Make Your Voice Sound Better When Singing [Three KILLER Tips]
Whether you’ve been singing for some time already or you’re just getting started – one of the most common vocal complaints is how to make your voice sound better when singing. Are you a nasal singer? Is your voice weak? Are you too loud and shouty? Too dark and muddy? Pitch issues? The key to great singing is achieving a pleasant and powerful singing tone – these three killer singing tips will not only help make your voice sound better when singing, they’ll also show you that there is a better and easier way to sing!
Let me start by saying: I used to hate my singing voice.
There, I said it. I hated my tone, I hated having to push to hit even mid pitched notes, I hated going hoarse after a show and most of all I just felt like I had a ‘bad’ singing voice. I even got to a point where I really thought that I would never become a singer of any kind, and it was time to give up on my dreams.
Many years down the track, I now make a living singing the music that I could only have ever dreamed of before, and I’m often commended for the tone and power of my voice, along with being highly sought as a voice coach the world over. I’m not trying to brag, I just want to put in perspective where I started from and what you too can achieve if you really set your sights on becoming a world class singer. Singing itself is the easy part, but learning HOW to do it well really can be a battle requiring all your strength and determination – but I want to make it easier for you by sharing exactly what worked for me with three KILLER singing tips that I share with absolutely every single one of my students that asks me how to make their voice sound better when they sing.
Tip #1 – Brightness is key
This one usually takes a little convincing, especially for those naturally nasal singers who really struggle with a nosey tone; “You want me to sing MORE nasal??”
The key here is to balance a touch of twang with a correctly place vocal tone above the top teeth and slightly forward – almost like a floating note or a magic carpet that sits right in front of your eyes. Check out the video above for a really indepth lesson in placement. When you’re struggling with a bad vocal tone, forward placement really IS key to balancing your resonance in a more pleasant and powerful way.
Tip #2 – Raise that palate!
Is you voice sounding squeezed and pushy? It’s likely that you’re not forming your vowel properly in the pharynx, and this is leading to an incorrect coordination at the folds, along with a lack of resonant space – basically, you’re singing like a guitar with no soundhole and just hitting those strings harder to get your voice heard. The key to great singing in any form is creating your vowels in the pharynx instead of speech vowels in the mouth. My favourite way of demonstrating a raised soft palate is to have a student inhale from a “K” consonant – don’t voice the sound, just inhale from the same position you would speak a “K”. You’ll notice that this creates the very beginnings of a yawn in your throat, and you’ll likely feel cold air at the top/back of your mouth – this is the soft palate lifting slightly.
Each of your vowel sounds actually opens up further and further into the back of the head as you ascend, so practice this motion before you sing to find your pharyngeal space. This not only balances your vocal tone with more depth (I’m again looking at you nasal singers!) and richness, along with allowing the overtones needed for your mid and high range. If you’re struggling to sing high notes without strain and tension, then the key is likely a slight lift to your soft palate.
Tip #3 – Balance your airflow
Consistent airflow is the be all and end all of great singing. Without consistent airflow, you will have inconsistent vibration and inconsistent resonance – leading to a crappy tone. The key here is to work out which voice type where you are in regards to airflow – are you an aspirate singer that releases to much air? Or are you a classic “clamp and push” singer like me with a bigger voice that just wants to yell and shout the second you even think of a high note?
The key to fixing your airflow with an aspirate voice is to add a touch of compression to your airflow, in essence holding back your airflow by resisting the recoil of the diaphragm and achieving healthy vocal fold closure. The next time you practice singing, keep the diaphragm down as though you’re taking a big dive in the ocean and you’re trying to keep your air in your belly.
Now, with a big, pushy voice – a little airflow won’t go astray. The key here is to sing with a slight “hHh” or sigh to your sound including the onset. Instead of pushing as you ascend, like: “Lah-ah-ah-AAAAAAAA” with a big yell on the top note, instead, allow a slight “H” in your tone at the top (not so much to actually make you breathy though – remember, balance is key), more like “Lah-ah-hah-hhaaaaaaaaaaaah” – and you’ll notice a consistent and flowing resonance that is easy to sustain and manage.
Over time, you’ll learn to manage your airflow intuitively with support by breathing form the diaphragm and creating balanced resonance.
Each one of these simple but effective tips is an important aspect of any good vocal foundation. Foundation in singing really is just like the foundation of a house that is being constructed – the rock solid concrete base that your roof and walls (range and tone) sit on. Without this base, your walls (and voice!) will fall under pressure and you’ll be back at square one without a roof over your head, and without a high range.
The best place to get started with a healthy vocal foundation is the Foundation 101 singing course here at Bohemian Vocal Studio which will not only show you how to improve your vocal tone in many ways, it will also help you;
- connect chest and head voice
- create mixed resonance
- increase your range
- improve your tone
- balance your onset
- balance your airflow and pressure
- support your voice
- sing vowel sounds correctly
- warm up your voice effectively
- SO much more!
You can even get started right now with this exclusive Mixed Voice singing lesson which will show you the exact process that I share with my own students to help them connect chest and head voice to create one long, fluid and connected range from your lowest to highest note.
If you want to see what all the fuss is about the Foundation vocal approach, here’s just a few examples of what I’m achieving now that the Foundation 101 course has fixed my vocal tone and allowed me to sing with a bright, powerful and strain free voice – just imagine what you’re going to achieve when you’re finally free of strain and tension when you sing!
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.