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Life-long creative. I have one goal in life and that is to live from my creative endeavours. That's what my motto 'Art will feed itself' means.

How to approach your singing With greater confidence

Posted by Norman Bailey on Thursday, December 12, 2013 Under: Singing
So you've set your mind on doing more singing.    But how's it going?
Have you set to it with full force and are you now singing the songs you want to sing where and when you want to sing them.  Or are you finding that your first few steps have been a little hesitant and faltering.  Well you'll be comforted by the fact that this is normal.

There are many reasons why you are not, as yet, totally in tune with your voice.  Some reasons are universal and others are more personal to you.   Let's take a look at what might be standing in your way.

1 Getting Started
The Root of the problem
We humans are creatures of habit, so change, even for the good, may cause some degree of anxiety or self-doubt. If not halted in your tracks your anxieties may in some way slow your progress. 
There are a host of reasons for your overcautious behaviour: 

• Preoccupation with negative past experiences 
• Fear of failure or success
• The inability to find time in your busy schedule 
• Misplaced feelings of self-preservation
• Negative feelings about your ability 
You may relate to one or more of these inhibiting patterns or perhaps there are other reasons for your lack of motivation. If all your reasons are not listed then stop for a moment, get a pen and paper and write them down. Now ask yourself; should these or any other reason get in the way of you enjoying the joys of singing for the rest of your life?

 First Refusal - Understanding why you hesitate 

There’s a story plotting technique that you may or maybe not be familiar with. It’s called The Hero’s Journey. It outliness the arc a character follows from the story’s opening through to its resolution. It’s been used all mannner of tale, from the legends of antiquity right up to the latest Bond movie.

This technique has also been used in the field of personal development.  The part I’d like to draw your attention to is in the early section. It’s called ‘Refusal to answer the call’. This is where, like you, the hero has received a call to adventure – in your case it’s the chance to improve  your life/career through using your voice with greater confidence. But instead of moving forward on to new horizons you find yourself in a kind of holding pattern unable to take the next step. 
You may not even realise that this is the case. You have answered the call, haven’t you?  You’ve made the decision but you’re too busy right now so can’t find the time to fully engage with it. Or, maybe you feel you’re fooling yourself and perhaps the best decision is not to do it after all. Who are you to think you’re a singer anyway?  And so the indecision drags on and before you know it days become weeks and weeks become months. 
The problem is that the longer you wait the greater the chances are that you will refuse to answer the call altogether. Thereby missing out on developing a highly beneficial skill that could change your life.

So what's the answer?

How do you make a positive start?

Maybe this will help

Try a change of perception

Take a look at how do you think about singing and ask yourself if it's helping you move forward?

The problem is that Western society's view of where singing belongs has become very narrow.  Singing has been put in the box marked 'Entertainment'.  Which then puts you one of two boxes.  
  1. Passive - Other sing - You listen
  2. Active: You sing - Others listen

However before the time when non-musical record excecs were able to exploit the other peoples talents we would gather together and sing for pleasure.But gone are the days when people gathered together for a spot of communal singing.   Now singer are special chosen people.  They perform on stages, sell millions of singles and get through to the live finals on TV talent shows.

A singing pupil of mine told me of a recent incident that shook his confidence.   It was about an encounter he had with a young lady he was obviously bring to impress.  On telling her that he was a singer she told him he couldn't be because she'd never heard of him.  And so it is, for her and many others like her, that singers are people in the charts.  They are not normal people who sing for pleasure and the sake of their are.  

I was having coffee with a songwriting friend of mine last week and he started talking, quite apologetically, about his singing.  He opened with, "I'm not a singer, Ella Fitzgerald is a singer".  Yes she is.  Can't argue with that.  But she is a legend and if that's the yardstick that you use to measure who is a singer and who isn't then you'd have to rule out most of the known singers in the world.

If this is your frame of reference and and you're always comparing yourself to others you will always comes up short.  Pretty much everyone can find someone they think is a better singer than they are.  Apparently even the great Ella Fitzgerald didn't have any confidence in her own singing.  Her last words were "it was the songs that they loved.

This isn't that surprising.  You'll often hear well respected actors saying that they can't stand watching themselves on screen.  And I'm sure that the first time you heard your speaking voice played back to you you were a bit taken aback by the sound of it.  It's natural.  But as people can often be their worst critics I'd warn against being too harsh, especially at the beginning.

I advise that when starting out on improving your voice and building a great love and understanding of your voice that you listen with an open heart.  This way you will hear what you are doing right as well as things that you can improve.

So A simple change in attitude, in which you see yourself as someone who has the full rights to sing out loud and proud will do wonders for you.  

The Envelope

Singing Is a very emotional thing.  

By far the most common reason have a major hang up about their singing is a negatuive childhood experience.    

In : Singing