What does it take for a singer to be considered "powerful"?
Is it how LOUD they're able to sing? Is it how LONG they're able to hold their notes for?
Or how WIDE their range is? How HIGH they can sing?
And if someone isn't able to do any of these things, does it mean they can't be a powerful singer and therefore shouldn't sing at all?
In my latest episode of Singing Sessions, I share with you my personal perspective on this common misconception that LOUDER is better.
But this episode isn't really about vocal volume.
This is about discovering what being a powerful singer actually means to YOU, artistically and creatively.
All too often, I see students who either hold themselves back from singing in front others because they don't think their technique is good enough.
Or they compare themselves to other singers and then turn around and say, "Well, I can't sing like that person, so who'd want to listen to me?".
The problem with this kind of thinking is that you stop yourself short of discovering the true nature of your voice and the REAL power you never even knew you had.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU'LL LEARN:
- Why watching too many singing competitions and Vocal Coach Reaction videos isn't going to help you become the singer you've always wanted to be
- What "Money Notes" are and why you DON'T have to have them in order to be powerful
- What learning to sing is NOT about
- The best way to approach vocal technique training
- How to start developing yourself artistically and creatively
- How to get people WANTING to hear you sing and ASKING you to sing more!
Check out the video below or scroll down further for the transcript.
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Sending you much love, joy and music,
Free Vocal Exercises for the Modern Singer
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A few examples of singers who have powerfully embraced their voices and defined an artistic style without being loud:
(Hey there! I'd love to add to this list, so if you have any suggestions on other artists who fit this description, please post a comment in the box on the YouTube video!)
Bad Guy by Billie Eilish
I Lost a Friend by Finneas
Half the World Away by AURORA
She by Dodie
Slow Fade by Ruth B
Dancing With Your Ghost by Sasha Sloan
Hello, welcome to another episode of Singing Sessions here at the Sing Together Learn Together YouTube channel. My name is Krystal Diaz, I’m a singer, recording artist and vocal coach and my mission is to help YOU become the singer you’ve always wanted to be, so that you can have the confidence to get your voice out into the world.
Before we dive into todays’ episode, I’m going to make clear right off the bat, that this is not a video about HOW TO sing louder. If you’re looking for a technique that can make your voice sound stronger, more focussed and clear, then check out Singing Sessions Episode 2.
In this episode, I want to share my thoughts on a common misconception about singing that can so often lead to misunderstandings about vocal technique, undesirable singing habits and even blocks in your ability to really progress in your singing skills.
This episode is specifically for the singer who may be struggling with confidence or self-doubt about their voice. Singers who think they aren’t good enough to be heard, or who are constantly comparing their voices to other singers they admire.
If this sounds like you, and you’re holding yourself back just because you can’t belt out a power ballad like Whitney or Adele, or hit super high notes like Sia or Mariah Carey, or riff like Beyonce, then this message is for you. And of course if this sounds like someone you know, then I hope you’ll share this video with them too.
This idea that louder is better I feel has really become more and more common with the rise in popularity of singing competitions. And I particularly see this in many of my younger pre-teen students who are already starting to equate “powerful singing” as the ability to belt and be loud.
When you watch singing competitions, you’ll notice that audiences wait for what’s known as “the money notes” — which are usually the big, showy, belt notes, or the super high notes, or the crazy long sustains. And of course, these kinds of sounds tend to get the biggest applause and the most attention. These are the notes that judges will pick out and comment on.
Even if you look up Vocal Coach Reaction videos, more often than not, vocal coaches are reacting to singers who do a lot with their voices, or singers who are already incredibly well trained and have developed very advanced technique. This makes sense because there’s more to comment on. The more a singer is doing vocally, the more there is to talk about.
This type of conversation can be useful for someone who’s interested in learning how to appreciate vocal technique, purely from an aesthetics point of view.
But if you’re a singer who wants to discover and develop your own style, and you want to be confident about and proud of the qualities of your voice that are unique to you, then I think it’s important to NOT get super wrapped up in the mechanics of other singers’ voices. And let me explain why.
If you’re spending a lot of time comparing your voice to other singers, or you’re spending a lot of time listening to what people are saying about other singers, then I really hope you’re spending just as much or even more time purely working on and listening to your OWN voice too.
Because if you’re NOT putting in the hours to really understand and train your voice and you’re mostly trying to learn by listening to how other people sing, then what you’re doing is subconsciously setting a standard by which to constantly compare yourself against.
You’re essentially telling yourself, ok these are the qualities that people seem to react positively to, so that must mean I also have to sing like that in order to receive the same kind of praise.
And that is SO NOT what singing is all about. At least I don’t believe this is what singing is about. You definitely don’t want to be focusing on and reinforcing in your own head all the qualities that you think are LACKING in your vocal skills. There is really no benefit in doing this.
There’s no one else in this world who sounds exactly the way you do, no one who has the same life experiences as you’ve had, and no one who will present a song in exactly the same way that you might choose to.
Vocal technique training is about listening intentionally to your own voice and learning how to make adjustments to the way you sing in order to bring out and strengthen the best and most resonant parts of your instrument. And yes, people WANT to hear this.
To be clear, I’m NOT saying you shouldn’t sing the money notes, or that singing with volume is a bad thing. I’m saying that this type of singing typically gets the most attention but it really shouldn’t be the ONLY interpretation of what it means to be a powerful singer.
I don’t want you to assume that if other singers are singing in a way you’re not able to right now, then it automatically means you’re not good enough to be heard.
You have to remember that at the end of the day, it’s not what the singer is DOING vocally that really matters. What truly matters is how the singer is able to make their listeners feel.
So, look, if you decide that singing with volume is your thing, and belting your notes is truly the way you want to express yourself to others, then great, but make sure you learn to do it safely and that you do it in a way that enhances your performance. Don’t do it just because you think it’ll impress your listeners. I’m always an advocate for singing from a place of emotion and meaning first and using technique as a tool to support your choices.
On the other hand, if this style of singing is not something that vibes with you or that works in your voice, then that doesn’t mean you can’t be powerful in other ways. There are SO many highly successful artists out in the world who do not sing loudly and whose style doesn’t involve belting out challenging high notes. These singers are incredibly powerful because they embrace who they are as vocal artists and they’ve defined their own style that works in alignment with the way their voices naturally are.
In my blog post version of this episode, I’ve created a list of currently popular singers who I feel are great examples of artists who fearlessly embrace their own voice without being loud or belty. If you’re interested in checking this list of artists, click on the link in the box below.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be challenging yourself vocally, or setting goals for yourself to achieve. Of course, you should be doing these things.
What I’m saying is the way to developing yourself artistically and creatively begins by embracing your voice, just the way that it is right now. Then, when you practice vocal training exercises, you do it with the intention of discovering what your voice is naturally capable of doing. Don’t think, you need to be louder, or you need to sing higher or lower, or hold longer notes, or that you need to have this quality or that quality in your voice in order to be worthy of being heard. Believe me, that kind of thinking isn’t going to serve you at all.
When you discover that you’re actually capable of doing A LOT more with your voice than you thought was possible right now, that’s when singing gets really exciting. And when YOU feel good and excited about your voice, you know you’re moving in the right direction, and you know what? Other people notice it and feel that energy coming from you when you sing, and they’ll want to hear you sing more.
If you want to try out some vocal training exercises with this mindset approach of discovering your voice and embracing all the great things you didn’t even realise that you’re already capable of doing, then check out my free resource in the comment box.
And of course if you liked this video and found it helpful, do me a favour and hit the like button so I know to make more videos like this, and also remember to subscribe if you want to stay up to date with the weekly tips and training videos.
Thank you and I’ll see you again soon!