Imagine walking into a stage, picking up the mic and singing one off your favorite songs.
Then imagine singing it so well that everyone in the audience stands up and gives you a standing ovation so loud that it melts your heart and makes you want to cry.
You would like that, right?
That's what learning how to sing and becoming a better singer does for you.
Although there is a lot of work that goes into being a good singer or even just learning how to sing, the rewards and the feelings of accomplishment you get from it is just awesome.
In this post, we will be looking at some of the things you need to do to get started on your journey to being a better singer and getting all the fame and glory you deserve.
Alright... Let's proceed
How to sing: A step by step guide
Before we begin there a couple of things i will like to make sure you understand thoroughly.
Singing like everything in life takes practice and some more practice.
You need to be ready to put in the hard work especially if your are scream singing
If you put in the time then you will definitely reap the rewards. There is no slacking here people. Be ready to work hard and make sure you practice daily.
Determine the kind of style you feel comfortable with
The first thing you want to do is to pick the singing style that you like and are comfortable with.
This is because by focusing on just one particular style you become a master at it. The truth is that later you want to learn other styles and become good at them. But for now pick one style and learn it very well.
So under singing styles, there are a couple you can choose from.
These are all different singing styles that you can pick and master. Here is a great resource on tips and tricks to help you get started in picking on of them and becoming very good at it.
When picking you singing style, there are some things you should know which will help you make a better choice.
One of them is that every voice is different.
This is absolutely true. Some people can belt a very high pitched tone required in classical or opera songs while others are more comfortable belting a low key for a rock style.
It all depends on your voice and you should remember this when picking your singing style. There are a couple of tips to help you pick your own singing style.
Here is an article I wrote that shows you how to sing like Ariana Grande
Let's take a look at some of them
You have to be unique. Yes you may need to look at some songs and pick the one you like from there but always remember to be unique and sound like you. Never be like someone else.
Find and perfect your tone and resonance. This will help you determine what you are most comfortable singing and the tones and pitches you can reach.
Find your vocal range
Your vocal range is simply how high you can go without choking or straining yourself.
Let me give you an example... Have you heard classical musicians or RnB singers like Whitney Houston sing very high pitched songs comfortably?
They can sing it at a very high not and do it comfortably? That's because they have been able to find their vocal range and perfected it.
Your vocal range depends to a very large extent on your voice and most times there is nothing you can do about it. You just need to accept it and learn how to perfect it.
For example in your church choir, there is usually a separation among the choristers...right?
You usually have the guys that sing soprano, bass, tenor and alto. This is usually the simplest form.
There are much more advanced vocal range like the Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Contralto, Countertenor, Baritone and Contrabass.
Here is a video to help you easily find your vocal range
Now you have picked your singing style and you know your vocal range. The next thing to do is to practice
Singing lessons to help you get started
To get started learning how to sing like a pro, the one thing you need to do is to practice.
We can talk and talk about how you need to make sure you do this and what you need to do to do that, but like all things you need to practice.
There are a couple of videos that you can watch on YouTube to get started. But you need to be careful because most of the videos have no idea what they are talking about.
To make sure you pick helpful videos on how to sing better, here are some tips to help you get started.
Look for videos that have a high amount of views
Also check the year it was uploaded. If it was uploaded a very long time ago and has a high number of views, this means that it is a good video.
Another thing to do is to make sure that the channel has other related videos preferably from the same author. This way you are sure that the person knows all about singing and has a lot to offer.
If you really want to take things very serious, then you need to get a voice coach.
A professional voice coach will help get the best out of your voice and make sure you avoid as many mistakes as possible when starting out.
There are some tips to look out for to make sure you hire a good vocal coach.
Here is an article I wrote that shows you how to sing like Chris Brown
The first thing you want to do is to make sure they have a good technique. It is not just enough that he or she knows how to sing properly and play a few instruments, they should also know how to build and train your voice properly.
To put it simply, they should know how the voice works and how to ensure that you get the best out of your voice.
This is because a good singing technique allows you to properly sing through your entire vocal range in a very relaxed and comfortable manner. There is no discomfort or struggle to breath and sing properly
Also a good singing technique will ensure that you consistently deliver awesome performance everytime you open your mouth to sing.
Now here is the difference between someone that has a good technique, A and someone who does not, B. B can stand in front of an audience and deliver an amazing performance today but will have a very hard time doing so tomorrow and probably the day after.
Whereas A is going to do so again and again and again.
This is definitely what you want to learn and should look out for when hiring a vocal coach.
They understand and know how to breathe
This is the second and most important thing you need to make sure whoever you hire knows about it
You see breathing is the lifeblood of a good singer.
Simply put if you can't breathe properly then you won't be able to sing properly
But one thing you should be wary of is the teacher that solely believes that breathing is everything. Now while this is true to some extent, it's not the all in all
If breathing was the main thing in singing then every yoga trainer or swimmer would become the next rated superstar. They should also have some other tips and tricks to teach you to become a very good singer.
Be able to communicate properly
A good vocal coach should be able to communicate their ideas and lessons properly without beating about the bush.
Imagine someone saying to you "make sure you give it more support"... Does that even make sense? So make sure you are very comfortable with your coach and that they are able to speak in easy to understand language.
Another thing you should check, which is a bit optional, is the kind of students they are already coaching. It is a very good sign if you can find someone that has a lot of students learning a multiple genres of music.
Vocal exercises to make you a better singer
As a singer you know that you need to practice daily right?
You also need to do vocal exercises daily that will help you become better. Look at it like a successful soccer or basketball player does not develop his skills and talents over night.
It comes from years and years of practice. That is how it should be with you as a singer. Alright, so here are some vocal exercises that you need to do daily to help you train your voice and become a better singer.
Glides through a straw. What you want to do here is to blow air through a small straw while phonating glides up and down through your range. This will help you press down on your vocal cords and reduce puffiness which is a major problem for most singers.
Lip trill. A lip trill is a slight variation of the exercise mentioned above. What yo do is you blow air gently through closed lips while singing an uh vowel sound underneath. The plan is to make sure that your lips are relaxed and the air comes out naturally.
The next one is to try and make the creaky sound an old door makes when it is being opened. This helps to build the coordination that you need to maintain proper cord closure.
Make the sound ng from the word "hung". It helps if you can pronounce it using the tongue and the soft palate together. It helps increase the back pressure on your cords.
If you are experiencing tension when singing, then you want to do this exercise. What you do is you you pronounce the sound "gee" from the word "yogi bear". When you do so you will notice that your larynx will drop. Doing this exercise helps with your cord closure due to the back pressure it creates.
At times you may have weak or breathy sounds in your lower register. What you can do is a simple vocal exercise that helps make you sound better. Try pronouncing the "aah" in "cat" by slightly sticking out your tongue. Do this daily in your lower register in a 5 tone scale ( 1-2-3-4-5 and 5-4-3-2-1)
These are all daily vocal exercises that you should do to make your vocal range better and to get faster results.
To make things easier for those of you who like watching videos, here is a YouTube video explaining some of these training.
Singing habits and tips on how to make you a better singer
As always there are some tips and basic ideas that you need to get right if you want to be a better singer. These are things that you need to get from the first day if you want to have any success singing.
Let's look at some of them and how they affect you
Remember when your mum or teacher used to caution you to stop slouching... Well it is a good thing you listened to their advice.
Correct posture helps you to breath easily and to reach your maximum lung capacity which helps you sing better. So make sure you stand tall, with one feet slightly in front of the other and your feet shoulder width apart.
If you are standing, then stand with your shoulders pulled back and down keeping them relaxed. Also make sure you keep your chest high so that your lungs are not under stress and you can breathe easily.
If you are sitting, then the same things also apply. Make sure you keep your feet firmly on the floor. Try to sit upright without crossing your legs.
When you get your posture right, then singing comes easily and you are able yo hit high notes.
Like i said earlier, learning to breathe properly is the best thing you can learn if you want to sing properly.
What you should do is to make sure you breath from your stomach and not from your chest. Push out, tightening the muscles of your stomach when you exhale.
Here is something you can try when next you want to learn how to breathe properly.
It's something called the "old school fashioned book method"
Lie on your back with your tummy facing up
Place a book on your tummy
Then sing a very comfortable tune and when inhaling and exhaling try to make the book go up and down.
This is a very easy technique to help you learn how to breath properly when singing. To read more about this check out this article here.
Do your warm ups
If you ask most sport men and athletes, the one thing that helps them deliver outstanding performance whenever, they will tell you it's doing their warm ups.
So it is with singing. Think of it like stretching or flexing your vocal muscles.
So what you can do is to sing in your middle range, then go to the low range, then the high range and back to the middle range.
This is will make sure that your vocal muscles do not crack under strain or become weak.
Make sure you spend at least 10 minutes daily doing vocal warm ups before singing. To give your voice some agility and flexibility, what you can do is to sing "do re mi" really fast back and forth.
Always pronounce your words carefully
Do you want to know the difference between an amateur singer and a professional?
Listen to the way they pronounce their words... especially the vowels
A good singer will take the time to pronounce each word carefully without sounding funny or weird. This is what you should try to master.
Also you should learn how to sing scales. What this means is that you want to identify your range and then know how to identify those notes on a keyboard or piano.
So the basic range such as the soprano, alto, tenor and bass should be practiced using the major keys.
If there is one thing i have learnt in singing and becoming a better singer, it is this...
Always be confident
Do not care what other people say about you. Keep practicing. Keep doing your thing and i bet you, you will get better.