2 secret truths about Singers….

Secret number 1 – a lot of Singers have no idea what they’re doing.

There. I’ve said it. Speaking as a Singer myself, I can quite confidently say that we can be a pretty ignorant bunch.

Guitarists can talk for hours about modes, amplifiers and the relative merits of two seemingly identical brands of guitar string but if you ask a Singer about their craft – their instrument, tone production, equipment choice, practice regimes… well they might have a vocal exercise or two they picked up from a friend who “had a couple of lessons with this old lady who made him sing Andrew Lloyd Weber songs” and they will probably sing happily through whatever evil smelling microphone they are given at the gig… and that’s it.

It’s quite an extraordinary situation that we’re so ignorant, because onstage, Singers are the most important member of the band. We are the focus for all the energy (positive or otherwise) of the seething masses.

If we get a sore throat, the gig can be canceled, if we decide to croak our way through the set anyway (or worse, blow out on the third song), people demand their money back.

The audience copes if they don’t hear a Guitar solo all night, but they won’t listen to 45 minutes of instrumentals.

It’s a dangerous feeling having a Singer out the front who isn’t sure that their voice is going to make it through the show….

But Singers who are having trouble with making it through gigs or who can’t hit the notes they want aren’t alone. It’s practically an epidemic.

The cure is embarrassingly simple.
Treat your voice like an instrument. If you’re a Singer, get some lessons. If you’re an Instrumentalist, force your Singer to get some lessons, and if they won’t… have some lessons yourself (Singers hate that!).

If you can’t get lessons, look for help with the technical aspects of singing wherever you can. This can include YouTube, blogs and forums online and there are also some good books, CDs and DVDs available.

A good hint for what to look for in lessons (whether in person or on video etc) is to look for teachers who stress posture, breath, relaxation and sensation.

Posture is important as it takes stress off singing muscles, improves resonance and makes it easier to breathe.

Breath is important as that’s what makes your voice work! Breath is also the secret to getting high notes…

Relaxation is important as relaxed muscles are powerful muscles and relaxed singing is sustainable (gig after gig after gig).

And Sensation is how we learn to sing – we can’t see our instrument so we have to feel it instead.

Secret number 2 – Singers aren’t born (no matter what they say on Idol…) they are made, and anyone can be a Singer.

As always, if you have any questions, email us on help@independentmusic.com.au or head over to our contact page to organise a free, no obligation introductory lesson.

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