Singing Tips Beginners
Singing is tons of fun – but when you’re having trouble singing high notes or experiencing vocal tension, it can be very disheartening. What do professional singers ‘get’ that you aren’t getting, and what are some singing tips beginners can apply right now to improve your singing voice instantly? Let me share with you what I wish I had been told from day one when I was first learning how to sing.
Singing itself is a simple process of pressure, vibration and resonance – but learning how to do so effectively to create a pleasant and consistent singing voice takes time, practice and dedication. When you break the voice down into these basic elements, you can achieve a much more streamlined learning curve than the haphazard “sing scales all day” approach that I personally struggled through for many years before discovering the powerful approach I’m sharing with you.
Open Throat Singing
I personally like to separate the voice into each individual element when teaching beginner students. I find it’s very important to actually understand concepts such as twang, diaphragmatic support, vowels, resonance and mixed voice rather than just repeating exercises that I once used to achieve these concepts. Singing is 50% great technique, and 50% application of said technique – understanding each vocal element while learning to develop and apply them really is the ‘secret sauce’ that makes your vocal foundation an absolute powerhouse, and by proxy will make you a spectacular singer with time and dedication.
Top Five Beginner Singing Tips
These five tips will help you get started on your way to becoming a great singer. Even if you’ve never sung one single note before, or you’ve taken a lesson or two without much progress – these tips will get you started on your way to a rock solid vocal foundation.
#1 – Breathe From The Diaphragm
The diaphragm is a large, dome-shaped muscle which sits at the base of the lung cavity. When you engage the diaphragm efficiently, it lowers towards the abdomen and creates a negative space which instantly fills with pressurised air – like a vacuum. This air can then be used to create sustained vibration of the vocal folds.
#2 – Balance Your Onset
This was especially important for my own naturally low baritone voice; Singing with a balanced onset can often be the difference between a consistent and powerful singing voice, and vocal strain. A balanced onset is created when you coordinate vocal fold closure with release of the pressurised air held in via an engaged diaphragm. This coordinated onset creates instant resonance with no other sound prior – no aspirated air, and also no hard attack or force at the folds, creating a strain free, powerful and consistent resonance.
#3 – Connect Chest and Head Voice
Mixed Resonance, or simply “Mix Voice” results from a blend of resonance between your chest and head registers. When you learn to connect chest and head, you’ll find it effortless to sing high notes and sing with power. Many Male singers in particular fear that they’ll sound ‘weak’ or girly if they practice their head voice, so instead they pull up their chest voice and strain their voices. Head voice isn’t a weak register by definition, but it is for many untrained singers. Develop your full range including head resonance and you will build a formidable and impressive singing range – pull your chest, and you’ll strain to hit notes and put your vocal health at risk.
#4 – Support your voice
Support is an extension of your ability to breathe diaphragmatically. Engaging the diaphragm is the first step in developing a supported tone. The diaphragm is always in a state of recoil, and when you resist this recoil, you create a more powerful balance of air pressure and air flow – in essence, less air is needed to sing with power and you achieve the beginning stages of compression.
#5 – Shape Your Vowels
Vowel in singing means something very different to vowel in speech in many cases. Depending on your accent, it’s likely that you pronounce each of your sounds using the articulators – the teeth, tip of the tongue and lips. Now, when you sing, you actually shape each vowel sound with the back of the tongue while also matching resonant space and size/shape of the vocal tract to ensure you are balancing between the three main resonators of the voice – the mouth and the nasal and pharyngeal resonators. Instead of pronouncing each sound, you need to develop a healthy approach to vowel shaping while also learning to manage resonant space within the vocal tract.
Each of these vocal elements is easy to develop when you are focused on a healthy and powerful foundation. The best place to start is our Foundation 101 singing course which will show you how to;
- Connect chest and head voice
- Support your voice
- Created mixed resonance
- Sing without strain or tension
- Balance your onset
- Shape your vowels
- Manage resonant space
- Warm up your voice
- SO much more!
With 60 minutes of video content and interactive warmup materials, the Foundation 101 course also serves as an ongoing guide that you can refer back to at any point throughout your progress as a singer.
If you’d like to learn more about Open Throat Singing, the best place to start is this exclusive Open Throat Singing lesson which will show you how to develop and build each element of the voice required for Open Throat Singing and Mixed Voice.
If you have any questions about learning how to sing, 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.