Friday, May 6, 2011

Bad habits

How easy it is to go through life not assessing the little things about ourselves that are habitual. We support and advertise the good and ignore and grow the bad. Ignorance is bliss isn’t it! Of course not all the little habits we have within ourselves are bad but we find it extremely hard to accept someone bringing the bad ones to our attention. Being of human nature we are often offended. We shut down, taking the attitude of “what does she know anyway”.

Don’t respond by shutting down, respond with action, help yourself to fix bad habits!

In a lot of instances we don’t even recognise that we do little things that are not totally correct. Being told and made aware, constructive criticism, often hard to accept, especially when it is something that we do and consider we do well. Develop thick skin and utilize all tips and suggestions to your advantage. Do not allow them to disadvantage and handicap your development. Take it all on board and sail on!! Knowledge, something in life no one can take from you.

This blog I am dedicating to singing and acoustic guitar technique. They are just a couple of things that I myself was guilty of until a kind soul made me aware of them. I remain thankful to that kind soul. It’s the little things that if someone doesn’t mention will continue, allowing the creation of bad habits. The longer we are permitted to get away with them the harder they will be to correct.

1. Sliding: The habit of dragging the note from a place other than it’s correct origin in order to reach and deliver it. As a vocalist you hear and know the note before it leaves the vocal folds, the note is already in your head. The destination and the origin, one of the same. Smack bang right on the note, not over, not under but right on it. Practicing your scales, over and over, will correct the habit of sliding. Create habits vocally, good ones! Enhance what you have, repetition creates habits so practice correctly.
2. Chomping: The habit of cutting the word and the note with your palette without finishing or rounding the tone. It sort of sounds like you have actually swallowed the note and the words with it, quite an abrupt way of finishing a sentence or word. Rounding vowels and correct pronunciation will assist in this area. Practice and repetition, “how now brown cow”, “she sells sea shells on the sea shore”. There are heaps of these cliche’s that are helpful, so find some and work on the rounding and the finishing of words creating the habits that will flow through to your singing style and technique.
3. String Attack: The habit created when we don’t strum the correct strings for the particular chord. Not all chords require the strumming of 6 strings, nor do they require to be always approached with a heavy hand. As a novice guitarist myself these are little habits that I am finding I have had to be fixing because I was let get away with my string attack style of playing initially. Once again thank you to that kind soul.

Remember, create good habits for onstage delivery. Create good habits within yourself.

Repetition creates habits so be aware when practicing to consider all the little things. it’s the little things that make the difference and deliver the biggest rewards.

Keep Smiling!

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