When we talk about practice sessions in just about anything, most people will use the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’ and I’m sure you’ve heard that saying many times before. In this article however, I’d like to discuss what we really should be saying and that is that ‘practice makes things permanent’, not perfect.
If we constantly strive for perfection then we are bound to become dismayed at some point in the future when we don’t quite achieve that goal. How do we actually measure perfection anyway? It’s quite subjective and probably not even achievable in whatever it is we’re trying to do.
Concentrate on the Basics
With regards to singing practice, the important thing is that we are repeating the right things and not just going through the motions. If all we are doing is singing songs and repeating the same bad habits, then things will never improve.
If, on the other hand, we are practising the basics, and trying to improve our execution of those basic techniques, then our ‘default’ level of rehearsal ie where we start each rehearsal, will improve over time.
The more we repeat effectively, the more we will retain and the better the chance of things becoming permanent every time we do them. Perfection doesn’t really have a place in most musical performances as we want to experience real-life ‘emotions’ and not technical brilliance.
A technical performance may wow you temporarily, but a true emotional experience with a few errors will last a lifetime. So the next time someone says to you ‘keep practising, it’ll make your singing perfect’, just replace the word perfect with permanent and you will see a huge shift in your mental attitude towards rehearsal and also to the amount of pressure you take away from yourself.
Don’t beat yourself up striving for the perfect singing voice and perfect performance, just try your best to make the basic things become more of a habit, so that every time you sing you make great leaps forward.