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Dealing with lack of motivation as a singer

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colin040
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Having lessons (with Phil who's also on the forum, in case anyone was wondering) does me great. I started a couple of months ago and I've loved it ever since I started it. I felt really motivated to sing again and just become the vocal master I had in mind. Then my net started to suck somewhat; it's still quite inconsistent and I'm not willing to try lessons again until it's fixed. That's one issue.

But the other is that my motivation to actually practice has decreased over this period as well. It's not like I don't believe in myself; I've got a consistent range from G2 up to G4-A4 (everything above sounds a bit inconsistent) and I'm sure that I'll become great if I really work my ass off, and it's not like I don't have ''vocal heroes'' as I'd like to call them (singers I look up to) either. Unfortunately I just practice half arsed at the time these days. Whenever I give myself a good work out and sing, I often just feel like I'm not enjoying it that much. Doesn't help that I've been somewhat more tired these days despite often sleeping enough.

The thing is: how do I get back to this vocal machine I was at times? I'd just want to practice consistent over time and feel like I'm improving big time...but right now I'm just not feeling like it. Any tips on how to change this? Should I just think less and go with what I have? Keep an eye on some specific things (sleep, food/hydration, whatever) that could influence me?

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everybody goes through times like this. it's quite normal. maybe what you need to ask yourself is are you feeling this way just about singing or are other issues in your life affecting you?

if it's just singing and practise, it won't hurt to take a few days off and just relax. vocal gains are often slow coming and you can reach sticking points...

then there's the "i suck....i'm not getting anywhere"...... stage. we all go through this......

you said you want to hear and see improvement big time?

maybe you need to sit down and write up a list of vocal goals?

specific, quantifiable goals...such as i want to add another semi-tone to my range? i want to be able to sing this song.....

remember, the mind has so much to do with it. maybe it's time to sit down and have a talk with your voice.

talk you your voice....it wants to work with you.....it will see that you get your wish.

the voice works hand and hand with your mind.

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Patience and keep working.

There are some shortcuts you can take to sing one or another song that you like very much, to keep things interesting, but head voice will not be natural until you worked a ton on it, and even then you will need to keep it well conditioned.

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I'm a student of Phil as well, here are some ideas for you that would be relevant:

-Block out a few hours of free time and go very slow and patient on your vocal workout and take breaks. Not just 2 minute breaks but really go do something else for a bit then come back. The two things this will do to help your motivation: 1. your voice will come out smoother and better because you're not rushing through and half-assing shit, you're slowing down and working out fine details 2. Because you are not rushing the warm up, you won't feel pressured to make failed sounds or get success instantly. In other words, say within the first 15 mins you can only stretch the chest up to F4, you can just leave it there and keep warming up gradually. And maybe an hour later you'll be able to stretch it higher.

-If the first approach isn't working, just follow the workout exactly. Making up your own variations or even doing it on your own without the tracks can carry you down two paths: A. rushing through and half-assing it and repeating mistakes over and over again B. slowing down, paying attention to how things are going and tailoring it to the individual needs of your voice. In your situation your mind might be taking down path A every time, in which case it would be better off to just follow the workout exactly which gives you a reliable system and forces you to not shortcut and half-ass it.

-Forgot about workouts and warm ups, pick songs that aren't too hard for you and just sing for the fun of singing. Just to recall the joy of the art. The vocalizing part can get very dry and uninspiring, so sometimes it's psychologically beneficial to go back to focusing mainly on singing.

-Phil has some new workouts in the works, shoot him an email and see if he'll send you one. Yet another option that will take you out of the monotony of practicing the same workout over and over again.

-Perhaps the lack of motivation stems from some other quality of your life that needs revision (are you saying in your post that you're having trouble earning enough money?), and fixing that up could bring back your overall motivation including your motivation for singing.

Hope something in that list helps...

Whatever you do, don't bother practicing half-assed and negative, heck, go ahead and break from singing for a couple days if you need. Or if anything, when you do sing/vocalize, replace any mental negativity with sheer apathy, and just go through the exercises robotically. That would be better than practicing while feeling overwhelming discouragement.

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I also take lessons from Phil, but I do it for a different reason that a lot of people I read posts from on the forum, so my perspective may be different. I am almost 46 and have worked for 25 years in a very busy ATC unit doing shift work the whole time. My sleeping pattern is terrible LOL. I am not looking to be a great lead singer and go on tour. I play 7 instruments in my band and just want to sing for the fun of it, but I want to sound good.

I find that real, quality practice does take a lot of time. I try to do the exercises every day, but it is near impossible. Then when I do them, I sometimes get frustrated because I can't do a stacatto AH past F4 without cracking. It is hard to stay motivated when that is happening. But I find the absolute best thing for me is what Owen mentioned. I forget the exercises for a few days and just sing songs that are within my range, but trying to keep the bright sound that Phil does in his lessons. For me, the mundane lesson is replaced with a very enjoyable experience, while still receiving some of the lesson benefit.

As for feeling like you aren't improving big time, I see this all the time in my trainees at work. They work their ass off to get where they are, then they plateau. They hit a wall in their training and they just can't get over the next hurdle. I believe this happens in every type of training. Singing is no different. And just like my trainees, you will get over the hurdle. Don't expect too much too quickly and it will come.

Sorry if I rambled LOL - it's in the wee morning hours and I'm getting ready to go to work :)

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Money isn't an issue here.

And thanks Owen Korzec, for the tips. I'll try what you mentioned taking everything slowly with breaks in between and if that won't do it, just sing some tunes I know I can handle decently enough and go into ''serious mode'' again sooner or later.

Maybe it's also because my standards for myself are somewhat high, that I've lost some motivation. I remember when I had sung (sang?) for some people at school around 2 years ago. The song was called Wait for Sleep by Dream Theater. Once I came home I recorded it for myself and noticed that while I sounded alright and everything, I did't get the idea I really showed them what I really had in store. My voice sounded pleasant on that track, but if I'd hear someone sing that for me I wouldn't get moved/touched...whatever you call it.

Then again, my obession lies in the blistering high notes heavy metal singers are famous for. I can pull them off here and there but it it would take quite some time before I'd be able to gain more control over them. Then again, maybe I'm just overthinking the whole thing and take it easy and then go back for lessons in some weeks.

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