Learning how to sing well is a lifelong pursuit. For those who are training their voices, not making much progress can feel discouraging. In fact, it is said that even those who have been singing for a long time can still face feelings of discouragement from time to time.
There are many reasons why singers might feel discouraged at times. The most common reason is a perceived “lack of progress.” When you set out to improve your singing, it can be easy to lose track of how much improvement you’re actually making.
Being able to hear the difference in your voice can often take months or even years for some people; this means that you may have to be discouraged by your lack of progress before you are actually able to hear how much your voice has improved.
Is your lack of perceived progress weighing you down? If so, the good news is that you can do some simple things to overcome that feeling and get back on track with your voice training.
Here are five tips to help you start making progress again:
1. Practice Singing Songs at or Below Your Vocal Range
When you are starting out training your voice, it’s natural to want to focus on the high notes you’re trying to reach. However, taking the time to practice singing songs that are at or below your vocal range can end up being much more beneficial in the long run.
Tips: Take a look at your favorite songs and see if any notes fall below your vocal range. Or better yet, search for some of those “easy” beginner guitar songs online. Once you find a song you want to sing, begin practicing it from the beginning. Over time, not only will you become more comfortable with that song, but it can also help strengthen your voice.
2. Work on Your Breathing by Using a Straw
If you’re struggling to get your breathing technique down, you can practice with a straw. The idea is that the resistance in the straw will help you work on proper breathing techniques without straining your vocal cords or hurting yourself in any other way.
Tips: Next time you go to the store, pick up a pack of straws. When you get home, take one out and try singing your favorite song while breathing through it.
If you have trouble maintaining your breath during your song, just stop for a moment until the feeling goes away. Then, try again using good breathing techniques. The more you practice, the stronger your breathing will become!
3. Don’t Stop Practicing Even When It Seems as If Nothing Is Happening
It’s easy to feel discouraged when it seems as if nothing is happening despite the hard work that you’re putting into your singing lessons.
However, as some great singers have said before, there’s a big difference between practice and perfect. In other words, just because you don’t see immediate results doesn’t mean that progress isn’t being made.
Tips: Instead of focusing on how you sound, focus on the changes in your body. This process will allow you to see real progress being made and give you a better idea of your overall voice training, even if it doesn’t seem as if anything is happening with your singing right now.
4. Find a Way to Make Your Voice Sound Different Without Straining
There are many different ways to make your voice sound different without straining yourself too much. A popular one is “vocal fry” or creaky tone, which can definitely give certain notes a unique sound. Another is growling, which may not be for everyone but can be effective with the right training.
Tips: If you can’t figure out how to change your voice without straining, ask a vocal coach what options are available. Then, experiment with those techniques and see if they work for you. You might even write down some notes about which ones worked best for each note and keep them in your pocket to reference next time.
5. Work on Using Your Diaphragm
Finally, it’s important to work on using your diaphragm correctly when singing. In some cases, you may even need to get a teacher or coach who can help you with this. Once you have diaphragmatic breathing down pat, the rest will be easy!
Tips: Once you have a good grasp of diaphragmatic breathing, try using that technique to sing your favorite songs. It may be hard to get right at first, but you can pull it off easily with enough practice. Before long, your voice will sound better than ever!
Stay Consistent to Overcome Discouragement
As singers, overcoming discouragement is one of the most difficult things we face. However, if you stay consistent with your voice training and practice good breathing techniques, you will start to see some great results. With the right mix of patience and tenacity, you can stop feeling discouraged and start loving your voice!