Category: A Singer’s Life

Mark David Williams - Ask the Vocal Coach

How Long Does It Take to Achieve My Best Voice?

Your Question

Once you start the vocal exercises on daily basis, how many days, months or years will it take to reach your your best of the best voice? And also what period to reach your permanent voice which you might not need any serious training again.
Justin

Answer

It’s my experience that one never stops growing vocally. There is always something to learn, someone to glean something from, and something to challenge yourself on.

I know that may be a stock ‘teacher’ answer, but it actually is true. Music is constantly evolving and there is always something new. Even just from a physical point of view, every individual develops differently. The male voice for instance is still maturing well into the twenties and even early thirties.

How Long Will It Take to Achieve My Best?

Really, the best and simplest answer I can give you is this: The harder you work, the less time it will take. It is hard work and it is hard to work in a correct and in a healthy way.

So to answer your question about how many days, months will it take to reach your best—that is difficult to predict—but with proper practice it’s sooner than later.

When Do I Stop Training?

There is always something to learn, someone to glean from, and something to challenge yourself on


And when will you not need serious training? That is a good question. I studied seriously from high school through shortly after college and then would have ‘check-ups’. I was a committed student of voice and maintained the things I learned very well, which is what led me to want to share what I know and have experienced through the years.

So I stopped ‘seriously’ training after about 8 years. But, I learned to record and watch and listen to myself and be a good critic of my own voice. Still, I have always needed support and help from a trained ear that is not my own. When I need a checkup, run into challenges—or when I had viral laryngitis, Chris Beatty helps me get my voice back on track.

It’s so important to have that relationship where you can go to your teacher and say, “Hey, I need a tune-up?” or “Something isn’t feeling or sounding right.” I don’t think a singer actually ever ‘perfects’ the voice in every aspect.

We Can Be Your Vocal Coach

Wherever you are in your vocal training, we can equip and encourage you to be your best. And bring you there in the quickest, most efficient way possible. If you are committed to singing, you will need a good balance of self directed learning with good resources and professional training.

Vocal Coach will give true and honest feedback and help you through a challenging vocal time or get you on the right track. Sometimes a call back to foundational singing is all a singer needs—breathe, stand upright, watch your jaw and head movement. Sometimes we face specific challenges unique to our own voice.

I know that’s a long answer to your question, but this is truly the best answer I can give. Keep on singing!

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Thank you for Being a Part of Vocal Coach

This time of year, I always think about how blessed Carole and I have been over the many years that we have been serving singers. Blessed to do something we love, and blessed to get to know so many wonderful people along the way.

10-keyvocal-ebook-200As a thank you, I have put together a little ebook answering the Top 10 questions I get here at the Ask the Vocal Coach. And, we are giving it away for free!

You can now take this with you as a reference wherever you go. Just fill out the form below to sign up for updates from Vocal Coach, and your free ebook will be emailed right to you!

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Interested in Singing or Committed to Singing?

Interested, or Committed?

There’s a difference between being interested and being committed. We see that difference every day in relationships, jobs, religion and—of course—singing. I am interested in many things, but committed to only a few. Let’s talk about you, and singing. And remember: Both interest and commitment are good—just as long as you don’t confuse the two.

Interested in Singing?

You are interested in singing if it’s fun for you to do and it makes you feel good. You’re not going to skip a meal or social event to do a vocal workout but it is an important part of your life. I feel that many of the people you know are interested in singing. After all, most people find themselves singing in some capacity—weather that’s singing along with the radio or at church—every week.

Committed to Singing?

You are committed to being a better singer if it takes priority in your life. Not above God, your family or your job—but close. It means your calendar and even check book show an investment. It’s more important than most things and gets your attention. Are you committed? If so, have you thought about what that means?

Commitment Is a Challenging Journey

Are you interested in singing, or committed to it? Both are good, but don’t confuse one for the other

The singer’s road to success is like any other. It can be well planned and smooth. Or, despite your best intentions it can be bumpy and seem to never end. With today’s constant distractions, you must be purposeful and deliberate or you will fail. No Excuses – Just Victory. If you are not intentional, what you intended to be commitment will become no more than casual interest. Unfortunately, casual can become a personal casualty if your intentions and actions don’t line up.

The good news is, it’s your choice. If you consider yourself a committed singer, be deliberate with your time and money budgets. Here are a few thoughts the I know can get in the way of acting committed.

Do Not Disturb

Clicking the Do Not Disturb function in your brain and on you smart phone will add time and focus to your vocal workouts. When you are singing, that should be the only thing on your mind.

Road Blocks and Detours

Do you really need to stop and smell the roses, or coffee or food now? Even good things can easily become road block and detours to your practice times. Oh, and your friends will still be there when you’re done practicing.

First Steps to Victory

Every week, Mark and I interact with singers who are committed to growing. They are replacing bad vocal habits with good ones. The excitement I hear in their voices is infectious. One thing they all have in common is that they are proactive. They did not just think about singing, or want to sing. They did something about it. Some start with a single CD/mp3 like Complete Breathing or get our Voice Assessment just to get the ball rolling. Others buy one of our bundles and start using it in their car. But, the point is they did something, and they are seeing the results. They are committed.

What Is Your Intention?

If your intention is to be a committed singer, I want to encourage you to take the right steps. Experiencing new skills and freedom will propel you forward for years. I think you’ll be surprised how taking those first steps can build momentum.

Not Sure Where to Start?

Get our Voice Assessment. This is a short session where Mark or I will listen to your voice and give you the encouragement and practical plan you need.

guitar and singer

How to Hit a Home Run in Your Next Concert

There’s a reason why baseball players try to “Hit it out of the park.” When they do, nobody can stop them from scoring at least one run; sometimes four.

The Athlete’s Preparation

What are the preparation and skills that allows a home run?

  1. Physical strength. Strength to swing the bat hard enough, and at an angle so that the ball is propelled beyond the field.
  2. Hand-eye coordination. The brain interprets what the eye sees. It then relays the necessary timing, position and speed of the swing.
  3. Years of disciplined conditioning and good coaching. This is what allows it to be done “naturally” and without injury.

A Singer’s Home Run

A home run for a singer is when the listener has completely gotten your message. Their mind and emotions have interacted with your song, not just heard it. And, even though you may not hit a home run every time, you should do everything in your power to be ready.

A home run for a singer is when the listener has completely gotten your message

Oh, and once you have experienced the power of a well sung song you will never be the same. Ask any baseball, tennis or racquetball player what it’s like when they find the “sweet spot.” Or, a surfer what if felt like when they rode the perfect wave. They all get a big smile on their faces, then try to put into words what others may never understand. It’s the same for singers. When things are perfect it’s almost magic.

A Singer’s Preparation

Whether singer or athlete it’s all about preparation. Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Not proper dreaming, or hoping but actual preparation. That takes time, effort, planning, sacrifice and, most of all, action. Here are some actions you can take:

  1. Sing every chance you get. Move from desire and dreams to action.
  2. Work the weak spots. If you know you have an area of need like pitch, breathing or expression get help from someone who knows, not just a well-meaning friend.
  3. If you don’t have a clue about singing, admit it. Then, work with a tool like the Vocal Coach Singer set to systematically build your instrument. Learning it the right way from the start will save you years of frustration later on.

Yes, You Can Afford It

Many singers are quick to say they can’t afford a teacher, coach or training materials. Yet, they belong to a gym, eat out, go to movies, pay for cable and do lots of other things that cost money. It’s a matter of priorities and sacrifice.

Summary

  • If you want to hit consistent home runs in your singing do the preparation.
  • Surround yourself with those who know more than you and do it better.
  • Invest in materials that are interactive, easy to work with and will take you to the next step.

The vocalcoach.com site is loaded with blogs that can help you at many levels. The CD’s and mp3 are powerful, proven tools for any singer. And when you’re ready for personal training our one-on-one Skype and FaceTime sessions are perfect.

I hope this inspires you at many levels to become the best singer you can be.