When you learn a new technique or a different way to play or sing something,
it's like your brain has planted a little seed; the idea has birthed
a tiny little plant of a better way inside of you. It's very small
and fragile, because it's just been learned - careful, you might forget
it on the way home from your lesson! You've got to nurture that better,
newer way until it becomes a solid plant you can rely on, one that stands
on its' own and carries you along. An additional idea won't help
that little seed grow, that's just another idea, another plant to grow.
What makes this new technique grow (a technique is a physical ability,
whether vocal or instrumental) is practice, physically doing the better
thing again and again and again until it becomes as normal as the old
way is now (not you thinking about it more). Every time you work on the
new way, the plant gets a little bigger, a little stronger.
Unfortunately, right beside the new, better way is a great, big, mean,
ugly plant you want to get rid of - THE OLD WAY! The wrong way, the slow
way, the sloppy way, the traditional way that has hurt you and held you
back, but it has one great advantage over the new awesome way you're
trying to learn, over the tiny plant you're trying to nurture to useful fruition.
The advantage the old way has is.........it's a habit. That great big
plant is the way you've always done it, the way your body feels is
the right way, the 'natural' way' (because you've done
that bad way forever). That's why it's so darn huge, you've
been watering it with practice for years, maybe decades (lots of the ways
we play or sing things are from habits picked up in life, not just how
we make music). The second you stop watering that new way, the old way
rushes in and says, 'I'll take over. Surely I feel better. This
is so comfortable now, the old, familiar way, isn't it?'.
Imagine that big ole method or technique leaning over the baby brand new
way, trying to intimidate it and replace it. To you the old way says 'Surely
you don't need this new way, surely you can do just fine with me,
lots of people use me, you don't need a new way, we're all quite
happy just the way we are, thank you!'. So, you've got to keep
watering that better way, that better idea, keep paying attention that
you are doing it the way it's supposed to be done until its strong
enough and natural enough to take you to the next place in your musicianship
- AND you can't find that old, bad habit anywhere at all because your
new, better way has become the natural, normal, comfortable way you always use.