E008 - How to sing in tune reliably, for the rest of your lifeFeb 21, 2020
Welcome to another episode. In this episode I'll be delving deep into one very simple thing and that is how to sing in tune for the rest of your life, reliably.
Watch the video, or read about it in the blog, posted below:
So that's quite a big promise but I feel confident that in time we'll at least be able to lay out the groundwork you'd need to do to be able to do this for the rest of your life and I'm just going to begin by saying that, in my experience no one is tone deaf but it's just a little bit like some people got thrown out of the birthday party at age six or eight or twelve and stopped singing and stopped believing they could sing. Sometimes they got told they couldn't or shouldn't sing and it's a question of creating a safe space for them to rediscover this beautiful facility and develop trust in it for the rest of their lives.
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Okay, so let's get stuck in here - there are a few components to waking up a dormant or stuck voice, the first one is really a simple mindset shift; so what I want to say to you, if you're one of those people who doubts you can or should sing, is that actually you can!
In my experience, with everyone that I've worked with - everyone can sing in tune given a bit of gentle time and space. So if you're one of those, I just want to say come, come back to the birthday party and just make that little shift that is from “I can’t, to - I can sing in tune”
We’ve just got to work out the ‘how’ and that's fine but the first thing is just to believe ‘I can’ and then actually there's a huge amount of joy in relearning this beautiful skill that really you were just born with.
Western culture, the culture I come from is very, very intense about voices - only a few people called ‘singers’ get to sing and everybody else should really just stand and clap and watch them, instead of singing being something that we all do and I suppose my wish for all of us is that we get singing again like we used to, in days of all singing in a circle; clapping, dancing and feeling alright. So I hope that you'll become one of them.
So how do we turn around a voice that used to believe he or she couldn't sing?
We've done the mindset shift, then there's the second component which is oh, just opening up the voice. So my recommendation for a voice that's been shut down for a whole lifetime is that you begin developing safety and trust in your voice by yourself.
So to go back a little bit, you lost trust in your voice in what I'd call the relational space. In other words, other people helped you develop deep self-doubt in your voice - so the best way of creating safety is to develop a daily personal practice that's for you and you alone. I personally recommend every morning a 5-minute humming practice to warm up and begin to bring strength to the voice then from there you can progress on to other things. You will find a video of mine about humming practice and I can't recommend this enough as a daily practice. I still do this every day… Humming… with a bit of time, a sense of deep peace can enter the building and maybe even a little joy. So five minutes a day, from there we start moving into a practice where not just humming happens but you open your mouth and you just simply sing ‘ahhh’ all by yourself and you accept all the little wobbles in your voice and the breathiness or the raspiness and all the things but you just pitch up to your voice very regularly, even every day.
Then there's a next step, which is learning to sing in tune which I know that you can. I may have to dedicate a whole video to this but the real essence of it is that most non-singers, if they are asked to, sing in tune - let's just say they go to a yoga class and the teachers sings ohms and this teacher goes “oohhhhmmmm”, well what a person who considers themselves to be a non-singer will do, they will just take a breath in a slight panic and start singing any note that comes out of their mouth, like (higher pitch) “oohhhhmmmmm” and even though it might feel like the wrong note and that they're singing incorrectly, they will hang on for dear life and just sing that note.
What's actually going on is inside the body there's this feeling going on that doesn't feel right - it's the wrong note but because they’re gripping on for dear life, they're ignoring their body and their body is saying ‘please for the love of life just change notes!’ and all they have to do to develop confidence in their voice is to slide around until they find a note that suits, so they have to learn to have the confidence to take up space until they find a note that works.
It’s that simple.
In my classes and one-on-ones and courses I call this learning to do the baby dolphin… So to do the baby dolphin, all we do is breathe in and then slide around up and down your range, so it goes like this and so on.
So my next step for you is that I recommend you do a whole lot of baby dolphins to learn to slide up and down your range and just feel how high it can go and how low it can go and not worry about being in tune.
Just enjoy the depth of it and actually what you consider real singers do when they have to match your singing note if they go and then I was singing the right note so they're using baby dolphin they've just learned how to do that really quickly over time so just as a recap we've got do the mental shift if I can start a humming practice then eventually graduate that you can use um or are or even home Oh calm set a timer and do that for five minutes you can try on if you like for that or Shalom whatever you like really and just learn to enjoy your voice and then you can move on to learning to sing with other people using the baby dolphin I'm going to do a whole other session on the art of baby dolphin and matching another note but this is a great starting point get singing by yourself and start developing some resilience and strength in your voice and we can work on the next steps after this.
I hope you've enjoyed this. If you have any questions about this please put them in the comments below and really just sending love and appreciation and desire that hopefully we will sing together at some point in the future.