How much should you practice singing?
In my 30 years of coaching, I've heard this question a lot. How much should I practice, or sing, or do every single day?
How much is too much, or not enough?
There are so many variables there. I'm going to tell you about some of the most important ones, and I'm speaking from personal experience because they happened to me, too.
I know that a lot of people who learn from me will instantly feel a lot of freedom. They feel that they have a lot more control. Things start to open up.
So the next thing that they do is say, “I'm going to really go for this. I'm just going to practice over and over and over again.” What you need to remember is that the habits that you've developed that have been causing the trouble haven't gone away yet.
The reason I'm saying this is that I need you to think about this. I need you to think about why it's important to stay with it and to be diligent about doing your practice.
If you're having any kind of trouble at all, if you haven't experienced the voice that you want, then you need to understand this: something that you have been doing is causing restriction.
That's the only reason that you're not singing brilliantly right now. So if you're having some kind of vocal damage or tightness or something like that, there's something that you're doing that's not allowing you to utilize all of your voice.
So you're going to start to discover that, as you're learning with me and figuring out these things that I'm telling you to start to do. You're going to go through that, and your new habits will start to come into place.
But your old habits have been there a lot longer. So if you're going to practice for hours and hours, your old habits are going to kick in and you'll start to feel a strain, or damage, and you may think this doesn't work.
I have to be adamant about this, because I see it all the time. Just last week, I had a client who I work online with every week.
He told me, “Last week I had it really great, but then it all fell apart.” I asked him, “What did you do?” He told me, “After the session, I felt really great. Then I just kept singing and singing.”
That was the problem!
When you're doing that, you're going to bring up old habits that are getting in the way and you're going to reinforce them. Don't do that.
So the general rule of thumb is to do as much as you can while you're incorporating the new technique. But the moment you feel that you're starting to get tired and having a little bit of strain, stop.
Now, it could be during an exercise that this happens. Typically as you're going higher, you'll start to feel that strain starting. Stop. Don't go that high. Go back to the beginning. Start again.
You'll get a little bit better, further up in your range, without that strain occurring, because now your body is developing a new habit. You want to allow yourself time to develop a new habit. But if you go on too long, you're going to re-incorporate or re-invoke the old habit.
Just do it to where it feels easy. Be patient with your body. Take your time with it. That's how much you should practice. Just as long as you're doing it every day, a little bit every day, you're going to make great progress.