How To Sing Well [For Guys]
With these simple and practical tips, you really CAN learn how to sing well and build a powerful and impressive voice. Singing itself is a very easy process, but learning HOW to do it is often the difficult part, with so many conflicting views and opinions out there for the best way to sing – this tutorial will show you how to sing well with the minimum of fuss and without all those confusing buzz words and classical terms that so many voice coaches get stuck in the trap of using and not explaining properly.
Learning how to sing well doesn’t have to be such a difficult task, so I’ve put together an awesome guide which is going to show you how to nail the foundation steps of learning how to sing so that you can start building the vocal range of your dreams!
Lets get started learning how to sing well for guys!
Step 1 – Posture & Breathing
The obvious first step of learning how to sing involves your posture and breathing. While these aren’t the most exciting topics in the world of learning how to sing, they are absolutely intrinsic to any good singing voice. Posture starts with your head help high, shoulders back and chin parallel with the floor, and breathing involves engagement of the diaphragm. A few cool ways to encourage diaphragmatic engagement when you sing is to try the following:
- Breathe through an imaginary drinking straw, low and sharp
- Pant like a dog getting slower and slower until you’re in control of the diaphragm
- Imagine you just stepped into ICY, freezing water and breathe deep
These are just some of the many ways you can develop control over your diaphragm and familiarise yourself with the concept of diaphragmatic breathing. Practice your posture and breathing often for the best possible vocal foundation!
Step 2 – Resonance
Many budding singers forget one important aspect of singing when they practice – resonance. It isn’t airflow or aspiration that makes you sing, it’s actually air pressure vibrating the vocal folds, resulting in resonance within the vocal tract. A great way to practice resonance in singing is the following sounds:
- ZZZ – Buzz like a bee
- NG – like the word Sing
- M – like the word Hum
- EE – like the word Bee
- OO – like the word Fool
The more you practice these semi-occluded sounds and closed sounds, the more familiar you will become with resonance, and the sooner your vowel sounds and larger, more open sounds will begin to resonate too.
Step 3 – Shape your vowels
In singing, you actually need to shape your vowels using the back of your tongue while creating appropriate resonant space. The easiest way for me to illustrate vowel shaping to you is to have you alternate between an EE sound and an AH sound – you’ll feel your tongue high in the back for the EE, and lowered to a concave on the AH. This is the essence of vowel shaping. Each of your vowel sounds in singing has it’s own unique shape, and must also be matched with a particular resonant space depending on the pitch and register you are singing, which we’ll look at in step 4.
Step 4 – Resonant space
Learning to sing with efficient resonance takes time and understanding of how resonant space works in your voice. An over-simplified way to show you how to alter your resonant space is for you to start singing an OO vowel, and as you ascend up an octave from a comfortable low tone, lower the front of your jaw so that your mouth makes a top-to-bottom oval shape (don’t widen into a smile). If you practice this religiously, you will begin to feel connection between your chest and head register, along with the feeling that your vowel is travelling backwards into the soft palate/pharynx. Over time, you will be able to keep the clarity of your vowel, so instead of singing OO-AH like I just showed you, you will be able to keep a pure OO vowel while also opening enough resonant space in the pharynx for your high frequencies to resonate, without losing the essence of your vowel sounds. You can try this with any vowel sound, simply lower your jaw at the front to a vertical oval at the mouth and focus on the sensation of your vowel occurring in the soft palate – it’s pretty magic, right?
Step 5 – Onsets
A vocal onset is literally the onset of your resonance. If you aspirate air before your resonance occurs, you will end up with a breathy or aspirated onset that is damaging to the vocal folds, and is often the cause of flat, pitchy singing. Secondly, if you achieve vocal fold closure before you release airpressure, you’ll end up with a glottal onset, which is also damaging to the voice in many ways. The perfect onset is known as a ‘balanced’ onset, and occurs when you centrally coordinate your airflow with your vocal fold closure, resulting in ‘instant’ resonance that doesn’t have any other sound before the onset – just an instant buzz of resonance.
Beyond these five foundational steps, it’s imperative that you build a connection between chest and head voice so that you have access to your full range of notes, and full range of resonant frequencies. This will allow you to sing higher than ever before, while also singing with a balanced and strain-free tone that grows and builds over time into a powerful and impressive singing voice.
Other important aspects of singing you’ll need to develop include consonant grouping, middle voice and mix voice, support, resonance and tone control and many other elements of a great voice. The first step is foundation, so it’s important you take these five steps EVERY time you sing, ensuring you are consistent, controlled and strain free every step of the way.
Learning how to sing better does take time and patience, so make sure you’re not trying to run before you’ve learned to walk. Remember, singing is a process of balance, not an act of muscular force or brute strength. Are you singing with balance, or are you manhandling your voice? A great place to start is the free courses available here at Bohemian Vocal Studio which will set you up with the strongest foundation possible so that your voice is powerful, consistent and strain free every time you sing. 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 extension of your range, connecting chest and head voice and also building consistency and control.
If you have any questions about how to sing better for guys, feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!