How Do You Sing Better?
If you’ve been wondering “How do you sing better?” then you’ve come to the right place! In this tutorial I’m going to share with you 5 ways to improve your singing voice so that you no longer have to wonder “How do you sing well” because I’ll SHOW you how to improve your voice so you can sing better than ever before!
With these five professional singing tips, you will learn the singing techniques needed to build an extensive and impressive range, along with the tricks and tips of the trade that have helped me coach touring professionals and beginners alike to build powerful singing voices.
5 ways to improve your singing voice
Great singing starts with a strong foundation – after all, how can you sing well when your voice isn’t supported and strong? A singing voice is only as strong as the foundation it’s built on, so make sure you set up your voice with diaphragmatic breathing and healthy posture before trying any of these tips and techniques.
#1 – To sing up, sing down
I often see beginner singers reaching and straining to hit high notes, when in essence good support comes from a downward movement of your diaphragm. Rather than straining up and looking up when you sing high notes, look straight forward and brace in a downwards fashion – similar to lowering a heavy object that is being held up near your shoulders. Good support occurs from pulling down, not pushing up.
#2 – A big voice comes from a small placement
Rather than making a wide range of frequencies, great singers often place their resonance in a smaller fashion so they can control and invest in the most efficiently resonating frequencies rather than expending energy on improper and inefficient sounds. How can you sing better when you’re carrying dead weight? Learn to place your resonance properly to sing with ONLY the most efficiently resonating frequencies.
#3 – Practice smart, not long
If your warmup takes a full hour before your voice becomes responsive, then you need to rethink your methods or find a new voice coach. Warming up should be a simple, free and easy process that is time and energy efficient – make sure you hold the right intention behind each exercise rather than singing scales for the sake of singing scales. If your coach can’t explain how or why an exercise is intended to help and improve your range, then you are wasting time, energy and money on this fruitless approach.
#4 – Singing is 2/3 psychological
Two thirds of the major musculature involved in singing is involuntary, the three major muscles being the diaphragm, the vocal chords and the soft palate. The diaphragm and vocal chords are involuntary and are actually controlled by adjoining musculature and a figurative thought process. Don’t approach singing from a purely physical manner – sometimes changing your thought process and altering your frame of mind can help you improve your singing voice in a major way.
#5 – Coordinate
Singing is a coordination of various smaller elements – develop each aspect of your voice separately for better control and a more precise singing voice. A great example of this is developing control over your onsets so that when you sing actual songs, your resonance isn’t effected by tricky words or consonants. After all, how do you sing better when an element is missing, or lacking in your voice?
How can I sing good with a bad voice?
There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ voice, only a voice that lacks control and coordination. Often singers mistake poor technique or lack of control as a bad vocal tone – it’s easy to sing well when you’re in complete control of every individual aspect of your voice.
Even your favourite singers and professional musicians were once beginners who thought they had a bad voice too – it simply takes practice, perseverance and the right approach. Often singers who don’t like their voice are making one fatal mistake in their quest to sing better – holding unrealistic expectations. Your favourite singers have been recorded in a multi million dollar recording studio, have done upwards of 20 takes in your favourite songs, and have often had their singing tone altered by compression, EQ and editing – think about it, a singing voice can’t compete with a blasting snare, or a 100 watt Marshall amp – yet magically on your favourite album, singing is front and centre and cuts through everything in the mix. If you’re physically trying to sing above a blasting guitar amp and snare drum, this will not only hinder your progress, but damage your voice. To sing louder and with more cut, you first need to develop your registers, build support and then finally add a touch of twang to slice through a live situation or a rehearsal room. The process for achieving the voice of your dreams is actually pretty simple, but your expectations must meet the reality of the learning curve.
Can you teach yourself sing well?
If you want to eschew expensive courses, you’ll be pleased to know that you CAN teach yourself to sing using the resources here at Bohemian Vocal Studio. You’ll see our ever-growing troubleshooting guide in the navigation bar to your right, and our free foundations short courses will set you up with a powerful base to build your singing voice. With the extensive catalogue of tutorial videos available on our YouTube channel, you will receive professional vocal training while teaching yourself how to sing. Can you teach yourself sing well? Absolutely – but it’s still important that you follow the correct process for building your voice. How can you sing better if you’re learning blind, so make sure you are following a proven and practical approach to vocal technique.
Step 1 – Build a strong foundation
Building a strong foundation should be the starting point for your singing technique, with diaphragmatic breathing, posture and vocal placement being at the very top of your list.
Step 2 – Shape your vowels
While we often pronounce our vowels using the articulators when we speak, you might be surprised to know that your speaking and singing voice are two different applications of the same mechanism, and we actually need to shape the vowels using our tongue and vocal tract when we sing. Shaping your vowels will allow you to resonate efficiently while singing words and songs anywhere throughout your vocal range – if you’re just pronouncing, then you’re not singing.
Step 3 – Middle Voice is key
I’m sure you’ve heard of Chest and Head voice already, but there is a third honorary registers that occurs when you coordinate these two main registers in the middle of your vocal range. This coordination is often called mix or middle voice, and results in an extensive range that transitions from the rich and powerful low end we know as chest, while allowing the high range afforded by head voice. Middle voice is key to building your voice.
Step 4 – Onsets
Your onset is the cornerstone of your resonance, and developing coordination over your onsets so they are balanced and strain free is an important part of a great singing voice. Remember, an onset is ALWAYS on a vowel (the exception being M and N), so take care when you’re singing songs and words not to use your consonant sound as the onset, which brings me to the next step:
Step 5 – Group your consonants
I personally like to group all of the consonants together into similar types and then form an individual approach for each of my students depending on their voice type, accent and native tongue. Learning to create your consonant sounds in the right manner is paramount to singing actual songs rather than just scales and drills – if you’re a singer who sounds great when they practice, but you struggle with actual songs, then you need to look at your onsets first, and then group your consonants second to allow efficient resonance and proper vocal control to occur while you sing tricky words and vocal lines.
How do you sing better?
Singing is a process of coordination, and often elimination where improper frequencies and bad habits are occurring. If you follow a steps-based approach to singing like the one I teach here at Bohemian Vocal Studio, then you will always be aware of which element may be letting your voice down. Starting with a strong foundation and then developing each element of your vocal mechanism on their own will allow you to truly control your voice in a process of coordination, rather than trying to do too much at once before your voice is ready.
Can anyone learn to sing well?
Bohemian Vocal Studio has coached touring professionals, musical theatre and classical performers, rock singers and complete beginners alike, and helps students reach their singing goals faster and more efficiently through a simple process of coordination while eliminating any untoward bad habits that might pop up along the way.
There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ voice that can’t be trained – only poor vocal technique, and improper training. This goes the same for vocal coaching – no two approaches to singing should be the same, because every voice is unique, and every approach needs to match the natural and individual elements of your particular singing mechanism. This is often why self service singing courses leave singers with bad habits and a lack of understanding of how to actually sing songs – they’re not designed for your voice, they’re designed for the teacher’s voice based on their personal experience learning how to sing. A singing course can be a great addition to professional vocal training, but personal feedback and guidance is an absolute MUST if you want to build a professional and powerful singing voice.
Can I sing well enough to reach my goals?
This is a common question I recieve, and the answer is always a resounding YES – the caveat being with proper training, ongoing support and consistent practice. How can you sing well if you don’t practice, and you’re not recieving professional guidance along the way? Using my steps-based approach to vocal technique, I’ve coached students to reach their goals of touring professionally, participating in talent shows such as The Voice, making professional recordings, auditioning for all manner of established bands and shows, musical theatre, local bands and so many of the other hopes and dreams we all have for our singing voices.
If you’re ready to take your voice to the next level with professional vocal coaching, you can book a Skype session and we’ll get started building your voice today!
If you have any questions about singing, please leave and feedback 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.