I was wondering what you think is the most important thing to work on when you’re just starting out.
Hey Jay, GREAT question!
Of course, this is all a matter of opinion, but for me the answer to this question is knowing what you’re looking to accomplish.
To me, this is going to dictate what all you need to learn in order to accomplish your goal. For example, if you ultimately want to be a studio singer, then you won’t have to take the dance or performance classes that a Musical Theatre buff would. I know this sounds somewhat obvious, but there are a lot of singers out there who focus on just singing, which cripples down the road. But, if you plan ahead and know where you’re going and all that you’ll need, then you’ll be much better off.
But if I were to change the question to what’s the most important thing to work on when it comes to vocal technique, it’d be this…
Singing should be as easy as speaking. Most singers when they start out are constantly manipulating their instrument to get the sound they want. While I think playing with your voice is a worthy idea, I also believe that the singers that can consciously “allow” their voice to work, making sure that there’s no tension in the tongue or swallowing muscles, will be much better off in the long run.
Said differently, it’s best to avoid heavy tensions early on so that you don’t create bad habits.
To check whether or not you have unnecessary tongue tension, simply feel under the chin and see if it’s tense. Your tongue is a muscle just like your bicep, and it’s rather easy to feel whether it’s flexed or not. By pressing your tongue under then chin, you can feel whether your tongue is free or not.
I hope this helps.
ps – If you’re reading this, feel free to comment with your thoughts or other questions that you may have below. Let’s help each other!