Some people just seem to be naturally ‘gifted’ singers. They seem to be so connected to their voice that when they open their mouth to sing, it sounds pleasing.
If you are one of those people, congratulations.
If you are not, there is no need to worry. The voice is an instrument and you can learn to use it well.
The Voice as an Instrument
Once you start to look at your voice this way, everything changes.
If you can speak without difficulty/pain/extreme hoarseness, then you can sing. Often times, students get discouraged about the sound of their voice. When they can’t get the sound that they want, they think there is something wrong with their voice.
I want you to think about it differently: there is nothing wrong with your voice but there is probably something wrong about the way that you’re using it.
If a guitar is in a good condition but is out of tune because you haven’t played it in a while, what would you do?
Would you throw it away?
Or would you turn the tuning pegs so that the strings are in tune again?
I hope you picked the second answer.
The same thing applies to your voice. You just need to learn to use it the right way.
Overview of Vocal Technique
There are 5 main aspects of vocal technique:
- Intonation (singing in tune)
- Resonance (singing with a good tone/voice quality)
- Articulation (pronunciation)
Each of these aspects relate to one another.
Posture and breathing are near the base of the pyramid. If one of these aspects fall apart, your singing will fall apart. For example: if you’re sitting in a bad posture, your singing will be affected.
How to Gain Control of Your Voice
Get to know your instrument
If you play a guitar or a piano, you can see and touch it. If you want to play a note, you can just play it. Your voice is on the inside of your body. You can’t see or touch it. So, you need to be familiar with the anatomy of your voice.
Get to know the various parts of your instrument. You don’t have to memorize the complex medical terms. Just knowing what each part is called and where they are is enough. That way, you can see your instrument in your mind.
Understand intellectually how vocal technique work
When we are learning a new vocal technique, it is very important that we know how body works to execute the technique. Simple technical knowledge of the vocal anatomy is usually enough for us to understand a technique intellectually.
For instance: We should know where the soft palate is when we are trying to lift it.
Be aware of the sensations you feel in your mouth/throat
Then, we need ask ourselves: How does it feel in my throat/body when I try to do the technique?
For instance: How does it feel at the back of your throat when you managed to lift your soft palate?
It is good to drill vocal technique outside of singing. This way, we can build the necessary muscle memory for the technique.
Use visual imageries to trigger the muscle memory
When you are practicing the technique, ask yourself: what kind of visual imagery or abstract thought pops up in your brain?
For instance: What is the shape of the soft palate when you have lifted it? Answer: an arched shape like an upside down sushi plate
Once a vocal technique becomes a strong muscle memory, you can then use imageries to trigger it when singing.
How to Make Vocal Techniques Second Nature So You Can Sing With Confidence
Example: Lifting the Soft Palate
You practice lifting the soft palate while you’re walking down the street/doing everyday stuff. This way, you build up the muscle memory of the technique. Then, you use the imagery of an upside down sushi dish to trigger the muscle memory (of lifting the soft palate) when you sing.
If you do this for all the vocal techniques you learn, they will become second nature when you sing songs.
It is not easy to see your voice as an instrument because your voice is a part of your body. It is controlled by the same part of your brain that controls your emotions. That’s why when someone criticizes your voice, you feel offended/embarrassed.
However, if you want to become a confident singer, this is absolutely essential. Remember: anything worth having is worth working hard for.
Keep persevering and your singing will improve day after day!
Hi, I’m Benny Ng. I’ve been teaching singing lessons since 2011. Singing didn’t come easily to me. I want to help you avoid the mistakes that I made. That way, you can become a confident singer quicker. Download your free e-book: Closet Singer to Confident Singer here: https://www.topsingingsecrets.com/ebook