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Three Myths That Hold Your Singing Back

Three Myths That Hold You Back
With these myths, you are doing the exact opposite of the natural flow -says Sally Morgan

Wouldn’t you love it if you could think your way to vocal power and freedom?

Actually, you can.

You just need to get rid of your myths. A myth is a belief that has no basis in fact.


Believing your personal myths over a long period of time causes bad singing habits to take up residence in your body.

Those habits become so ingrained in your singing you probably don’t have any conscious recognition of them.

So to find out what your myths are, I ask you: whaddya believe about your singing?

Myth #1: Singing is difficult

This myth implies singing is not natural and therefore, you have to struggle to sing – physically struggle, manipulate, calculate. That’s so much work! How will you ever communicate the meaning of a song when you are caught up in the struggle?

Training your voice is a life-long journey that requires study and practice. It’s a wonderful journey! However if you see the process as “difficult” you will not learn or grow your singing skills – you will be fighting against your own natural instrument.

A trained voice does not need to sound trained, just healthy, strong and free.


A trained voice does not need to sound trained, just healthy, strong and free

Recently a private student of mine was struggling with her song. She stopped singing and as I was about to give her a redirect she said, “Wait a minute I know what to do.” She sang the phrase again and out came this amazing sound! I asked her what she had done, she said, “I just remembered that it’s easy.”

Two days later the same thing happened with another student.

The thought, “Singing is easy,” caused the opposite reaction in their instruments than the thought, “Singing is hard.”

Myth #2: I can’t sing high notes

High notes are called ‘high’ because they vibrate higher in the body. What are they higher than? The last note you sang? Higher than you usually sing? Or are they high just because you think they’re high?

Your thought is, “Poop, here comes the high note. Gotta’ ramp up and give it a running start.” This thought results in physical force in your singing process.

When you force your voice the muscular tension actually constricts the flow of breath and sound that is necessary for the voice to resonate, or to sing freely. This means you are doing the exact opposite of the natural flow.

Instead of shoving and reaching to the pitch, speak on the pitch, then use ease of the speech to sing the phrase.

Myth #3: Inhaling means I should draw as much air as possible into my lungs

Myth! Overfilling the lungs is detrimental. You don’t need full lungs, you need breathing that creates efficient use of the breath.

Think of your inhale as opening your instrument – unhinge the jaw and feel as though you are opening to your bottom. This way, you draw breath into your lungs naturally.

You don’t need full lungs, you need breathing that creates efficient use of the breath

No strain, no struggle – just a simple opening to release jaw tension, open the upper resonators and activate the lower abdominal and back muscles.

Your exhale can be thought of as a release of breath and sound. Think of holding a butterfly in your hands and then releasing it.

You provide the escape route for the butterfly to leave just as the breath and sound must leave your body.

You have already activated the powerful breathing muscles you need with your opening inhale.

Three Steps to rid your singing of damaging myths – right now

Once you begin to figure out your personal singing myths you can replace them with healthy thoughts and habits to free your singing. Here is how:

  1. Discover the myths you believe about your singing
  1. Write down the thought (myth). For example:

Singing is difficult

  1. Cross it out immediately and write a truth to replace the myth:

Singing is difficult

Singing is simple and natural

This process is liberating. Do it and feel the freedom!

sally morgan copy cropped

Sally Morgan, NYC voice teacher, is the author of Sing Like You Speak™ and has been successfully teaching people how to sing for more than 30 years. You can find Sally’s clients on Broadway stages, on Major Label Recordings, the Conan O’Brian show and in the U.S. Senate. For video training on singing myths, visit click here, for online voice lessons: http://SingLikeYouSpeak.com, or contact Sally at Sally@SallyMorganVoice.com

  • cas

    I agree with this approach… especially appreciate the inhale/ exhale suggestions.

  • Wolf

    While general guidelines and techniques may apply, I’m pretty sure that ‘one size (or technique)’ doesn’t fit all. Then there’s also an age related factor. I’ve been a lead singer since 1970 and I still perform with great success at almost 68. However, in certain songs I need to remember when to store air before singing a specially long sentence. That was never an issue when I was young. Over the years I’ve also completely lost my Falsetto voice, something I was famous for in my younger years. As I never had even one singing lesson, I probably acquired my own technique, from warming up to performing live or in studios.

  • Kathy Coneys Alexander

    I actually think number 1 and 2 are mental techniques, and one size DOES fit all. No matter what the task is at hand – rock climbing or a business meeting – your mental state can determine whether you reach your full potential or fall short. Yes we all have our limits, but many of us never even get close to those limits, because of myths and stories that we tell ourselves. When we change our stories, then we can be at our best – whatever that is.