Should You Imitate Your Favorite Famous Singers?
When good singers get away with "bad" technique
You're trying a new technique, it's working for you in your song, but then you see the original singer of that song totally skipping that whole technique when they sing...so what now?
Let's talk about Jane. Jane recently found that taking larger inhales is really helping out her singing. Then she sees Jana McFamous lady singing the same song, totally skipping an inhale right before that long phrase. So now Jane wonders, am I doing it wrong? Should I skip that inhale too? She tries to skip the inhale, only to find that everything in her sung phrase seems to fall apart: vocal breaks, not lasting to the end of the phrase and some discomfort as well.
So what happened here?
What we are seeing, is that the only skill that Jane has to call upon right now to sing her phrase is the skill of taking in enough air. That is ONE skill of a skill set that's needed to last through a phrase. There are 3 main ways to last through a phrase, so what she isn't seeing is that Jana Mcfamous lady had called upon the other two skills so that she didn't need to take that large inhale.
So when you are imitating a singer, if it doesn't immediately help your singing, just set it aside for now. You may find it helps later, or it may be something extra that that particular singer is doing...and although it doesn't hurt that singer's technique, it isn't actually helping either, so you'll never really need to do that.
A good example of that was a singer/voice teacher I had worked with who was a phenomenal singer, and he had an odd habit of always having a finger to his ear. This habit was so strong that even when performing for thousands of people, he still did it. That habit seemed entangled with his singing technique. So should you do that too? It may not hurt to try it, but not really, it has very little to do with the actual skills or movements needed to sing well.