Using Voice Lessons To Compliment Your Guitar Lessons
As part of my lessons, I like to encourage my students to sing (GASP!). I know, it’s scary. But it’s also highly beneficial. The voice is the one instrument with which everybody is endowed and should feel comfortable utilizing. For most of us, it’s our first indoctrination into music. Singing in a school choir or belting out children’s melodies is the earliest foray into performance for much of the Western world. But it’s also one of the things we are most self-conscious about as adults.
As such, a few months ago I began taking singing lessons from Gene Raymond at Octave Higher Voice Studio. He is located a half-mile from my studio, so any of my students interested in voice lessons should look him up. Gene teaches the Speech-Level Singing Technique developed by Seth Riggs. The lessons have been extremely helpful and I can hear a big difference in my voice already. Gene definitely knows what he is doing and how to get the best out his students. He begins every lesson with about twenty minutes of vocal exercises and then has me sing a song of my choosing, so not only is my vocal technique improving, but I’m also building repertoire. All my lessons are recorded so all I have to do to practice is sing along to the recording each day! It couldn’t be easier.
The experience has also had some added benefits towards my teaching and playing. It’s very beneficial to put myself in the position of a student as it allows me to better understand the vulnerable psychology of a learner. Likewise, I have a stronger grasp on how a student must plan their daily practice in order to get the full benefit of their lessons. I’ve also began recording all my lessons and sending them to my students like Gene so that students may refresh themselves on anything we went over. Finally, I have always regarded myself as solely a guitar player. Now, however, I am feeling more comfortable billing myself as guitar player WITH vocal skills, which is a huge asset as a backing musician!