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Voice Lessons : Tips on How to Sing Better

Updated on March 15, 2012

New to voice lessons? Are you still trying to find the right tips on how to sing better? If you are, I introduce to you the “Voice Lessons.” Included in this page are several YouTube videos to aid you with your voice lessons. What are we waiting for? Let’s begin your Voice Lessons! Drum roll please…

Should I Find A Vocal Coach Or What?

In my early twenties, one of my uncles commented that I had a good singing voice and added, “if you get trained, maybe you’ll really improve.” That prodded me to look for a voice coach on my own. Young and feeling a bit foolish, I enrolled and found myself in the company of a woman in her late forties.

My first voice lesson was held in a small room with a piano and scatter of books and papers everywhere. I frowned upon this clutter but my attention was riveted to my voice teacher who made me stand up in front of her. With no preliminary talks, she gave me a vocal workout. After she asked, do you know the song “Memory?” I nodded meekly, feeling uncomfortable. She made me sing that song. So I sang, “Midnight, not a sound from a pavement…”

This is Benjie Layos performing as Siddhartha in a musical I partiicpated.
This is Benjie Layos performing as Siddhartha in a musical I partiicpated. | Source

For the life of me, I couldn’t recall what happened after that. I just remembered my voice becoming hoarse for days. When I went back the second time, I voiced out my concern. She dismissed it and made me sing again. “Midnight, not a sound from a pavement…”

I don’t know what you would have done. But I never went back again.

Important Tip: If you are serious about your singing career and have the budget for it, invest in finding a good vocal coach. Ask for referrals. Find out what her/his philosophy is and how she/he teaches voice lessons. My own experience made me realized that finding a bad voice coach made me withdraw from singing during that time. Of course, I never bothered to investigate. That was plainly the actions of a young girl who didn’t know any better.

How to Breathe When Singing

Breathing Properly

The most important thing you should know about learning how to sing better is to breathe properly. This is the basic foundation technique. If you observe, the note that you sing is carried as your breath flows in and out of your mouth. The more you are able to control your breathing, the more control you will have when you sing. If your breath is even and steady, your vocal tone will be strong and smooth. If your airflow is uncontrolled and inconsistent, your voice will sound like that too.

This was one of the things I struggled with. You see because of my chronic sinusitis, I don’t know how to breathe properly. Ms. Daisy Ba-ad, who just recently became my voice coach, told me that I have been breathing wrongly for the longest time. This is the area that I am working on. It really takes time to undo certain habits and retrained myself.

Important Tip: Whether you are new to singing or not, this is a tip one must never take for granted. Learn to breathe deeply, properly and evenly. If you are able to breathe properly, a major foundation has been built in helping you sing better.

Sing with your diaphragm , not your throat

Diaphragm Exercise

Vocal Warm Ups

Vocal warms ups or vocalization is the next important thing a singer must do in order to improve one's singing. As an athlete or dancer does warm up exercises, so must a singer engage in vocal warm ups. This is imperative. If you want to be able to sing properly and take care of your voice at the same time, NEVER forget to do vocalization.

Sing with Your Diaphragm and Not Your Throat

It is beneficial to note that a singer must learn to sing using one’s diaphragm and not the throat. If you sing using your throat, it’ll end up being sore and it doesn’t sound as nice when you sing using your diaphragm. Also, you will notice you can hold the notes or sing longer phrases without breathing difficulties.

Try this: Inhale and exhale deeply and slowly. When you inhale, your abdomen expands and when you exhale it contracts. Practice this many times. Place your hands on the sides of your waist. Feel your abdomen as it expands and contracts.

Be sure to watch the videos as they illustrate clearly how this is done.

Quick Warm Up Exercises

Freeing Your Vocal Range

Vocal Range

This part of the warm-up will aid in expanding and strengthening your vocal range.

What is vocal range? Vocal range is the measure of the breadth of pitches that a human voice can phonate. Simply stated, it is the distance between the high notes and the low notes that you can reach.

Vocal warm ups that engage in scales help you expand your vocal range

Mi Me Ma Mo Mu Vocal Exercise

Improving Tone

What is tone?

(n.) A sound of distinct pitch, quality, and duration; a note.

(v.) To give a particular tone or inflection to.

(v.) To assume a particular color quality.

By relaxing the throat open, we can improve the resonance and freedom of the voice. These exercises will bring richness to your tone, and can help to free your vibrato.

Improving tone

Creek Vocal Exercise

Protecting the Throat

How to Not Oversing: Humming Exercise

Protect the Throat

If you sing wrongly, you will notice that your throat will ache. Like me, I often have hoarseness in my voice following a vocal workout. This indicates that my throat is not fully relaxed and when I sang my voice was strained.

The combination of an effortless low breath and a fully relaxed throat allows the vocal folds to vibrate freely. The exercises mentioned on this part of the video aid in training the tongue to remain gently arched upward and forward, while relaxing the back of the throat.

Try the humming exercise. 

This is another wonderful vocal warm up which helps you to vibrate deeper within your lungs/larynx.

Remember to drink warm or lukewarm water.

How to Hit High Notes When Singing

How to Phrase Words When Singing

Keep Practicing


  • Master breathing properly
  • Always do vocal warm ups before singing
  • Do the scales to improve vocal range
  • Do vocal warm ups to improve tonal quality
  • Relax your throat
  • Drink water
  • Humming exercise helps you to use your diaphragm than your throat
  • In singing high notes, use your head tone
  • Phrasing is an important part in singing
  • Take breaks from singing. Don't overdo it.
  • Find a good vocal coach to guide you and help you see what areas you need to improve on

It takes time, patience, effort and discipline to improve one's singing skills. Don't be discouraged. Just keep practicing and singing. If you do the vocal warm ups with proper breathing, you can immediately notice the improvement in the way you sing. I know I did.

What's more when you can learn to sing better, you can also speak better too.

By: Michelle Simtoco


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