How to get better control of your voice? Lose it
Growing up, I was extremely goal oriented. I still am…however I’ve had many doses of humble pie, when goal-orientation actually kept me from reaching my goals.
I always wanted to feedback, assurance, that any effort I put it in would guarantee results. I loved grades, mowing the lawn, anything where I could see progress. I still do.
One of the best ways to slow down your singing progress, is to constantly check if you’re making progress. Why is that?
Here’s an example…
Let’s say you go in for a massage. The “goal” here is to relax, maybe get some pain or soreness relief…etc. Now let’s say about five minutes into your massage, your massage therapist says “are you relaxed yet”? Then 7min in…”you don’t seem to be relaxing fast enough”. Then 10min in “I don’t understand why you aren’t relaxed by now”.
Can you see what’s happening here? You are under pressure to “achieve” relaxation. This is like trying to “be yourself”, or “make yourself fall asleep”. Forget it.
Even if you manage to “do” said things…it will be much less pleasant and your results will almost always be less optimal than if you had stayed with enjoying the process.
Now imagine your singing. Over many years, you’ve been moving, breathing, speaking and (maybe) singing…and you’ve subconsciously practiced many habits that are now no longer conscious. Your singing uses all the same pieces and processes as your digestion, breathing, speaking etc. so they all have quite an influence on your singing.
How do we relax and drop underneath all those habits, to see what your voice is like underneath all the repeated movement, breathing, eating, speaking, singing habits?
The more you try to control the outcome, the more you’ll rely on those same old, same old habits to get you there, because that’s where you feel “in control”. You won’t feel in control of what happens if you are waking up muscles in your voice you haven’t used in a very long time…in fact, you’ll be wobbly and uncoordinated…like when you’re first learning to ride a bike.
When you’re noticing that you’re losing control, you will feel less sure of the outcome. This is not a comfortable place to be in. You’ll want to feel sure of yourself again, so you’ll start grabbing your familiar muscles you already know well.
So will I teach you to have control of your voice? No. I’m not going to teach you how to “control” your voice. That’s precisely the issue. I’m going to lead you into a wobbly, bad-sounding, hot mess of sounds so you let go of control, so your body/voice/breath etc can move in new and unfamiliar ways.
Of course, things change. Those little muscles and coordinations that were so tricky at first, eventually become a new normal, where you end up with more control than you had before…and the results you were looking for show up, but always in a way you didn’t expect and you couldn’t have made happen through force of will.
Oh and this goes deeper…because we all try to “control” various things…are partner, eating, the future, etc. So when you see it change in your own voice, you now have tools to see where you do that in your own life.
This is that dance. Learning when to reach for control over something…and when to hang back and let a process unfold. I can’t say you’re ever done learning that, but what I can say is you can benefit and get results in your voice by willing to let go of results and feels something new in the here and now, even lose control.
Want to "Lose Control" in a Way that Helps You Feel Better in Your Singing While You Get Better? Learn more below
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