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Backstage Experts

How to Sing With Your Own Voice

How to Sing With Your Own Voice
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How to sing with your own voice.

“Huh,” you might think. “I didn’t realize I could sing with anything but my own voice.” And while it may seem odd, trust me on this one. I have worked with countless clients who attempted to imitate other singers rather than find and use their own voices. As a result, they develop bad technique and ultimately lose their own voice or have trouble finding it after so many years.

I know this because I used to be one of those singers.

We all carry a certain amount of insecurity about our voice—that’s natural. But then we start comparing ourselves to every popular singer and convince ourselves there’s no way we could possibly sound as good as they do. Then we get discouraged and we beat ourselves up for not sounding like (insert name of well-known singer here). Ultimately, this kind of thinking leads aspiring singers to give up.

But the key here is to remember and to believe that you do have a great voice, it just needs to be developed. And it doesn’t need to be developed to sound like someone else’s needs to be developed to sound like the best version of your voice.

READ: 1 Great Trick to Help You Sing High Notes

Singing is a physical activity that requires the right training, techniques, and practice. Think of your voice as an instrument: You know that you’re not just born with the ability to play the piano beautifully. It takes practice and the right technique, and the more you practice, the better you become. The voice is no different. Yes, you were born with a voice, but it needs to be trained.

I believe that every person has a great voice inside themselves and the only reason they haven’t heard it yet is because they’re doing something to prevent it. Many years ago, I felt that my voice lacked depth or the vocal quality it needed to stand out, so I started trying to create a big sound by opening my mouth really wide and trying to blast sound out. As a result, I developed terrible habits that left with extremely hoarse or completely without a voice the next day. The technique wasn’t sustainable.

It took years for me to undo this habit and correct my technique. And once I did—with the right technique—I discovered that my natural voice was great! It was just a question of believing I had a voice worth hearing, and learning how to hone and train it properly.

I once had a client who believed so strongly that she didn’t have a good voice that when she started making progress, she was deaf to it. She had essentially hypnotized herself into believing her voice was terrible because it didn’t sound like anything else out there.

The bottom line is that every voice is unique and when a unique voice is developed to the fullest, those are the ones who become stars. It’s why you can hear the difference between singers you love. Even if they were to sing the exact same song, you would know Adele from Otis Redding, Whitney Houston from Stevie Nicks. Each has a unique sound, one you can recognize instantly.

I always tell my clients that even though they love, follow, and imitate their favorite singers, it won’t do much good in moving their careers forward. The world already has that favorite singer; what the world is waiting for is your voice.

Roger Burnley is a Los Angeles–based vocal coach and a Backstage Expert. For more information, check out Burnley’s full bio!

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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