Using Imitation to Develop Your Artistry

The Power of Musical Influences and Imitation

We so often tell singers to be unique and "find their authentic voice." But showing up authentically in your voice is easier said than done. You have to start somewhere! Do you know that saying "steal like an artist?" Well, that applies here, too! You can begin to find your own authentic voice through imitation and exploring various vocal styles that may or may not work for you. The big key is you “begin” here and it’s a fantastic, and really necessary, start. Here are our tips on using imitation to find your authentic voice:

1.Dig into your musical influences

There is not a singer today that doesn't sound the way they sound, in part, because of others that have influenced them.

Think about it…why do you speak how you do? It’s because of where you are from and who you were surrounded with, influenced by. Singing and artistic expression is the same.Part of who we all are as artists...and frankly as people, is due, in big part, to our influences, musical and otherwise..So, if you are trying to figure out what really sounds and feels like you, start by looking to the artists that you love and imitate them. You will soon see what works in your voice and what doesn't

2. Get outside your comfort zone

You are equally encouraged to completely get outside of your comfort zone and start imitating artists and genres that you aren't as familiar with. Have zero experience in jazz? Great. Start there, or wherever our equivalent is. You might be surprised at what great bits and pieces you pick up there that you can then integrate into your own sound.

3. Add in your unique voice, body and life experiences 

You then take the pieces from those artists and experiences that feel good and authentic to you, and you sing them with your unique voice and your unique vocal tract and body; that truly no one has but you. Then you add in your own life and artistic experiences, your personality and unique perspectives and that becomes your sound.

The most important thing to remember is that imitation is just your starting point—not the end goal. Also, there doesn’t have to be an end to artistic exploration…you can change your mind and your sound any time you like! Nashville Vocal Studio helps artists explore the idea of imitation and how to use it to fuel your unique artistry. Learn more about how, here.