The most common mistake singers make with singing lessons

Taking singing lessons with a great teacher is a fantastic way to pinpoint issues with your singing technique, develop strategies for improving your technique, style and expression, and learn new techniques. A competent teacher can quickly determine flaws in your current approach and provide you with tools to mitigate and eventually solve them.

I’ll often come up with a series of steps that I take a singer through, from very simple exercises to establish the basic technique to applying that technique in a song and more often than not, we arrive to a solution for that issue during the session. And that’s when the mistake happens…

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The singer is happy about his new ability to sing the difficult song or passage that we worked on during the lesson, goes home and continues singing, but in a couple days the issue is back and the singer can’t seem to solve it independently. The singer will claim that he is singing the song exactly how he did at the end of the lesson, but the result is not the same anymore. Why does this happen?

The reason is that it takes time and practice to build a reliable muscle memory and instead of following the protocol of starting simple and then gradually building up towards the phrase or song as established during the lesson, the singer will often just aim to reproduce the end result from the lesson. At such an early stage, the singer’s muscle memory of the new technique is not that well developed yet and little by little, over several days (or sometimes as little as minutes), old habits tend to creep back in. Good singing technique consists of different complex coordinations and it’s impossible to focus on all the elements at once, so we need to focus on them one at a time and build a good muscle memory so that we can count on that element working properly when we shift our focus to something else. The singer will usually focus on keeping one or two of the elements that were mentioned in the lesson and confuse that as the whole thing he was doing at the end of the lesson. So what should be done instead?

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Instead of just trying to copy the end result, the singer should copy the workflow from the lesson that led to the desired result and regularly run through all the step by step exercises needed to find the desired end result! The singers I’m working with can recognize what I’m talking about as the “21 Steps” approach I teach. Over time, less and less maintenance is needed as the new muscle memory grows stronger and eventually the singer can rely on the new technique to always work and move on to practicing other techniques he wants to master.

If you need help with aspects of your own technique and developing a practice regimen to solve the issues you’re dealing with, contact us through the website’s contact form and we can schedule a lesson!