Add your own special sauce to the mix to make it less ‘them’ and more ‘you’ -Says Nicola Milan.
Learning to sing well is just like learning any other instrument; it takes time and practice to get real results.
But there is one thing you can do right now that will instantly improve your song delivery, your enjoyment of your singing and how good you sound overall…
Add Your Own Special Sauce
One huge mistake I see many new singers make is that they try to imitate their favorite artist. They like the artist’s music and their voice, so they try to sing every new song exactly as the artist sings it.
There are three very big problems with doing this:
- Your favorite artist has a different instrument to you so it’s actually not possible to sound exactly the same.
- The song you’re trying to sing has been written by or for that artist specifically to suit their voice and to play to their best strengths, not yours.
- They may have been singing for a lot longer that you, which means they would have built stronger vocal muscles and expanded their range past what yours may currently be at.
So when I see singers getting all worked up about not being able to hit the same high notes or do the same riffs and runs as their favorite artist, I say this:
“Why do you want to copy someone else and be a cheap imitation of them when you can add your own special sauce to the song and be a singer in your own right? You can be someone others want to copy!”
Of course imitation has its place. It’s a fantastic way to expand your palette of sounds and ideas, so I’m not saying never ever imitate anyone. Just promise me you’ll never pursue another artist’s sound above your own authentic voice.
It’s Time To Embrace Your Own Voice
When you embrace your unique voice with all its quirks (and limitations) and arrange the song so it plays to your best strengths then not only will you enjoy singing that song more (because you’re finally being true to yourself) but you’ll also sound better – instantly better.
And, who doesn’t want to feel good and sound awesome?
Now let me show you how you can make it work.
Pick any song you are currently working on. Now really think about what parts of your song you’re struggling with.
Are some of the notes too high? Do you think there’s too much belting and you’d be more comfortable singing softer prettier notes?
Take some time to analyse the song and then think of ways you could add your own special sauce to the mix to make it less ‘them’ and more ‘you.’
I know some of you are thinking, ‘But HOW!!!?’ Well, I’ve done a video on how to make a cover song your own. You can read my tips below or watch my video here:
Four Ways To Add Your Special Sauce To The Mix:
Change The Rhythmic Feel
Changing the rhythmic feel is a great way to adapt the song to your own style and comfort area. For example, you can take a straight song and swing it.
Change A Few Notes
You can make small changes to the melody. By changing just the first couple of notes in a phrase, you can make that whole section new. The key take-away here is to experiment, have fun with the song, and see what you can come up with.
If a song has notes in it which are too high for you, transpose it down into a key that suits your voice better.
Change The Tempo
Dramatically slowing the tempo for a song can instantly change its vibe. This is especially helpful if you’re having trouble altering the melody. Once you slow a song down (or speed it up) it often becomes easier to think of new ways to sing it.
So now you have a few things you can try in your next practice sesh. Adapt your song to your unique voice, and you’re guaranteed to see instant improvement in your sound. Happy singing my friend and I hope to see you killing it showcasing your stuff on YouTube really soon!
Nicola Milan is a professional singer, songwriter, recording artist and vocal coach. She publishes singing, stage craft and songwriting tips for singers on her website Singer’s Secret. Get her free vocal warm ups here: Singers Secret.