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  • Writer's pictureVal Bastien

Do You Know When To Stop?

Are you passionate about singing? How often does passion win over reason? Does the internal debate of whether you “should or shouldn't” distract you from your art? Has singing gotten you in trouble in the past? Are you a perfectionist? Does your longing for perfection leave you exhausted and frustrated? Do you ever regret having gone too far with your singing?

Many singers don't realize they are on a path to destruction until the harm is done. And then it's already TOO LATE! Here are 4 situations where knowing when to stop is smart.

1) Vocal Melisma

A great way to make a song your own is to “decorate” the melody with extra notes and runs. Many advanced singers love to do this. It's impressive and all but sometimes it takes away from the melody. Who are you really kidding here? Are you singing from the heart or is your ego taking over? If you like that style, use ornamentation and fast runs moderately. Respect the original song by making sure that it is still recognizable!

2) Feeling Your Voice

One of the best advise I've ever heard is, “If you feel your voice, you are doing something wrong.” We're not talking about “feeling the song” here. Rather, if you experience sensations of dryness you should stop singing or at least grab a large glass of water and take a break. Tension manifests itself when you aren't using correct vocal technique. As soon as you feel a little tinkle in your throat, some itchiness or the need to cough, this tells you that realigning your instrument is needed. Listen to what your body is telling you and stop singing. Unintentional rasp is also indicative of vocal flaws; beware! It's better to stop singing and resume later or the next day than persist through swollen vocal cords. If your throat is often sore after rehearsing or a live show, seek expert guidance to understand how to sing and protect your fragile vocal cords from devastating consequences. Ignoring these symptoms of vocal fatigue can have long term consequences such as nodules, a real threat to vocal health. Remember, singing is supposed to be easy!

3) Using Diaphragmatic Support

“Sing from the diaphragm” they said! “It's like going to the washroom!” they said. “Pretend you are giving birth”, they said! Well guess what, follow this advise and you will kill your voice. If you have to push that hard to reach the high note, you are surely not using correct vocal technique. You are straining and in serious trouble. Under the perfect conditions, accessing the upper range is a piece of cake. Only a reasonable amount of air pressure is necessary to do so. Many of my clients make the mistake of getting carried away by the excitement of singing and push more than is needed. Know your limits by clearly defining where the fine line is between too much and not enough. How to apply diaphragmatic support depends on many factors but when you understand what they are, using EXACTLY the right amount of it is SIMPLE.

4) Head, Face & Body Movement

When potential clients inquire about vocal training they occasionally complain about being satisfied with their voice meanwhile not getting picked for roles or having difficulty building an audience. Often there is an obvious reason that they somehow failed to see: their vocal skills are overshadowed by the way they move. Too much unnecessary body movement is distracting. Some singers are making weird faces or way too many faces, move their hands excessively (aka the Maria Carey hand) or even have awkward body sway to the music that is visually repelling. Video record yourself to see if you are guilty of this. Here is another example of less is more!

Are you unintentionally causing your singing to stall by not knowing when to stop? Finding your balance between a glass half full or half empty can take your singing from okay to WOW! With correct vocal technique, you could sing for hours without hurting.

This would give you extra time to learn tons of new songs and extend your repertoire.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to get the role that could kick start your singing career?

How would you like to have enough stamina to play gigs? And more gigs at that!

Finally get noticed and acknowledged in your music community.

Get the attention of professionals who can help you advance your career.

I am happy to be that extra set of eyes and ears to tell you when to stop, take a turn or keep on going! Take your singing to the next level! Stop straining, perform at your best and meet your vocal goals TODAY. Reinvent yourself into the singer you've always wanted to be. I'd love to talk to you about how you can win! Set up your free consultation for private coaching by clicking on the link below;

Follow your bliss and sing your heart out!



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