Learn To Sing Better: The Ultimate Checklist
With so many different methods and conflicting advice out there as to how to sing better - where exactly should you start?
There's YouTube, Skype lessons, local singing teachers, online blogs, online courses - you name it, if there's a platform where you can learn; there's a vocal method to be found.
So what exactly IS the right way to learn how to sing?
This Ultimate Singing Checklist will show you the techniques that you need to get started learning how to sing; you can also use this Vocal Course Checklist to make sure that a course you're about to buy is legit and is going to cater to your needs as a singer.
The Ultimate Singing Checklist
This simple checklist is going to show you which techniques are actually important in the process of learning how to sing better - make sure any course or lessons that you're using are following each of these four important steps;
#1 - Height In The Vocal Tract
Before you get started with any vocal method, you need to make sure that the approach will teach you how to sing with Height In The Vocal Tract. Truth be told, singing and speaking are not actually the same thing - so when you hear someone telling you to "sing like you speak", they're probably just talking in terms of volume; and most likely they're trying to teach you light pop singing, not naturally powerful resonant singing.
Any vocal technique relating to vowels and space in the vocal tract is directly a result of Height In The Vocal Tract - techniques like Vowel Modification, yawning, raising the soft palate, narrowing the vowel and shaping vowels are all a direct result of Height In The Vocal Tract, so this is absolutely #1 in The Ultimate Singing Checklist.
Without sufficient height in the vocal tract, you will not be able to extend your range by accessing your higher register overtones through the tone of each vowel sound - this is paramount to great singing and the main component of Open Throat Singing Technique.
#2 - Forward Placement
Many beginner singers are simply scared of singing nasal, so they avoid singing forward altogether - but every amazing singing voice other there from Aretha Franklin to Chris Cornell and everything in between has an aspect of forward placement whether you can identify it just yet or not. Forward placement isn't actually a nasally singing sound, but it does make use of the nasal resonator in a balanced way - when you sing with forward placement in the right way, it actually balances your vocal tone in a power and pleasant way.
I often speak about how much placement has played a part in taking me from less than one octave of singing range to the 3+ Octaves of full voice that I enjoy and display today. When it comes to powerful singing, especially Rock singing - forward placement is King.
#3 - "All In One Flow"
"All In One Flow" refers to how efficiently you vibrate your vocal folds with pressurised air when you sing. If you're a 'choppy' singer that has a lot of stops and breaks in your airflow when you sing; you likely sound quite staccato when singing and more importantly experience a lot of strain and tension while lacking a connected high range.
Does this sound familiar?
Learning how to sing "All in one flow" with as minimal breaks in your vibration and resonance as is suffice for the vocal line is paramount to strain free singing. You'd be surprised at just how many words 'connect' in terms of resonance when your favourite singers are singing - remember, singing and speech are not the same thing; each word is not necessarily a separate entity when you sing.
#4 - Mixed Tonality
If I had a dollar for every time I was asked what the "secret" to Mixed Voice Singing is; we probably wouldn't be talking right now. Mixed Tonality is actually a choice in your singing - you can push chest voice, flip into head voice or; the third and preferrable option is actually to sing with Mixed Tonality so that your voice connects fluidly between chest and head voice while achieving a powerful but strain free singing tone.
Guys are the main culprit for pushing their chest voices; the main reason for this is being scared of sounding feminine or avoiding falsetto - when in fact you're just avoiding your higher frequency range which naturally occurs in your voice by doing so.
It's called "Mix" for a reason - Mixed Voice is part chest resonance and part head resonance; or in a physiologically speaking is a mix of the full body of the vocal folds and the edge of the vocal folds instead of just pure weight and brute strength.
A great place to learn about Mixed Voice is this exclusive Mix Voice Singing Lesson where I'll show you the process that I use to help my own students achieve mixed resonance while connecting chest and head voice to extend their range and improve their tone.
The Four Vocal Fundamentals
If you've been following my recent tutorials (like this one where I shared The Only Singing Exercises You'll Ever Need) you'll probably notice that each of the four points on this Singing Checklist is a component of The Four Vocal Fundamentals;
- Forward Placement
- Height In The Vocal Tract
- "All In One Flow"
- Mixed Tonality
You might be surprised to learn that every single vocal technique out there and every concept in singing relates to just one of these four simple vocal fundamentals. A great example is techniques like Vowel Modification, Yawning, Raising The Soft Palate, Vowel Tuning, Narrowing The Vowel and Vowel Overtones ALL relating to Height In The Vocal Tract in their fundamental form.
This itself is an indicator of just how easy singing can be when you master these four fundamentals - but if you're being pulled in every which direction by advanced concepts before you've really mastered the basics - your voice is going to fail every time.
If you're serious about learning how to sing, then The Four Vocal Fundamentals are the first place you must start; and are a key component of The Foundation 101 singing Course here at Bohemian Vocal Studio, which will help you;
- Connect Chest and Head Voice
- Sing With Mixed Voice
- Increase Your Range
- Improve Your Tone
- Form your vowels properly
- Balance your onset
- Improve your management of airflow
- Place your frequencies
- Achieve height in the vocal tract
- Manage resonant space
- SO much more
But instead of me continually telling you just how cool it feels to sing with such effortless and freedom now that I've mastered The Four Vocal Fundamentals using the Foundation 101 singing course, let me show you - here's just a few quick examples of my singing now that I've set up a rock solid vocal foundation; just imagine the killer singing voice you're going to enjoy once you master these four simple fundamentals!
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Do You Have What It Takes?
I'll admit, for a very long time I questioned whether I really had what it takes to become a great singer. As someone who wasn't a natural in any way - I really wished that someone could just TELL ME whether I really had it in me to become a better sing; and ultimately where exactly I should focus my time and effort while practising to make better use of my time (I don't want you to have to spend $15,000 learning how to sing like I did!)
Now it's possible!
This simple vocal potential calculator will show you exactly how much potential you have as a singer to improve your voice, and how and where to invest your time and effort for the best results. Best of all, it's quick, super accurate and most singers are absolutely SHOCKED at the results!