“But I don’t want to practice now”. Remember telling that to your parents as they told you to go practice your instrument. Boy I do. I had to practice my instrument for a half hour every day. I pretty much hated it. But what I didn’t realize was that it was making me good. In my second and third year, I was always chosen to go the all city regional performances to be part of a much larger orchestra. I used to think that I was just naturally good. What I didn’t realize, until I was an adult, was that I wasn’t just good at it by nature, but it was because of all that practicing.
Well it’s the same way with singing. If you want to be good, you’ve got to practice. In fact if you want to perform well, you have to rehearse. That’s right, rehearse.
I say that because I know that many people really can sing well. We see that every night at the karaoke shows around town. But surprisingly, not many people actually know how to “perform” their song. By perform I mean, put a little more into it than just standing up there and singing. And if you don’t work out what you want to do beforehand, it might not come out looking the way you wanted it to.
Get Your Voice In Shape
I also liken practicing my singing to exercising my body. I have found that I sound the best when I keep my vocal chords tuned up. It’s very similar to body exercise. I exercise to keep my body in shape, and practice singing to keep my voice in shape. It seems to work the same way.
So first you have to ‘practice’ and second you have to ‘rehearse’. Man, this is starting to sound a lot like Mom telling me to get in there and practice. Well not really. You see, now as an adult I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. So it comes down to what do I want to do. Do I want to go out to Karaoke night, get up to sing a song and make a fool out of myself? Well, not really. Well then I need to do what it takes to keep from doing a foolish job up there. At the very least, I need to do some rudimentary practicing. Let’s face it; the more times that I practice singing a song, the more natural it will be when I go to sing it in front of people. The easier it will be to sing without having to think about “what comes next”. We have all seen people get up to sing that don’t know the song well and they are doing just enough to get through it. It usually doesn’t sound 풀싸롱 very good. They generally stare at the monitor and stumble through the lyrics trying to get close to the melody that they heard a few years ago. It looks like they’re singing to the monitor. Meanwhile, we in the audience eventually go back to the discussion at the table, rather than give their performance much attention.
Granted, Karaoke is about having fun. And many people simply enjoy getting up there and doing just that. That’s great and I applaud that. Many times they might have friends in the audience that are hootin’ and hollerin’ giving them support, but most of the other people are tuning it out, or at least trying to.
Practice Can Make a Difference
Do you remember when the next singer got up there and really sounded good? Not only did they impress us with how well they sang the song, but they were also including the audience in their performance, captivating and entertaining them. Sometimes when that happens, you can actually hear a hush fall over the room as most people stop what they are doing and turn their heads to the stage to see who is singing. If you are the singer when that happens, it gives you a feeling down your spine that you will always remember.
So how do you practice? Well I have found that the easiest way for me to practice is in my car while I am driving. If you have a copy of your favorite artist’s music, just pop it in the car player and sing along. It’s a great place to practice because I can make all the mistakes I want without someone else there to hear how bad I am, and then do it over (and over). Eventually, you can start turning down the volume so you can hear more of yourself than the recording. What’s more, if you can obtain a Karaoke CD that has the music without the singing, then you can begin committing the lyrics to memory as you sing along to the music. All CD players can play the music portion of a Karaoke CD+G. Remember, the better you know the song, the more entertaining you will be at Karaoke night.
I used to feel a little self conscious if I thought other drivers were seeing me sing to my heart’s content, wondering what kind of fool I might be. But I also realized that most people aren’t paying any attention to what I might be doing in the car (and rightfully so), as they’re just minding they’re own driving, daydreaming about they’re own world or, these days, talking on the phone. Which reminds me, if you’re still self-conscious about it, you can open up your own phone and look like you’re talking on the phone yourself.