VOCAL SERIES PART III: HOW I PRACTICE AND A FEW THOUGHTS ON BEING SELF-TAUGHT.
September 8, 2020 § Leave a comment
For better and for worse, I’m a mostly self-taught music-maker. For worse, because I’m aware that a great teacher can pass on invaluable knowledge, help you avoid injury or strain, and in general help you be more efficient and faster in your learning process. For better, because I do feel that self-teaching is perhaps what best corresponds to a certain type of non-conformist, strongly independent personality holding non-mainstream aesthetic values. I was not born into a musical family, and don’t hold fantasies about what it would have been like if that had been the case and I had, for instance, learnt an instrument in the traditional way: would I have ended up doing more or less the same thing I do now, but with extra technical and theoretical knowledge that would have made it even “better”? Perhaps, and then perhaps not.
One thing’s for sure, I’ve always *loved* learning, and even as a child I preferred doing this on my own. This didn’t make me especially well-adjusted socially perhaps, but I also hold no regrets about that: I’m convinced what we do is always the end result and sum total of the entire path that’s led us to where we are at a given point of creation.
Onto how I practice my vocals: in 2010, after searching all over the internet for help on how to train my voice, given it was painfully clear to my ears and throat that what I was doing instinctively was not right, I ended up settling on some exercises proposed on the Youtube channel of vocal coach Eric Arceneaux , and I still use these today whenever I want to sing. When I had a dedicated music studio outside of my home I would do these with my piano, but since I no longer have that studio, nor the piano, the way I like to do this now is sitting on a zabuton and zafu, with a glockenspiel to guide me. And since my cat Klee does not like being in the studio, I now usually do this in my living room so he can sit next to me – it’s especially lovely when I sing and he purrs at the same time! :-)
I still have a lot to learn singing-wise, and would also love to fuse my yoga practice with my singing practice.