GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR VOCAL PRACTICE
Your Body Soul & Spirit are involved when you use your voice. None of the three can be force-fed, and all are more receptive and effective when you take a few minutes to prepare your practice and rehearsal times.
As You Prepare to Practice Consider These Principles
- Being casual about practice and rehearsal may lead to performance casualties.
- Practice makes permanent, so don’t practice using wrong technique.
- Muscles have memory, so think “mechanics” until things become more natural.
- You are more likely to reach your goals if you have some. Make a plan before you begin. Write it down!
- You are a vocal athlete and have physical limits. Athletes who never learn to warm up, work smart and cool down have more injuries and shorter careers. It’s the same for singers.
How Long To Practice?
You need the right quality and quantity of time. For a normal vocal practice session, allow 45 minutes to an hour-and-a-half. If you’re doing a lot of non-vocal, mental work (thinking through gestures, expression, lip-syncing etc.), you can go longer as long as you remain focused. When you stop making positive progress it’s time to stop. Be sensitive to your physical voice as well as what you are accomplishing . . . nor not accomplishing.
Rehearsals, as apposed to working technique, may take much longer, especially when others are involved. The key is to go into it warmed up and prepared and pace the use of your voice.
When Working With Vocal Coach Training Materials
If you have the Singer series, you can get tips from the Getting Started CD on how to most effectively work through it. Whether you have the series or a variety of other CD’s the key is to decide what you want to accomplish. If you’re building or reinforcing the foundations start with Complete Breathing, Warm-Up, Tone and Expanding Your Range. Spend some time in the introductory teaching to get in the right mindset. Take notes and replay sections that jump out at you. Then, move on to the exercises, repeating as necessary until your mind and mechanism both “get it.”
Don’t be in a rush, or expect to suddenly have it all working. As all the parts learn to work together, it will be well worth the investment in time and effort. Use the form below as a practice tracker.
VOCAL WORKOUT TRACKER FORM
Copy/Paste the Workout Tracker into Word or Pages and print as many copies as you need. It will help you track what’s working and what’s not and make you a smart singer.
Objectives/goals for this session: (Technique goals, songs to work on etc.) Use as much space as you need.
Reflecttions On The Session: Take all the room you need:
- What worked as planned, what is getting better/easier and what is still an issue? (Include questions, thoughts etc. so you know the areas in which you need more information etc.
- Did you end up using different materials or songs that you originally planned on?
- Are you encouraged or frustrated? Describe.
As you see patterns emerging you will know where to focus and where you may need extra help.
Have questions or comments? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org