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In this video and video transcript, I talk about how long can it take to learn to sing provided that you adopt a regular practice. Take a look!
Are you a new singer trying to understand how long will it take you to get to your desired singing results? So you are in the right place because I’m going to tell you exactly that.
In this video, I’m going to explain the different hierarchies when it comes to vocal technique with examples of songs, and I’m also going to give you a resource at the end to start expanding your vocal range to make this process even faster.
My name is Jorgelina, I’m a vocal coach, and I specialize in teaching adults how to sing contemporary music from a holistic and integral approach.
There is a certain hierarchy when it comes to vocal technique. And it’s very important for you to know, and that can save you hundreds of hours of time!
The first thing that you have to do is you need to be able to recognize the different voice registers. In other words, you need to be able to identify what your chest voice feels like and what your head voice feels like, as well as to develop those vocal registers.
How long does this take? Shouldn’t take too long, I think in about, at most three months, you should be able to start seeing some results if you focus on this training.
Of course, it can take longer and it can take shorter, but, if you practice every day, it should not be more than that. Of course, keep in mind that some people come with some vocal pathologies and that is a different story. For example, you might have vocal nodules or other vocal pathologies that make it harder for you to access those registers, in which case resolving those vocal pathologies, will be your first step. Today we are talking about healthy voices for the purposes of this video.
The second step when you are developing your vocal technique, is to start blending them.
This is what is called voice flexibility. You need to develop the ability to go smoothly from one register to the other. That is why we use vocal slides for example.
So if you are not able to do that slide and to go smoothly from one register to the other without breaks, then that is something you need to work on. Voice flexibility. This step, again, if you practice every day, can take maybe two, or three months, or it can also take six months or even more. It really depends on how much you practice this one, and on many other factors but you should start seeing progress soon if you practice regularly.
In the third stage of vocal technique training, once you have your voice flexibility quite strong and you have a balanced vocal compression, then you are going to start using some vocal effects. For example, belting, flipping, and maybe some effects that have to, have to do specifically with the style that you sing.
For example, if you sing musical theater, you are going to be developing belting. If you sing rock, for example, you might start adding some vocal distortion. If you sing R&B, you’re going to develop a lot of melismas, riffs, and runs.
And so on, every music genre has its own particularities, and once your voice is flexible and you have a healthy vocal technique, then that is possible to access from a healthy point of view. As I said, the time it takes varies a lot from person to person, but if you practice every day with a good guide, you should be able to complete this whole process in about two years. Usually, it takes longer than that, because life gets in the way and that it’s fine. But those are the main steps that you are going to take, and this is what it’s possible to do.
Now the second thing I wanted to show you today is some specific songs that we work with through the different levels. I work a lot with a contemporary vocal syllabus called Rockschool, which I really like, and I’m going to be showing you a few of the songs that they use.
Rock School is divided into eight grades, and it also has a pre-grade. They have diplomas as well, but the eight grades are supposed to get you into a very advanced level. Now, for adults, we usually start in grade three, so that’s what I’m going to be talking to you today. I’m going to show you a few of the songs.
Grade 3 examples
Grade 4 examples
Grade 5 examples
Grade 6 examples
Grade 6 is actually the first grade that is considered advanced. Grade debut to 3 are the beginner level, grade 8 are the advanced grades.
Grade 7 examples
Grade 8, which is the last grade of rock school,
Rockschool works with different genres like jazz, soul, R&B, rock, pop, and musical theater.
Typically, my students when they work with Rockschool, start their grade in March or February and they sit their exam in December or in August. I do have students who are super motivated and they can complete two exams in one year. So they usually start the year in February, they sit an exam in August, and then they get ready for the next exam, and they sit it in December (this option is not recommended for everyone. More important than how fast you reach the grades is how much you develop every step of the journey. If you rush through the grades without properly internalizing the vocal tools you get, you could be developing unhealthy habits and a weak vocal technique).
For adults who are just starting, it usually takes them about a whole year. to complete Grade 3 (the starting grade for my adult students).
When they have some previous knowledge of music at least, then it can take three or four months only. Grade three, as I said, is the last grade that is from the beginner section and it’s more focused on recognizing the different registers. It is supposed to be an introduction to vocal technique.
Grades 4 and 5: That’s when you start having a lot of mixing voice and intermediate things like that. As I said, voice flexibility is the second step in vocal technique training. And then grades 6-8, which are the advanced levels, that’s when you start having some more specifically stylistic components. The advanced levels are more focused on your chosen genre.
For example, if you choose rock, you’re going to have slides and screams and things like that. If you have R&B, you’re going to have a lot of note bends and melismas. If you sing music, Musical Theater, you are going to have quite a bit of belting.
I hope that gives you a good general idea of how the singing process is and how long can it take, potentially, if you practice regularly.
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