THE POWER OF VOICE
The voice was the first instrument, vital and primal. Each of us are born with one - unique and part of ourselves.
Speech and music originate from this deep source, where mind and emotion become physical.
We are drawn to it universally. It represents our first, deepest, and most authentic connection to music.
Yet many of us are afraid of our voices, of how they sound, and of sharing them with others.
If You Can Talk, You Can Sing
Do you sing regularly? With others or only alone?
So many of us are deeply insecure about our voices.
This is something being an instrumentalist, like a guitarist or a pianist, helps us to hide. There is this intermediary between our emotions and our creative output. A translator.
When we sing, we have no translator. We are the musician and the instrument. This can be extremely vulnerable. And when we are feeling scared, that will come through in our performances - again, because there is no separation between ourselves and our expression.
Fear Is the Voice Killer
How would our guitars sound if they were scared? Can you imagine a timid piano?
Fear and sadness can make your voice crack and strain. Dig deeply to explore and express and resolve these feelings to the best of your ability.
We can practice and prepare and make ourselves the best we can be from a technical standpoint, but at the end of the day, we must surrender:
To the vulnerability
To the openness
And that can be scary for a lot of us - but there are things that we can do to help this process along.
Connect to Your Voice
Here are some suggestions to help you become more in tune with your voice.
Sing a riff and then try to play it, and vice versa:
If you are an instrumentalist, play a few notes and try to replicate them with your voice.
Then do the opposite, singing a few notes and then playing them back on your instrument.
If you don't play an instrument, try singing along to a song and then pausing it and singing it without the background music.
This will help you to connect the sounds and sensations, and lead you to be better able to express them in sound form.
A simple ‘OM’ will suffice. Or any vowel sound (like AHH) or word (like LOVE). Try to make your whole body vibrate. Imagine the whole room vibrating, and then the whole universe. If you have a daily meditation practice, work this into it.
Say what you need to:
Stifling the truth or not speaking about things that upset you clog you up, physically and psychologically. The throat and chest will literally constrict. Saying things that might hurt others or disrupt an equilibrium you have in your life can be extremely difficult – but expressing these feelings may be more helpful rather than catastrophic, regardless of what fear may say about it. You may be surprised!
If this is not safe to do, recording yourself doing a journal-style entry may suffice. You can always delete it. But try to get that stuff out of your body. If it lives in your mind, it lives in your body too.
Accept your voice as it is:
Record yourself singing, just around the house. A cappella. And actually listen back. Learn to accept the "cringe" or embarrassment if it is there. Let it wash over you and - tolerate it. Be gentle with it. Be loving to it. Be grateful that you are brave enough to try it.
Think of how you would feel if that was your friend or your child learning - you would be happy for them even if it wasn't perfect, wouldn't you?
Once you get over that original feeling of "eww!" and find a sense of objectivity, you may realize it’s not as bad as you originally thought. And if it is, be THANKFUL! We all have to go through difficulty when trying to build a skill and love yourself for doing the work.
Getting connected to your voice means more than just becoming a more proficient singer. It means connecting on a deeper level to where music flows through – your mind and your body.
I talk a lot about harmonizing or tuning the body so we can better resonate with and express musical inspiration. We are whole beings, body mind and spirit, and the voice is the perfect crux of those aspects of us.
In the deepest sense your voice is "you".
So treat this beautiful, unique, one of a kind instrument with love and respect, alright?
If you have any questions do not hesitate to comment below.
Thanks for reading!