A New Guitar Or Singing Lessons?
Updated: Aug 4
Most of my clients, many of whom are long time musicians, often admit at some point or another during the course of our work together that despite having played music for years, they had never bothered taking singing lessons before. This scenario repeats itself across the singing community. It is in fact very common to hear the same admission from pop and rock stars who often only seek guidance when faced with vocal fatigue herewith limiting their abilities or threatening their performance. The thought of losing your voice and not being able to sing again, and for pro-musicians, possibly having to cancel a show and letting down fans is a powerful one!
With all of the benefits that singing lessons provide, I can only assume that what's holding singers back from enrolling into them is money. Or is it?
I stand corrected when I see home videos of so many singers using expensive microphones and other recording equipment as well as marvellous music instruments! How is it that most musicians would rather spend hundreds of their hard earned money into a gorgeous guitar for example, but hesitate investing in singing lessons?
Let's compare what the basic investment of a $1000 gets you, whether you invest it in a guitar or vocal coaching:
First of all, the amount you invest determines the value you get. You could buy two really cheap guitars for 1K or get about a dozen singing lessons from an inexperienced singing teacher for that same price. But the guitars would sound crappy or mediocre at best. Similarly, your vocal coaching experience would most likely disappoint. You wouldn't learn very much besides being told whether you sing on pitch (which you probably already know), get a few scale exercises that don't actually correct your technique and being reminded to “open your mouth!” It wouldn't be bad but not really fulfilling either.
You could put your $1k towards a much nicer mid-entry level guitar, one that will sound much better, will require less maintenance and repairs down the road and that will feel more comfortable to play. As for singing lessons, choosing a vocal coach with more credibility and experience will cost you more so for the same amount, you may only be able to get half the number of lessons compared to earlier but at least the learning will be meaningful and your improvement immediate. By the time your investment expires, you would have a GREAT understanding of what you were doing wrong and be able to apply correct technique independently. If positive changes in your voice didn't happen quickly, then you picked the WRONG teacher.
Now you could double this amount and get a really really SWEET guitar. Some kind of a trophy that speaks to your music status and wows your friends. Meanwhile, spending a couple of thousand dollars on singing lessons will insure that you not only get the knowledge you need to understand your voice, but that you also are able to adequately implement healthy vocal technique consistently throughout a variety of songs. You may even be able to sing songs of advanced difficulty before the end of your package!
It's a difficult choice to make; which should you buy? A guitar or vocal lessons? Which is a better investment?
The cons of buying a guitar over enrolling in singing lessons are many. A new guitar doesn't make you a better player for example. It improves your sound slightly but you still need to practice to advance your skills. With voice lessons, you are building your vocal instrument with technique by putting all the necessary components in place for beautiful singing.
Some would argue that you can make a guitar sound really nice despite limited knowledge on how to play it. Taking into account that the difference between advanced and beginner skills like strumming simple chords versus a complicated progression, and like fingerpicking versus playing leads is subtle to most unmusical ears. However, everyone is an expert when it comes to unintentional voice cracks (yikes!), telling whether you're singing in tune, missing a high note, forgetting lyrics, having low confidence, etc...
It's equally true that the commitment you put towards practicing between lessons will dictate how quickly and consistently you are able to apply your new knowledge. With singing lessons you get the extra benefit of bettering your skills in addition to beautifying your sound.
Another point to consider is that if something goes wrong with your guitar, say the neck needs adjustment or the pick-ups are defective, you can bring it back to the shop and get it fixed. The same cannot be said for your vocal cords. If you incur injury from misusing your voice, the damage can be lifelong and irrevocable. If you're lucky, rehabilitation by learning correct technique may turn the situation around. Why wait when you could learn proper vocal technique now, avoid the dangers of vocal fatigue, sing your bliss and reap the benefits now?
Did you know that anything you learn about singing can be applied to your speaking voice too? Your vocal cords are your daily means of expression. They serve you personally but also professionally when you are required to speak a lot at work, during business meetings and public speaking. Better breathing, stress management and higher confidence also cross over into those areas.
While getting a new guitar is exciting, the buzz is only short lived. Plus, buying guitars is addictive! Soon enough, you will tire of your last toy and crave a new one! Meanwhile, the knowledge you get during singing lessons stays with you FOREVER. Armed will a solid vocal foundation, you will feel inspired to take up new challenges, make a name for yourself and completely change your music landscape. Singing at your best will boost your SELF-ESTEEM and increase the demand for your services not only magically changing how you are perceived amongst your peers but also bringing along respect and admiration from more followers.
It's true, a guitar DOES look beautiful. It's a piece of art in itself. But what better feeling than FEELING beautiful? Your voice is YOU! It says a LOT about you. It's a reflection of what's going on inside out.
Let's make those goals that previously seemed far stretched become your new wonderful REALITY! Together, we can realize all of the potential you didn't even know existed! I am available to talk to you about your needs and wants so that you can unleash your unique amazing self. Please visit my calendar and set a time for us to meet and start planning a winning strategy. Go to: