So You Bought An Online Singing Course… Now What?
Online Singing Courses are a dime a dozen, or in the age of YouTube, hundreds of dollars a pop. This article will show you how to get the best out of the online singing course you’ve purchased, or better yet, allow you to make a better decision where online singing courses are concerned if you’re yet to pull the trigger on the course of your choice.
There are MANY, MANY different vocal methods out there, and many different online singing courses available, and as a voice coach myself, you know what? They’re all good. That’s right. They’re all good. Voice coaches are kindof known as a prickly bunch where each other’s courses and teaching methods are concerned, but here’s where I consider myself uniquely qualified to answer this one simple question while helping you make the best of your online vocal course – I don’t sell a vocal method or singing course of my own. That’s right, aside from the free foundations short course I provide here at Bohemian Vocal Studio, I’m not selling a vocal method, and likely never will. My true passion lies in working with people directly and helping to guide others through direct coaching, not through a one-size fits-all approach. Whichever online singing course you’ve purchased, here’s how to make the best of it!
Singing Courses Are All The Same
What? You heard me. The basic premise of every single singing course out there is exactly the same. They make use of and train the SAME mechanism, they teach you to connect chest and head voice, they teach you to sing with resonance, they teach you (hopefully) how to sing your vowels correctly and so on and so on – every single singing course out there is basically the same thing, with one major difference – opinions. That’s right. The major difference between all the major singing courses out there is opinions. Opinions about when to transition between head and chest voice, how to sing with support, how much weight to sing with, the best exercises to develop your voice and so forth. At the end of the day, you could purchase ANY singing course out there and build a killer singing voice as long as you understood the material and understood how it applies to your voice in a practical sense.
One of the most important things about making the most out of an online singing course you’ve purchased is to understand that the information being doled out to you is through the lens of someone else’s voice. This is why I personally like to work with people directly and play a personal part in guiding my students voice – it’s not “what worked for me”, it’s “What will work for you” at the end of the day.
The first step is to identify the “angle” of the voice coach who has designed the vocal course you are working on. Are they a baritone? Do they have the same voice type as you? Are they a “rock guy”? Do they love RNB? Etc. All of these aspects colour the manner in which an online course is designed, and ultimately will colour your voice. If you identify this angle from the start, then you can take some of their information with a grain of salt and will have the best chance of achieving the voice YOU desire, not the voice THEY desire.
Ultimately, a singing course is a snapshot of one person’s experience learning how to sing, with no consideration towards your voice or the unique issues you may experience as a singer. If you know this before you get started, you’ll have a better chance of singing the way you truly want to as you progress with the course of your choice.
Don’t skip ahead for any reason!
Singing is a process of balance and coordination that occurs over time with consistent practice and perseverance, not one that occurs as the result of ‘secret’ knowledge or ‘tricks’. This is why it is SO important that you sit on the very first video for a full week before even looking through the rest of the course. Sure, it seems innocent enough, but the way you sing when your voice has matured is very different from the way you sing when you are a total beginner – if you skip ahead, even just to view the content you’ve purchased, you’re likely to inadvertently pick up a few snippets that you’ll hold onto even as you get started on the beginner exercises, and it will wreak havoc on your voice. The same applies to Skype vocal lessons like the ones I provide, I’m not going to introduce a total beginner singer to vowel modification or compression in the first five minutes of their first session – they’re going to hold onto this piece of information and absolutely mangle their voice in the process. At first, we’ll talk about foundation and developing vowels and placement properly, and then, only then, will we approach the more complicated aspects of vocal approach like vowel modification and vowel narrowing. Learning to sing is a learning curve like any other pursuit – you don’t life 100kg on your first day of weight training, now do you? The first thing you do is work on your posture, and singing is much the same. Don’t skip ahead, there’s no ‘secret’ to singing in the advanced portion of the course just like there’s no secret in a 100kg barbell.
I have tons of experience working with singing students who have purchased many of the popular contemporary singing courses – and while some are truly great and they’re on their way to a great voice with a few personalised adjustments, there are others where there creator of the course, or God, as they likely call themselves, are completely un-reachable and a simple question like “Hey dude, I’m having some trouble with placement” or “Hi, in video 3 of the course, blah blah blah” – this is a sad reality of online singing courses – in that many people who release them simply do not care for your voice or take responsibility for the fact your vocal health is ultimately in their hands. You should be able to ask questions, and ask A LOT of questions when you purchase a vocal method. I see many students who have purchased the top-of-the-line, most expensive vocal course out there, and they’ve had an issue with one of the very first steps of the course and were unable to ask a simply question of the vocal coach who they purchased the course from. This is simply NOT ON in my book. If you buy an online singing course, you should receive an element of support and guidance from the guru you’ve purchased it from.
Have you purchased an online singing course?
Are you have some trouble working out how to get started with the online singing course you’ve purchased? Or perhaps, you’re looking at some of the top singing courses out there and want to know how to make the best decision. If you’ve purchased a singing course, or you’re about to, the first thing you need to do is ask yourself these three simple questions;
- Will you be able to ask the voice coach questions, or will you received generic answers or just be directed to a forum of other students?
- What is the vocal coach’s angle? Are they a rock guy? Are they a pop singer?
- Are you going to skip ahead? If so, save your money.
Singing itself is a very easy process, but learning HOW to do it is often a confusing and frustrating task due to all the conflicting information and opinions out there. Remember, a singing course is simply a snapshot of one person’s PERSONAL experience learning how to sing, and you likely have a different voice and experience different issues to them – if you can’t ask questions, you just paid for the world’s most expensive beer coaster.
If you need some help making heads or tails of the singing course you’ve just purchased, I have over a decade of experience coaching students and singers of all walks who have purchased almost every single vocal method out there. Remember, singing is easy, don’t let a complicated vocal course ruin your day. A great place to start is the free foundations short courses available here at Bohemian Vocal Studio which will show you how to set up the strongest foundation so that your voice is consistent and controlled every time you sing. When you’re ready to take your voice to the next level with professional voice coaching and personalised guidance from a vocal coach who understands that your voice is unique, and you need tailored coaching you can book a Skype Lesson with me and we’ll start working towards extending your range and building a POWERFUL voice while making the best out of the course you have purchased.
If you have any questions about learning how to sing, or an online singing course you have purchased, 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.