Don't Forfeit Your Own Voice By Just Imitating Others!

Don’t Forfeit Your Own Voice By Just Imitating Others!

If you never take the time and effort to discover your own best vocal sound you may well forfeit, and be deprived of ever knowing your full vocal potential.  Here are some thoughts and steps to help you keep growing and be your best.

We Learn By Imitation

It is true that we learn to speak by imitation. Everything from tone quality to diction and accent will reflect those you were around during your vocally formative years.  But, you are not limited to how you began. Any performer who has taken singing or acting classes realizes the tremendous potential to expand and fine-tune the vocal instrument.

There Are Limitations, But Not That Many

That being said, there are limits to what any vocalist can do, depending on the anatomy and structure of the individual. But, few of us come close to maximizing the potential that’s just waiting to happen.  A modern day example of that is demonstrated in the American Idol TV show.  It is common to see a mediocre singer, with good potential suddenly come alive and really communicate.  How does this happen?

They are challenged, coached and rehearsed by professionals in a focused environment.  They are also forced to experience new styles and genres.  Some, that they may not even relate to.  The result?  They have the opportunity to try new things, push their abilities beyond the comfort zone and grow as artists and communicators.

Here Are Some Steps To Help You Reach Your Potential

1. Open Your Mind and Ears. Get out of the mental rut that says, “This is just how I sound.”  Change that to, “This is how I have sounded, but there’s probably much, much more I can do.”  Start listening to some other songs and styles within your comfort zone (for now) and sing along.  If you never allow your voice to try something new you will live in a vocal and stylistic rut.

2. Be Creative and Daring Alone. Become as uninhibited as a child in using not only your voice, but also your face, arms and entire body to act out the song.  Go overboard, exaggerating everything just to experience the potential.  Will you need to dial that back a little in real performance?  Maybe, but probably not as much as you first think.  Full, honest, meaningful expression is what you owe to your listener.

3. Be Creative and Daring In Front of Others. Find a few people with some performance experience and ask them to be your audience.  Let them know you are striving to expand your vocal and physical expression and get their feedback. But remember that even they should not limit your road to experimentation.

4. Use Neutral Tools. Mirrors and video feedback, using anything from a video camera, computer or iPhone can all be helpful.  And, if you’re not already doing it consider some form of systematic training. That can be in the form of a few key CD’s like Complete Breathing, Warm-up & Tone to keep you on track.  Comprehensive sets like Vocal Coach Singer include full training principles and exercises, journals and a guidebook to help you track your progress and make meaningful adjustments as you go.  You may also find a good local teacher or coach as well as classes at a community college.

There are lots of ways to learn, but do something. Don’t forfeit your best for what just happens to be there now.  Be all you can be.  It’s much more satisfying for both you and the listener.

Please Share. I’d love to know what has, and has not helped you maximize your vocal gift.  Comment here, or email me at chris@vocalcoach.com

3 comments

  1. Regardless of how long you have been singing and how professional or experienced you feel you are. Its highly likely you will have a voice inside of you that you have never expressed. Your mindset will determine whole new areas of your voice which may or will in fact suprise you!…..I know it happened to me even after 17 years singing professionally!!!!

    Sarah

  2. Jeff says:

    I would add, “Remember Why You Are Singing” to the list. Singing is a joyful and creative outlet. It’s important to always remember why you are practicing and trying to improve, your LOVE for music and singing, not just “to sound good”.

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