How to Start Singing
If you have a talent for signing and you want to use it the right way, the first thing you should do is to identify your singing style and the best way to approach your voice. Basically, you need to learn how to start signing, and that’s not easy at all. Choosing the right singing course or a tutor can really make a difference between a professional singing voice and constant struggles. This guide will show you how to take the necessary steps to find your voice, start singing like a pro and finally start working on your singing career.
How to Start Singing for Beginners
As a beginner, you need to learn how to sing well, but in a way that is not too confusing or overwhelming in the beginning stages. Singing is something you love to do, and it should never become an exhausting or drawn out process.
The first thing you need to learn is the foundation of your voice. Singing teachers always say that your voice is only as powerful as the foundation it’s built on. A strong foundation is set by maintaining a proper posture and diaphragmatic breathing, singing with outie breathing (professionally known as Appoggio) and with appropriate frequency placement. Singing correctly will ensure your voice grows over time in a healthy and natural way. Singing is very similar to working out because it’s a step based activity that requires a lot of repetition, completing complex exercises and pushing your limits inch by inch. By breaking down your singing techniques into steps, over time, you will learn to be in total control of your voice.
As mentioned, the first step of singing well is building a solid foundation. The second step is to master your vowels and articulation. The third steps consist of your onsets, resonance tuning and support and so on. The last step involves delivery and consonants. By using this step based approach, you will easily identify the parts of your singing that need to be worked on, as well as how to make the right singing adjustments to ensure healthy continuation.
How to Start Singing Professionally
If you have a solid foundation and support mechanism, and you will be able to develop your middle or MIX register. This is done by releasing your registers while at the same time tuning your resonance through some of the most challenging passages in your voice. As a result, you will have an extensive and consistently resonant singing voice. As a singer, you have probably heard of Chest and Head voice. However, it is possible to create a third register which retains the rich depth of chest voice and at the same time has the extensive vocal range of your head register. The seemingly endless voice range that your favorite singers have is actually that middle register. It is identified by its pleasant but very powerful timbre and a seamless way in which the chest register and head register meet together for an almost indefinite and continuous vocal range. If you want to develop a fuller and richer voice, you need to work on improving the middle register.
How to Find Your Singing Voice
Another question singing coaches continuously hear is how to find their singing voice and find their own tone. It is important to know that a tone of a great singing voice is always unique, and the best way to develop it is to improve your technique with a clean slate and no stylistic bent. Learning to control your voice, knowing the parameters of healthy singing, and being able to properly make stylistic choices in your tone and delivery will help you find your own unique tone and singing voice.
It is never a good idea to mimic or copy your favorite singers. They should only be your inspiration. By trying to copy the natural qualities of their voice, you will never develop your own style or find your true singing voice. If you have the desire to sing like your favorite artists, identify the elements of their singing voice, and try to add these elements into your singing. It is okay to sing in a similar manner, but it’s never okay to try to sound exactly like them.
For example, Chris Cornell is well known for his intense and sharp vocal delivery and extensive vocal range. If you would like to sing like him, you should sing in a natural way with a well-tuned resonance that has a touch of twang and released register coordination. Pushing your voice in order to sing like him means singing completely opposite to how he actually sang.
In order to find your voice, you need to learn how to control and implement it in a natural and resonant manner. That is the only way your voice was designed to be used. Once you learn to sing in a pure manner, you will also learn to control your voice and how not to jeopardize your vocal health while singing. If you love extensive range voices such as the one from Chris Cornell, you need to work on your range extension by developing extension through vowel tuning and register release. The bright and twangy sound he was well known for is often mistaken for nasality, but it actually comes from narrowing of the epiglottis. Nasality in itself is a result of poor soft palate control. Instead of focusing on copying Cornell’s vocal tone, you should develop the healthy techniques he used to form his unique sound.
Should Singing Be Easy or Hard?
Singing should always be easy and something that you enjoy and love doing. Singing is hard when your technique isn’t properly developed to the level you are trying to sing. In other cases, if singing is hard for you, you are doing something wrong. In order to avoid vocal injuries, it is best to start light and add intensity over time. You should never overreach or strain your voice. Beginners typically sing in a too much forceful and strained manner. This happens because they are either fighting their natural voice or due to trying to imitate other singers who often sing in a theatrical manner. Your singing should look and feel as simple and as natural as brushing your hair or tying your shoes. In order to sing easily, first, stop trying so hard. Simply surrender to the techniques you had been training and let your voice coordinate in its own unique way.
How to Improve a Bad Singing Voice?
I believe anyone can sing and sound beautiful when their voice is trained. A bad singing voice actually sounds bad because it’s untrained and lacks coordination and balance. When a voice doesn’t coordinate properly, and its various elements simply aren’t cooperating in a controlled way, you will sound bad. By building better coordination in your onsets, registers, breathing, and delivery, singing will soon sound not only better but also become an effortless and joyous activity. In order to sing the right way, everything in your voice should be balanced. Many singers imagine the process of singing as lifting like a strongman. However, singing is not about force, but about balance and the process actually more resembles an act of tight-rope walking. For example, many signers struggle to begin their resonance the proper way. To improve your resonance, you need to work on your onset. A balanced onset is a mix of air pressure and vocal chord closure. When it occurs in central coordination the right way, it will resonate in a powerful and free way. If you’re flat in your intonation, you are singing with a breathy onset, and if you are constantly sharp and forceful in your tone, then you are probably using a glottal onset. Balance is the key of sounding good and doing things otherwise can cause damage to your voice over time.
Why Am I Bad Singing In Front of People?
If you believe that you are singing better alone than when you are in front of an audience, deep inside, you know that you don’t have sufficient vocal control. If you know that you can nail high notes and that your voice will come out controlled and balanced every time you sing, it won’t matter where or in front of whom you sing. So, to start singing better in front of people, start working on your vocal control. Confidence when singing in front of people mostly comes from your vocal ability, but it is also possible to experience some anxiety and stress which may also negatively affect your voice.
No matter what problem you have with your singing, this simple 3-step step process (identify, acknowledge and overcome) will make sure your every show and performance starts and finishes flawlessly.
For example, if you feel fear and anxiety in front of an audience, it is vital to identify it in order to be able to fight it. Think about what makes your anxious or worried. Is it your high notes? Or you maybe had a bad experience on the stage? After you have identified your fears, you need to acknowledge them and say to yourself that this particular thing is an issue and that it could happen. But, after acknowledging the issue, you need to come up with an approach which will take away any possibility of this fear becoming a reality.
For example, many artists and performers are afraid of the unknown stage. If you share the same fear, I suggest warming up on the actual scene a bit. For example, stand out on the stage with the stage lights, sing your piece and just do anything that makes you feel calmer and more comfortable. If you fear of high notes, it is vital to work on your technique until you are really sure you can nail them with ease. If you are singing a particularly hard song, identify the points throughout a song where there is a possibility to make a mistake, and develop a method to sing that part without any chances of making a mistake. Practice that hard part of the song, and most importantly, make sure you nail the pitch and diction of the vocal line. Confidence while singing in front of an audience requires time and training, and the above-mentioned approach (identify, acknowledge, and overcome) can really help you get ready and become more self-assured.
Release Your Natural Voice
Inexperienced signers often fight their natural voices and try to contort their voice to hit a pitch, tone or a specific word. If your voice is lighter than you think, the solution is not to sing heavier, but simply to tweak the width of your vowel, and add a bit more support to attain the full and resonant sound that you desire. Another issue is a breathy vocal tone. If you have a breathy vocal tone, you need to add more chord closure and get your coordination right. An improper onset, too much force, or even an improperly tuned vowel will make your voice sound weak and breathy. Before trying to treat the outcome of your voice, it’s essential to get to the root issues first, so always go back to your technique and check if there are any issues there. As a result, you will ensure that you and your voice work as a team along with your vocal mechanism.
How to Start Singing Better
To start signing professionally, it is best to find a voice coach who has an approach you like and who sings with the voice you wish to achieve. You also need a coach who will actually help you learn something new in every vocal lesson. If your singing lesson is finished and you feel all excited, but you haven’t learned anything, you were just on the receiving end of a marketing campaign, and this definitely won’t help your voice in any way. An experienced vocal coach will be able to explain complex techniques such as Mix Voice and Vocal Onsets in a practical way and help you build a professional, powerful and well-controlled vocal range.
If you’re ready to take your voice to the next level with professional voice coaching, you can book a Skype Session and we’ll get started today!
If you have any questions about 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.