While I was studying SLS I had some interesting experiences while actually singing songs.
Before I explain, let me say that mixed voice and balancing the voice is the best way to gain control over your abilities to do other coordinations. It’s your baseline. It’s the place where you return when you get out of whack. (And, by the way, you can access these great scales at Vocalize U. These scales are an octave and a half and if you can get through the scales comfortably, then you are indeed mixing!)
Speech level singing lessons are great for training sound and safe voice technique, but they leave the artist out of the equation.
My experience was when I was singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow in the key of C. The first two notes are low C to high C. You go through your first passagio at about A (ladies). My coach wanted to change my mix at high C. He wanted a headier sound on high C. I was quickly able to change it for him, but it was at that moment that I realized there must be more.
OK, so I haven’t literally “been on the road” with a band. Most nights I was actually able to crawl into my own bed around 3 or 4 am. I had worked tirelessly for years at three and four-night weekend gigs, most of them requiring significant travelling before and after…anywhere from 1/2 hour to two hours each way. When I was younger I didn’t think about how taxing this lifestyle was on my body. I was having fun….doing what I love. I had the best job in the world.
However, as the years went by I began to notice the effects these gigs were having on my voice. I was growing more aware of the trouble I was having singing my “big” songs at the end of the night, and I noticed my throat was often sore. When I had a cold I would sing anyway, and almost welcome the hoarseness because it gave me a husky sound that I couldn’t otherwise accomplish. I would wake up in the morning with severe broken-up sound quality due to “pushing” through the hoarseness the previous night.
It took almost ten years to realize that my voice had gone downhill. Songs that once came easy with “big” notes were now a constant concern as to whether I could “push” them out.
My life changed when I started studying my voice…..and got a nice “little” house gig in a lounge. These two changes complimented each other nicely. My voice has since grown “bigger” than it ever was.
There is no more ideal way to learn how to sing better than to simply know about your instrument…how it works, how to take care of it, and how to exercise it so it will last you a lifetime!