don't give up

Mini-Post: Haven’t Sung In A While? – Don’t Give Up!

Welcome to the Mini-Post!

It’s dawned on me that one of the challenges of writing high-quality long-form content is that it takes a heck of a lot of time. A struggle that has resulted in very little output on the blog for the month of the July. That’s a shame because there is so much to talk about/learn when it comes to the Voice.

That’s something I want to change.

So, I’ve decided to launch a series of what I call ‘medium-form’ content. This is not a full-length blog post (1000-3000 words), but it sure isn’t a tweet or a paragraph. It’s somewhere in between.

Anyway, let’s get started.

Getting out of Practice

I’m guessing some (or most) of you reading this are not full-time singers. We have day jobs, family responsibilities and other projects that take up our time. So it would come as no surprise that it sometimes gets hard to dedicate time for singing.

Vocalizing to develop the voice is different to simply warming up the voice. Read this post to understand why. It’s also more time consuming. Naturally, conquering a particular phrase in a song requires repetition and time. We don’t always have 45 minutes just to work on that.

But what about Warming Up? Unsurprisingly, with the business of life, this too can fall by the wayside. Sometimes we don’t even have enough energy for a 10 minute session.

Why can’t we find 10 minutes to sing?

This essentially comes down to the all-or-nothing approach to life. Since we don’t have time for a solid 1 hour session, we throw in the towel and do nothing. What a shame! 10 minutes can literally revolutionize  our vocal health, and I’ll prove why.

Why 10 minutes actually makes a difference

Picture this scenario. You haven’t sung in 3 weeks. You look longingly at your keyboard/piano/guitar/fave YouTube artist and wish you were singing again. Maybe work has been crazy busy. Maybe your family are taking up all your time. Whatever the (genuine) reason, you feel now is the time to get back into singing.

You start with a simple exercise. Nothing too demanding. Your singing voice warbles into existence, rudely re-awakened. You sound pretty bad. Croaky, off-pitch, cracking – you know the deal. You take a break, have some water and try the next exercise. Same thing. You take another break, drink again. You try a high note; maybe you will nail that high A4? Nope, WHAM, you cracked, game over. Time to call it a day.

That’s how the cycle develops. You stop singing again for 2 more weeks. Repeat.

Conclusion: 10 minutes didn’t work. You sucked. You can only sing if it’s all or nothing. All = 1 hour.

Solution: Remove expectations and go easy on yourself              

The way to conquer this scenario is to sing  for just 10 minutes. Pick exercises that are not demanding, gently massaging the middle of the range, slowly approaching the upper and lower ranges. Reduce your expectations – you aren’t going to nail that high C today.

Then, and this is key, do the same thing tomorrow with your 10 minute session. This time, push the envelope a little more. You’ll be amazed. The high notes start falling into place. Maybe not 100%, but getting there.

Day 3, rinse and repeat. You get the idea. Now you may feel encouraged to sing a little more. Perhaps now you’ll find the time for those 10 minute vocal sessions!

Conclusion

Singing 10 minutes a day does work. It has to be the right kind of work with the right kind of attitude. Remember, the voice is powered by muscles and athletes need to gently ease into things before heating peak performance.

“With the falsetto, the diaphragm is not working. I believe that if I let my diaphragm be lazy for five or six days, it will not be ready when it’s time.” – Luciano Pavarotti

Don’t let the bad day 1 experiences knock you down. Keep practicing, and keep the singing voice well-oiled (not literally). If you don’t use it, you lose it!

 Got a question? Ask it below in the comments!

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