Why Singers Should Embrace Throwback Thursday
When I'm on social media on Thursdays, I'm constantly bombarded with #tbt images on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
I don't post baby pics of myself or awkward teenage ball/prom photos BUT I do think it's important for singers to embrace their vocal past.
THE CONSTANT CLIMB
Usually we don't spend a lot of time high-fiving ourselves for how far we've come. We are constantly upgrading, always choosing more challenging songs and working on more complicated techniques.
Unfortunately this then makes it seem as though we're not getting any better because it feels like it's always hard or frustrating.
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TRACKING YOUR PROGRESS
Are you tracking your progress in any way? If not, how do you know if you're getting better?
In your vocal exercises you can make note of how low/high you're going to measure growth in range. You might have breathing exercises you can time to track your progress with breath control or rate how easy a particular exercise is feeling.
Coming up with inventive ways of measuring your growth as a singer gives you an idea of whether or not you're reaching your singing goals. If you don't have a touch point or way to check this, how will you know?
You don't have to do it every Thursday but I think it's kind of fun to jump on the bandwagon of this particular hashtag/social media phenomenon (plus you'll get reminders if you're plugged into those channels).
Keep a list of all the songs you're tackling in your lessons and practice sessions. Make a note of what you found tricky when you first sang the song.
Did you flip into a wobbly head voice in the chorus?
Did you run out of breath on a line in the bridge?
What sections made you want to tear your hair out?
Then go back to that song in a couple of months. Notice what feels and sounds different.
Does your voice now go into a smooth mixed register instead of flipping into head voice?
Can you get through that long passage in one breath now?
Does it feel easier and less strained across the board?
You probably already have a collection of songs you haven't looked at in months. Start to add them to your practice sessions and observe the changes in your voice since you last sang them.
WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT
Getting stuck in a cycle of next levelling as a singer can be destructive confidence-wise. If we're always feeling "stupid" or "like a failure," our motivation and self esteem take a hit.
Realising how far you've come and acknowledging your progress as a singer keeps you enthusiastic about moving further in your vocal journey and helps you to realise what techniques are becoming built in to your muscle memory.
Your self confidence has a huge impact on how you learn and the way you sing. I talk a lot about this in my book The Moderately Tortured Artist. We often don't notice how much it holds us back emotionally and technically!
So do yourself a favour and start to push that pride button by looking at songs from your back catalogue!