Get Over Fear Of Singing
Learning how to control your voice properly and develop a consistent and confident singing voice is an important skill that will benefit even the most casual singer right through to touring professionals. Getting over your fear of singing will take some time, but no matter your anxieties, these 10 tips will help you get over fear singing immediately! The first thing you need to do is work out where your insecurity comes from in singing so that you can develop an approach to help you get over fear of singing and let your voice be heard the way it was meant to be.
Lets get started with the top 10 tips to get over fear of singing:
#1 – Identify your anxiety
To get over fear of singing, you first have to locate and acknowledge your insecurities. Whether it’s fear of high notes, fear of embarrassment, fear of forgetting your words – you first need to acknowledge your fear and work out how it arose in the first place so you can then develop an approach for easing your worries.
I’m personally a bit of a gear-a-phobe and always worry that the equipment will fail, or the mic cable will come out, or the microphone will break – these are all part of playing in a band, and I got this anxiety from carting gear around and having responsibility over the other band members’ amplifiers and guitars, and from playing in bands in my youth in ‘not so hot’ venues where our gear was already sub standard, and the venue’s gear was abysmal (it’s all a part of Rock ‘n Roll, they said!). So, my approach is to simply double check every piece of equipment I’ll be using, and avoid any situation where I’m not able to do so with the gear.
Easy fix, right? Not always, so lets check out tip #2
#2 – Don’t fear the reaper (or high notes)
Developing an approach to your high notes will alleviate most of your anxieties off the bat, I’m sure, as high notes are generally the hardest part of being a great singer. Learning how to sing high notes the right way without strain, and making SURE that you always nail them on point is a great way to get over fear of singing, by being a MASTER of it. To hit your high notes, make sure you:
- Sing in the mix coordination
- Support your voice
- Place your resonance
- Tune your vowels properly
- Release any strain
- Don’t push!
Making sure you troubleshoot each of the high passages in the songs you’ll be singing is an important part of any singer’s routine. If you have a well designed approach for each tricky note that’s coming up, you’ll actually ENJOY singing and look forward to stepping onto that stage to show off your vocal prowess.
#3 – Which Pitch is Which?
Having a fear of pitchiness is very common, so don’t feel bad. Being pitchy happens for a number of reasons, so it’s important you recognise where pitch comes from and WHY you might be experiencing the odd off-note and issues with pitch. In essence, each pitch that you sing is a different frequency, literally, of your vocal chords – meaning, your vocal chords vibrate at a specific speed to create a specific frequency. So, pitchiness has nothing to do with your “ear”, and everything to do with how you create and control your frequencies.
The biggest reason I find singers have issue with pitch is improper resonance placement. Learning to place your frequencies when you warm up will set the stage for a powerful delivery that is on pitch, in key and super easy. Beyond placement, some singers have problems with pitch due to their vowel production, onsets, improper support and a number of other reasons that are super easy to fix – simply book a Skype session with me and I’ll show you how to sing on pitch EVERY time.
#5 – Stalk the stage
If you have a fear of singing live on stage, I find it often helps to familiarise yourself with the surroundings and stage you’ll be singing on before the gig. If you can actually rehearse in the setting that you’ll be singing your real gig at before the date, that is fantastic, but even if you step on stage an hour or so before showtime, you can get over fear of singing fairly easily by making sure you know what lies ahead for you so you’re not in the dark.
#6 – Shot in the dark
There’s a reason why all the best rock stars wear dark sunnies, and it’s surprisingly not because of all the cocaine. I often find that the stage lights are dazzling and blinding, so you really do feel like a deer in the headlights – a decent pair of shades of a fedora will not only make you look super cool, it will take the edge off those dazzling lights, at least for the first song or two until you find your feet. All humor aside, being prepared for the lighting you’ll be singing under is an important part of any live routine, so ask the lighting guy to ‘shine a light’ on you before showtime so you’re prepared for the sea of lights.
#7 – Reference points
A key part of my approach to singing involves reference points in each song that my student is working on. If you’re struggling with a specific vocal line, make sure you have a detailed and consistent approach to THE most difficult word or pitch in the line so that you have a reference point to work towards, and then work towards the next reference point in your song. Drilling the most difficult parts of a song and recognising that ‘difficult song’ often really means that a song has a ‘difficult word’ or ‘difficult’ pitch in it, which you can both easily develop a consistent approach for. Reference points can be anything from a point where you KNOW you have to take a breath, or a word that is a cue to set up your posture again – having reference points in your songs is a sure fire way to gain instant confidence and consistency in your singing.
#8 – Don’t be so hard on yourself
No, seriously, don’t force yourself to do something you’re not ready to do. Pick an easier song, change a vocal line, or even delay your first gig – if you’re not ready to do it, then you’re not ready to do it. It’s best to work TOWARDS a goal rather than attempting something you’re simply not ready for, so make sure your goals are in line with your current learning curve and capabilities. It doesn’t mean you CAN’T do it, it just means you need further preparation to be as good as you KNOW you can, and WILL be when you’re ready.
#9 – Practice makes perfect
It’s lame, I know, but it really DOES. Make sure you practice, practice, practice until you can sing your song or setlist with your eyes shut and your hands behind your back. Try it in different rooms and locations, different settings and try it one person at a time. If you fear singing in front of people, then practice it in front of one close friend first, then two, then three, a stranger – and before you know it, you’ve been singing in front of an audience confidently without even realising.
#10 – Get help
Sometimes, a little feedback goes a long way. Fear is often of the ‘unknown’ rather than any tangible threat – so shoot through a recording of your voice to me and let me know what you’re hearing, and what you think you need help with and I’ll tell you point blank where you voice might need some tweaking so that you can learn to sing with confidence and consistency, and allow you to get over fear singing and let you voice be heard!
How to get over fear of singing
If your fear is of failure, or missing a high note, or forgetting lyrics – these are all tangible things, which fear is not. Absolutely anyone can learn how to sing on pitch, and how to train their memory, and how to sing high notes, you just need the right approach, professional guidance and practice, practice, practice.
Bohemian Vocal Studio has steadily grown into the premier voice studio for professional singing lessons and reaches students around the globe each week via Skype to provide the best voice coaching experience in the world. If you’re ready to take your voice to the next level, and you’re ready to get over fear of singing, you can book a Skype session today and we’ll start building your voice the right way!
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.