What is an athlete, exactly, anyway?  An athlete is someone who can perform a feat of physical excellence by using developed musculature, and coordination of that musculature.  An Olympic runner isn’t only fast because he or she was born that way; they are fast because they’ve been taught how to conserve their motion while running, how to alleviate tension in their bodies, how to breathe a certain way that will help their success, and not hinder it, etc.  Behind every great runner, you’ll find the person or persons who taught them the skills and techniques they needed to enhance their latent abilities and reach their potential.

Just like the act of hitting a baseball was daunting for me (see Article I, ‘An Introduction to Voice Technique’ ), the act of singing well is daunting for many people.  There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason as to why some people do it so much better than others.

Well, a quick answer to the query is this: people who sing well naturally have better initial coordination regarding all of the muscular and neurological elements involved with singing than people who don’t.  But again, there’s no reason why most anyone can’t LEARN that coordination.

Yup, you heard it here first!  Whether you’re an amateur or an accomplished vocalist, it’s entirely reasonable that you can become much better than you are currently are, by learning correct vocal technique.  Things like correct breathing, alleviating tension, learning how to adjust the musculature involved in proper resonance, etc., can make your voice stronger, more resilient, and more diverse. Assorted ear training exercises can help develop the neural-pathways necessary to enhance your ability to match pitch, harmonize, and adlib more effectively and efficiently.  And yes…negative emotional dispositions, whether they are simple or complicated, have a TREMENDOUS bearing on the way you sing (when I had that baseball being thrown at me, and I wasn’t sure exactly HOW I was supposed to hit it, it scared the crap out of me!  Do you think that fear and insecurity had an effect on my success (or lack there of) at hitting the ball?  You better believe it!).

The emotional elements connected with singing will be covered in another article.  In the meantime, as we move on to the next one, let’s talk about slowing down that pitch, and giving you a chance to work on your swing (so to speak).

Have a question about singing technique, voice training, or performance, or an article you’d like to see written? ASK DAN.

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