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Did Learning Technique Ruin Your Singing?

Have you ever known a singer who sounded worse after taking singing lessons? Unfortunately, many singers learn vocal technique in a way that stifles their style and individuality. As a result, their singing sounds lifeless.

Why work on vocal technique?

Singers need a good technique for a variety of reasons, but they should never lose sight of those reasons. Proper technical training enables singers to get the most out of their instrument in a healthy manner. Additionally, technique is what gives singers control over their vocal range, dynamics, timbres, and so on.

The Problem

Sadly, many instructors teach vocal technique as a set of narrow rules that can never be broken. This instantly creates problems for the singer. However, technique properly understood and applied frees a singer to serve the fundamental purposes of music.  

A Singer’s #1 Job

A singer’s number one job is to be believable. The listener needs to believe that the singer is really feeling the emotion they’re expressing through the song. Technique exists to help accomplish that goal. Vocal training equips singers to be deliberately expressive.

However, some singers are trained in ways that limit expression. For example, some instructors teach Americans to pronounce words in ways that change their accent. It often becomes some strange combination of British and North American, which ends up sounding like neither. As a result, singer’s lose some of their natural vocal identity. Similarly, many singers learn only to sing lightly or loudly on higher notes. This confines the dynamics of those pitches, which stifles their expressiveness.


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The Fundamental Purpose of Music

Music is primarily about two things: expressing emotion and creating a mood. We must never lose sight of the fact that singing is a form of human expression, and human expression has innumerable layers of diversity and complexity. So don’t let technique set rules and limitations on what you do as a singer. Instead, use technique as a tool to maximize your expressiveness as a singer!


Benny Meza is a Master Associate at Brett Manning Studios in Nashville, TN. He’s taught over 7,000 vocal lessons and has worked with clients from Warner Music, RCA, Universal Music Group, and many others.


Book a Skype or in-person lesson with Benny today!