We've all had a good karaoke session thank to Youtube but can you teach yourself to sing just using the platform?
A quick search reveals a multitude of videos and creators promising to help you sing better, but will they? I'm going to break down what can be achieved through Youtube and compare the platform to a vocal coach.
.It is lovely to see so many vocal coaches offering their expertise online for free! Through Youtube you can definitely learn a lot about basic vocal technique, breathing, posture and some videos also offer exercises to practice. A YouTuber I would highly recommend is Cheryl Porter, her content is extremely informative and her energy is contagious!
The dangers of learning to sing on Youtube
Although Youtube is full of information the advantage of having a vocal coach is that you will receive immediate feedback on your voice, not only does this help you improve faster but feedback also protects from injury. Although many Youtube videos outline how to do exercises there is no way to guarantee you are practicing correctly or safely, prolonged practice of incorrect technique can lead to many different vocal injuries that require long rehabilitation and in the worst case scenario can cause permanent damage. There is also no way to know how qualified voice coaches are online as the platform does not check the qualifications of its content creators or fact check their videos. Most singing teachers in the real world will have a website where you can check their qualifications, experience and specialties.
How to utilise Youtube for singer safely
Although I would not recommend solely relying on Youtube to learn how to sing, it can be useful for both voice students and teachers in the following ways:
1) As an example: Footage of professional vocalists displaying good technique and sometimes footage of incorrect technique can be useful for students to hear when learning about an aspect of vocal technique or to help develop goals.
2) To supplement training: If the student has a questions between lessons it may be helpful for them to look it up, however I would always recommend showing your teacher what you found so they are able to check the information is factual.
3) As a tool for practice: There are a lot of Karaoke or instrumental versions of songs on Youtube and so these may be utilised for home practice. There are also many videos that play scales (Find some great ones on the Rachel Jane Vocal youtube channel).