The 3 Most Powerful Things All Singers Should Know

1. Tension is the enemy.

I see it all the time – tension in the jaw, in the shoulders, neck and face. And I mean tension with a Capital T. I can tell right away when a singer is holding on to things or holding back from letting go. Not only is tension visible and obvious on the body but the vocal tone is the first to suffer. A tense sounding vocal is usually audibly “squished”, small and restrictive. Watch yourself in the mirror. Are you stretching to reach a high note? That’s tension. Can you see the veins pop out of your neck? That’s tension. Do your shoulders move up when you take a breath? That’s tension. It’s the #1 killer of the human voice and over time can cause real vocal problems if not corrected.

2. It's more important to sing with emotion than to sing with technique.

The real power of an amazing vocal delivery has little to do with vocal gymnastics, technical brilliance or the mechanics of a musical phrase. Of course, it’s important to be on pitch, honor the rhythm in a song and to sing with clarity. But once those things are cleaned up, all anybody really cares about is how you make them feel at the end of the day. Honest, authentic vocal expression ain’t easy, but the road to Hanna starts with building your technical chops first, then brick by brick letting go of the need to be perfect and polished. A truly powerful vocal is emotional, risky, moving and interesting. A singer who can let it all go on stage, risk the fear of embarrassment AND confidently reveals the vocal expression of their soul, is what makes for a powerful and memorable vocal. Deep emotional vocal delivery will trump polished careful perfection every time.

3. Sing for yourself and everyone else second.

You can’t please everyone – it’s impossible. There will be people who don’t like your voice and there will be people who absolutely love what you sing. You can’t control the outcome.

So you must decide to sing for three reasons:

1. If you are planning on singing in front of people or on a recording, you must make a commitment to keep learning how to sing better.

2. Keep singing because it feels good to sing and it’s part of loving yourself.

3. You offer your voice as a gift only. If you make a mistake, it doesn’t determine your worth. The truth is that if people like your voice, then great, and be happy that you’ve blessed someone. But if they don’t, that’s okay too, because you sing for yourself first, and everyone else second.