious of the sound & feel of your instrument will increase your ability to multi-task. Being able to multi-task means you are able to focus on a specific area of your voice whilst still being fully aware of all the other areas of your instrument. Things like posture, breath, tensions, larynx, mouth cavity, lips, vibration sensations etc.
Training your muscles to function correctly takes time and consistent exercise. But rest assured, over time, things do become second nature, less clumsy & achievable. This is the beauty of a consistent vocal routine.
Your instrument is unique to you. So be wise, take the time to practice & hone your skill, that way you’ll know how powerful, delightful & freeing singing can be.
I'd love to know how you organise your practice routine. Is it a regular, daily routine or just when you think about it? Send me a message below...
Consistency is key - establish & schedule (today) a regular vocal exercise routine. You are a vocal athlete, train those muscles!
What are your vocal goals & dreams? Write them down & try not to practice errors by aimlessly running scales & songs. Stop, think & correct. Seeking advise from a voice coach if needed.
You will succeed if you apply yourself and do the work.