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When you are just starting out in the amazing world of singing, it kind be confusing to know what the first steps are. Should my first milestone be to sing like Celine Dion? Should it be to be able to sing 5 different genres?
In this blog post, I tell you the first three milestones you want to achieve when you are just getting started in your singing training, which will lay a strong foundation for you to progress rapidly in your singing journey!
When we are just starting our singing journey, it’s a little bit confusing to know where to start and what is the path to get to where we want to go. What are the steps?
So in this video and article, I’m going to tell you the three singing milestones for beginners that you should resolve when you start your singing journey to make sure that you lay a strong foundation for super-powerful singing.
The first thing to do is to tune your instrument. When you are singing, believe it or not, you are not just singing with your voice. You are singing with your whole body and also with your mind, with your emotions, with everything!
The first thing you want to do is super important, and this is the biggest shortcut in singing that I can ever give you, is to set up your instrument into singing mode a little bit more.
This means to lower the perceived threat when you are singing. What do I mean by this? Well, when we are just starting singing we usually do so from a brain that is in ‘alert mode’. So for example, you probably start contracting your rectus abdominis muscles (the ‘six pack’). And if you contract it a lot, then your body starts closing and bringing the sides (of your body) inwards and sort of protecting your internal organs. And what your brain understands is you are in danger!
So that is one of the things you are doing that is setting the instrument in alert mode and not functional for singing. Other things that can be putting your system in alert mode when you are singing is for example the practice space that you have.
Some other ways you are increasing perceived threat when you sing:
So the first milestone that you want to get out of the way when you are practicing singing is to start the process of telling the brain that it is safe to sing. And how do you do that? Well, there are a lot of exercises for that. And I talk about that a lot in my upcoming singing course that you can book very, very soon.
To lower the unconsciously perceived threat when you sing, you could, for example:
All these things help in ‘telling’ your brain that singing is safe, and so you can start unlocking your voice naturally.
Now in terms of actual results with the voice, the first milestone you want to achieve should not be to sing whistle notes, or to belt out powerful songs like Whitney Houston. It should be more about balancing the voice, which lays a strong foundation for future singing development.
What do I mean by this? well, we all have a sort of a different way of organizing the body to produce sound, and in one of the singing methods that I am a teacher of, we divide that into four singing tendencies.
So, for example, in one of those tendencies, you tend to pull your chest voice. So you start singing higher and then you start sort of yelling. That is too much chest voice and no head voice.
On the contrary, some people have their head voice activated but no chest voice, and you can see that in some people who don’t open their mouths much for singing, usually very shy people, or people who sing with their mouths very close and it usually comes with a sort of ‘breathy’ voice.
There are other tendencies, but those ones are the most common. So, depending on what your vocal ‘tendency’ is, you’re going to have to do different things to balance your voice. For example, if your tendency is to really pull your chest voice and start sort of screaming, your way of balancing the muscles is going to involve activating your head voice and blending it with your chest voice a little bit more.
So as you can see, the work is going to be different for different people depending on the way they are currently organizing the body to sound and it’s always going to have to be with getting that balance going between the internal muscles of the larynx. If you don’t know what your voice type is and you would like me to help you, go ahead and book a private lesson with me and I can tell you right away.
Of course, most of us, or at least I, when I started singing, it was because I wanted to sing songs (not just vocal exercises), and if you’re here you’re probably the same. Now, the milestones when you start singing really change depending on how long have you been singing and there is a certain hierarchy And what do I mean by this? For example, if you are just starting to sing your first milestone It shouldn’t be to belt out a three-octave song. The first thing you want to get out of the way is to sing a song on key with good pitch and good rhythm.
So what do I mean by this? You grab a song, you don’t need to sing the exact same notes that the original singer does, but you want to keep it on key. If you don’t know what that means you need to sing a melody that goes well with the harmony. Singing on rhythm involves things like being able to identify the beat, sing on the beat, knowing when to start, when to finish, and that kind of thing.
Now that sounds simple, but if you are just starting out and you never did any music in your life, that is actually going to take a while. Now those connections are usually done earlier in life and that’s why if you, when you were very little, had music lessons, or if you’re, if you have a family of musicians, those connections are going to be there for you for free and you’re going to naturally have good rhythm and good pitch But if you never came across music when you were little, those things can still be developed.
In 13 years of teaching, I, taught people who were ‘tone deaf’ according to themselves, although in my experience there is no such a thing as a real ‘tone deaf’ people (there is a condition that qualifies as tone deaf but it is extremely rare) but they were ‘tone deaf’ (according to their friends and family), and they ended up singing songs on pitch, on key, on rhythm, no problem.
So pitch and rhythm can be developed, but it’s going to take a different length of time for different people. And that is one of the reasons why it is so hard to tell when someone is asking, ‘How long does it take to sing?’ It totally depends. But let’s say, I’m just going to assume that you never did any music, anything in, in your life.
And so that will be your first milestone when it comes to song work. And if you have done music, even if not singing, you’re going to cross that very soon.
However, even if you have the music and you have good pitch, good rhythm, and you still have to learn how to bring a song to your own key. That is part of learning to sing a song on key and on rhythm: grabbing your chosen song and finding the right key for you.
It also has to do with choosing the right song when you are just starting out. You don’t want to choose a song that is super out of the way like SOS by Dimash (❤️❤️).
If you want to take a look at what songs might be more appropriate for you, you can check THIS video.
And those are the first milestones that you want to get out of the way when you’re starting singing! How long could that take? Anywhere from a few weeks or a few months.
Now, if you would like some help with these steps, I am just about to release a course for beginners and it’s going to be on a subscription as well, so you can choose your preference or you can go ahead and book a private lesson with me and I can get you started.
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