The changing music industry and ways to enhance your singing

Music is an ever-changing industry. Modern songs have been both heavily criticized and embraced by professionals and average listeners.

Joey Sellers, a music professor at Saddleback, addresses this and says that the world is big enough for all artists and techniques. 

He pointed out that during every big change the music industry has faced, there’s a group of people saying that the change is going to ruin music. In fact, when sheet music was first invented, there were a handful of people opposed to it. 

That being said, using traditionally good techniques will generally make your music sound better and help you avoid injury.

“‘Vocal technique’ in reality is a combination of elements that include having the correct posture, correct breathing, correct diction and many other purely technical elements” according to  an article by Find Your Voice. said.

Brandon Elliot, Choral and Vocal Studies Director at Saddleback explains that in his voice class, he encourages proper breath support and the traditional “good” technique. Especially for students preparing to transfer, music learners need to know how to use their voice and other instruments correctly.

Elliot explained that it takes a lot to actually injure your voice. However, technique will keep your voice from tiring out after five minutes.

“Learning technique is what makes the difference between being able to sing 8 shows a week, or feeling tired after 1 show,” wrote Cameron Smith in an article by Vibe Vocal Studio.

For beginning singers, it can be difficult to identify the proper technique. Most people who are just starting out tend to mimic the singers they listen to, and, surprisingly, many professionals don’t use proper technique, sometimes just for stylistic reasons.

Elliot pointed out that he can often tell what artists students listen to based on their singing. 

His approach to vocal training is to start students off in a range or genre they are familiar with, but once they begin to progress he starts implementing songs and styles that are new to the student. He explains that oftentimes if a student tries something different from what they’re used to, they leave bad habits behind with their ‘familiar’ genre. 

Elliot acknowledged that all singers are different, therefore the mistakes they make as musicians are going to be unique to them. However, there are some that are more common than others. DIY musicians addressed a few in their article, “10 Bad Habits That Are Destroying Your Singing.”

“Many singers want to spread the vowel wide, meaning that they stretch their mouth in ways they wouldn’t if just using their speaking voice. The result is a flat, strained, and weird-sounding vocal tone” they said. The way to correct it is to simply “sing like you speak!”

Another common mistake the article addressed is “reaching” for high notes. Many people end up lifting their shoulders, and eyebrows and tensing their necks when they reach the top of their vocal range, however, this isn’t going to help you get those high notes. Instead, the article recommends, “Imagine yourself on top of the note. Rather than pushing upwards and straining your voice, approach the note from above and come down on top of it.” Visualizations are really very effective. 

There’s nothing wrong with breaking the rules, and some of the best musicians came to be by doing just that. However, there is a difference between knowing how to do something correctly and making the choice to do it differently because it sounds better to you and just not knowing how to do it correctly.