Are you in a vocal rut?

I’ve seen it from both sides; as a singer and as a teacher. It’s that feeling like you’re moving nowhere with your singing, perhaps even rolling backwards. You’re still struggling with the same difficult passages in your songs. You’re not feeling any emotion when you sing. You find that you’re bored with your music. These are symptoms of a greater problem. You’re in a vocal rut! Here are some suggestions:  

  1. Try out new material – go for a new style, a new genre, something you would never have thought of doing. For instance, if you’ve been singing pop your whole life, try a classical piece, just to see if it wakes you up.
  2. Go back and revisit old material – you may be surprised at how different old songs will sound after studying voice for several months. Songs that may have been too difficult before could be a breeze this time.
  3. Write a Song – Stop singing songs that are boring! Try writing your own and then sing it. Sing it to its fullest potential as if you were performing on stage.
  4. Reinvent a Cover – Take an old classic rock tune and change it up. Slow it down. Speed it up. Change it from major to minor. Make it your own. See if you discover something unique in your voice and style while doing it.
  5. Seek out new vocal routines – perhaps your daily vocal work out is more like assembly line work and needs to be revamped. Ask your teacher for some new exercises that will stimulate new parts of your voice. There are also books available that come with CD’s full of exercises.
  6. Reassess your career goals – If you have singing career goals, then maybe it’s time to sit down and see where you are on your time line. Are you inching closer to your goal or are you moving away from it? Sometimes it can stimulate your vocal muscles just to remind yourself what you’re heading for. What if you’re a hobby singer? If you’re in a vocal rut as a hobbyist, maybe venture out and try a new hobby, even if it’s just temporary.
  7. Find a new teacher – ouch. No seriously, a new teacher can discover things your current teacher (me or other) never would. He or she could even stretch you further than your current teacher would dare. I have an open door policy. If you want to go try some new things with some new teachers you’re always welcome to come back.