The Truth About How Long it Takes to Sing Well
One of the most common questions I get as a voice teacher is: How long will it take to sound good?
It’s at these moments that I wish I had a string holding all the CDs of voice lessons I’ve taken strung around the room.
It would probably stretch the length of the walls.
I have taken a LOT of voice lessons.
And while I still think I’m a long way away from finding the vocal freedom that some legends make look so easy (Jeff Buckley, Hozier, Sam Smith to name a few), I know that I’m not a true beginner either.
For that, I have some great teachers and tons of practice to thank.
Some experts claim 10,000 hours of dedicated practice is one of the requirements to achieve mastery at anything.
I know I’m still pretty far from that mark.
So back to the question: How long will it take to sound good?
For me personally, I saw the difference in my voice in 3 months.
But normally I advise people that it might take 6 months or more for them to notice a distinct difference.
As a teacher, I get the results that I want out of my students nearly every lesson, but that’s not always the same thing they want to hear.
In every lesson, you have to set the bar in different places for different people.
For every voice, there are strengths and weaknesses.
I often make the analogy of a $5 violin and a $5,000 violin.
A virtuoso player can make a $5 violin sound flawless, while a total amateur can coax only shrill squeaks out of the $5,000 violin.
I turned to Anders Ericsson’s study of violinists at Berlin’s prestigious Academy of music to find the REAL answer to this age-old question.
Which instrument do you have? Who knows?
I’m not even sure that’s the right question.
The right question is are you going to let a predetermined factor of your life (such as vocal physiology) stop you from becoming an expert with whatever instrument you’re blessed with? The choice is yours.