How to get power in your voice faster. Why does building strength and power in your voice take so much time?
Inside this video I’ll tell you how to get power in your voice faster and why it takes longer than you want.
First let’s define “power” and “faster”.
I’ll define power as strong, consistent tone quality, you can control in the bottom, middle and top of your voice, from soft to loud in any song.
Let’s say “faster” means being able to get power in your voice within 4-8 weeks of your first lesson.
First, I’ll explain why it takes longer than we want. Then we’ll talk about how to get power in your voice faster.
How to Get Power in Your Voice Faster – Why it takes Longer Than we Want
First of all, as Professor Harold Hill says in Music Man, “Singing is just sustained talking”. And we’ve been talking all our lives. We know how to talk.
Many of us have been singing or around singing all our lives. Our mother or father sang in our home, we sang as children at school and church. We’ve heard singers everywhere all of our lives.
Like walking and running. We started running almost as soon as we could walk. We’ve been walking and running all our lives.
The following story is designed to illustrate the similarities between learning to be a competitive singer and a competitive athlete.
You decide to get coaching lessons to improve as a runner and singing lessons to improve as a singer.
Neither should be too hard. We’ve been running and singing all of our lives.
The first thing your running coach does is test your times. You’re slower than 50% of all runners he coaches. Your coach says you will improve if you:
- Start running 3-5 miles every day
- Start lifting weights
- Get new shoes
- Train cross country and on the track
- Practice your pacing
- Cut out soda, sugar and caffeine and eat a better diet
You do this for 2 months but your time only improves a little.
He encourages you and says, Keep working. You’ll get better with time.
Meanwhile, the coach asks you to start running races. 3,5, 10k’s, ½ marathons, mountain trail races, etc.
You expected to improve quickly since you’ve been running all your life. You decide you aren’t that excited about running and quit.
Meanwhile you’ve started taking singing lessons to learn to sing stronger. You’ve been singing all your life, this shouldn’t be too hard.
Your teacher tests you and says you’re pulling your chest voice and you have a high larynx.
He says you will improve if you:
- Start practicing exercises designed to lower the larynx and help you get into your head voice.
- Listen to your recorded lesson and practice daily for 30 minutes.
- Start working on songs that take you into the weaker areas of your voice that you used to avoid.
- Breath that using the diaphragm to help support and supply air to the vocal cords.
You practice for two months. You’re bridging now and are able to sing into your head voice, but it’s not very strong. It’s still hard to sing songs without reverting back to the habit of pulling chest.
He asks you to start performing. This is difficult because you still feel self-conscience about your voice. Your voice and your knees shake because you’re nervous.
But you’ve been singing all your life. Shouldn’t this be easier and the results faster?
Why isn’t it? There’s more to it than just singing louder.
Here are some things we face when learning to improve our singing.
Physical: The vocal cords are muscle, tendon, cartilage and are interrelated with respiratory, speech, hearing, digestive, nervous and other systems in the body.
When you begin vocal training, you often must stop bad singing habits. You must retrain your vocal cords which affects multiple systems in your body.
You begin to realize that training the vocal cords is just like training to be a better runner. It’s a combination of things that add up to learning, growth and improvement.
Psychology: Your voice is one of the most unique and personal things about you. When you sing, it’s easy to feel very vulnerable and exposed. The slightest mistake can make you feel like a failure. It’s so easy to compare yourself and your voice to your friends or famous singers you admire.
You grow impatient and want immediate gratification for your efforts. You begin to doubt yourself and your ability.
Gift: Others seem to have a natural ability you don’t have. They’re able to hit notes you can’t. They have power in their voices that you lack. They can do it easily. For you everything seems harder.
Talent: Your motivation tends to run out quickly. Others love to practice and rehearse. You can’t seem to sustain that same commitment.
Skill: Many seem to have an edge over you because they’ve been playing an instrument for years and can read music. Their ear is developed and they just seem to pick up music faster and easier than you.
You thought this was going to be quick and easy.
However, you love singing. It reaches deep into your soul. You improve rapidly at first, but then plateau for a while.
Gradually you get better at singing high notes and your confidence grows.
How to Get Power in Your Voice Faster
After some months of work you have a breakthrough and you experience something you’ve never felt before. You let go and experienced real release in your voice. It’s consistent and easy throughout your range especially in the first bridge and head voice.
For a moment you had a brilliant ring-ping without any stress or stain in your voice. You listen repeatedly to your lesson and begin to recognize the feeling you had when you hit those notes.
Soon you’re able to duplicate that feeling everywhere in your voice. Now your songs really get fun.
You realize that it wasn’t until you:
- Let go of the very last thread of tension that the vocal cords found their optimal balance with the air from your lungs. That’s when your voice found increased power on all the notes.
- You get power in your voice faster through a balanced voice.
- It’s when you let go of all the tension and vocal manipulation. This allows the vocal cords to balance with the air from the lungs.
- Then without tension, you press into the feeling of release.
When the cords are unencumbered by any external squeezing from the outer muscles surrounding the larynx you’re able to begin developing maximum power in your voice.
Even this is a new coordination that takes time to develop.
The faster you can get your voice balanced, the faster you’ll gain true power in your voice.
This takes as long as it takes for each individual. We’re all different.
Caesari says that, “Each individual…is something of a law unto himself in this respect”. (pp. 21, The Voice of the Mind, Caesari)
Real power takes time. Artificial power, or the kind you force until your voice wears out, can be taught in a few minutes…if you are skilled enough to mimic the teacher.
The vocal exercises for each vocal type inside PowerToSing.com are designed to balance the voice. For some that means getting the vocal cords together. For others it’s learning to bridge without pulling the larynx higher.
Do you know your vocal type? I’m not referring to whether you’re soprano, alto, tenor or bass. Your vocal type is what you tend to do when you sing.
To discover your vocal type, visit PowerToSing.com and take the vocal test which I call the PowerTest. Take the quiz and get your vocal type.
Visit the Knowledge Center and watch all the videos about your vocal type. Download the free exercises for your vocal type and start working on them. They will help balance your voice and help you develop real power in your voice.
I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence and power.
I’ll see you inside the next video.