Well, I'm going to deviate a little today and talk about vocals! While they're not typically something that I know as well as guitar, it's always good to do a little stretching. In fact, that's exactly what this blog subject is about today.
While I've had my share of critics including my Mom at a very young age, I've also had my share of champions including a very intense vocal instructor.
The biggest challenge I have with my voice is that it's not big like some people have. It's smooth, pleasant, and melodious, but I know that I have my limitations.
When I hear some lead singers, my first thought is: "If only!"
Let me set something straight though, that thought is hogwash! I don't need to base my evaluation of my voice by comparing it with someone else's. That's just not fair.
There are so many people I've met who have been told that they can't sing or shamed into not singing out. But I'm telling you today, there is hope!
The first thing you need to do is to be honest with yourself. Ask yourself, "Do I have some desire to improve my voice?" If the answer is yes or even maybe, it's time to work harder.
One of the go to channels for me is on YouTube. It's called Verba Vocal Technique. Anna and Mark are from England and have a plethora of good, easy instructional videos. Their channel is a great place to start with or tune-up what's not working.
You can probably guess what the next step is if you've read any of my other blogs: PRACTICE!
Yes, it's hard. Yes, it can be discouraging. But isn't it worth trying to see what you can do? Just like exercise, it takes time and effort. But it's well worth it.
For my third point I'm going to borrow from something that Anna mentioned in one of her videos: "You're listening to yourself and to others!"
What the heck does that mean? It means that you're listening to other people tell you what they think of your voice or you're listening to yourself too much!
We are typically our harshest critics. Instead of criticizing ourselves, let's critique our voice in a positive way.
In other words, try not to be so hard on your singing. Yes, not everyone can sing like a lead singer but that doesn't mean you can't sing! Yes you can and the more you practice with singing out the more confident you'll get. You also need to challenge your voice when you practice. And, you need to stop listening to what others say.
Let me end by telling a short story of inspiration.
In 1928, an 18 year-old gypsy named Django Reinhardt was hired on the spot to play guitar in British Bandleader John Hylton's orchestra. But before he could start the job, he and his young wife were in their caravan one night and it caught fire. While pulling his wife to safety, he badly burned the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand.
Most people would probably quit playing after an injury like that, but not Django. His brother gave him a new guitar and he wound up learning how to play with only two fingers on his left hand. Quite a feat for quite a musician!
Go find your inspiration then go out there and sing your heart out!