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”…

for example,

“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?
  • Questions?

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!



Categories: Guides, Singing Lessons, and singing tips.


  1. Steve

    The advice to not practice mistakes or ‘incorrect technique’ is very sound and can be understood by anyone who has tried to learn the game of Golf…you can spend hours/days at the practice range on your swing and then find out from the Pro that you have simply been spending hours actually ingraining bad habits/incorrect form which now needs to be undone. This will actually pull you further away from your goal of being a good golfer/singer yet you imagined you should be better because you have been ‘practicing’, yet see little improvement vs time and effort invested. Singing is just the same in my opinion.
    Some day’s in the car, especially morning’s usually I feel tired and my voice is low and croaky and I really don’t feel like singing one bit. It’s at moments like this that you can really damage your voice by not bothering to warm up a little. It’s amazing though how better our mood can lift once we start to move a little air from that diaphragm and start to sing a bit. I start with a few ‘meow’s’ up and down to get the voice forward and out of my throat then a few ‘sirens’. You can ‘meow’ a whole song if you want first instead of the lyrics, then sing the lyrics,,you’ll be amazed how much better you sound over the tough bits and breaks.
    Always start sirens fairly low and working up as high as you can as your vocal folds warm up.
    Just let your voice coast over the breaks and don’t do more than a few minutes or you’ll get bored.

    • Singing Coach

      Hi Steve!

      Thanks for your GREAT, EXCELLENT comparison with golf. Of over 20,000 total comment responses to blogs across my sites, this is probably the best ever.


      Thanks again. I appreciate your sharing with our community!


  2. Yesenia Espino

    The reason I hate practicing is not being able to find the right melody for the beat. I feel I can sing to songs by artists and get it on point but when it comes to my melodies, they all pretty much sound alike.

    • Singing Coach

      Hi Yesenia, Are you referring to creating your own original melodies? If so, that can be challenging indeed. You might try using a recorder on your phone to capture your melody when inspiration first strikes… Sometimes the process of getting to a piano or guitar to start finding notes and then chords sort of “forces” a melody on you. But, if you can capture a recording of the melody before trying to transcribe it, then you might have better luck.

      But, I don’t want to steer too far off course. Our topic is Practicing… and developing good practice technique.

      Try approaching your next practice session from a place of calm, and without concern for how it turns out. Allow freedom to enjoy whatever comes out without applying a label of “good” bad, or it sounds like another tune. Just enjoy the music you create for the sheer sake of enjoying the music 🙂

      Hope some of that’s helpful.

      All the best,

      • yesenia espino

        Actually I am a bit confused on the happy birthday song about singing it normal,sad. mad and enthusiasm. I guess that is part of the reason I feel my singing is too dull and sounds the same no matter how much I try and feel it and show feelings I just can’t, but I refuse to give up. I just do not understand why I cannot seem to show more emotions while singing.

        • Singing Coach

          You have to get in touch with your emotions and let them come through the music.

          Just try what is suggested here in previous words written. When you can be ‘still’ with the music, then there’s space for authentic emotion to arise.

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