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Ok, I’m back. I hope you guys have found some head voice breakthroughs since we last talked. If you haven’t, let me know, let’s work that out! But what I want to talk about today is getting OUT of your head!

Not finding your breakthrough usually begets discouragement. Ultimately it’s a highly unhealthy cycle. The Type A’s out there who are accustomed to meeting success in new challenges often want to quit when they encounter something they can’t master on the 1st or 2nd try, or they’ll want to work out their failures in darkness where no one will be able to lend a helping hand. This breeds insecurity in the most confident of singers because they aren’t letting anyone encourage them in the process. The way this will play out in a voice session is that a singer will criticize the sound as it’s coming out of their mouths! This just dictates the duration of the exercise. As soon as you criticize your perceived progress or ability, you actually hinder yourself from growing and mastering the work! You have to get out of your head! It’s usually the best of the best out there who suffer from this the most. Past training that’s stiff and rigid keeps us from being able to “free our minds” (shout out to En Vogue) and just sing! Let’s be real, us BMA’s like to make weird noises when we practice and when we put our students to work. Your mental prison might be keeping you from that breakthrough. It’s true, we all sound crazy sometimes, but you have to be willing to be crazy with us and not judge yourself for it.

Then there’s the shy kids. I’m personally somewhere in between so I can pull tendencies from both sides. But the shy ones are the ones who are just straight up scared of what might come out of their mouths. They typically don’t judge themselves, but fear that we, as the coaches listening, are judging them. Can I just say, we’ve heard it all, and no one probably makes weirder sounds than Brett…or Jesse…or Chris. Ok they’re all weird, I’m the only normal one. Just kidding! But nothing makes me go, “Oh please make it stop!” in a lesson. I’m not judging my students, I’m diagnosing them. A doctor doesn’t look at your sickness and say, “Nasty, don’t touch me!” No, they figure out how to heal your sickness. I love hearing the uniqueness of each of my students of every skill level. But this kind of fear in a shy student holds them back! I can see it a mile away. I know when there’s a lot more under the hood that you aren’t using because you are scared of being judged.

Friends, I’m not your therapist. I’m not going to pretend to know the deep reasons that keep you from your breakthrough, vocally or personally. But I can tell you what I’ve seen in teaching the last few years. Vocally, the mental battles are the hardest to fight. No matter what yours is, you have to let it go, stop thinking about “singing” and get out of your head! It’s the crazy sounding exercises that you have to let go the most. Familiar with the much beloved, “MEOW!!” exercise? Don’t think about making it pretty! It’s not! Think about being a smidge over the top and ridiculous and THAT’S when you find that mix! But know that you’re developing the muscle memory you need in your chords to find those crazy awesome high notes in your mix in a normal sound that a song demands.

I seriously can’t stress this enough. Get the mental block out of your heads! Don’t fight the freedom that wants to bust out of your voice. I hope this at least makes you think a little. Need some more help with this? Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you and hear you sing!

Happy singing!


Shelby Rollins

Author Shelby Rollins

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