Valentine’s day is upon us once again, and love is in the air…
Shakespeare said that music is the food of love, so why not surprise your Valentine with a song this coming Saturday? Here are a few tips to help you express how you truly feel using the medium of song.
Think carefully about the song you choose. This might sound obvious, but ‘smack my bitch up’ isn’t going to get your loved one swooning at your feet. Find a song which has a special meaning for you both; perhaps one that was on the radio when you were first dating, or the song you chose for the first dance at your wedding. If you choose a song which has happy memories associated with it, you’re already halfway there.
Sing the story, not the song
A song is a very personal gift, so don’t just copy the original artist. Remember, no-one can sing like you can, because no-one else has your voice! So embrace your individuality and make the song your own. Think about the meaning of the lyrics, and what they mean to you. Speak them out loud, as if you were speaking to your loved one. Inject all the personal meaning you can into those spoken words, then try singing the song again. (If you can, record yourself before AND after doing this – you’ll be surprised at the difference).
Use styling tools sparingly
Most songs have pretty simple melodies. So singers use styling tools (like vibrato, trills and runs, big power notes) to jazz it up a bit. It’s become fashionable, especially among younger, X-factor-type singers, to use a LOT of these styling tools as a way of showing off what the voice can do. This is called over-styling. It’s messy, self-centred and in terribly poor taste. Keep your song simple, yet personal, by choosing key moments to use styling tools which showcase the special qualities in your voice. If your voice is powerful, put a big power note in towards the end. If you love runs and trills, put two or three on the lyrics you really want to emphasise. Choose carefully, and choose well, and you’ll have a beautiful song on your hands.
Don’t worry about whether you sound as good as the original artist, or whether you’re hitting all the right notes (chances are, you will if you’re not worrying about it). Using your voice to express your deepest emotions is at the heart of the human experience. It’s your voice your loved one wants to hear, because they love you!
Now get out there and SING!
Naomi Bignell is The Voice Club’s European Managing Instructor. She specialises in pop, classical, broadway, standards and contemporary worship. Naomi teaches on the Basic and Advanced training programs and offers sessions in the Vocal Repair Clinic. Training options with Naomi start from $45.