Sunday, September 22, 2019

Singers Should Set Goals


Questions for a singer: How good do you want to be? What will you have to do to achieve that? If you sounded like you want to, how would that make you feel? What would you do with your new amazing ability? Do you know what is standing in your way? I do. Do you know what to do about it? I do. 
I once had a friend, or so he said. Still, he was a trumpet player and he practiced for an entire year and then got in a band led by a famous drummer named Buddy Rich. Before I had a gig in a major showroom in Las Vegas, I had practiced for a year. It was about 3 hours a day, including recording myself, listening back, destroying the tapes with a hammer on the sidewalk outside, being frustrated, angry, sad, and at times almost satisfied. Then after about three months, things started shifting. I was NOT working on vocal technique. I was working on control and style and making my voice sound like what it sounded like in my head, so to speak. 
I took a tape to a show producer of the show that my wife was in. We sat down together and she listened to my tape. She said, "I want you in my show, but you'll have to audition in front of the cast on stage." I did. They went wild and I was in. How did I feel? I felt ready. I felt confident. I felt prepared. I felt nervous BUT it never shows in my voice. 
Practice may not make perfect. I don't know what perfect even is. There is a thing, though, which is good enough. I knew I was good enough to play in the major leagues. I know that I could work in New York, L.A., Paris, or anywhere in the world. It's not conceit. It's not arrogance. It comes from paying your dues which you do by preparing to be a high level professional. I left one thing out. When you do what it takes to participate, the enjoyment is unbelievable. It is easy. It is your new toy and people who sit and watch and listen are having almost as much fun as you are!

Chuck Stewart, Vocal Coach