Many students ask me, “How long will it take to improve my voice?”
One minute. That’s the answer.
If you're able to start now and do the things that I'm giving you, your voice will start to improve right away. I guarantee it. And I’m going to show you that.
If you're thinking, “How long is it going to take?” then you're also saying that you don't believe it's going to happen, or maybe you can't do it. Don't focus on that. Focus on what you're doing right now and just notice, each time, that you're improving.
I also see my clients do this crazy thing to themselves where they say, “Well, I haven't gotten it yet, so maybe it's not there for me, so I should give up and go back to doing something else.” It’s never true! You just have to be patient.
You will feel Improvement today. I'm going to give you something that's going to allow you to experience that. Then you’ll know that, “Wait a minute, if I just keep doing things maybe, in no time at all, I will have a really good voice!” And that is true.
So we're doing to do a humming exercise in a specific way. I want you to do this exercise a few times. When you're done, don't even sing—just speak, because then you're going to hear this presence come out of your voice. Then you'll see that something changed.
Once you know from experience that you can affect a change within your body that's going to show up in your voice, you're going to be more willing to do it all the time. And you won't be asking me how long it's going to take to improve! You’ll just be doing it.
So, place your thumb under your chin to make sure that you're not using your swallowing muscles. We have to make the weird face that you’ve probably seen me do before, and you can see me do again starting at 2:25 in the video.
We’ll hum an arpeggio upward, but we’ll be thinking downward. Let’s do a few of these together. Just imagine that you’re already above the note and you’re coming down to it.
Let’s make an even weirder face at 2:55. (Click play below to watch)
And here's the audio file so you can practice along:
We’ll be smiling with our cheeks, to help keep the voice from falling back into the throat. Some of you may need to do that, especially as you go higher. Keep your thumb on your throat. If you feel the throat muscles working, stop and try it from a lower note.
I do this exercise a lot.
So once you’ve done this a few times, just talk, and listen for the difference. Then you can go sing a bit, and it will show up in your singing as well.
The main thing to get from this exercise is to know that you can change your voice. This will start to give you the awareness of that. Hope this helps you!
A question I've received a lot over the last 30 years is, “How do I become confident as a singer?”
First of all, you become confident when you experience something you did where you can see that you're making some improvement. When you acknowledge that, you'll start to appreciate it.
Then you're more likely to say to yourself, “Oh, wait a minute, maybe I really can do this.” And you'll start to feel more confident. I'm telling you, this happens.
It's not going to happen tomorrow—especially if you've been telling yourself you're terrible. But the more you see yourself improving, the more confidence you'll develop.
I'm going to give you a challenging exercise. If you do it long enough, you're going to master it. And as you do, it's going to change your mind about anything that you thought that you could or could not have done before.
There will be two vowel sounds I'm going to have you do this on. I'll give you a specific pattern, the way I want you to do it.
You're going to practice it over and over again. You're going to record yourself. You're going to listen to it. And you're going to keep doing it until you hear that you've mastered it and that you're perfect on every single note.
The two vowel sound are “ee” and a long “a.” I want you to think vertically. I want you to be able to hear everything staying in the same place. You've developed this internal hearing If you've been working with me for a while. Now you're going to rely on that a little bit in this exercise.
Follow along with the exercise at 2:42 in the video. You’ll be doing an upward arpeggio, but reversing the second and third notes. We’ll use “ee” on the first three notes, then a long “a” on the remaining four notes.
And here's the audio file so you can practice:
Remember to enunciate, and to listen. Don't push up on the higher notes. Let go before the highest note, and pronounce the “a” distinctly. Bring the lower notes up, so you don’t fall back in your throat.
You may not get all these things all at once, but as you practice, you will.
And as you start to master this, you’re going to feel a little more confident. You may think, “Hey, maybe I need to go out and start really doing this. Maybe I need to really work on it and stop short-changing myself by not following through and developing my voice.”
Practice this for a while, then record yourself doing the exercise. A week later, practice and record again. Over the weeks, you'll see how much you've improved.
I guarantee that you will start to feel more confident and assured about what you're able to do. Let me know how it turns out!