Sing for Yourself
Do you want to be a successful singer? Do you want to sing in front of thousands of people? Do you want to have their recognition and admiration? Or maybe you just want to sing those high notes so you can finally duet with your favorite singer on Smule? Or even better, you want to sing because friends or family have told you that you have the talent and that you’ll “make it” in the industry? Regardless of your ambition, there is something very important that you, the singer, must realize, understand and admit. In order to successfully and completely fulfill whatever goal you have with your voice: you have to sing for yourself.
Now you might be chuckling and thinking that you are doing just that, and it may be very well true. But most singers, somewhere in their way of self-discovery and searching for success, lose themselves. Let’s give an example:
It’s 8:00 PM – you have a full house. The cheering is so loud you probably can hear it from the little room they gave you to to get ready in. You are excited, your body is shaking a little, and finally you check the set list that you were told you should sing this night. Then you hear someone knocking at your door. It’s time. As you get closer to the stage and meet your bandmates in the hall, all you can think, is to make sure no one is disappointed tonight: not the the audience and much less your manager or your band. And that, if everything goes well, you’ll be one step closer to your dreams.
Does that sound almost like a movie setting? Maybe a bit too cheesy? That’s fine, it probably is. Here is the thing, though. Did you find the issues with the singer’s mentality in the given example? If you didn’t, then we have to go back to my bold statement: you have to sing for yourself. If you worry about the audience, your manager, your bandmates and anything else but your own, you are not doing it for yourself.
Now, it’s important that we make this clear: being selfless is great. You always want to respect those who cheer for you, those who got you there, and those who work with you. But make sure you don’t forget the one person that is always with you. And that is… you. You see, when embarking on a path to become a better singer, it’s only your instrument and you. And well, as you probably realized by now, YOU are the instrument.
Singing is, and has always been a somewhat lonely career. Unless you are part of a choir, a cappella group, duet or a major ensemble, it will only be you singing on stage. Yes, your band and buddies will be nearby if you ever need anything. However, on that stage it’s just you and your voice. And believe it or not, more than once both, singer and voice are not properly connected.
Most singers don’t understand why their voices just don’t “cooperate” or “respond”. It’s hard for many people to fathom that their voices don’t react the same way an arm or a leg does when they run or swim. Singers are deeply connected to the mind. It is not about physical or brute strength, it is all about self-control, balance, patience, determination and love for what you do.
This may sound very easy, but it is quite a challenge to master when learning a new skill like singing. The very first step is to accept your voice; its limits, its primal tone, the things that you like and dislike. You have to own them all if you want to get better. There is no workaround. The more focused you are, the faster you’ll learn. And the only way to start doing this, is by taking ownership of your voice and to sing primarily and exclusively for yourself.
Just like you dress up for work, going on a date or a job interview, you should pridely prepare your voice the same. Just like you try to eat healthy, go to the gym and be active, you should train your voice the same. Just like you celebrate your birthday, your accomplishments, awards and special events, you should embrace and love your voice the same. Your voice is you. And there is no other one like it. Trust me. It’s okay to have all those goals you still have. Keep those dreams alive. They are your momentum. But never forget, that your greatest accomplishment, your greatest achievement will not be fame and fortune.
It will be your voice.
It will be you.