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Mental Approach To Singing

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Hey all, I have progressively noticed that the way I think, has a direct effect on how I phonate. If I think the note is too high, it is too high. If i think the note is too low, then it is too low. If I think a note beautifully, then it comes out beautifully sometimes even more beautiful then how I first thought of it.

Nellie Melba a famous operatic soprano once said:

It is easy to sing well, and very difficult to sing badly! How many students are really prepared to accept that statement? Few, if any. They smile, and say: "It may be easy for you, but not for me." And they seem to think that there the matter ends. But if they only knew it, on their understanding and acceptance of that axiom depends half their success. Let me say the same in other words: In order to sing well, it is necessary to sing easily

What is your mental approach to singing? What helps you sing those ever so difficult phrases or notes? I firmly believe now that it is 50% of the battle, any cracks in your personality or weakness of the mind will be revealed when you phonate. The other 50%? Technique! ;) You are what you practice.

- JayMC

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You mean singing is mental? Man, I wish I had thought of that. :lol:

I don't reach for notes, I don't hit notes, I sing them. I view singing the same way I was taught Kenpo Karate. The physical things, no matter how arduous or awkward at first, are 10 %. The other 90 % is mental.

But I have had to amend that, only to give more balance to the effect that I see. That amendment is that listening is also mental. For example, I have said, more than once, that I liked Celine Dion's cover of "Shook Me All Night Long." And I am the only one. Others have panned it for these two reasons. She did not have grit like Brian Johnson. And, they just don't like anything she does. Not their style of music to listen to, on average. And that is mental with a capital M. Some are completely incapable of disengaging their sound ideal and simply hearing a good performance. And there's nothing wrong with that. It just doesn't get enough attention, at times, I think.

I put up a song here, once. And received criticism, some of it deserved. I had some technical errors in it. And one error was that I sight-sang it, after only a 3 listens over a period of a week. But it was okay for basically a karaoke-style one-off.

But the other criticism said I should not do the song unless I sound like the original singer. And that has pros and cons to it, too. Con - that means that we should quit doing covers outside of our voice type and style. Pro - only do songs that exactly match your voice. And certainly choosing material wisely should be considered. The song was chosen for me and I thought it would be fun, not realizing that I was treading on someone's holy ground.

So, surprisingly enough, I am not going to re-do that song.

Another time, I received a criticism for a cover of "The Immigrant Song." Not because of any technical problem. The reviewer later stated that he was never into Led Zep or that style of music. But evidently need to say something.

Listening is mental.

So, part of singing being mental should include belief in yourself and in the performance of the song, whether you sound like the original singer, or not. And be ready to face the criticism. Let's say that you do a Journey song, and your voice sounds more like Justin Hawkins. You will probably get advice on how to sound more like Steve Perry.

My mental approach to singing. Choose songs for which I have the range. And sing it in my own voice, even if others don't like it. As long as I am on pitch and have good volume, I think I am doing okay. In the same breath, I accept my limitations. I don't have the 4 octave range with the morphing voice ability that others have. And that's okay.

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