Any type of musician faces lots of challenges when it comes to their music. Music is so great because its a universal language. However, if you don't perform it how it should be, it will loose that sense of character it needs. Being able to do this takes a lot of hard work. As a vocalist myself, I've noticed a lot of difficulties in mastering the vocalist world. Here are some things I've picked up on in my years of training to which all of us vocalists can relate.
1. You must maintain your health.
When your instrument is your voice, being sick is a nightmare. You can't sing the same way and you could potentially hurt your voice by trying. Worst of all, you have to take time off of what you love and it kills you inside.
2. "Oh, you're a singer? Sing something for me!"
This is one of the most annoying questions vocalists get. We love to sing, but we hate being put on the spot like that when you're just trying to have a normal conversation. Along with that, a lot of vocalists are singing music that you can't just go around singing. It won't sound the same as the way you would actually sing the song in a real performance, making us worry you won't know what our true voice sounds like.
3. You have to perform from memory.
Instrumentalists always get to use their music in practice and performances, but vocalists don't always have that luxury. In most cases, vocalists are expected to sing from memory and are ridiculed when they don't. I'm not trying to say that instrumentalists have it easier because their music is obviously very complex. However, it puts even more pressure on vocalists to perfect their music.
4. You have to be able to portray your message.
Not only do you have to portray the message of your song by the way you sing it, but you also need a little bit of acting skill in order to portray the character you're performing or what emotion you are trying to portray. For some, this can be hard for them to do. Yet again, another added pressure.
5. It is harder to comprehend music theory.
Everyone has their own style of learning their music. One of the nice things about singing is that there are a lot of ways to learn your music. However, when you are studying music in school, they want you to learn music in the more way. That way being learning it by understanding the rhythm and notes based on music theory, not just by listening to your songs on YouTube. However, whether trying to or not, we learn a lot of songs just by listening. It's a habit. This makes it harder to get through classes like music theory.
6. It is hard to learn different styles of singing.
Training your voice to sing in a proper way is hard, but attempting to alter it for different genres can be really hard. It's not just changing the way you do things with your hands, but its changing everything about your natural voice. It's not as easy as you think.
7. You either have it or you don't.
With instruments, you may not be an expert at first but can get there with lots of practice and dedication. However with singing, no matter how much practice or how much dedication you put into it, you will always have your natural voice. You can only train your voice so much for it to get better. Whether you like it or not, a lot of it has to do with natural talent.
8. Your voice is always changing.
Along with natural talent, your voice will change as you get older and go through life. It will always be a constant battle of trying to figure out your voice and how to work with it.
9. You need to know the proper technique.
This is the most important yet scariest part about being a vocalist. If you don't sing with the proper technique, you could seriously hurt your voice. You need to understand your body and how it works. For example, you can hurt your voice by only singing through your throat. You need to understand how to sing with your diaphram. And even if you send out the right amount of air and sing the chords correctly, singing with an improper vowel shape can ruin the sound.
There are a lot of difficulties when it comes to singing. But with lots of practice and passion, you can achieve so much. At the end of the day, the difficulties of being a vocalist are worth it.