Online Vocal Training (What you need to know first!)
Quality online vocal training can really help you learn how to sing. However, with a plethora of online singing courses and YouTube singing gurus marketing their expensive courses with clickbait videos, it’s rather hard to select a good vocal coach and be at peace knowing that you won’t regret your decision or your money. In order to find quality online vocal training, it’s important to familiarize yourself with this world first.
When I just started learning how to sing, the internet was in its formative stages, and my only resource for singing was actually my local coach. Nowadays, a lot of resources are at your disposal and it’s quite easy to find quality vocal training programs online if you know how and where to look. However, you should be aware that although it’s possible to find amazing online singing tutorials and lessons, you can also come across a lot of bad ones because, online, anyone can spout their expertise as a voice coach, even when they don’t have any skills or understanding.
Singing is actually very easy, but learning how to sing is a process that requires a lot of time, dedication and patience. While learning how to sing, you will come across a lot of confusing information, archaic terms, and lastly expensive courses loaded with marketing materials designed to simply sell you their lessons instead of really teaching you something. Here is what you need to know before delving into the world of online vocal training.
The BEST Vocal Training Program (Doesn’t Exist)
Every voice is unique, therefore there is no such thing as a magical solution or technique that will make you a great singer. Since your voice is unique, some things that have worked great for other signers will not work for you at all. It is vital to find the right approach for your voice in order to learn how to sing. Therefore, vocal coaches who claim they are the best and they can help you sing better than anyone else are not interested in teaching you how to sing, but only in taking your money. Since we all have unique voices and a unique build to our vocal mechanism and resonators, it is impossible that a one-size-fits-all vocal program can really teach you anything and help you become a great singer. When you think about it, it seems obvious that these vocal programs are a scam, but when they are accompanied by impressive recording studio videos and marketing tricks, they actually generate a lot of sales. It is very important to remember that there is no such thing as the best vocal training program.
It is possible to find a lot of great resources online that are really designed to help you sing. However, it is important to have in mind that most vocal approaches out there are designed to give you just enough information to ensure you keep you coming back and buy the next level. Most of the time, these expensive courses will make you buy expensive lessons with a singing guru just for clarification or to ask some very basic questions. If you want to make sure you are making the right decision, you should ask the following five questions before signing up to online vocal training or singing course.
#1 – Do their videos/resources help you sing better?
It is very important to ask yourself if videos and resources from a particular vocal coach really help you learn something or they simply make you feel like they have a secret or possess something you simply don’t have. Making you feel this way is the essence of internet marketing and it’s a powerful sales tool.
Your vocal coach is legit if their videos really show you something practical and useful, and actually help you realize something you weren’t previously aware of. Helping you sing in a way you couldn’t before you applied their tips and advice also shows they are knowledgeable professionals and great singers.
#2 – Can they sing themselves?
If someone sings great, it doesn’t mean he is a great vocal coach. However, a good signing teacher must be a great singer. Otherwise, how will he teach you if he doesn’t know how to sing? You should like the singing tone of our voice coach, as well as the way they articulate their vowels and ascend through their range. If a vocal coach is pushing a certain style or a method that doesn’t apply to the manner in which you wish to sing, he or she is not a good choice for you. The easiest way to learn how to sing and absorb vocal lessons from your voice coach is to choose someone who has developed an approach that you identify with, and someone who has a singing voice that you yourself would like to build. To put things simply, there is no point going to Toyota to have them build a Ferrari, or buying a Dodge Ram if you want to do inner city driving and park in small spaces. Remember that there are two sides to every coin.
A great singing voice is dynamic and versatile. A great singing voice is never colored by stylistic choices. If a voice coach is unable to sing in a pleasant way and appears to push while singing, this is the same voice you will build with their approach. In order to progress as a singer, you have to find a coach who has an approach you identify with.
#3 – Do they explain complex concepts in a practical manner?
If someone claims to know the secret of great singing and they will show it in their course, you are definitely barking up the wrong tree. A good voice coach should be open, honest and he or she should always explain complex singing concepts, terms and techniques in a practical manner.
One of the first things I have learned in my progression as a singer is that classical singing terms are often just a figure of speech and that they shouldn’t be taken as literal singing instructions. For example, Open Throat Singing doesn’t actually require you to sing with an open throat, but rather with closure in many facets of your voice. A great voice coach will explain these confusing techniques and terms to you in a practical way without adding mystery and magic to what is really a basic element of singing and a natural function of your body (vocalizing).
#4 – Do they push an opinion or a certain style?
Obviously, a voice coach must be assertive and confident in the way that they coach. However, pushing their opinions and style doesn’t have anything to do with great teaching. I often had the chance to see singing coaches teaching stylistic choices or opinions as facts. For example, instead of bridging a balanced connection, many teachers teach students to sing as high as possible in their chest voice. As a result, students build a bellowed, yelling and rather unnatural tone. This can quickly become a habit that is hard to break. To explain things in a simpler manner, imagine as you are taking a painting class and that your painting coach just loves the color blue, so he or she makes you paint only with that one color. Does that mean that using another color will make you a bad painter? Of course not. But this is exactly what these sorts of courses and singing gurus are doing. As a beginner singer, it is imperative to build a balanced and neutral singing voice. As you progress, you will learn to make your own stylistic choices without jeopardizing your vocal health.
If your voice coach forces a particular style, such as pushing an overly heavy sound under the guise of rock singing lessons, this coach is definitely not a good choice because he or she is not considering your unique voice and won’t be able to help you find your own true voice. Lastly, due to their ego-driven approach, they are ignoring your singing goals and personal happiness and as this isn’t enough, they are putting your vocal health at risk.
Personally, I am a ‘rock guy’, but I can’t stand strained, pushed singing, and love caching students how to sing soul and RnB like Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. Remember that great vocal coaching has no ego and that great singing technique has no opinions. Great singing can only have a personal style developed by an individual singer.
#5 – If something seems too good to be true…
I have 20 years of experience in singing and have been building Bohemian Vocal Studio since 2010 all by myself. However, I have never claimed that I am the best or perfect. If you come across a coach who acts like he is god’s gift to singing, this is simply too good to be true.
After so many years of singing and developing my own approach to singing, I still have to warm up my voice, take care of my vocal health, and even give my voice a break when I’m having a bad day. Do you see videos from these YouTube gurus before they’ve warmed up? Do you see their multiple takes or editing? Of course not. It is crucial to understand that the voice is a physical and ever-changing instrument and that even the greatest singers get tired or simply have a bad day.
A great place to start is the free foundations short courses available here at Bohemian Vocal Studio, and then when you’re ready to take your singing to the next level with proven and professional voice training that simply works, you can book a Skype Session and we’ll get started extending your range and improving your voice!
If you have any questions about online vocal training, feel free to leave any feedback or questions below?