Get a Good Singing Voice [With Online Voice Coaching]
Is it really possible to learn how to sing when you simply have a bad singing voice or a bad voice in general? What does it take to get a good singing voice? Singing itself is actually a very simple process that relies on air pressure, vocal fold closure and efficient resonance and very little else – the process of learning HOW to do it, however, is often a very complicated and confusing task, especially when you’re not necessarily a naturally good singer. Here’s 5 tips to help you get started on your way to get a good singing voice!
One of the most important keys to singing that I wish I had been shown from day 1 is the fact that singing is an act of balance, not one of muscular force. With a low voice like mine, it’s especially important to sing with balance and consistency instead of trying to manhandle and control your voice before you truly understand how your voice functions and you find your true voice.
How to sing in mixed voice
Mixed voice is the concept of singing with either both chest and head voice at the same time, or better yet, singing with a third honorary register that is sometimes called middle voice. If you want to learn how to sing in mixed voice, you must first learn how to sing your vowels correctly – the efficiency with which you sing your vowels dictates how well you resonate, and ultimately whether you can sing in mixed voice.
The first place to start is learning how to connect chest and head voice, which is a simple task easily achieved by practicing semi-occluded exercises like lip trills. These semi-closed sounds are much easier to connect and sing light than a wide and open vowel like AH or AY. Over time the mechanism that is currently split between chest and head voice will join together to form one long, fluid note that goes from your low range to your high range with connection, resonance and power.
When your registers connect in a fluid way through the middle of your range, you can then strengthen this connection by developing and working on the concept of mix voice. Mixed voice occurs when you learn to sing with efficient resonance through the middle of your voice when there is a shift in the resonance between chest and head voice and has very little to do with your registers like you might be expecting.
What is a good singing voice?
Here’s the thing, there is no such thing as a bad voice, only an untrained voice that lacks balance. If you feel like you just have a bad voice, you need to ask youself the following simple questions before you resign yourself to pitchy singing and vocal strain.
- Are you singing with balance?
- Have you set up a strong foundation?
- Are you shaping your vowels?
- Are you allowing appropriate resonant space for you vowels?
- Are you breathing using the diaphragm and singing with support
- Are you placing your frequencies?
- Are you mixing your voice and blending your resonance?
You need to be honest with yourself about these questions. If you’re leaving out just ONE of these important steps, you’re allowing an imbalance in your voice and causing the issues you perceive as a ‘bad voice’. If you sing without proper posture, you will lack support, if you singing without a blend of resonance (aka Mix voice), you will experience a vocal break, if you sing without shaping your vowels you will lack resonance, if you sing without placement you will experience vocal strain and so forth – every aspect of your voice that you think is simply ‘bad’ can be explained and remedied by one simple word… balance.
How to sing better
Singing is actually a very simple process – don’t forget this when you hear about complicated concepts like vowel modification, compression, modes and mixed voice; if they don’t make singing easier for you, you’re either not doing them correctly, or you don’t need them. If you want to learn how to sing better, setting up a strong foundation is the first step you need to take. Foundation in singing starts with posture, breathing, placement and shaping your vowels. Posture in singing starts with head up, shoulders back, facing forward and proud chest/wide ribs – this will then allow you to breathe using the diaphragm instead of contracting your ribs when you exhale in the manner you do when you speak. Speaking and singing are ultimately two separate processes, even if they make use of the same mechanism – just like walking and running.
To breathe using the diaphragm, a really simple trick is to imagine breathing low and sharp as though you are inhaling through a small drinking straw. After a little practice, it will feel as though your breathing happens around your belly from side to side instead of in your chest. Once you’ve mastered the two basic steps of setting up your posture and breathing, you will then be able to sing with support, or what is sometimes called Appoggio. Support occurs when you moderate your air pressure and air flow through retaining your posture and diaphragmatic control instead of aspirating air via rib contraction like we often do in speech.
How to sing vowels
Singing vowels the right way is imperitive to a great singing voice and is often overlooked by many beginner singers as an important part of the vocal mechanism. When you sing, you actually shape your vowels using the back of your tongue while allowing appropriate resonant space using the root of the tongue, soft palate and pharynx.
The best way to illustrate vowel shaping to you is to have you alternate between singing an EE vowel and an AH vowel – can you feel how your tongue rises for the EE sound and lowers on the AH sound? Congratulations, you just shaped your first two vowel sounds. Learning to match the sound of your words with these vowel shapes is the key to improving your singing voice instantly – the better you get at shaping your vowels, the better your singing voice will become.
Remember, singing is a process of balance, not one of muscular force – are you singing with balance, or are you trying to manhandle your voice with force? A great place to start is the free foundations short courses available here at Bohemian Vocal Studio which will show you how to set up the strongest base for your support, vowels and mix voice to be built upon.
When you’re ready to take your voice to the next level with professional voice coaching, you can book a Skype Lesson with me 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 learning how to sing better, 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.