Hi, all you singers out there this is Jim Dix. I want to take a second to put up a quick tip on singing, and today I want to talk about practicing - when to practice, how much to practice, when not to practice, etcetera. One of the things that's crucial to remembering, for the most effective results, for the  most effective practice is what we’re training. So yes, there are physical muscles and everything involved, but really, when we're trying to improve technique, you’re really training your brain. 

Imagine your whole vocal apparatus is a marionette puppet and your brain is the puppeteer. So really the puppeteer is what we want to train to better operate the puppet. With regard to that, we're developing new neuromuscular habits, and for that, frequency, frequency, frequency is really the thing.  

So better to practice 15 minutes everyday and say 3 hours on a Saturday and then leave it go the rest of the time. That said, we want to practice effectively. Once you reach a point where you’re tired, your voice is tired, you're feeling sore in your larynx, you want to stop at that point. Don't go any further than that. Just take a break, because what's happening is... with any musical instrument really, there are a set of muscles involved in optimal technique. Once those muscles begin to fatigue, then other muscles come in and start to get involved to compensate, and those other muscles, or our way of using those muscles, have no business being involved in optimal technique - they're not involved in optimal technique - but they have no business being involved in your technique.  

Once you're past the point of fatiguing the optimal muscles, then you're actually practicing bad technique, and it's getting worse and worse as you go on beyond that point. So you're actually moving backwards once you start past that point of fatigue. So that's the main thing to remember. 

That said, it's good to practice enough to grow, and so there's a zone of engagement of those muscles, and the brain, where you're engaged enough to grow, you know you're challenging yourself, you're pushing the envelope, making new discoveries, and you're reinforcing the good habits that you've already built. 

You want to stay in that zone. Under that zone, you're under training and you're not going to get much of a result. Overdo it and you're going to start moving backwards from that point, so again you're going to be in a self-defeating mode.  

That's the main thing to remember about practicing: stay in the zone.  

That's about it for today's quick tip. I’m Jim Dix, and if I can be helpful to you, if you're looking for private lessons in the Delray area, please feel free to contact me just go to my website, and I wish you well in all your singing Adventures 

Jim Dix 

(561) 573-5719