Hey, Dan Tompkins here.
Thank's for checking out the blogs.
This is a short introduction to a series of others that can be found within the BLOG section.
So let's get stuck in and "Just Sing!"
I was always singing something! I guess it must be in my blood? Even from a young age, it didn't matter where or when. Kids school plays are probably my earliest memories of singing in front of an audience, people seemed to like it and that made me happy.
You could say I had a 'natural' talent but in hindsight it needed nurturing. I started singing in a 'high school' band in my teens and got hooked ever since, although I never studied music theory and didn't pay that much attention in biology class if I'm being honest. Looking back I never considered how the voice worked at all...I just sang!
It wasn't until my early 20's that I started to take a few lessons from a local teacher but even then, classical singing wasn't really my thing...so I went it alone with little training and guidance. I guess my 'natural' talent and determination is what got me noticed. I was definitely commited but things really started to change when I began to study the beauty of the human voice.
It is an INCREDIBLE instrument; functioning as a result of complex muscular movement and co-ordination; it is a truly wonderful thing! From birth, the voice helps us recognise those we know and love; to communicate with one another; to help us recognise emotion and create beautiful sounds through singing. The best part is that YOUR VOICE is completely unique to you and you alone; it is yours for as long as you live and breathe.
An important thing to know is that your voice, as well as having a personality of it's own, also has a MEMORY and the muscles working inside your throat learn to behave the way in which you use them, so learn to use them correctly because bad habits are hard to shake. I see my voice as an extension of my personality - I take care of it and it takes care of me! I always try to be myself: mindful of the fact that my voice is unique.
So bearing this in mind get singing, express yourself and do it with meaning!
Whether you're singing a happy song or a sad tune try and CONNECT to the words you're singing as this will benefit your development in areas such as tone, colour and character development.
Whether it’s in the car, the shower or on stage the more exercise your voice gets (within reason) the better, so use it! Don't be afraid to stretch out your vocal cords and make the weirdest of sounds by using the full spectrum of your voice. Squeel like a chat, sqwark like a parrot and do your best 'Gollum' impression because experimentation will lead to incredible vocal discoveries, so don't hold back.
A large part of your vocal development will stem from connecting to the resonance that happens in the various parts of your mouth and throat. Always feel where the vibrations are moving throughout the upper body. It's important to pay attention to how singing feels!
We'll talk more about this in further blogs but remember that singing should be fluid and controlled, not laboured and strained. If you feel tired then rest but remember that every exercise within every practice session will help and the more frequently you sing the more you will discover.
So while your doing your best Rick Flair 'Woooo' (here), in the meantime why not make some PLANS and set GOALS.
You don’t need a 5-year plan but one of the first things you should do is make an honest list of what you consider your STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES to be.
I think it's fair to say that it's taken me the best part of 10 years to reach my potential as a professional singer. That's not to say you'll take that long because you have the opportunity to learn from a site such as this, it's just that I never had the training until later on.
I've never sounded better than the way I do now and I never dreamt that I'd have the vocal control I do now. So be BOLD because with the guidance I have to offer, even within the short space of a few months you can begin to take shape as a good singer.
So on reflection what are some good questions to ask youself? Would you say you have good pitch? What about range, tone, power or control? Do you have good breathing skills? Can you breathe from your diaphragm? How long can you hold a note for? Maybe your head voice is weak and thin, maybe your chest voice is powerful but the quality of the notes you sing are poor?
There are lots of questions you should ask yourself but when you’re ready and have given your PRO’S and CON’S some thought then let's begin the process of learning to become a GREAT singer!