Q&A: Fear Of Scales

Dear Lis,

I hate doing scales. Why can’t I just sing songs?

Alec

Dear Lis,

Exercises don’t do me any good. I want improve my range and strength singing songs not exercises.

Justin

Dear Lis,

Every teacher I go to wants me to do those ‘la-la-las’. What’s the point?

Rebecca

Dear Alec, Justin, Rebecca and all of the others who’ve asked the same thing,

You don’t play football to get ready for a football game. You do drills that focus on the abilities you will need for the game: coordination, agility, speed and strength to name a few. If you want to improve your singing, you need to isolate your particular problems. When you sing a song, you’re thinking about many things at once: lyrics, melody and emotion. How can you also think about tension, breathing or tone? The exercises help your body learn how to hit the high note, how to release the tension and many other skills that you need. Then when you sing a song the muscles that you’ve trained in the scales will operate well without you thinking about them.

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