How I Became A Confident Singer
5 Vocal Confidence Hacks
Fear of singing is a real thing, especially fear of singing in front of others - and it's something that I used to really struggle with, even as I felt my singing was becoming quite impressive, a crowd of people would make me clamp up and push like old habits dying hard. I especially struggled to sing high notes without strain when I was feeling unconfident or like I was 'being judged' for my singing, and I even had some confidence issues in the very beginning when I first started creating YouTube videos as a singing coach too. What good is a singing teacher if they're too scared to sing in front of anyone? Here's 5 vocal confidence hacks that I now use EVERY time I sing, and have been using for over ten years as I've become a professional singer and well respected voice coach.
Vocal Hack #1 - Loose Ends
Alight, fear of singing really comes from fear of loose ends - and when it comes to singing, there can be many types - so let's first talk about 'situational loose ends' from the perspective of singing live to a crowd. Situational loose ends are things like walking into blinding lights that you weren't expecting, poor foldback volume, the guitarist's cables right behind your feet and things like poor sound and on stage mishaps. The more of these loose ends you have dangling from your performance, the more likely you are to experience anxiety while singing.
My 'magic trick' for tying up loose ends is to warm up and rehearse on the stage that you'll be singing on. This is usually more common for arena style gigs where there is time for a full soundcheck - but I encourage you to do your vocal warmup and singing routine on the stage that you're going to be singing on. Whether you realise it or not, your surroundings and even the acoustics of the room you're singing in can have a major effect on your singing voice, and by proxy, your confidence while singing. Warmup up on the stage before the gig was my absolute number on go-to for vocal confidence - there was even a few times I had to slip the sound or door guy $20 to access the stage before the show.
The second kind of loose ends in singing is your vocal technique - those few ragged edges where a high notes might be hit-and-miss, or that one song that always gets you on the chorus. Fine tuning your technique really does tie up many of the loose ends that will come with poor technique, which brings me to #2;
Confidence Hack #2 - Fine Tune Your Singing
Loose ends in your vocal technique lead to loose ends in your confidence while singing. If your high notes aren't developed, you're having a placement issue or your support is lacklustre - your performance will be lacklustre too, and you'll start to feel the burn of all those judging eyes and ears and you falter on the money note.
Why risk it? Fine tune your vocal foundation so that there's nothing hit-and-miss about your performance. Who doesn't want to be a better singer anyway?
Confidence Hack #3 - Fear Vs Excitement
For me personally, fear and excitement can be very hard to differentiate. Learning to shift your mindset towards being excited for a show, instead of being fearful of humiliation, can be life changing. Those first flutters of butterflies before the show might just be excitement, or, can actually give you that extra kick you need to put on a killer show, instead of killing your vibe and leaving you trembling with fear. Try to shift your fear towards excitement about the show and ultimately doing what you love doing - singing.
Confidence Hack #4 - Be Thankful
People are there to listen to you sing - that's amazing, and really is half the battle as a musician, simply having people listen to your music in the first place. Be thankful and appreciative of the time that your fans and other punters are taking to listen to your sing, and be thankful for the gift that singing really is.
Confidence Hack #5 - Suck It Up and Move On
What is the root of your vocal fear anyway? What exactly is going to happen if you miss the first word of a song, or your high notes don't go to plan? We all have days where things just seem to go wrong, yes, even professional singers - I've been to hundreds of big shows throughout the years from Bruce Springsteen, The Black Crowes, Alice in Chains right through to Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams - and many of these shows featured a bum note or two, a missed cue, some adlibbbing (to cover a forgotten verse) and so many other variables including many of the loose ends I mentioned at the start of this post. Remember, we're all human, and the voice is a fluid thing that changes and flows each time we sing - no two performances will ever truly be 100% exactly the same, but with these 5 vocal confidence hacks you can certainly get damn close.
If you miss a note, improve the next one. If you forget the lyrics, just move on to the next line when you're ready. If you flub a note, make it look intentional. If you're fearful of a high note - teach the crowd the lyrics and get them to scream it for you.
Confidence as a singer comes from surety that you're going to sing well, that everything will go as planned, that you'll sound good, the crowd will enjoy your music and most of all - you enjoy the experience too. Remember, be thankful for the opportunity to sing for others, and thankful for the true gift that is singing, and with these hacks you'll have an absolute dynamite approach for dulling even the most persistent pang of vocal fear.
If you're ready to tie up the loose ends in your vocal technique, you can get started right now with this exclusive mixed voice singing lesson which will show you how to tune up your vocal technique and build a powerful and expressive mixed voice that is as consistent and confident as it is powerful.
If you have any questions about vocal confidence, feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!