I love the concept of FREEDOM UNDER CONTROL. It applies to most areas of our lives including social interaction, eating, our spiritual lives and most definitely singing.
When a singer has vocal freedom there is no restriction caused by bad mechanics. The voice doesn’t tire, and the notes at both extremes of the range are always accessible. The result is that whatever the singer wants the voice to do, it does. When this freedom is combined with self-control and wise restraint, great communications occur.
Why is it difficult for singers to achieve freedom under control?
Think of it as being like a college freshman that goes away to school. Suddenly, there is enormous freedom, but often it is not in balance with the ability, and even desire, to make the most of the learning experience. Hopefully, in time, the balance is achieved. For some, unfortunately, it is after a lot of time and money have been wasted.
In singing, the same holds true.
Many singers learn how to use the mechanics of the voice, and that’s it. They open their mouths and let it fly with nice tone and range, but little expression. They don’t have the discipline and musical knowledge to finesse the phrases into powerful tools of communications. Other singers totally get the emotions and expressions that really sell the song, but never master the mechanics that allow them to consistently get the job done.
As I said in the opening, freedom under control applies not only to singing, but also to most areas of life, including how you eat and how you relate to God. And, here’s the beauty of it: If you are willing to openly pursue both freedom and control, you will be more successful at everything.
The best singers I know take the time and make the effort to master the mechanics of the voice.
- Learn to hold the instrument (posture).
- Control the energy (breath management).
- Shape the phrases (dynamics, rhythm, tempos).
- Deliver the words (diction).
Do the above, and you are half way there. Then, study those who are masters of communicating songs. Listen, imitate, experiment and be on the lookout for mentors: Those more experienced than you, who can guide and challenge you all along the way.
FREEDOM + CONTROL = SUCCESSFUL SINGING. It’s a formula that can change the way you sing, forever.