Free Online Singing Classes
Free online singing classes are a great place to get started on your journey towards building the voice of your dreams. Bohemian Vocal Studio’s free Foundation 101 singing cours is one of the best and most in-depth free online singing classes available today. In these free online singing course you will set up a powerful foundation for your voice while learning how to connect chest and head voice, shape your vowels properly, improve your vocal tone, sing with balanced onsets and SO much more.
The full course is available here, but we’ll also give you an overview of the lessons below if you’d like an introduction to the content of these free online singing classes first.
Lesson 1 – Foundation
The first lesson in Bohemian Vocal Studio’s Foundation 101 singing course focuses on breathing and posture as the basis of your vocal foundation. Posture and breathing might not be the most exciting topic in the world of singing, but without a strong foundation, you will lack a strong voice.
Breathing for singing involves engagement of the diaphragm while maintaining a strong posture; head up, shoulders back, proud chest, chin parallel with the floor. The diaphragm itself is a dome shaped muscle that sits at the base of the chest cavity, and between the lungs and abdomen. When you engage the diaphragm, it lowers down towards the abdomen and creates a ‘negative space’ in the lungs that instantly fills with pressurised air – like a vacuum. This pressurised air then serves as the base of your breath support and allows your vocal folds to vibrate and ultimately resonate with sound in the vocal tract. Foundation is key to a great singing voice, watch the first episode of the course here:
Singing is ultimately a process of balance that occurs over time, not a feat of muscular strength or bravado. By setting up an efficient posture and breath support, you are setting up a concrete base for your vocal ‘house’ to be built upon, and your voice will continue to grow in a balanced and powerful way. If you’d like to see the rest of the courses and lessons, you can sign up for free here.
Lesson 2 – Releasing tension and strain
Tension and strain are poison to your vocal health, it’s important to learn how to efficiently remove strain and release tension from your voice before, and while you sing. The most common reason for tension and strain in a singing voice is improper use of muscles and tendons that have very little to do with singing, adding extra effort and strain to a process that ultimately should be easy and free of pain or tension. Lesson two in our free Foundation 101 singing course deals with all manner of causes for strain and tension in your singing and shows you a rock solid method for releasing strain every time you sing.
Tension and strain are a killer, make sure you release and tension so you can sing strain free to reach your full potential as a singer. Remember, you only have one voice, make sure you’re using it in the right way! You can change a guitar string or a set of drum sticks, but the voice you have now is the only one you will have for the rest of your life.
Lesson 3 – The power of the lip trill
The lip trill really is the most powerful and versatile of all foundation singing exercises, but what do you do when you aren’t able to sing a lip trill, or you’re not very good at singing this exercise? Singing a lip trill is easy… when you understand how to do it correctly. So many singers out there aren’t practising efficiently or making the most out of their voices by getting the most out of their lip trills. Lesson three will show you how to sing the most efficient lip trill and ultimately make the most of your practice routine.
Lesson 4 – Resonance, resonant space, and resonance placement
Your singing voice IS resonance. Resonance occurs in your singing voice when you create air pressure via an extended diaphragm and proper posture, achieve vocal fold closure and allow resonant space in the vocal tract. It’s likely that you already know how to create many resonant sounds, from M, N and NG through to V and Z – each of these sounds feature a front ‘articulation’ and a separate resonance within the vocal tract. By practising these sounds, you will soon learn to differentiate between the two and learn how to sing with resonance on open vowel sounds like EE and OH. Without resonance, you simply aren’t singing. A powerful singing voice is a resonant singing voice, and a resonant singing voice is a powerful singing voice.
Lesson 5 – Balanced onsets and balanced vocal conclusions
Your voice is capable of create three different types of vocal onset; breathy, balanced and glottal. A balanced onset is the only onset that should be built as a habit in your voice, as this is the only truly healthy vocal onset. All onsets are a result of balance between air flow/air pressure and vocal fold closure.
A breathy onset occurs when you release air before you achieve vocal fold closure, this is similar to “H” where there is an aspiration before there is sound. This is known to dry out the vocal folds and lead to vocal strain over time (this is why whispering is often seen as detrimental to the voice!), and singers who employ a balanced onset often experience flat intonation due to a lack of vibration and resonance at the vocal folds.
A glottal onset, or hard onset, occurs when you achieve total vocal fold closure before air is released, resulting in a forced and harsh attack when air pressure blows the vocal folds apart. This is also damaging to the voice and often results in a sharp intonation in a singer who makes a habit of singing with a glottal attack.
Now, a balanced onset occurs when you centrally balance the release of airflow with vocal fold closure, resulting in instant resonance, a pleasant tone, power, and ultimately a much healthier voice and vocal longevity. Lesson 5 will focus on vocal onsets and the importance of resonance in your vocal health, along with developing a resonant conclusion to your sound, sometimes called a balanced offset.
In speech we often use the front portion of our face including the tip of the tongue, teeth and lips – known as the articulators, to shape our sounds. In singing, it’s important that you shape your vowel sounds with the back of the tongue and corresponding resonant space. This allows you to sing with efficient and strain free resonance instead of with speech pronunciation and strain. Remember, singing and speaking are ultimately two separate processes, even if they do make use of the same mechanism. In the same way that running isn’t just fast walking, singing isn’t just speaking at pitch. Learn to differentiate your speech pronunciation from proper vowel creation in singing and your voice will open up like never before. Vowel shaping is key to a consistent, powerful and extensive vocal range. Lesson 6 will focus on correct vowel articulation and resonant vowels.
7 – The First Vocal Break
The first vocal break generally occurs due to a lack of resonant space in most singers. This is easily remedied by allowing space in the pharynx by way of raising the soft palate and releasing the root of the tongue. The first vocal break can be tricky to navigate at first, but once you get your first taste of resonant space you’re never go back to straining and pushing again! Lesson 7 will focus predominantly on creating appropriate resonant space so that you can navigate and ascend through your first vocal break with full connection between the registers and zero tension.
8 – Connecting Chest and Head
Lesson 8 will focus on making a strong and resonant connection between chest and head voice, first using a dark EE and OO vowel, and later a bright and powerful EE and OO vowel to illustrate how you navigate the first vocal break while allowing connection between chest voice and head voice. Chest and head are ultimately a result of the same vocal mechanism, vocal fold weight and vocal fold tension which are created by engagement of the TA (thyroarytenoid) and CT (cricothyroid) muscles respectively – identifying how and where these two registers resonate in relation to each other is the first step in learning how to make a strong connection between chest and head voice. The central connection between your chest and head voice is often called middle voice or mix voice, and occurs when you make a blend between the two resonance types associated with each register.
Connecting chest and head voice is one of the most important steps you need to take as a singer who is developing their voice and building a powerful vocal range.
9 – The Second Vocal Break
The second vocal break occurs for a similar reason to the first, but actually requires you to narrow and elongate your resonant space rather than widening your vocal tract like we do for the first vocal break. Navigating the second break is an advanced skill that will take time, practice and perseverance, but with the tips and exercises available in lesson 9 you will fast track your progress as a singer and smash through your second break in no time flat. Remember, singing is a process of balance that takes time, there is no ‘trick’ that is going to help you progress as a singer – practice, perseverance and positivity are key to navigating the second break and ultimately unlocking your high range.
The final portion of our free Foundation 101 singing course is the conclusion which will detail all the important advancements you can expect to make using the course to develop a strong foundation. Everything from connecting chest and head voice through to shaping your vowels correctly is covered in the conclusion, and really serves as a checklist to make sure you haven’t missed anything along the way, and will show you the next steps to building the voice of your dreams now that you have built a rock solid and bullet-proof vocal foundation.
Along with our free Foundation 101 singing course, the Bohemian Vocal Studio YouTube channel is chock-full of great lessons, episodes and fun videos that will help you on your way to becoming the singer of dreams and building the voice you have always wanted. Are you ready to take your voice to the next level? Sign up to Foundation 101 to start building a rock solid foundation and consistency in your singing voice every time you sing. If you need help building a powerful singing voice, or you’ve completed our free foundation 101 singing course already, I encourage you to book a Skype Singing Lesson with me so we can start extending your range and building a consistent and powerful voice together.
If you have any questions about these free online singing classes, 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.