If you are restoring or remodeling a home, you need *a lot* of tools. And you need the correct ones! Then, you need to learn how exactly to use each tool. I should know; I am working on a house now!
It’s the same with becoming a good singer. Your voice is capable of so much potential, range, color, expression, and you may not know how to access it all. That’s why working with a good teacher can help you build and expand your vocal tool box.
Here are some essential tools to help you get started:
– Understanding and accessing your different registers, especially head and chest registers.
– Knowing how to breathe properly when singing
– Starting the process of mixing your registers (head/chest)
– Making your voice louder and softer (dynamics)
– Singing on correct pitch (you don’t need *perfect pitch* — that’s a different thing. Just correct pitch.)
– Learning your way around the keyboard. You should know at least how to play your vocal line!
– Hearing when there is “too much” of something happening in your voice in order to achieve balance; for example, nasality? breathiness? too far back in the throat? driving from the throat? Remember: it’s not necessarily *your voice.* It’s just a question of becoming self-aware and changing a default that may not be constructive.
After adding these basic tools (which all take plenty of practice!), then you can start to acquire more advanced tools, like color, flexibility, vibrato control, and expression.
This is why I can’t say it enough: Singing is a skill. Sure, talent is nice to have, but talent isn’t process. Work and knowledge are required to build and sculpt your voice. I have worked on my voice since I was a young adolescent, and I continue to care for it now and practice regularly, although I have a pretty big vocal tool box by now. Just like building a house, it takes time, patience, research, perseverance, and practice.
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