5 Reasons Why Learning To Sing Is Scarier Than Halloween
With Halloween around the corner (well, at least while writing this tutorial) it seems the perfect opportunity to share with you the parallels between the scariest celebration of the year, and what sometimes seems like one of the scariest things you could ever put yourself through – learning how to sing.
Have you ever sung in front of a room full of people, or worse, chickened out when the opportunity arose? Here’s 5 reasons why Learning to Sing is Scarier than Halloween (and how to overcome them!)
#1 – You are the centre of attention
Let’s face it, the audience rarely have their eyes trained on the drummer, they’re focused dead centre (excuse the pun) on the lead singer while watching their every move and listening to every single note and word they sing. Beyond the physical act of singing, there is a certain amount of bravado and confidence required to be a truly great singer and frontman. This is why guys like Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler are born singers, they’re simply too confident to suck.
Fortunately for the rest of us that aren’t naturally egomaniacs who love the spotlight, you can overcome any nerves while singing by solidifying the foundation of your voice so that you KNOW every single word you sing and every single high note is going to come out perfectly. If you’re afraid of your high notes, then you’re going to choke the second you walk up on stage – but if you’ve built a strong and consistent foundation for your voice with great breathing, the right posture and vocal placement, you’ll never struggle to sing those high notes again and you will feel the power of true confidence in your ability.
#2 – High notes are hard!
We’ve all struggled to hit high notes before, but the only real reason you struggle with those highs is you aren’t in control of your voice. The fear of missing the note when you step up to the plate is one of the scariest things about singing – way scarier than a pumpkin, am I right?
Learning to hit high notes with confidence and consistency should be one of your main priorities as a singer, and requires not only physical prowess as a singer, but a healthy grasp on the psychological aspects of singing, and how they relate to the involuntary elements of your voice – the diaphragm and vocal folds.
Try it yourself with a light and easy exercise like a lip trill. If you feel a drastic difference in the ease of which you sing a lip trill, while your vowel sounds are strained and pushed – you are forming your vowels incorrectly. Along with this, the fear of ‘missing’ a high note does more to affect the consistency with which you sing than purely lacking physical ability to hit high notes while you’re still learning. Remember, the diaphragm and vocal folds are both involuntary in the way they function – your thought process really DOES make or break your high notes.
#3 – Maybe I’m just a bad singer?
Just like Chucky and Jason Vorhees are simply ‘bad’ eggs, the fear that you’re just a ‘bad’ singer and nothing can be done about your terrible voice is a common one. Here’s the thing, while there IS people out there who possess a natural aptitude towards the coordination required to sing well, just like a kid that is great at Math naturally, there is no such thing as a bad singer, only one that lacks balance and control – two aspects of singing that CAN be learned and developed by absolutely any singer.
Before you have nightmares about Jason Vorhees singing Ed Sheeran songs, keep in mind that your voice is ultimately the result of balance and coordination – are you using a ten ton truck to drive your voice over a tight-rope instead of simply balancing your voice and singing with finesse?
#4 – Vocal Damage
Sure, if you’re not using the right approach and you’re straining to sing, then vocal damage isn’t just a cool name for a punk rock band, it’s a reality. But in that reality, it’s a pretty rare thing for someone to actually damage their voice, and is usually the result of misuse and overuse over a very long period of time – consistent abuse will damage your voice. Here’s the thing though, proper vocal technique and consistent training of your voice will ensure that you DON’T damage your voice in any manner – if you don’t sing, you won’t improve, and if you don’t improve, you won’t ever achieve your dreams of becoming a singer. Don’t fear the vocal reaper, just make sure you’re following a healthy approach to the letter and you’re taking care not to push and strain when you sing.
#5 – What If I’m Never as Good As [insert favourite singer]
Sure, there’s a reason why some people become famous, world touring singers – and others languish in relative obscurity, or never reach their full potential. Here’s the thing though, if you never try, you’ll never find out. Quitting before you even start because your favourite singer is just too damn amazing is lame – use their incredible voice as inspiration, not to scare you out of learning to sing properly.
While I’m now stuck with the permanent image of Freddie Kruger singing Adele’s “Hello” while flailing his scissor hands wildly at the crowd, learning to sing doesn’t HAVE to be as scary as Halloween. A great place to start is the free foundations short courses available here at Bohemian Vocal Studio which will show you how to set up the BEST foundation possible for your voice so that you will be confident, controlled and powerful. When you’re ready to take your voice up another notch, switch off those B-Grade horror flicks and book a Skype Session so we can work towards extending your range and building power and consistency in your voice every time you sing.
If you have any questions about learning to sing, feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!