“Click..click..click..click..” the metronome counts you in…the intro plays…it’s almost time to sing the first verse…and by the end of the first line, you’re already stopping the track and running it back.
This is no way to get a great vocal – that’s for sure! It can only lead to frustration and countless takes of unusable material.
Of course there are a plethora of tips and tricks to getting a “great vocal” – many of them will make your tracks a lot better. But there is really no substitute for this simple tip. It isn’t hard, and it is something that just takes a few minutes each day.
All you have to do to get an incredibly better vocal is this: practice.
That sounds lame, I know. Everybody knows that “practice makes perfect” and that it’s the key to success…yeah, yeah, yeah.
But aside from the regular ole reasons for practicing, there are two main reasons to do it for your vocals especially. Here they are:
1. When you’re recording your vocals and you are reading the lyrics off the sheet, you’re as focused on getting the words right as you are putting down a great performance. And guess what – that’s really hard to do. In order to get a great vocal performance, you must know your lyrics by heart. (Not to say that the pros can’t do that, but we can’t all be pros, right? This will help you sound like a pro, though!)
2.Experiment! When you’re recording, you’re not in the best position to be experimenting with sounds, inflections, or even melodies/riffs. The time to be doing this is while you’re practicing. Again, this allows you to focus on getting a great performance when you’re recording. That’s not to say you can’t try a few things, but knowing what you like before you start recording can really help you focus on what matters – the performance.
Both of these tips have to do with your mindset while you’re recording – which is extremely important. If you’re trying to think of a hundred different things while you’re recording, chances are you won’t be able to focus on what matters when you’re recording vocals – which is the performance. So try this out and you’ll be surprised at how much better your sessions go!