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Vocal Challenges

This week we’re looking at the challenges you’ve faced as vocalists.

As in life, the singers journey is one that is fraught with challenges. Perhaps it is your struggle to reach that illusive ‘high note‘ or maybe it is the battle to combat anxiety or stage fright. However, whatever your problem, it is our ability to overcome these hurdles that eventually comes to define us as musicians. This week we’d like to hear about the challenges you have faced along your vocal journey. For tips & advice on issues with range or anxiety check out the useful links at the end of this article.

So the question is: What are the main challenges you’ve faced as a vocalist and what have you done to overcome them?

Have your say on FaceBook and our Forum!

Great Comments from last week:

Last week I asked:  How do you prepare yourself (both physically and mentally) for a gig?

Matt Colhoun wrote on our Facebook page

‘Water, Water, Water, and a 5 hour energy shot’.

Jeremy Thomas commented:

‘Nice cup of coffee and a run through a Gluck aria for me. Oh – and make sure we’ve not lost any of the band’.

Marie Miault responded:

Before a concert I want to be sure that all works well in my voice. I take 10 minutes to check everything and do this (they’re also some advice I give as a vocal coach myself) :

1 – Pretend you clean your teeth one by one with your tongue for about 1 minute

2 – Chew like you have a caramel in the mouth for about 1 minute

3 – Do some yawns’.

‘Reach that Elusive High Note’

‘Be a Confident Performer’ 

‘Getting Centered Onstage’


  • Jade Barbee

    I’ve always been someone with a well-developed instrument, but singing from the heart has been my greatest challenge. As hard as I tried (and believe me, if more practice was all I needed, I could not have practiced more) I just could not be present to myself/to music in the way I knew was required to really experience joy vocally and express myself from the heart consistently. I could feel it and hear it when I would listen back, and it was painful to know I was “pulling my punches” – holding back from truly expressing myself. I could sing well sometimes of course, under certain circumstances, but it was never consistent at all, which was painful too.

    It was only when I began addressing the mental blocks to expressing myself from the heart and applying EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) to my thinking that things changed for me – and what a change! Specifically, applying a little “mindful acupressure” to my limiting beliefs about myself and my abilities (“I’ll never be able to let go” was one) turned me from someone completely at the mercy of my mood and whatever mental gymnastics I could perform to someone who actually enjoys singing. I’ve been getting much more positive feedback from others too. I also don’t get anywhere near the stage fright I used to have anymore either, which has been a pleasant side-effect of my increased confidence and how much better it feels to sing. I’m a big believer that we can never “outperform” our limiting beliefs about ourselves – and if you’ve been experiencing the same challenges over and over, maybe it’s your thinking that’s to blame (and a belief is just a thought you keep thinking!) – J