I’ll be the first to admit – I’m a terrible singer! But I’ve never let that stop me – what I lack in natural gifts I try to make up for in perseverance. I love music, and I especially love karaoke – so that prompted me to do some of my own research into how to sing better. Today I’m going to share some of that knowledge with you!
How to sing better – focus on the basics!!
Especially if you haven’t been trained how to sing, then even these basic tips may be new info for you. But even if you already know this stuff, it’s still important to be reminded of it if you are struggling at singing. Always try to keep these basic tips at the forefront of your mind when you are going to perform and the rest will follow naturally.
How to sing better – breathing
Breathe from your diaphragm. Good singing requires good breathing. It’s very simple. When you are going to sing, focus on breathing from the diaphragm. Too many of us take shallow breaths from our chest, and this doesn’t help at all.
The diaphragm is lower. You want to be taking the air in deep. Push down on your diaphragm when you are ascending a scale and release when you go down the scale again. If you are breathing right, then your abdomen will move in and out, not your chest.
The best way to get good at this is to practice on your own. Place one hand on your stomach, and breathe through your nose. You should feel your hand mouth out. When you exhale you’ll want to contract the abdomen muscles – which should feel like doing a sit up. It takes a little practice for this to feel natural when you’re singing.
How to sing better – posture matters
When you are singing, make sure your back is straight and your body is not tilted to one side. Also, take care that your head isn’t leaning too far forwards or back.
How to sing better – the chin tilt
Tilting the chin down is an important trick for hitting those higher notes with power.
Actually, people have a tendency to tilt their head back when they are going for high notes, which is actually bad for the vocal chords.
If you focus on keeping your chin pointed down, you’re gonna notice greater control and power with those high notes.
Open vowels sound better
You want to achieve an open throat. Your tongue and soft palette should be separate while you sing, with your tongue against the bottom jaw for better quality.
To practice this:
- Sing the vowels (aero) without allowing your bottom jaw to close.
Drink Warm Water
This may seem like a weird one to include in a list of how to sing better, but it really works! Water will keep your vocal chords fluid and moist so they can open and close easily. They tend to dry out fast when we use them for singing – especially times when you are nervous.
Warm water or honey and tea is best for the throat. It allows the muscles to relax. You should avoid ice cold beverages, ice lollies or ice creams
How to sing better – practice, practice, practice!
Daily practice really is a must if you want to improve your vocal chops. Treat singing as a musical discipline like any other – like you wouldn’t expect to progress at the piano unless you practiced fairly regularly right?
The best way to practice is in small installments every day, rather than spending a lot of time practicing one day a week. Daily practice is what works, and helps train the voice. So ideally, you’ve got to find somewhere quiet in your home where you won’t be disturbed and just practice.
Remember to do a warm up before any vocal practice.
How to sing better – by humming!
This may sound weird, but it works! Do some exercises you would normally do in singing – like dou – mi -sol ascending scale. Focus on the accuracy of your pitch while you hum – this can improve your pitch when you are singing for real. Humming may also be a more convenient way to practice if you are in public or at work.
Gain confidence by singing in the mirror
Singing, especially solo, is a performance. Performance arts depends on your confidence. A really good way to build your confidence before performing in front of others is to practice at home in front of a mirror or to video yourself.
Sing in front of your friends
Maybe you think you will be trying their patience right? Well, good supportive friends will always encourage you to follow your passion. Singing in front of friends you can trust is your best first audience. It simulates the live performance for real in a comfortable environment and gives you the confidence then to further pursue live singing. They are going to encourage you and give you a confidence boost.
Try to ask them for an honest critique if possible. This is especially good if you have friends who are musical, or who also sing, and can give you real constructive advice.
Singing live means getting out of your comfort zone
There are no two ways about this – you are going to be nervous, perhaps even uncomfortable at first.
You can start with karaoke at first perhaps. But eventually, if you are serious, you need to find a real live showcase. The best opportunities for beginners will be in your local area. Once you are confident enough try auditioning for a local theater group or acting classes. These can give you the confidence to be present on stage without having to sing. Take what you learn from this and apply it to singing for real then.
My tips for how to sing better basically involve getting the basics down, daily practice and live singing whenever you feel confident enough.
The best way to really progress is to make friends with fellow musicians who can help you out. Hope this helps, until next time!