7 Quick Tips About Singing
I’m about to share with you an unbelievable secret – singing is easy. While the process of learning how to sing is often a confusing and frustrating one, the act of singing itself is a very simple and easy process which can be summed up in one single word – balance. To help you come to terms with this amazing truth about learning to sing, I’m about to share with you 7 quick tips about singing which will blow your mind, rock your word and change your voice forever.
#1 – Singing is easy
I know, I just said that, but I’ll elaborate for you. Every single aspect of singing can be traced back to balance, and every issue you experience in your voice is related to an imbalance of some kind. By developing balance in your voice and aiming for coordination rather than muscular strength or brute force, the process of learning how to sing becomes very easy and your learning curve will be cut in half.
#2 – The only person who holds the key to your voice is…
You. That’s right, not that vocal guru on YouTube who says they’re “better than everyone”, and not your local classical teacher who tells you not to sing like Chris Cornell, but you alone hold the key to your voice. Sure, someone may show you how to use the key, but the key was yours all along – don’t forget it. When you purchase a singing course or vocal method, make sure you’re not just handing over the keys to your voice to someone who is going to make you pay big bucks just to hand it back to you.
#3 – Aces high (are really aces low)
When you sing high notes, focus down towards the floor instead of looking up or focusing on how ‘high’ the note is. A downward focus allows you to balance your airflow with air pressure, resulting in breath support, which in turn makes singing high notes a much easier and more natural task.
#4 – Great singers aren’t “strong” singers
That’s right, singing is ultimately a process of balance, not one of muscular strength. If you are manhandling your voice with brute strength and ignorance, you are creating an imbalance which will result in a whole raft of vocal issues. Great singers aren’t “strong” singers, they are “balanced” singers.
#5 – Chest and Head voice can connect
I never used to believe this myself, but it is possible, and important, to bridge a connection between your registers. Not only will this result in one long, fluid, connected range that extends from your lowest note to your highest note, but it will also strengthen the balance of many different elements of your voice. Here’s a practical tutorial which will help you connect chest and head voice in a matter of minutes:
#6 – Vowels aren’t Vowels
When we speak, we use the articulators – the lips, teeth, face, tip of the tongue, to make our vowel sounds. In singing, you actually shape each vowel using the back of your tongue while allowing sufficient resonant space in the pharynx by altering your vocal tract using the root of the tongue and the soft palate. Are you pronouncing your vowels, or forming them properly? Here’s an easy way to find out – The Vowel Translator
#7 – Consonants ain’t consonants either
If you’ve been singing for some time and you’re starting to access your high range with a connection between chest and head voice – you are likely still having some trouble with your consonant sounds for some unknown reason. Well, you’re about to know the reason. When we speak, we don’t often have a specific ‘approach’ to consonant sounds or vowels for that matter – so if you sing with this same haphazard approach and guesswork surrounding your consonants, it’s obvious that you’re going to be inconsistent and struggle with specific sounds and words that you are ‘guessing’ to make. A better way to sing consonant sounds is to collect them into groups of similar types, such as sibilant, plosive, open resonant, closed resonant, glottal, and then form an individual approach to each type so that you nail them EVERY time you sing them. A great example of a consonant group approach is to replace each of your closed resonants, Y, W, R, L etc, with a vowel sound. Y becomes EE, W becomes OO, and R and L become a combination of the consonant sound and the OO vowel. So a word like “Well” would become something like “OO-ELL” instead, allowing you to resonate through the consonant instead of using a glottal stop like we sometimes do in speech. Work out which consonants are causing you bother, group them with similar consonant types and then form a consistent approach to singing them. Here’s a comprehensive guide to consonant groups – The Consonant Guide
These 7 Quick Tips About Singing will help you improve your singing voice instantly while forming better habits and a more consistent approach to singing that will work EVERY time you sing. A singer who thinks they ‘have a bad voice’ is simply a singer who lacks balance and coordination and is approaching the act of singing in a muscular manner instead of inter-playing each element of the voice against each other. Are you treating your voice like a strong man, or like a tightrope walker? One will make you a great singer, and the other will make you sing like a neanderthal. Are you balancing your voice, or are you singing with force?
A great place to find out whether you are singing with balance is the free foundations courses available here at Bohemian Vocal Studio which will show you how to set up a strong and consistent base for your voice to be built upon. I often remind my own singing students that their singing voices are only ever going to be as strong as the foundation they have built it upon. When you’re ready to take your voice up another notch to the next level with professional guidance and vocal coaching, you can Book A Skype Session and we’ll start working towards extending your range and building control and consistency in your voice every time you sing.
If you have any questions about these 7 Quick Tips About Singing, feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.