I believe there are three things you need to be a better singer.
These are not singing techniques but THREE things we should focus on FIRST to facilitate better singing, performing & music making.
What are the three things you need to be a better singer?
Without these three things, no matter how naturally talented you are, you will not be able to sustain playing the long endgame of music. You may not even be ready to start.
It’s important to understand & be in control of how we find, create and manage these elements.
I realised recently from talking to my students that sometimes it’s the basics that matter.
As a professional singer, I forget that these things need to be met first before you can even apply the techniques or apply any of the resources and tools.
If you are unable to make time to practice you aren’t going to be able to move forward as a singer.
One of the resources that I offer to my clients is a Singer’s Vocal Journal.
I encourage my students to use the journal as a tool to plan what, when and where they will practice.
Setting up these factors in advance is essentially creating the time and the
space to be able to practice and effectively move forward.
The amount of time you put into crafting directly corresponds to the outcome that you want as an artist.
If you are working towards a grammy and performing at Madison Square Garden, then you will want to be working your development as a full-time job.
Perhaps you want to have a career in music on a less intense level by putting some videos up on YouTube, and you want to busk, do some performances at an open mic night or maybe have a gig once a week.
“Your ambition has to be matched by your work ethic” – Gary Vaynerchuk
I wouldn’t expect you to commit three hours a day to craft or practicing your singing but you are going to need to put a little bit of work into improving your voice so that you can have vocal stamina and ensure you are doing it in the healthiest way possible.
If you’re learning techniques and applying them or you’re just increasing your performance chops, the best way to do that is by singing!
How to make more time
A lot of my students not only study full-time they might have jobs as well.
I ask them to do two things.
1. Make a stop-start doing list
For one day I get them to write down everything that they are doing in the day, to the minute. I need to see what it is that they’re doing to try to help them find or create more time opportunities.
One of the things that come up with everybody is that social media is taking up a lot of time, as well as watching YouTube & Netflix! (read here how watching Netflix can make you a better singer)
If you don’t have enough time to practice, what I need you to do is to try to pull back on your time on social media or track it to see how much time you are actually spending on it.
There are tools that you can use to track your usage and even block or limit the time you spend on social media apps.
If you were to pull out some of that social media time and commit to an hour of practice a day you would see the most amazing improvements.
2. Use an Eisenhower Matrix
The other tool that I give them is called an Eisenhower matrix. It’s a tool to learn how to prioritise the things that you need to do each day.
There are four quadrants, and they help you to figure out what tasks to do first and when you can automate or delegate.
Anything that you are doing needs to be moving you towards your primary goal.
If you are studying at Uni, then your degree is your main goal and ONLY can do the work. However, you could outsource some proofreading or typing to your Mum as that is something you don’t HAVE to do.
If your goal is to become a professional singer and you’ll want to be gigging 360 days in the year then your number one priority tasks, that only you can do, is your singing practice.
The next thing that we need to be sure we have a lot of is energy. I also call this inclination, so it’s not just physical energy but motivation to stay focused.
I believe this means clearly knowing what you are working towards and making sure that you know all the steps and the processes that need to be done to be able to get where you need to be.
There is an excellent Simon Sinek TEDTalk called “Start with why” that will help you to figure out your why & help you to stay motivated. Check out my post on this topic with a link to the TedTalk.
Focusing all your spare time and energy into your crafting is hard work but as the saying goes “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!”
How to create more energy
Get motivated as to the why and that will create the energy.
Generating energy is also done by looking after yourself. Making sure that the fundamentals for your voice and body are taken care of.
1. Sleep (the right amount for you to function)
2. Hydration (the right amount for your body. Use this formula to work that out. Your body weight in kgs x 0.03 = H20 in Litres
There are many other factors like mindset, releasing tension, movement and nutrition but these basics will lay a foundation to help boost your energy and enable you to do all the other things that make you a good singer.
The third thing you must have to be a better singer is resources.
- Coaching or access to coaching tools/resources
The number one resource that tends to make the world go around is money.
If you want to educate yourself or work with a coach, there is usually an investment that’s involved.
Whether it’s in person, online or you’re buying a book, no matter how you choose to study you will probably need to have some kind of monetary investment.
You could go to the library and get some books if you don’t have the money or if you need to find money, sell some stuff!
How to “find” money
Get into your cupboard and see things that you haven’t worn in a while, books and toys (yes I’m talking to the grown-ups!).
Anything that you could move on and allow somebody else to cherish and honour. If you simply don’t need them anymore, you can sell online on your local auction site.
What you usually pay for is less time spent trawling through YouTube videos plus real expertise all wrapped up in one. This makes it much quicker to learn and develop.
Use that money to buy a coaching program or have a coaching session (with me! You can book a time to chat with me about what you want to work on by clicking here, you’ll go through to my booking calendar).
The bottom line is that we all often have limited resources, be it time, money or actual resources like coaching.
Try to make crafting a priority for even just a 90 day period to see how you can find, create or manage each of these resources to support your singing development.
Go on, give it a go!
Tell me what you think the most challenging of these three things to manage are?
Want help? Reach out to me with your questions or thoughts and I WILL come back to you.