• Chetneet Chouhan

What I learned while preparing to sing in 5 days

Insights into Mastery


The time started to move fast since I committed to my singing + piano performance, that's going to take place in mere 5 days.


There was obvious non-linear progression during skill acquisition. One day was spent seemingly zero progress[8] but later this served as the basis for more advanced technique.



There were 4 dragons[3]/stigmas that I needed to slay.

  1. The stigma of singing.

  2. Learning to play Piano

  3. Fear of stage.

  4. Finding the song.

The stigma of singing.

Fundamentally different approaches exist in the west and east to singing.

Easter approach was, you have to have good voice that sound pleasant. Else you can't sing. And this got reinforced from my family as well as Derek Sivers's long list of him trying to learn sings.


But western[2] ideal is, you sing meaningfully[1]. What you sing is more important than how.

I am not denying the case singing training but for a college party, I will get a pass.

Passion (or display of it) helps a lot.

Learning to play piano

Whenever I hear that I have to learn to play a musical instrument, incoherent thoughts of having to do it for 10 years with 3 hours each day of deliberate practice. But thanks to this [5] Ted talk, this wasn't the case.


It's like a phone game demonstrating people's mutable experience as they keep making assumptions about what really is heard.

Fear of stage

As I have already stated, I don't feel fantastic around the stage. Hence facing the dragon [7] voluntarily [8] helps a lot.

Song composition

You can't just copy and paste lyrics and practice them. Taking the environmental factor into consideration, you need to have a sense of how much time and for how long.


A short song is easier to practice in a short time. Else long songs don't allow enough iteration that will build confidence before the performance.


I cut short the already short song Wakeup by Eden and even during the final performance, I cut it further down unintentionally (anxiety).


The most valuable source I find was this video[4] by Ali Abdaal, he sings too well.


This is the final result. Hope you enjoy it.




 
  1. Meaningfully, I find that western songs are more focused on the content and music behind it, not the quality of vocal. Its not always the case but I personally noticed it.

  2. Western, I meant songs that are in English (in contrast to Hindi eastern).

  3. Metaphorically speaking (inspired by Jordan Peterson).

  4. He used a mathematical formula that you replicate on piano during cords of your song cords.

  5. 10,000 hours you need for mastery, but for getting "good"[6], you don't need to put in only 20 hours of deliberate practice.

  6. By "good", I mean, people won't recognize I suck. Which as you can clearly see, I failed.

  7. Not dragon literally dummy.

  8. Plateau as they call it. If your life is a good one, the majority of it will be spent on the plateau.

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