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There are 3 common singing misconceptions that most people fall victim to when they try to sing without professional instruction.
Well, there are many more, but these 3 common singing misconceptions are something I hear nearly every day.
I’m sure you have heard them too!
The reason why I want to share this information is because these misunderstandings are not too innocent – they have a great impact on your voice and avoiding them can avoid you quite a bit of pain.
Or sometimes I hear an even worse one: “sing from your stomach”
Wow. That sounds dangerous!
Your stomach is a vital organ but it is not related to your voice production.
I assume what people mean when they say things like “sing from your belly” is that you should breathe in the lower part of your lungs. When you do breathe this way, your belly area expands a bit but there is no air going there. Your organs move as your diaphragm contracts.
And by the way, no matter what parts of your body expand when you are breathing, you are always using the diaphragm. The diaphragm is quite a big muscle and you can use it in different ways to breathe in, but it is always present being your main breathing muscle.
This singing misconception is dangerous because lots of people assume that what it means is that you should tense your belly to sing. And sometimes even to breathe in!
If you do these things, you are going to be singing with a lot of air pressure, and you are going to strain your neck. Your ability to sing with freedom is extremely limited in this case, and you are using a lot of body energy to produce a poor sound.
A more correct concept would be “When you breathe for singing, do it in a way that your lower back expands when you inhale, instead of your chest and shoulders”.
This kind of breathing is also linked to relaxation, so it is beneficial to us nowadays whether we sing or not.
For some useful breathing exercises for singing, click HERE
This is one of the 3 common singing misconceptions that I get more often, and it is frankly heartbreaking sometimes. A parent comes with their child to try a lesson and at the end of the lesson they ask me something along the lines of “so, is my child talented enough or shouldn’t we bother?”.
Remember that kids believe what you say to them. And what you believe, you become.
In the very old days we didn’t know how voice science worked and so we couldn’t do much about it. But now we know how the voice is produced and there are tons of different methods that will get you there.
Natural talent is overrated. All the great singers you listen to, who are “naturally talented”, have also worked hard on their craft for many years.
Talent is great, but you need more than that to improve your voice and take it to a professional level. At least if you plan on keeping your voice healthy!
And if you are not naturally good at singing, you can learn it. I’m not saying that it is going to be easy.
Anyone with a voice can learn to sing and that has been proven over and over again.
However, having the potential to be a good singer doesn’t make you one. You have to work on it daily. You have to put in the hours and the habits required to keep your voice in shape.
Nope. If anything, learning singing technique gives you the tools you need to be in control of your voice.
Nowadays we know how to perform vocal effects such as distortion in a safe way. The difference between singing with technique and singing without technique is that if you sing with good technique you get to preserve your voice instead of losing it. And it gives you a choice so you can purposely choose how you sing rather than just singing by default the only way you can.
When you learn to sing with a good technique, your voice will sound cleaner because your vocal cords will be working more efficiently. This is the foundation of a healthy voice that improves over time. If you learn to use your voice, you are going to have more control over it.
But that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to perform the distortion effects that you normally use. And definitely doesn’t mean that your voice will start sounding inevitably “classical” like some people fear. You are just going to have more tools, and that is something we want! It is good to have a choice.
As for raw voice, there is a lot of misconception around this area. Raw voice gets better when you study technique.
Allow me to explain. The voice’s function is (or it should be) to communicate emotions. If we go deep into what raw voice actually means, it goes well beyond the language. Raw voice is the tone of your voice and the instinctive sounds we make when we allow ourselves to do so, whenever we go through emotions.
Is that animal part of us that communicates emotions through vocal sounds. For example, when you are angry and you make an “arrrrr” sound, or when you are in a rollercoaster and you scream!
We tend to block these sounds because this is how our society works, unfortunately. But that doesn’t have to do with vocal technique. If anything, having a healthy voice allows you to communicate much more clearly.
One of the reasons why we hurt our voices is because we are programmed to block our emotions instead of expressing them. Have you ever wanted to cry and you didn’t because there were people around, and then you felt pain in your throat? Repressed emotion.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were allowed to express ourselves freely through our voice? For real, not in a way that is pre-approved for our specific culture.
But anyway, that’s off-topic.
So that is, the 3 common singing misconceptions that I hear most often!
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