Have you ever noticed the body language of your favourite singer? Odds are their body is engaged in a way that relays emotion to the song. Watch their face. Notice how the eyebrows may rise or the nostrils may flare. Watch the mouth and tongue, and pay special attention to the chin.
These details are not simply “acts” to add to the performance. These details are necessary to great singing.
Have you ever noticed that when you sing alone, and really get into it, your voice and body feel free? Have you noticed when you get in front of your teacher or an audience, your voice and body have trouble finding that freedom?
Don’t underestimate the role your body energy plays in your singing. Sometimes we take this for granted and never consider it. We can actually engage energy outside the larynx and in turn, create freedom in the voice.
You are not going to hear the best singers in the world on commercial radio. Oh, don’t get me wrong…there are loads of great singers making a living on commercial radio….but there are loads of mediocre singers making a fortune. It really is sad how the industry has progressed.
My concern is for the young and ill-informed singers of the future. Where are they going to hear great singing to learn and copy from?
There are great singers all over the world who work hard everyday at their craft. These singers will never sing on commercial radio. They may never make a living with their beautiful instrument.
I encourage all singers to explore and expand their thoughts about what makes a great singer. Go to coffee house, theatre productions, local concerts of all genres and styles of music. If you only listen to the radio, you are missing a world full of great singing.
And more importantly, learn from the variety of voices available. Recognize that your voice is as unique as theirs is. Explore many styles.
In the end, be yourself….be your own voice….be your authentic self. That’s great singing.
Well, I’m sure not everyone is going to agree with me on this one. Let’s start by defining what I mean by “great.” By great, I mean “perfect.” I mean close to perfection, as in singing “properly.”
In my humble opinion, a pretty voice is sometimes boring.
A pretty voice sometimes lacks the surprise and edge that comes with doing to our vocal cords, what we are not suppose to do! Does that make sense?
I love it when I hear a great singer bend the rules and stretch the boundaries. But here is the trick. A great singer knows when he/she is going beyond “perfect”. In fact, they are risking their voice for that very reason…..to be interesting. A great singer who is interesting………..now there’s the ticket.
Being a great singer comes first.
Being a great singer who is interesting will outshine everyone.
When I see a young teenager serious about their voice, I get very excited. This is the time in a person’s life to make the serious choice that their vocal instrument is going to be developed to be the best that it can be. Just look at Adam Lambert. Here is a voice that has been practised and developed at this very important stage in life.
It takes discipline and focus to get a voice up to great standards…no different than playing any other instrument. It takes a great deal of commitment…just like anything else in life that is done well.