Free Singing Tips That Work [Even If You Can't Sing]
Think you can't sing? I thought exactly the same thing until I was shown these free singing tips! Even if you can't sing, these free singing tips will have you singing with ease in no time at all.
While these free singing tips really DO work wonders - there's no magic bullet for great singing; you have to put in the work, practice regularly and commit yourself to better singing technique.
This was something that I really struggled with when I first started singing - if it sounds okay, then it must BE okay, right? Not necessarily. If you have to push, or something feels uncomfortable when you sing, then you're putting your vocal health at risk, and we don't want that! The key to great singing is to develop coordination between each motor skill of the voice, coupled with figurative control of your resonance - its' easier than you'd think.
The Four Principles Of Great Singing
Every single vocal technique out there, from the basics like diaphragmatic breathing right through to vowel modification and compression fall under the banner of these four principles and nothing more, it really is that easy. If you've been struggling to sing, I'd venture a guess that you feel overwhelmed with all the different things you have to do like breathing, vibration, fold closure, forming vowels, twang, compression, blah blah blah - we can go on for days.
What if I showed you a MUCH easier and straightforward way to sing?
The four principles of great singing are as follows;
- Consistent Airflow
- Height In The Vocal Tract
- Forward Placement
- Mixed Tonality
...And that is absolutely it, there is no other concepts that you need to work on, or that don't directly relate to one of these four simple key vocal principles.
Compression, Diaphragmatic Breathing, Fold Closure, Inhalare La Voce - yes, these can all be boiled down into Consistent Airflow. Vowel Modification, Resonance Tuning, Raising The Soft Palate - these all relate to Height In The Vocal Tract. Masque, Twang, Placement, Singing Forward, Buzz, Brightness - these all relate to Forward Placement. Mixed Voice, Blending Resonance, TA and CT coordination, Cry - these all relate to Mixed Tonality
As you can see, there are a LOT of confusing and complicated terms and techniques out there that can simply be approaches as part of these four vocal fundamentals - Consistent Airflow, Height In The Vocal Tract, Forward Placement and Mixed Tonality. And one step better than this, is that I can SHOW you how to do each of these fundamentals in about 5 minutes flat - it really is that easy to sing better.
How To Sing With Forward Placement
Many beginner singers are scared of the idea of forward placement - I mean, who wants to sing bright and brassy, right? The truth is, even deep singers and the richest of classical singers are actually using forward placement to project and inject effortless power into their voices.
Forward Placement isn't actually a nasally sound in your vowel, it's actually very specific use of your main vocal resonators - the pharynx, oral and nasal resonators.
When most singers are shown to sing with forward placement using common sounds like NYAH or NYAA with twang - they often fail to make a connection between a really nice tone and this bratty nasal buzz that they get. But here's the kicker, you don't actually sing with this bratty, brassy sound when singing, you actually form your vowel in the pharynx for a deep and rich tone while balancing a touch of brightness in the front of the voice.
A great way to discover forward placement without the brass in your singing voice is to move from a twangy, bright sound like a "WAH" or "WAA" cry - a sound that you would expect a cartoon baby or duck to make; into an open vowel like a nice rounded AH, like the word "Hard". If you do this in the right way, you'll notice that the soft palate opens up into the back of the head and your tone instantly becomes rich, deep and full - bright, yes, but not brassy.
Singing with vocal placement is easy - but it's an incredibly important aspect of any healthy and powerful singing voice. Don't be scared of the brassy, bright sound that you get when you practice, as this will be balanced out with the next tip;
How To Sing With Height In The Vocal Tract
The soft palate is as intrinsic to great singing as the vocal folds are. Without proper use and control of your soft palate, you will not achieve height and space in the vocal tract.
Many singers are incorrectly told to "Smile Wide" to achieve a raised soft palate, but the true technique for creating height in the vocal tract is actually the "Internal Smile" where you raise the cheeks under the eyes, keep your eyes open and bright, allow your cheeks to sink at the back of your mouth a little to avoid a wide smile at the lips, and finally allowing your soft palate to raise as you inhale from this facial posture.
The Internal Smile has very little to do with your lips, and everything to do with setting up your vocal tract - so if you find yourself widening into a Joker Smile every time you strain, you've just found the root cause of your tension.
Another great way to discover the soft palate is to inhale from a silent "K" consonant. Basically, if you place the middle of your tongue up to the centre of your mouth just like you're about to speak a word that starts with "K" like "Kid" - but instead of vocalising, breathe in from this position with a little bit of pressure building up before you lower the tongue. What you'll notice when you get this right is a "cold" feeling in the back of the mouth as the soft palate raises up into the pharynx - yes, just like the beginning of a gentle yawn!
Achieving height in the vocal tract is one of the most important fundamentals of any singing technique - without the soft palate raised and engaged, then your range will suffer and your vowels will be speechy instead of open and resonant. When it comes to increasing vocal range - the soft palate is king.
As you can see, complicated vocal terms like Open Throat are really just referring to the base fundamentals of a great singing voice, from height in the vocal tract to consistent airflow, forward placement and a mixed tonality, which we'll talk about in the next singing tip;
How To Sing With Mixed Voice
What is mixed voice anyway? Mixed Voice really comes in two different forms depending on who you speak to and which method they are peddling. Mixed Voice refers both to the physical mechanism of balancing weight and tension in the vocal folds/the body and edge of the folds using the TA and CT muscles, as well as more simply the blend of resonance between Chest and Head Voice that occurs when you do so.
I often refer to mixed voice as a form of resonance, or simply Mixed Resonance to avoid confusion.
The key here is to use a tonal quality that is equal parts head and chest voice so that your folds can balance how thick and how stretched they are, while allowing a blend of resonance in the middle of your voice, and in either direction proportionally.
Basically, your speech "chest voice", as least for most guys that is, is really only making use of one half of your vocal mechanism - no doubt you've found it hard to sing high notes with your speaking voice, so instead you 'flip' into falsetto where the folds don't meet efficiently, which obviously sounds weak and crappy. Instead, you need to move away from your speaking voice and learn to sing with an open, bright and supported mixed tone that is both pleasant, but also assertive - which I sometimes refer to as "Classroom Voice" because it's the voice you would use to get the attention of a classroom full of rowdy kids "Okay everyone, pay attention". You're not going to yell at the little cherubs, but you're also not going to let them walk all over you - so it's a pleasant and assertive tone.
You'll notice that this tone allows you to sing higher chest voice notes without strain and tension, while also allowing you to connect fully between chest and head voice as though your voice is one long fluid note from lowest to highest pitch.
For me personally, discovering mixed resonance was a game changer in my singing and is a key aspect to The Foundation Vocal Method that I've designed specifically to help singers like you that want the true meat-and-potatoes vocal steps that other approaches and coaches often shroud in mystery or package as a 'secret' in their courses.
Remember, there's no secret to great singing - only the four fundamentals of great singing.
The Final Fundamental - Consistent Airflow
This one is actually the most simple of the four vocal fundamentals that we're going through - and I like to refer to it with my students as singing "All In One Flow" rather than staccato like we often do in speech.
Resonance is created by vibration of your vocal folds - and when you interrupt the vibration of your folds, you interrupt your resonance, period.
A great example of this is the Soundgarden song Black Hole Sun where Chris Cornell sings "... won't you come" in the chorus. Instead of a speechlike "Won't. You. Come", instead he sings something closer to "wAHnchookAHm". Now, this doesn't mean you have to slur your words and sing like you're from Seattle, it simply means you need to take care to make the most of your vibration and resonance where possible.
This is especially important on your onset (how your resonance begins) and also through the middle of your range where there is a change in the coordination of the folds themselves. Instead of holding your breath and singing "GGGUH", you should instead use a slight sigh on the onset to create a perfectly pitched and placed "AH" that has no glottal stop before the resonance begins.
Likewise, through the middle of your range you'll probably feel a bit of pressure or pull in your airflow or you might even start to push a bit - the key here is to release a touch of air like an imaginary "H" to ensure consistent airflow. On the flipside, if you're a hyper breathy singer with an aspirate delivery, you'll benefit greatly from holding your air back a touch on the onset and through the middle of your range.
The key here is working out the exact approach YOUR unique voice needs to achieve consistent airflow in your singing.
Instead of continually telling you just how important these four vocal fundamentals are in great singing, I'm going to show you - here's a few quick examples of exactly what I'm achieving now that I've developed my vocal foundation; just imagine the killer singing voice you're going to enjoy when you learn these four simple fundamental steps!
Want To Know Whether You Have What It Takes?
If you want to know whether you really have what it takes to become a great singer, this quick vocal quiz will calculate your potential for improvement as a singer - it's just a few simple questions, but incredibly accurate at estimating your potential as a singer; most singers are absolutely SHOCKED by the results!