Learning Vocals

When you start out in a band, one of the most important bits, apart from making sure you can at least hold your instrument, is the willingness to be open minded and exploratory. The more you play and practice, the better you become individually at whatever it is you play, and collectively you develop a feeling of how the combined parts of noise you’re making should sound.

Being the singer, it is of course no different. Your voice will gradually get trained to hit the right notes, you’ll work out how to hit higher and lower tones and eventually, you’ll get to a point where you have discovered how to breathe properly inbetween vocal phrases to maximise both.

This is a skill that can be taught, but it can also be learned. Getting the skills and ideas from coaching sesions is useful, but it doesn’t, in my opinion, allow you to find out why what’s important is important, for yourself.

The similarity with this in diplomacy, in PR in particular, is staggering, and is only just dawning on me.

It is important to be vocal and to share your point of view with your colleagues, especially if you disagree and you can justify why you have a conflicting point of view. Where the comparison meets is that the timing and way that a point of view is presented is all important.

If you’re vocal at an inappropriate time, or in an inappropriate volume or tone, there is a real possibility that it will do more harm than good in the long run both personally and professionally.

It’s easy to reach to a snap judgement, air your views and be done with it. It’s easy to write a scathing music review, publish it and move on. It’s easy to shout and scream untunefully over a great guitar solo, move on and eventually get thrown out of the band.

Keeping calm, rational and reasoned is a difficult skill to harness, and like most things, comes with practice if you’re not naturally born with it.

Self-expression I guess is one thing, and self-control is another, but by marrying the two the end result will be more productive and conducive to positive results in the long run.

A big hat tip to Will Humphrey for his insight.


One thought on “Learning Vocals

  1. Great post – there’s a lot to be said for diplomacy in creative disciplines.

    I feel diplomacy should always be a two-way thing, and those receiving feedback should also keep an open mind to comments and not be impulsive to criticism.

    From experience, the inappropriate tone and timing of those criticising a particular point is usually caused by the ignorance of repeated feedback. i.e. a point is raised, the point is ignored, the point is shouted louder, (repeat).

    Its not often the case any reasonable professional in any discipline begins by being overtly inappropriate unless forces external to work are at play.

    So, in a roundabout way, I guess I’m trying to say that positive results usually come when constructive feedback is both presented and listened to in an open and honest way.

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