So, you want to learn how your voice works? Great, you’re in the right place! Let’s make it simple. There are 4 things every vocalist needs to pay attention to.
- YOUR EAR – though it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about good singing, you ear is where you need to start. If you want your voice to sound great, you need to sing in pitch. And to sing in pitch you need to hear the right key first. Your ear is your voice’s steering wheel. If you’re not in control of the steering wheel in your car – you don’t control where it goes. If you’re not listening to the key of the song, its chords – you won’t be able to sing the right notes, which never sounds great. Pay attention to what you’re hearing while practicing your scales or singing songs. Listen to the instruments, the chords, the rhythm – this will greatly improve your ear-voice coordination.
- YOUR DIAPHRAGM – the engine of your voice. Without an engine your car is not going anywhere. You need to breathe properly with your diaphragm – it puts the right amount of air into your lungs and underneath your vocal folds, and supports correct pressure for perfect pitch, volume and vibrato.
- YOUR MOUTH – the tongue, lips and other facial muscles control your articulation, pronunciation, and diction. You do want your listeners to understand what you’re singing, right? Each vowel and syllable is formed with the help of different mouth placements – so, your mouth is the exhaust of your car.
- YOUR VOCAL CORDS – the sound of your car everyone hears as you drive by. All vocal folds are different – length, thickness, elasticity, etc. They form a valve, that is being stretched and contracted by outer muscles, and vibrates at different frequencies, letting through the smallest amounts of air. Vocal cords are capable of producing an incredible range of pitches and harmonics – keep them relaxed, and have fun!
Let’s recap – listen to the harmony, breathe, use correct mouth placements, and keep your vocal cords relaxed.
And here are the 5 tips to sing better – quickly!
1. Sings song you actually like – life is too short for wasting your time on singing something you hate. You will only be able to commit to and perfect the songs you really enjoy!
2. Make sure to find the best key for each song – figure out your voice type. Let’s simplify. If you’re male – bass, baritone, or tenor. If you’re female – soprano, alto, or contralto. Pick out songs that best suit your range. You wouldn’t wear shoes that are too small, right? So, don’t push your voice too high or too low, either. Make sure it’s just the right key for you!
3. Learn from the great singers, past and present – both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones started with covers. Take any genre – pop, RnB, metal, rock, indie, jazz, musical theater – absolutely all successful vocalists have a good arsenal of cover-versions. Learn all techniques from the singers you like, and then put your own twist on it!
4. All lyrics AND melodies you need to know 110% – always! A hundred percent is not good enough, because as soon as you hit the stage – nerves kick in, no matter how much experience you’ve got. Every vocalist has to deal with distractions (lighting, audience, sound balance, band-mates and dancers, etc.) – and there is only one way to be sure nothing throws you off. Know both your lyrics and your melody 110%, and your performance will always be great.
5. Sing with feeling – you need to feel every word. Not every other line, not just a chorus or a verse, but you want to believe every single word that you’re singing.
And that’s it! You can print this page out, stick it on your practice mirror. Keep these points in mind – every time you’re practicing, rehearsing, recording or performing, – and you’re well on your way to becoming a great singer!
Have fun singing,