OK so it happens. Experts disagree. When it comes to vocal technique, how do you know if what you've been told is right?
First, here are three reasons voice experts may tell you different things:
- There is more than one way to help you do deal with that vocal issue.
- There is more than one way to explain the corrective technique, creating the perception that you are getting conflicting advice when you are not.
- One (or both) the 'experts' are wrong!
Here are two reasons the right vocal training might not work:
- You are not understanding the technique being suggested, or you're not applying it correctly. This can be a communication problem between you and the vocal coach; be sure to let the coach know you're not getting it so the teacher can try a different approach. Remember... the only dumb question is the one you don't ask!
- The goals of teacher and student may not be the same. For instance, classical and contemporary training will lead to different ends. Both of you should agree on vocal goals.
- You don't practice the new techniques! (mm hmm, you know who you are:)
Here are three signs you are getting the wrong, or unproductive, vocal training:
- The techniques suggested do not correct your vocal issues.
- The training does not help you sing the material you want to sing. (See my prior post about trusting a coach on this)
- The techniques cause your voice to feel strained. Don't mistake good vocal stretching for straining. Challenging your voice with good technique will improve your voice, straining can hurt it!
What to do if you think the vocal coach is wrong:
- Discuss it with him or her. A good teacher welcomes a student's feedback so the right approach/technique can be found. I know I have grown through the years as a vocal coach from the feedback of my students, and the resulting research I did. Vocal training is a team sport - your coach needs your input!
- If it doesn't help to discuss it, you must find another vocal coach. If you can't find a good one in your area, try Skype vocal lessons.
Bottom line: Correct vocal training will deliver these results:
- Your vocal ability will increase. It will be easier to sing.
- Your voice will sound better. You'll start to get more positive feedback from listeners.
- Your vocal issues and limitations should diminish.
- As long as you are using correct vocal technique, you should never strain your voice!