Singing Myths busted – can ANYONE learn to sing well?

In the process of learning how to sing better and improve my vocal range, I was taught some very useful techniques, and also give a ton of other more… shall we say… dubious techniques that had no origins or facts behind them. I took rock singing lessons in Sydney from many great singing coaches, signed up to most of the contemporary online singing courses and also took Skype lessons with international coaches in my search for the most powerful singing technique – I did learn some cool stuff, but I was also met with misinformation and some really bizarre instructions at the same time

First up;

Yawn while you’re singing!

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Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)

Yeah, no. Don’t do that. While yawing before you sing may inevitably show you how to open the soft palate and relax your vocal tract, actually yawing while you sing can have a very damaging effect not only on your tone, but also on your vocal health itself.

When you yawn, your larynx lowers and compresses (try it!) – so, basically the opposite of a ‘relaxed, open position’ as we’ve talked about previously. If you’re trying to sing through a crushed larynx because you’re trying to keep the same feeling as a yawn, I hate to say it, but you’re probably being duped by your vocal coach. Sure, yawn first and try and keep the open feeling without strain, but keep your larynx out of the mix for vocal health’s sake!

You need to sing with your head voice/chest voice!

I’ve brushed on this previously, you only have one voice – Chest and Head register is simply a way of dividing the high and low frequencies, but they are absolutely connected and in essence the same voice. Check out my instructional video on singing with mixed voice for simple instructions and a quick explanation of how your voice creates a resonant tone and both ‘light and dark’ frequencies at the same time.

Your voice is too low/too high to sing like that!

Not exactly, prime example being myself as a low baritone quite easily singing in the tenor range using proper vocal technique and note placement. The same applies for Tenors wanting to sing a little lower – of course there are limitations, but they’re more tonal and you can still build your lower voice to a similar level of other singers. If Johnny Cash was taught how to sing with open vowels and resonant, reinforced tone, I have no doubt he could sing in the range of a tenor quite beautifully, and vice versa – Bon Jovi could learn how to sing in a similar range minus only one or two notes, albeit tonally lighter, than a singer like Eric Burdon.

That’s vocal damage! You’ve ruined your voice!

While I do recommend seeing a vocal specialist if you’re experiencing a serious issue with your voice, simply hitting your vocal break or losing a bit of power and volume with age isn’t associated with actual vocal damage, just poor technique and vocal maintenance.

I have a bad voice/I’m not gifted.

Actually, your voice is a beautiful, POWERFUL instrument capable of many coloured tones and a varied range – you simply aren’t using it in the correct way to bright out the strengths and build the weaknesses you probably perceive as simply a ‘bad voice’. You have the same gift as me – a powerful singing instrument, you’re just not turning the amp on or tuning the strings!

There’s many, MANY other myths surrounding the voice and good vocal technique – if you’d like to start building your own powerful singing voice full of colour and endless range, check out my other videos or book a session with me now! Rock Singing Lessons in Sydney and also singing lessons online via Skype now available.

Feel free to leave some feedback or any questions below!

6 thoughts on “Singing Myths busted – can ANYONE learn to sing well?

  1. I have always wanted to learn how to sing but unfortunately I do not have perfect pitch. I have a deep voice, but it is hard for me to pinpoint which notes to sing.

    I would like to sing like Josh Groban one day because that dude sings very well. Do you offer any vocal coaching?

    1. Hi Vijoen – yes, Josh Groban is an amazing singer with a very natural, resonant tone 🙂

      I do offer vocal coaching (just click on ‘book a session’ in the top menu), and also have provided a number of video lessons on my site here.

      With application and practice of the correct techniques, your voice WILL build itself into the natural, powerful instrument it truly can, and was intended to be.

      Let me know if you have any questions, or shoot me an email if you want to get in touch!

      Kegan

  2. Hello there Kegan , I am very interested in learning how to sing.I have bought in the past some educating courses but did not have the time to evaluate yet.

    I believe I have Brett Manning’s methods , if I can recall his name right.Are you familiar with him and his methods?

    I strongly believe that anyone can sing correctly if taught well.But this is a long lasting debate between me and one of my friends.

    I will be visiting you soon , good luck with your website.

    1. Hi Tasos!

      I have taken part in most online singing techniques – I’d rather not comment on anyone specifically, however I never personally found ‘Speech Level Singing’ to be a sustainable way to build and retain a powerful singing voice, in fact, rather the opposite (I believe it’s techniques are geared more towards modern pop singers than a rock, blues or Opera singer – where natural resonance is key). Others may find otherwise obviously, however, in my experience I believe that open-throat techniques based on traditional Bel Canto are the healthy, natural way to sing – this is what I teach for the most part, modified a little for rock and modern pronunciation 🙂

      Absolutely! Let me know if you have any other questions about your voice or singing techniques.

      K

  3. As a piano teacher, I was very curious to read this article. It sounds like you have had a real range of teachers and some unusual suggestions!

    It’s a shame that you were given so many negative comments – a big part of learning to sing or play a musical instrument is having the confidence to do so and believing in yourself. Encouragment is the most important thing as this then leads onto genuine enjoyment.

    It sounds like you’ve put all this to good use though and it’s great to see you’ve put together so many useful resources and options for students wanting to learn to sing! Keep up the good work 🙂

    Louise

    1. Thanks Louise! Absolutely – self confidence, and just as important – confidence in your technique and the person teaching it it to you is worth more than tips or tricks could ever do for your voice.

      All the best!

      K

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