Knowing that a person who has a pleasant voice can sing is a great starting point for anyone interested in learning how to sing. That wouldn't be enough, though, for you to become a great singer. You should learn proper singing techniques. By doing so, you'll get the most out of your voice, belt out high notes, and hit low notes, while still enjoying the benefits of using the right technique.
Importance of Singing Techniques
Some people have this notion that you are either born a singer or not. That leads them to believe that no amount of techniques can help them evolve into a better singer. In reality, there are three reasons why you should learn the proper techniques of singing, and they are for you to:
1. Maintain Good Health
Singing techniques have been continuously evolving. People have been finding new and different ways to safely and efficiently use the voice while pushing the boundaries of where we are capable of taking it.
However, when singers discover their voice as an instrument, they are eager to know more about it, what it is capable of, and how it exactly works. That makes it very likely that they end up pushing themselves too far. Many of us, even those who aren’t interested in singing, have experienced vocal strain after pushing it past its limit.
That can happen when:
- You try to hit those high notes on your drive then left with no voice at the end of it.
- You had a yelling match with your partner, kids, or irritating neighbor and ended up feeling croaky the morning after.
- When you are singing or screaming along at a rock concert and waking the next morning mute.
The vocal cords are quite tiny and have to be cared for properly. They are capable of doing amazing things only if your body can support them correctly. Thus, you should train your body to work efficiently to produce the sound you are going after.
Even world-renowned singers have ended up having vocal surgeries because of injuring their vocal cords as a result of overuse or inefficient technique.
2. Ensure Consistency
Learning to sing correctly will need a lot of practice. Replacing your old singing method with a newer and more technical approach will mean you have to build your muscle memory. Your muscles will start to remember the new, streamlined techniques and then replicate it repeatedly, making your singing voice more consistent.
Over time, you won’t even have to think about putting together the new technical pieces you have learned. Your body will automatically use it without even thinking about it.
Without proper technical knowledge, you will notice that you may have completely nailed a particular song during one singing session, but the very next time you sing it, it is complete rubbish. That's where consistency needs to come in. It ensures you would nail the same song every single time, helping boost your confidence, too. When consistency in your voice sets in, you start to build faith in your ability.
Only when that happens is when you let go of thinking about technique and allow yourself to feel the music, which is something every true singer is looking to feel.
3. Sing With Variety
A variety of sounds is another by-product of learning the singing techniques properly.
Once you are well-versed, you can sing using different styles and even change the color of your voice to suit each one. It is a common misconception that as singers, we only have one voice, and it will sound as good or as bad as it naturally comes out.
However, once you have worked with the right singing techniques for a while, you can learn a ton about changing your voice’s tone.
After learning vocal techniques, you can experiment with dark and bright sounds, breathy tones, loud, strong, nasal, quiet, and everything else. With all that, you will be able to learn what you exactly like and do not like.
Proper Singing Techniques
We are confident that you now understand why learning the right techniques of singing is so crucial. Now, we move on to talking about some of the top singing techniques you can adopt to become a better singer.
1. Let Your Diaphragm Work for You
While your abdomen is indeed the starting point, it is not even half of the battle.
To become a great singer, you must learn to breathe like one, and for that, you have to breathe into your back and ribs. By this, we mean that the area around the empire waist, right under the breasts, should expand in an outward direction. That is the only way your diaphragm can drop and pull in the air into those deeper recesses of the lungs.
Start right away by getting your diaphragm work for you rather than against you.
2. Open Up Your Throat
Try laying your fingers across the top of your throat and then open up your jaw. You should feel your throat moving down. Now, keep your fingers on the top of the throat and pinch your cheeks down hard between your teeth. Keep doing it until you find your throat moving further down. It is the stretch that is extremely good for opening up the throat.
Ensure that you are doing this every single day. Also, practice a few of your vocal techniques with a pinch to improve your laryngeal depth. It is one of the best ways to open up the throat before and while you sing.
3. Drop Your Jaw
When you have to sing vowels, make sure that you are dropping your jaw. By doing so, you will bring in more volume and sound to your voice, making it sound more magical.
4. Think of "Down" for the Higher Notes
Compare your voice to that of an elevator. When an elevator rises, a heavy chain does the job of pulling it down, and when it goes lower, the chain lifts. Think of your voice in the same way. You need to reach down for those high notes and lift it for the lower notes.
To actually see this in action, simply take a look at your favorite artist's live performance. They will not lift their chins when they are belting out those high notes.
5. Keep the Tongue Down
When you sing with a high tongue, it will end up causing a lot of issues. By this, we are referring to the back of the tongue. A high tongue is one of the crucial problems with transitioning through the “break”, nasality, and a tight and tense voice.
Open your mouth and let out a gentle yawn. See whether you can drop the back of your tongue when you begin your yawn. It may take a bit of practice before it actually lowers, and this is not something that you can force. Dropping your tongue before and while you sing can help you control your voice well.
To help you get this process started, imagine that you have something in the back of your throat, are swallowing a bunch of medicines, or drinking a glass of water.
6. Keep the Chest Up
When you drop your chest while you are singing, it causes vocal strain and a lack of breath control.
It also means that you end up singing from the throat and lose your breath very quickly as soon as the chest drops. Notice if you are dropping your chest towards the end of the phrase and constantly practice to keep it up throughout the entire phrase. The main goal here is to keep the chest lifted with your neck and shoulders relaxed as you are singing. When done correctly, your breathing control will improve in no time.
7. Avoid Singing With Too Many H’s
You will notice that all great singers will avoid overusing, and some may even eliminate the H’s in their voice. For instance, when you are singing “You-hoo-hoo" vs. “You-oo-oo".
H’s are typically added when the singer sings many notes on a single vowel. This is a minor adjustment that an untrained voice has to make as the pitch changes. Having too many H’s will make the voice sound choppy as well as amateur. By limiting them, you instantly make your voice sound smoother.
Top Tips to Continue Learning and Improve Your Singing Techniques
With all the singing techniques that you need to learn and keep in mind, here are the things that you need to do to stay on track and improve:
1. Keep Practicing
We cannot stress enough how important it is for you to keep practicing. For you to move on from singing in the bathroom to performing live in front of an audience, practice is absolutely essential.
You need to know exactly when, where, and how long you need to practice. Among the three of them, the "where" part is fairly simple. You need to practice somewhere where you are not disturbed by anyone or anything.
Choose a room wherein you can move comfortably and preferably has a mirror to watch yourself sing. "When" should you be practicing depends on your schedule and circumstances.
Keep a set schedule and make an entry on your calendar app on your phone so that you are more likely to do it. Choosing the time of the day depends on you, but keep yourself away from distractions like your phone, TV, and the internet to maximize your concentration. Additionally, keep all your materials ready and organized before every session.
For "how long" should you be practicing depends on the level of your skill. If you are new to singing and practicing it, we recommend no more than 30 minutes a day since you still need to strengthen those muscles. Over time and with constant practice, you can practice up to 60 minutes every day.
You have to be patient since anything worth achieving takes persistence and cannot be rushed. Lastly, make sure that you also keep listening to yourself by recording and using headphones to check your progress. That will allow you to fine-tune your voice further.
2. Look for Quality Vocal Instruction
Learning to do something correctly for the first time is crucial. While you can read books on singing to expand your knowledge of technique and practice skills, it can be a bit of a bore and turn lifeless over time.
If you are extremely serious about improving your singing voice, we recommend hiring a vocal trainer. It may cost you anywhere between $25 and $75 per hour, but they are worth it. Additionally, you can sign up for a professional course that can last for a few months.
3. Take Adequate Rest
Singing is an intense workout for the lungs and muscles. Besides consistent practice, it is also essential that you give it a break a couple of times.
If you practice for an hour daily, be sure to take a five- to 10-minute break. In a week, leave a day for your vocal cords to rest as well.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Regardless of what genre of music you sing, you must drink a lot of water. Keep it at arms reach whether you are just practicing at home or performing live on stage.
Preferably consume room temperature water since cold water tends to freeze our vocal cords, which in turn affects our ability to sing.
We also recommend making it a habit to drink a cup of hot tea with some honey or lemon everyday. It will help in cutting through the phlegm in the throat.
5. Maintain Proper Posture
It is important to keep your body parts aligned and prepare them to support your voice while eliminating tension. The tension affects your mood, makes you feel uncomfortable, and restricts airflow, affecting your singing voice.
Mastering Correct Singing Techniques
Learning and following proper singing techniques with or without the help of tools or trainers comes with many benefits. Not only will you sing better, but you'll be sure that you won't risk your health.
With consistent practice, you will reach your goal of singing with an amazing voice without straining your vocal cords.