Think… Inspired Singing! – Don’t Ever Force It!
“How to practice” is often not well addressed for students in private lessons, video, or books. If you’re lucky your private teacher may offer a few hints…
Here are a few things you will hear from a teacher that are helpful starting points…
“Don’t practice mistakes”…
“Practicing at full tempo with errors, only reinforces the errors… because then you’re practicing to perform the errors… slow it down until you can play it perfectly at a slower tempo, then gradually increase…”
While this is sound advice and a great starting tips, we can dive much deeper…
- Do you HATE practicing the same scales over and over each day?
- Do you Avoid your practice time?
- Do you RUSH through practice to get to the Good Stuff?
In many ways, this is like what happens when resisting going to the gym to workout. We know it’s good for us, but many of us struggle. Part of the problem may be that we’re simply reinforcing bad habits and making the problem worse. For example, let’s say that running 3 times a week is optimal for your training. On the off days you feel good about running! And, after running you feel great! (because it’s working) BUT, what if you get up and dread putting on your running shoes, and heading out the door but force yourself? While running you’re thinking of everything else except running, trying to sludge through the run until it’s over. Now imagine all those endorphins pumping through your body giving reinforcement to the activity just preceding. Sounds great, right? WRONG! Well, okay, only partly wrong. What just happened was to reinforce the SLUDGE attitude while running. You’ve just trained yourself to have even more resistance!!! Please understand I’m not dismissing the value of getting exercise, even if it’s a push to get there. The point is more that we might not care so much if our running is sloppy… so if we run sloppy verses well formed, we still get good cardio results.
…But, we don’t want to reinforce and train for Sloppy Singing Technique!
Tell me in the comment section below, How does this apply to practicing singing exercises?
SOLUTION – Let’s jump ahead and offer 2 key points:
A – Don’t practice while you are resisting. If you need to give yourself a little nudge, that’s okay. But, if you’re “dragging” through your exercises or “zoning out” you might as well stop.
B – RELAX and Practice your Attitude and Feeling as well as the mechanics of singing. It’s not necessary to have the full bodied enthusiasm of a public performance during your entire practice, rather aim for a neutral peaceful state. From there allow for subtle glimmers of passion to spring forth. Don’t push the passion… “become good friends” with the subtle neutral experience.
- Does this make sense? Can you relate to any of this?
- or, did I skip too many steps in the explanation, or is this landing clearly?
I’ll personally answer your questions below and will continue with an expanded “lesson” as needed.
Thanks for being an active member of our Singing Community!