5 Steps To Developing Your Singing Voice
We all have some talents that we have the potential to develop. Some are great actors, others have a creative eye and learn arts. There are also those of us who really love singing their hearts out.
Music is literally everywhere. Sometimes it just makes you want to sing so much. You have a passion for singing, but you have never sung before, or you notice that your vocals need improvement? Where do you start from? What are the basics of singing?
1. Practice Your Hearing.
In order to produce a sound, one needs to be able to hear it and imagine it before making it. This is the first step of singing. It is all about being in tune with the melody and creating a harmonious sound. When you listen to your favorite songs, focus on the melody, pause the audio, and repeat until you get the right tone. Some people have a natural sense of what a note is supposed to sound like, but not all of us do. Fortunately, even singing can be learned by people who do not initially seem to have a talent. It is all about technique and continual practice.
Here is a simple basic exercise for practicing your hearing. Listen and try to repeat:
2. Find Your Vocal Range.
It is crucially important to not only be able to sing the proper notes in rhythm, but also knowing the vocal range of your voice. There are different kinds of music suitable for different voice types. Find songs that are only suitable to your vocal capabilities. If a song has notes that you find too high or too low to reach, do not push your voice too far. Be patient and practice daily, your voice will thank you.
A very simple and fast vocal range test you can try in less than 2 minutes:
3. Breathe. A lot!
People underestimate the importance of breathing when they sing. Many try to sing everything in one breath without thinking about the fact that the longer note you wish to produce, the more breaths you need to take. Here is a very simple example: try to say “laaa” and hold it for as long as you are able to, but do not take a breath before it, then do the same, this time with breathing in as much air as possible. How did the two compare?
The same should be done with singing. Slow-paced songs usually give you the opportunity to breathe in more air and hold longer notes. But sometimes when the rhythm of a song is too fast, it can get difficult to find time to inhale and produce all the sounds. Luckily for you, there is the method of nose breathing. You breathe in before every word and exhale while singing the phrase.
4. Do Vocal Warm Ups.
I know that when you love a song, you just want to sing it without any preparation. But in order to optimize your performance, you need to make your voice ready for it. Just like athletes who do muscle warm ups and prepare before a game, we also do exercises to get our voices ready for performing. Doing them is also beneficial for developing a more flexible vocal range.
The classic vocal warm up exercise to help you get started:
5. Find A Vocal Coach.
While not necessary, sometimes you need to get the opinion of another person, and the best option is to find someone who is able to properly asses your voice and its capabilities. A singing teacher knows how your voice works and they can help you by correcting your mistakes and by showing you new techniques. Different coaches have various teaching methods, so if you are not happy with the way one person teaches and you see no results, you can find another who is able to help you with your singing progress. It is all about choosing the right coach!
Extra Tip: Have Fun!
In the end, what is important is that you find singing enjoyable. If you have no passion for singing and you are not motivated enough, you are not going to reach any long-term results. Try to combine the above mentioned tips with singing your favorite songs so that you have fun while making progress at the same time. Slowly but steadily, you will have developed your singing voice and all the practice will have been worth it!