Often when we study something we start to focus on the tools of the trade, each component, in this case – breathing, vowels, pitch, melody etc etc… and sometimes while working on improving the skills to do the thing we love, we forget about the thing we love, lose the big picture. Getting caught in doing each thing perfectly can eliminate the fun of the whole experience.
Use your tools – The vowels, your air flow, energy and emotions to hone your skills and be a better singer while keeping the BIG PICTURE as your constant goal – let singing FEEL GOOD! A balanced voice feels good & as a result sounds better and mechanically creates the structure for your heart, emotions and spirit to come pouring through.
If you are protecting your voice from the thing you fear (cracking, yelling, being breathy, not hitting the pitch) you will stop yourself from improving. How can it feel good, how can you express if you are HOLDING BACK? (diverting your goal)
Technically if you’re trying to control your voice in an attempt to avoid flipping you will most likely squeeze the cords too tight and not have proper air flow. What ever you are trying NOT TO DO will create habits that counter act, steer you away from a balanced voice that feels good. If you notice your trying NOT TO do something, change the goal to what you intend to do, this way you’ll use your tools towards the goal you actually want to achieve.
If you find you practice and practice, but you can’t stop doing the habitual thing, check what you’re focused on. Ask yourself what’s the worst thing that could happen while I do my scales or sing a song? What am I afraid of? Chances are there is an underlying motivation that is trumping the goal to have it feel good. You’ve got to be willing to allow whatever your fear is to happen. Try it for a week. Say, for this week it’s totally okay if I flip (or crack, yell, am too loud etc), I’m just going to take the directions from my teacher, use the tools and SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
Plus, whatever you fear either isn’t real, so it will never happen or because you focus on it, that’s what you create! So many times when a client is afraid and trying not to flip, the result is they ARE flipping!
Let’s say you have a friend who is always saying, “I want a boyfriend” but they never go on a date, don’t give their number to a guy when he asks etc etc. Chances are there is an underlying motivation trumping the desire for a boyfriend. Like, “I’m afraid to get hurt” or “I like my independence” … see the parallel? Your friend has to give up the fear of getting hurt in order to get the actual goal – the boyfriend. Chances are they won’t get hurt, not the way they fear they will and we can adjust when the fear actualizes, respond to it accordingly and not miss out on the goal we really want, JOY!
So give up your fear and go for the goal, the reason you sing in the first place: LET IT FEEL GOOD! When the voice is feeling consistent and similar throughout your entire range chances are you are creating a balanced voice which will sound good and be capable of dynamic expression.
Next time you sing, practice or work on a song sing like your voice may crack and see what happens! From there you can make adjustments. Better to give fully and make choices than hold back and have very little to work with. In other words… go for it! Have adventures and make mistakes along the way, mistakes that lead to adjustments, improvements, better skills and confidence knowing you are growing and learning. Better than trying to make sure you do it right before you’ve even done it which will turn your adventure into a stressful and sloooowww moving frustrating nightmare.
Have fun and share your Joy – practice, then take it into the world. Your audience is waiting for you to share.