Singing: Is Quora A Reliable Source?
If you’re not familiar with Quora, it is a question-and-answer site similar to Yahoo! Answers where users can ask questions, and answer other’s questions. In particular, Quora has a wealth of questions and answers on singing techniques and users asking (and answering!) the age old question: How Do I Sing Better? As a member myself, I often get answer requests relating to singing and music questions. The truth is, Quora is only as reliable as the person answering your question, and your question is only as useful as the details you provide.
The fun thing about Quora is that it’s possible to have you humble question answered by lawyers, musicians, policemen, nurses, scientist – just about every demographic and profession has a few members here and there that are happy to answer your questions. The real question though, is, is Quora a Reliable Source for vocal tips and singing advice? Lets find out.
Quora is basically a forum
If you strip away the unique formatting of Quora, it is basically a forum where a “Question” is really just a topic or thread, and the “Answers” are simply other forum members who comment on your thread. If you keep this in mind while using quora, you’ll likely have a better experience and have more luck receiving informative and interesting answers to your questions. Now, if you were to treat Quora like a fact-based resource, or an encyclopedia, then you’re going to get some poor advice.
A better way to use Quora to improve your singing voice is to find a user who you trust, and who’s motivation is simply to help others in the field they excel – and ask them questions specifically. Sure, you’re going to get answers from other users too, but if there’s only one answer you read, make sure it’s one you trust. Now, if you’ve ever sought out singing lessons on YouTube, no doubt you’ve noticed a strange phenomenon – noone agrees on anything. That’s right, the search for more followers and more dramatic content has led many YouTube channels astray from the pure purpose of helping their views, to simply expanding their reach and at the end of the day, making sales. Quora can be much the same, in that many voice coaches don’t do any actual coaching, they’re doing marketing and advertising.
Have you learned anything practical?
This is the one question you need to ask yourself when using a service like Quora to research singing. If an answer is impressive sounding (just like an impressive cover video on YouTube), but you don’t actually learn anything practical that you can apply in a real-world sense to sing better, then this isn’t the answer you’re looking for. A better type of answer is one that is in depth, practical and designed to help someone understand and apply the topic at hand, for example, this answer that I recently left for a question request I received on Quora.
I like to approach coaching on Quora the same way I do on YouTube, in a personable, real and practical way. Sure, there are other YouTube channels that have expensive, flashy videos and display wild singing by the coach that WOW’S their audience – but the purpose of coaching isn’t to show off your own ego, it’s actually to help others find their true voice and ultimately get better at singing. While I do have an extensive collection of covers available on both YouTube and Instagram, I reserve my content for practical coaching and hope that each singer learns at least ONE practical thing from each Quora answer or YouTube video.
Quora is an opinion based platform
White Quora is a really fun way to get some interesting thoughts and opinions on various topics or events, unless you find a voice coach who is truly in it help others, then it’s really not a reliable way to get practical and applicable voice coaching. I hate to say it, but Quora is simply one more way for users to spout their opinions. Sure, you get the occasional voice coach who genuinely wants to help others, but at the end of the day the answers you get are simply opinions just like a forum or YouTube comments. This can be very dangerous when you are a beginner singer, and you are impressionable about the techniques you need/want to build the voice of your dreams. Singing is a natural function of the body, and your approach to singing really needs to be designed for your unique voice and the unique way that your instrument is designed. A short paragraph answer on Quora really isn’t the vocal appraisal or advice you should be taking if you are SERIOUS about your voice.
I’ve experienced this personally on Quora where I have genuinely answered a question about my approach to connecting chest and head voice or achieve a mix from a singer who obviously is having trouble connecting the registers or making a blend of resonance – only to have a classical singer shoot them down/shoot down my practical answer with brash statements like “there is nothing to mix”, or “you’re now to old to connect chest and head” or even “only voice teachers who can also play violin should give advice” (yep, real comments I got) – again, Quora is rife with opinions, and just because someone has a strong opinion, doesn’t mean they’re in a position to teach others how to achieve their goals as a singer. There is truth to the saying “A good singer doesn’t necessarily make a good voice coach” – in that, someone who was ‘naturally’ a gifted singer from day one and started singing at 5 years old likely doesn’t appreciate the difficulties we mere mortals face when we start singing a little later in life, or perhaps have a unique voice type or lower vocal range like mine as a baritone. Remember, every answer on Quora is an opinion, not a fact.
If you’re serious about learning how to sing and becoming a better sing, a better way to get answers to your singing questions is to ask me in the Leave a Reply box below or get in touch with me directly for professional advice or a vocal appraisal. Bohemian Vocal Studio reaches singers and vocal students around the globe and helps everyone from budding beginners right through to touring professionals how to sing better. If you’re ready to take your voice to the next level with professional voice coaching, you’re welcome to book a Skype Lesson and we’ll start working towards extending your range and building control and consistency in your voice every time you sing. A great place to start is the free foundations 101 singing course available here at Bohemian Vocal Studio which will show you how to set up a rock solid foundation so that the voice you build is consistent and bullet-proof!
If you have any questions about learning how to sing, or an answer you’ve seen on Quora about singing, feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!
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.