Shortcuts to Singing Success?

There are a lot of people on the internet with a “method” for singing that they claim will teach you to sing like a professional quickly and easily. I was just looking at a website of one such person who claims to have helped hundreds of performers to become excellent singers with with rock-solid confidence who are ready to get the gig without fail. This person claims that they have a simple set of steps to get to a professional level.

Would you believe a website that said that you can become a professional basketball or football player with a few weeks of internet lessons or a set of DVDs? Do you think that you can become a professional dancer or skater with a shortcut method?

Singing is a physical skill, much like a sport. We singers are vocal athletes. Those who rise to a professional level in sports or music have put in thousands of hours working on their skills, with the guidance of coaches and mentors. Even people who are largely self-taught need time to develop the complex and precise physical abilities required.

Singing, like a high-level sport, is also a mental skill. Learning how to present oneself as a performer, how to connect to a song, how to memorize large amounts of material, how to work with musicians, and dozens of other tasks, take time, practice, and study. You aren’t born with that. You have to get it from somewhere.

Regardless of how it looks on television or in promises from internet singing teachers, there is no shortcut to the time required to get a voice physically strong, free, and flexible. It takes how long it takes, and it’s a number of years, not weeks. Even the 15 year old “prodigy” you may see on a talent show has been singing for thousands of hours already in her young life, and the great majority of these seeming “naturals” need to have training at some point to keep, regain, or improve what they had as time goes on. Also, claiming to have had little instruction is a common way to try to impress people.

For anyone wanting to understand factors involved in becoming a high achiever in any field, I recommend the book “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell. Google his “10,000 hour rule”. It makes a lot of sense.

If you enjoy this blog, consider grabbing a copy of Sane Singing: A Guide to Vocal Progress, available in print and ebook!

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