Singing Myths BUSTED!

Singing Myths BUSTED!

There is a SERIOUS amount of information out there today concerning singing technique, and some million+ singing lessons out there on YouTube to choose from – how do you work out what is the RIGHT technique to use, and what is just a myth? With over 15 years experience studying the voice, I’ve been around the block a few times with most of the common singing myths and things that people say just to sell singing courses and the . Trust me, how to lean to how to sing doesn’t have to be such a confusing thing, so lets break down those myths one by one!

Some people are just BORN with singing talent.

What IS singing talent, really? Is it knowing how to breathe properly, create a resonant sound, place your voice and know how to hit the right vowels? That certainly sounds like singing technique that can be taught and learned to me – in fact, this is what I specialize-in here at Bohemian Vocal Studio. With my experience as a Rock Vocal Coach and the years I’ve spent working with students around the globe of many voice types and native tongues, I believe the idea of “talent” comes from the natural aptitude that some people naturally have towards learning some topics over others – for example, Math isn’t my strong point (nor was learning to sing, initially!), but I totally have a knack for pulling cars apart and also building things with my hands. Someone else might be totally rubbish with cars, but be a total math WIZ – this doesn’t mean that they couldn’t LEARN how to tinker with cars just as well, if not BETTER than I can. Catch my drift? Natural aptitude refers to the learning curve only, not the end result or the ability itself – if I applied myself, perhaps I could learn to split equations with the best of them, but I much prefer spending my time developing my voice instead! Absolutely ANYONE can learn how to sing with a powerful, healthy, resonant voice that has tons of range if they learn the right way from an experienced vocal coach.

Ready to build you own powerful singing voice? Book a session with me using the booking calendar in the sidebar to your right ->

Are some people just BORN with singing talent? BUSTED.

You can’t sing a high C with a baritone voice range

With my range starting around an A1, and extending up to an A5, I’m just going to hit this one straight away as BUSTED. People who say that Baritones have a limited range simply don’t understand the mechanics of the voice. The ‘vocal range’ (or “fach”) system was created simply for dividing Operas up into the easiest/most pleasant or maneable sounding part of each singer’s range, it has NOTHING to do with the actual possiblities of each singer’s voice with training. While my range extends well into the bass range personally, it’s now very easy to sustain my voice up into the tenor range convincingly without much effort – so am I a “bass”, or am I a “tenor”? Neither – I have my own unique voice type that has been developed to extend my range and grow with power in a healthy manner.

Are baritone’s limited to notes below a high C? BUSTED.

Grit will RUIN your voice

The verdict is out on this one, and really depends on HOW you create grit in your voice. I believe the issue with grit is the fact that’s often called “distortion” – when you sing with a gritty sound, you’re not actually distorting or contorting your sound, you’re actually creating an overtone that sits on TOP of your natural resonance. So if you approach it in the way that I do where breathing is your foundation, resonance is your walls, vowels are your roof and diction is your fittings – grit would simply be the lick of paint you apply after the fact. If this was the case for ALL singers, then of course this myth would be busted – I’ve personally be singing with this healthy approach to grit for over 16 years, and my range is now MUCH greater, my voice is way more powerful and I understand my voice MUCH better than when I first started, so yes, it CAN be done in a safe way. However, a lot of singers actually approach grit in the wrong fashion, leading to strain and damage – so lets leave this one as UNDECIDED.

Your range decreases as you age

This one is another UNDECIDED as it really depends on how healthy your vocal technique is. Sure, if your warmup is a pint of beer and you’ve been shouting Khe Sahn for the last 30 years, then absolutely – you’re going to lose that range BIG TIME. But if you’ve developed a healthy, resonant voice that you have complete control over, then your voice will stay strong and healthy for a lifetime – just look at how much more powerful Paul Rodgers’ voice is at 60+ than when he was 20. The sign of a great singer is how well their voice ages – so, if you have dodgy singing technique, then this one would actually be true. If you have a healthy, resonant voice that you’ve built in the right way – you’ll keep your voice for life. So lets leave this one as UNDECIDED as it really depends on how healthy your vocal technique is.

Singing with a breathy tone is bad for your voice

This one I will absolutely CONFIRM – singing with a breathy tone will sap your resonance and dry out your vocal chords. If you do a google search for singers that have damaged their voices, you’ll likely find they have one thing in common – BREATHINESS. Whether it is Adele, or John Mayer, it’s not pushing, belting or grit that caused vocal issues, it was too much air across the chords. Learn how to breath properly and support your voice from the diaphragm, and you will never experience these unnecessary issues. Remember, your voice works via air PRESSURE, not air FLOW – so hold back that air and sing with resonance, resonance, resonance!

Do you have any other singing queries you’d like me to clarify, or any other myths you’d like me to either BUST or confirm? Let me know in the comments below!

How do i sing higher?

How to sing higher notes

Learning how to sing higher notes without straining takes practice, finesse and the RIGHT vocal technique. It’s not really a question of “how do i sing higher”, you really need to ask yourself “what techniques do I need to sing higher” – it’s not always easy, but it CAN be done with ANY voice type, even a low baritone like me!

  • Develop mixed voice
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing
  • Breath Support
  • Vowel placement
  • Frequency control
  • Vocal placement
  • Strain release

These are the HOLY GRAIL of singing techniques – if you can learn how to nail these techniques that I teach here at Bohemian Vocal Studio, then you will ABSOLUTELY increase your range and continue to improve your voice over time. I like to use a ‘house building’ analogy to introduce the timeline of building your voice;

1. Foundation – breathing

Kegan DeBohemeLearning how to breathe by using the diaphragm instead of using your ribs/lungs/chest as your foundation is one of the most important tips singing higher, if your foundation is STRONG, then you’ll learn the other techniques for increasing your range in no time and have strength throughout your WHOLE range. If your foundation isn’t solid, then there’s no way for you to build your range. If you want to learn how to breathe using your diaphragm, you can book a session with me in the booking calendar to your right and I’ll show you how to engage your diaphragm REALLY quickly and easy with my super simple approach.

Learning to breathe is an ongoing process and will develop with time – but for now, learning to engage your diaphragm so you can draw in air without using your shoulders and chest is a great starting point.

The Walls – Resonance and placement

Whoever first said that ‘your singing voice should be the same as your speaking voice’ simply didn’t understand the inner workings of the voice, and obviously didn’t understand how many DIFFERENT voice types there are, native tongues and of course ACCENTS out there – your singing voice and your speaking voice are completely different. Learning to sing with resonance instead of the breathy, plosive/breathy sounds we speak with (at least, myself as an Aussie speaks with) is the next step in building your range. Try it yourself by holding your air in as you sing – I know, it sounds crazy, but your singing voice is actually closer to the sound you make when you ‘hum’ than when you speak with words and sounds like “S”, “T” and “B” – your singing voice should be 95% vowels, which leads me to my next point;

The Roof – Vowels

Learning how to sing with the correct vowels is what takes a singer from being ‘average’ to being ‘GREAT’ – if you can develop the concept of “practical” vowel sounds like I teach here at BVS, then you’ll be able to sing any song you like, in any style – your pitch will be perfect, and your tone will be beautiful.

Second to the practical vowel sounds, you need to learn the concept of vowel placement, or as it’s commonly known “Vowel modification” – you can try it for yourself by singing towards an “OH” or “AH” sound as you get towards your vocal break. Can you feel how this gets rid of your break and allows you to sing with a really open feeling? Bingo – that’s the first vowel position!

The Fittings and Wiring – Tonal registers

I believe in this approach so much that I’ve actually put together a short video for you showing exactly how I bridge my “chest” (low) register, my “Middle Voice” (mix) register, and “Head” (high) register:

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The facade – Diction and delivery

Learning how to create your consonant sounds in a open and relaxed way will turn a ‘classical’ sounding voice into a total ROCK machine. If you can develop proper diction and a really killer delivery all of your own, then you’ll have one of the best rock voices around that has range, power, control, AND personality – the killer quattro! You can try this one yourself by singing a word with a “Y” in it, like “YEAH!” – can you feel how squashed and uncomfortable the “Y” sound is? Now, lets try it again by using an “EE” vowel instead of the Y, like “EE – EAH” (instead of YEAH). Can you feel how EASY that Y sound is now? Congratulations, THAT is proper diction. You can try it with a few more consonant sounds yourself while we’re at it:

  • W = OO
  • R = OO + R (At the same time)
  • B = P (Try it with the word “Bear” – can you hear how it still SOUNDS like a “B” but without the strain? This one takes a little work)
  • M = Hum (try it yourself buy doing a “hum” without the H instead of a harsh “M” sound – like the word MOVE – it should be MMMMMMM – OOve)

Catch my drift? Diction is important, but it’s MUCH more important to build your foundation and vowels at this stage. Working out how to sing higher notes without straining takes finess, practice and the right guidance. If you want to build your range the RIGHT way, you can book a session with me personally by using the booking calendar to your right – you’ll be meeting with a professional vocal coach holding over 15 years experience singing with powerful rock vocal training and healthy technique.

ANYONE can learn how to sing higher

Teaching students who are learning to sing higher notes without straining has become my motto here at Bohemian Vocal Studio – if you’re wondering whether you can learn how to sing higher without straining, then you’ve come to the right professional vocal studio. Click on the calendar to your right to book a session with me.

Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback below!