By Robin Earl
My son had a basketball practice the other night. It was going to be the only practice they had as a team before their double-header the following Saturday.
It was not only a good practice, it was a great practice. I have seen years of practice where the kids are going through the moves, but still making the same mistakes over and over again. This practice was different. The coach focused on “Basic Fundamentals.” He must have said it 30 times, and the boys repeated it. He had them say “Basic Fundamentals” so many times! They worked on lay-ups, left and right—They worked on details, “Basic Fundamentals” of dribbling, passing, and shooting. The improvement in an hour and a half was amazing in these 7th grade boys.
Of course it made me think about coaching singers. I have had singers come to me who have had years of singing lessons and have never had learned Basic Fundamentals. I was one of these people; I had several years of lessons before I met a coach who told me I needed to start over and learn how to breathe right–back to Basic Fundamentals! I was impatient about it, but I knew he was right, and glad I stuck with it.
Connecting breath and support is a Basic Fundamental. Accessing your entire range effortlessly without a break is a Basic Fundamental. Mouth shape, placement, use of dipthongs, singing on vowels? Basic Fundamentals. Releasing throat and jaw tension are also Basic Fundamentals.
Good singers can become great singers if they revisit Basic Fundamentals.
Which areas of singing are most challenging to you?