How to Sing Better: 7 Structural and Affordable Steps
|Photo: Sonic Crew London|
Here are 7 structural steps you can follow to sing better:
1. Take Online Lessons
The first step is to take online singing lessons. See my recommendations here.
The reason is simple: You need to practice proper exercises and techniques.
The reason why online lessons are good for you is that they are structured, and they are affordable.
|Photo: The Full Voice|
If you focus only on free lessons from YouTube, maybe you will get frustrated. Online lessons give you guidance in a step by step progression, allowing you to move from one exercise or technique to the next. You can't find this for free on YouTube.
Secondly, online courses are WAY cheaper than real in-person lessons. Many times it can be very expensive to hire a singing coach, and very hard to find a good one, according to VoiceInc.org.
2. Warm Up Properly
You need to get serious about your warm-up routine.
This is a major problem that amateur singers have. If you think you don’t need to warm up, you’re mistaken. If you don’t warm up, you really need to start.
All professional singers warm up. Some have crazy routines, especially when they need to perform for long stretches of time.
There are some great routines available, and many instructors will provide you with proper guidance in this area.
This is a must!
3. Manage Your Breathing
|Photo: Spencer Welch Vocal Studio|
Managing your breathing is one of the most important things for singers to master.
If you can’t manage your breath, you can’t sing. It’s really that simple.
What you really need to understand is that breathing for singing, and breathing for speaking are different.
There are some excellent singing coaches that explain how to breathe properly and give you some good tips and techniques. With proper guidance, you can start to control this area.
If you’re a beginner, this is very important to understand in order to see improvements.
4. Fix Breaks & Cracks
Forcing your voice is never a good idea.
If you can’t trust your voice, that lack of confidence will cause problems when you sing on stage or in front of other people.
Cracks and breaks usually happen between registers (chest and head). If your vocal muscles are weak, your voice will break and crack as you try and increase your power or range.
So you need some vocal exercises to build these muscles up, and you need to avoid being tense or scared. A great exercise is a 5, 4, 3, 2 1 descend.
Many beginners can’t distinguish between head and chest voice, and this is why progressing through a step by step course which covers these topics is always recommended.
5. Master Power
We all want to sing with more power, however, we need to learn how to master it.
Think of all those rich people who crash their sports cars. Their Ferrari has too much power and they don’t know how to control it.
To get more power, you don’t always need to push or force your voice. More volume is not always equal to more power.
For more power, you often need to learn how to control your tongue. The placement of your tongue can cause problems as you try and sing with more power. If you pull your tongue back, it can block your airway.
One great tip is to keep the tip of your tongue pressed against your bottom teeth. As you do some exercises, notice how this affects your power.
This is just one of the many tips and strategies I’ve learned from The Superior Singing Method.
6. Hit High Notes
|Photo: Songbirds Studio|
As you’re getting ready to hit high notes, it’s always best to have a routine in place to help you warm up. Again, warm-up routines are so important as I mentioned above.
Avoiding tension and straining on your voice is key, and warm-up routines help with this. It also helps to understand that you don’t always need more air to hit high notes, you need less.
You want a smooth transition from chest power to head voice. It’s all about developing a mixed voice. If you’re just a beginner, this concept may not make great sense, and again it’s why I recommend you take some online instruction to really master this.
The best place to start learning how to sing high notes is with a staccato singing exercise.
7. Improve Vocal Range
Improving your vocal range is more of an advanced technique.
If you’re just a beginner, take my recommendation and sign up for online lessons first.
When you’re ready to increase your range, there’s a great technique which jumps from staccato to legato.
This exercise focuses on transitioning from short notes to longer notes. Practising this helps build muscle memory into your vocal cords which allows you to expand your range quickly.
Confidence is needed
Besides theoretical knowledge, you should build your own self-confidence to express your beautiful voice, as cited by Wiki How.
1. Build your confidence while alone.
One way to help you break through your nerves is to practice at home. When you practice, you need to take it even farther than usual. For example, sing louder and bolder, try different moves or act crazy. Gain confidence in yourself before trying to gain confidence in front of others.
2. Step out of your comfort level.
One of the ways you can build your confidence is to continuously step out of your comfort level. This can be many things. You may try singing in front of an audience. It may mean learning how to extend your range, or even singing in another genre. Developing your voice, trying new things, and learning everything you can help build your confidence.
3. Sing in front of friends and family.
After practising and learning new singing skills, you need to start singing in front of people. Start by singing in front of trusted friends and family members. Start with one person, then build slowly. This can help you get used to singing in front of people.
Ask them to critique you when you sing. This can help you get better if you are making mistakes.
4. Perform in your community.
Another way to build your confidence is to sing in your community. This may not be as difficult or nerve-wracking as a concert or more formal event. Look for opportunities at nursing homes or children's hospitals.
5. Go to karaoke.
Though karaoke with your friends is not a formal concert setting, singing in this environment can help you gain confidence. Though it's not helping your vocal technique, you can start to lose the anxiety you feel singing in front of a crowd.
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