Everyone thinks that the drivers in their town are the worst. I hear that all of the time from people all over the place.
So assuming people can get better at driving how would they go about doing it?
There’s been a common myth associated with singing for as long as I can remember, which is, all you need to do is sing a lot and you’ll get better. It’s been my experience with singers that this is not necessarily so. Have you ever heard a singer multiple times that has some obvious weaknesses that never seem to go away? In fact they often get worse. Then there goes the theory of just doing something over and over will make you better.
Now apply that same theory to driving a car. Most of the people that freak you out on the road with their less than great driving skills, probably drive every day. In fact many of them probably drive at least a couple hours a day. And they’re still bad at it. Why is this?
Because, as one of my favorite saying goes, “practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” If you keep doing the same bad habits over and over, you’ll basically just get really good at those bad habits. And the longer it will take to reverse them.
Every musician secretly wants to be a drummer and I hacked away at drums for several years. I’ve always been obsessed with them for years and wanted badly to actually be good at it. Someone once suggested to me that all I needed to do was play along with songs I liked and I’d get good. Well……..not exactly. I certainly learned some things and got past the initial obstacles of what it is to have four limbs doing separate things. I even thought at times that I was getting pretty good, because it felt so right when I was playing along to a song I liked. But then I would record myself playing over a song, listen back and wonder, “who is that guy drumming, and how can he be that bad at it.” So finally I bit the bullet, bought some drumming books, took some lessons, practiced with a metronome, and saw things take a whole new form as something that actually sounded like a real drummer. And I’m having more fun with it than ever. The better I get, the easier it becomes to get even better and open up new possibilities.
Like most thing in life, you have to step outside of yourself, figure out what isn’t working, make a plan of how to address those things, roll up your sleeves, then go back in and and get to work. And repeat that process as much as you can stand it.
Now only if most drivers could see a video of themselves scaring everyone on the road silly with their crazy and dangerous driving habits, then maybe they’d make some efforts to get better at it.
And as a singer, you have the power to see progress happen, and it takes not just practice, but intelligent practice. Learn “what to learn,” so that your time is well spent and will take you where you’d actually like to go as a singer, and not just someone that resigns themselves to their limitations.
So…….what do Singing and driving have in common? That you can do something everyday of your life, and not necessarily get better. Unless you make a concerted effort to actually see improvement.
Happy driving. And happy singing. And if you sing while you drive, keep your eyes on the road. 🙂