Do You Want a Better Singing Voice?
Well of course you do - who would ever say that they wanted a bad singing voice?
The real question is - HOW do you get a better singing voice?
There are countless factors that contribute to a bad singing voice, from voice type, to technique, to perception, bad habits etc, and then there are even more methods, tricks, techniques and courses out there that aim to help you become a better singer. So where exactly do you start? Where do you focus your time and energy? How should you practice?
Lets look at Google and see what methods are out there - CVT, Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy, Speech Level Singing, Brett Manning, Superior Singing method, Felicia Ricci just to mention a few. The truth is, you could purchase any of these vocal methods and improve as a singer - or not.
The "or not" was where I sat for many years as a beginner singer. Truthfully, I struggled with the process of learning how to sing when I first started in the late 90's, before many of these singing methods were created - but it wouldn't have mattered which method I used or which course I purchased as I consistently made the same single mistake with every new singing coach I went to, every new singing CD I bought and every method I applied myself to;
I Didn't Take Responsibility For My Own Voice
I really felt like my singing teachers should just 'tell me the damn secret' about singing - and this wasn't necessarily my fault. If you look at many of these singing methods, they promise crazy things like making you "sing better than anyone else" or to be "the only vocal method that works" or to be "the best voice coach in the world" and such claims - it's exciting when someone makes these claims, and it sells courses like hotcakes I'm sure, but do they really help you sing better?
That's right, I'm not the best, I'm not better than anyone, I'm not going to make you better than everyone else, and I'm certainly not the keeper of the keys to your vocal progress - YOU are.
If only I had learned this from day one while spending literally thousands of dollars on singing lessons as a young man struggling to sing high notes - I could have saved myself years of stress and strain, all that money and much of the confusion that I went through while learning how to sing.
Somewhere along the process of learning how to sing, your singing teacher should ideally become redundant - not because they can't help you, but because they have taught you to be self sufficient and given you the tools to help yourself. If you've looked at or used any of the courses or methods I mentioned from our quick google search above, or you've been taking singing lessons for a while - ask yourself this one simple question;
Does Your Singing Teacher Know More About Singing Than You Do?
This is a serious question. If you've walked away from a singing lesson, or from a singing course with more questions and more frustration than you started with - or the feeling that your singing teacher has some special secret, or some magic ability that you'll never have, you've made the same mistake that I made time and time again as a beginner singer; you've unwittingly handed the keys to your vocal progress over to someone else.
Remember, the only person that is going to help you sing better - is you.
I'm about to share a secret with you that I've learned from working with both professional touring musicians and total beginner singers - and even coaching quite a few professional singing teachers who are personally struggling with their own voices.
The average hobby singer spends three times as much time practising than a professional singer.
That's right, you're basically wasting your time with that daily vocal routine and extensive practice regime - professional singers simply don't spend that much time practising and warming up their voices, and they spend little, if any time at all feeling like they're "just not ready to sing yet". In my experience, this is unfortunately the idea that many vocal methods are built upon - keeping you in 'practice mode' and 'the beginner stage' for longer so that you are a customer for longer.
That's right, not a singer, but a customer.
I still can't bring myself to tell my Wife how much money I have spent over the years trying to learn how to sing (maybe this is the reason why we're still renting a house and I still own a car from 1996 as I'm steadily approaching 40 years old...) and yet, it's all been worth it to be able to break open the mould and save you from the same lengthy and expensive process that really didn't help me learn how to sing better in any way shape or form.
Time Practising Vs. Actual Singing
This is what really helped me sing better
About ten years into the process of learning how to sing, I found a singing teacher that really didn't hold back in telling me what my voice needed, and what kind of singer I was, warts and all - one that told me flat out that I sucked, and that my technique was abhorrent (direct quote), and told me that the exercises I was using along with the vocal routine I was practising was "way too long, completely unfocused" and most importantly "wasn't what my voice needed". Boy was I upset with this guy the very first lesson I went to him - to have spent almost a decade of my life learning how to sing with some of the best vocal coaches and popular vocal methods out there, not to mention having spent thousands of dollars in the process, just to have this idiot tell me point blank that I just wasn't a good singer.
Away I sulked with the three boring and super beginner exercises he gave me - a lip trill, a resonant "N" and a semi-occluded French "oui" sound that I really didn't enjoy the sound of. I was told that he didn't want me back as a student until I could sing these three sounds from a G2 to a C5 with ease and no breaks. I felt so insulted that I was reduced to lip trills after almost a decade of taking singing lessons, and for obvious reasons I just didn't dig being told that my voice was no good - not to mention being told that he didn't want me back as a student unless I met his terms and conditions.
I remember grumbling "but I did lip trills years ago" a few days later as I begrudgingly starting playing around with these basic sounds - before I realised just how difficult they were, and just how bad I was at them. I had been trying to sing like Chris Cornell and Layne Staley for the many years prior (and failing pretty badly), but I could barely sing a lip trill properly without breaking - and a light went off in my head, either I was a total lost cause as a singer, or... this guy was really onto something.
What it was that he was onto I wasn't exactly sure, but I spent an intense few weeks just practising the lip trills, the "N" and singing the French "oui" sound, and when I felt like I could do them in a way that wouldn't result in my new singing teacher yelling at me and kicking me to the curb, I went back to him with my mind and ears open to what he had to say next, which was:
You're A Better Singer Than Ever Before
Say what now? After I showed him my measly three sounds, he told me that I was a better singer than I had ever been before. It certainly didn't feel that way, the only thing I was really confident with was singing these three sounds, and I was too embarrassed to sing an actual song in front of him - but he insisted and I ran through a few verses of songs I had worked on previously, from mind I think it was Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Solitary Man by Neil Diamond and part of Fell On Black Days by Soundgarden (at the time I couldn't sing the higher parts of the verses) and I noticed something pretty strange - they were different..
Not necessarily easier, and sure, they weren't perfect in any way, but my voice definitely felt different to how it had ever felt before - controlled and consistent in some way. The biggest change is that I actually started to notice where I had an issue with an onset, or a vowel was funky, or there was a slight break - where before, I just sang through the lines and damn the results, I'd made it to the end. I released that in one session I didn't just walk away with three boring exercises, I had actually started building a new voice - and I was developing tools to fix my own singing and troubleshoot my own issues, in short, I felt like my voice was finally "mine" again and there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
He remarked in particular that my mixed register had improved because of the lip trills, my onset and placement had improved care of the "N" sound and I was now achieving resonant space due to the French "Oui" and that these sounds now formed the base of my vocal foundation - a term I really hadn't heard associated with singing prior to this lesson with my grumpy new singing teacher. He explained that absolutely everything else that I sang from this point must be formed on the mixed resonance I used in the lip trill, the onset and placement I used in the "N" and singing towards the same resonant space I was using for the "Oui" sound - every other sound needed these three base elements to function correctly. "To do so is an offence to your voice, and my ears" was the official line - I think he secretly enjoyed repeating this one over and over again.
From this point, I started to realise that there was no "secret" to singing that I was missing - I simply didn't know how to apply each concept I'd been taught in the past, and while some of the exercises I had done before seemed to help in the short term, I wasn't actually learning anything practical or tangible from the hour+ routine I had been doing, and hence my singing was inconsistent and my technique impractical even in my warmups. My new found singing guru again gave me a number of different sounds to practice and refused to see me again until I had mastered these sounds with what became his other favourite motto to me - it's up to you.
My Voice Went From Strength To Strength
From the very first lesson where I was banned from practising anything but the three basic sounds - lip trills, "N" and "Oui", my ability to apply this technique to new songs really grew in strides and we started adding new exercises to my routine and new concepts to my 'vocal toolkit' as he liked to call it. I really started to see an outline to the simple process that he had taken me through;
Those initial exercises were designed to test my vocal foundation and to form my 'slab' to the point where I could start building my 'walls and roof' (tone and range) in the next stages of singing. It was so simple, but even more effective, than I could ever have imagined - singing effortlessly had finally become and easy and practical reality for my singing voice.
Over the subsequent years I started developing my own teaching approach based around this simple process to help others make the same breakthroughs and build the same strong voice that I now enjoyed - where before this process it was only a dream to sing without strain and sing high notes with ease... REALLY high notes!
My attitude for the many years prior had been that I need "more information" and to find "the next secret" and "have more exercises" to improve my singing, but with one swift (and rather grumpy) stroke, my whole world as a singer changed from "perpetual student" to "promising singer" in a very short time with the simple instruction to first build my foundation before focusing on range, tone or style, and this is exactly how I'm going to help YOU sing better too!
If you're trying to improve your singing, I'm sure you've tried many methods out there, seen your local singing teachers and you've probably even got a set of exercises you've been doing every day, but haven't necessarily improved your singing voice when you sing actual songs, and after all - the whole point is to sing songs better, right?
So, I'll leave you with one final question that my singing teacher asked me in our first lesson together;
Are You Ready For a Better Singing Voice?
This isn't a trick question, I really want you to ask yourself whether you are truly ready for a better singing voice.
I'm not going to make any claims, or crazy promises, or tell you that I'm the best, or tell you that you're going to be 'better' than everyone else - it's really up to YOU to take responsibility for your own voice and build the vocal foundation that I know has absolutely changed my life as a singer - just imagine what you could achieve if you too had access to a limitless vocal range, effortless power and a super cool vocal tone. So, are you ready for a better singing voice?
I'm Ready!! How do I get started?
If I could, I'd love to help absolutely everyone out there to sing with a better voice, but I've realised over many years of coaching that it's best for me, and best for you - to only work with singers who are going to apply themselves to my approach, and those that are ready to hear the truth about singing without any tricks, secrets or jargon.
I'm not a salesman, I'm not a marketing guru, I don't care how great (or not) you think I am, I don't do "reaction" videos, and I'm actually pretty pressed for time, so I'd rather spend this time doing the thing that I am really great at - working with singers who are going to get the most out of my coaching. So it's not so much whether I can help you - it's more whether I want to work with you, and whether you're a good fit for the powerful approach I'm providing.
To work out if we're a good fit, I'd love it if you could answer a few short questions first so I can work out exactly where you're at, and whether you're ready to take the next step so we can get started right way. I promise it will only take a few moments.
Step 1 - Fill out this short Quiz
With this short questionnaire, I'll be able to estimate your potential for improvement as a singer and set up a plan going forward for how we can achieve your goals. It's nothing too crazy, I just need the basics to work out what stage you're in as a singer, and to ascertain whether we're a good fit to work together.
It's important that you fill out the quiz as best and truthfully as you can so that I can really gauge your potential to improve as a singer - without this information, I can't provide you with a tailored vocal approach going forward.
Step 2 - What happens next
Once you've filled out the questionnaire, I'll put together an a detailed plan for overcoming your specific issues along with some great followup material which will help you get started and get you ready to build a great foundation. You can expect a follow up email during the week.
At this stage, if you see the value in working together - we can move forward in the process of improving your voice. If you decide you're not ready for a better singing voice just yet - that's perfectly fine too, the worst case is that you'll receive some excellent professional tips and advice for how to make the most of the voice you currently have now.
There are no right or wrong answers, but ultimately this quiz is for people who are ready to go from being a 'perpetual student' to being a 'promising singer'. If that’s you, today is the day you step up and take your singing to the next level. You can get started with the short questionnaire above.