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muscle memory and singing


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There are people who sing a melody with a musical instrument. They hear the notes and repeat. When they take away the insturment, eg piano or guitar, they cannot sing the melody correctly. What was it that went wrong when they practiced with the guitar or the piano? Did they just repeat notes rather then learn how they feel and sound?

Why doesn't the standard way of teaching how to sing work for some people? Is just repeating what you hear someone or yourself play really what learning to sing is all about? This seems to be the most popular method for all styles of singing. 

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There are some people need to play an instrument while singing to actually sing well. It can help the singer get a sense of rhythm. Sometimes they may be kinesthetic learning types and it need a sense of movement to help them. I myself am more of a kinesthetic learner actually. A good example of a famous singer who simply needs to play their instrument while singing is Diana Krall. I think most of her records are done with singing and piano together at the same time.

Similar to what DM mentioned, an instrument can also be a pitch guide, it helps to at least hone in on what key you are singing in.

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