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How - to - Sing - Better - With - These - 3 - Singing - Voice - Tips

Updated on March 16, 2020
vocalcoach profile image

Audrey's vast background as an international vocal teacher provides master classes for teachers bringing a fresh new approach to singing.

Audrey Hunt's Student On "American Idol."

Former student Kristin McNamara does well on television show "American Idol."
Former student Kristin McNamara does well on television show "American Idol." | Source

The singer has everything within him. The notes come out from his very life. They are not materials gathered from outside. ~Rabindranath Tagore

The Three D's to Better Singing

Would you like a better singing voice? I'm sure you would and as you follow the three tips I'm sharing with you, you will! The secret to change, any kind of change, is to apply these three words:

Desire

Discipline

Determination

As you follow the tips I have laid out for you, your voice will begin to sparkle and shine as never before. Will you sound better? Absolutely!


Audrey Hunt Performing for Earth Day Celebration

Author, Audrey Hunt shares her voice with Earth Day Celebration audience.
Author, Audrey Hunt shares her voice with Earth Day Celebration audience. | Source

Breathing For Singing Is Different Than For Speaking

To gain control when singing practice diaphragmatic breathing. (Belly Breathing.)
To gain control when singing practice diaphragmatic breathing. (Belly Breathing.) | Source

Singing Tip #1 - Breath Control. The Powerhouse For Singing

Your breath is the life-force for your singing. It is everything! I'm not talking about your regular way of breathing. The way you breathe, when you speak, will not give you the sound you want for a better voice. Never! Why? Because you were born with a large breathing muscle, just below your rib cage, that provides you with perfect support for singing. You may have heard the term "diaphragmatic breathing" which is a muscle shaped like a parachute that acts as a cushion for the tone to ride on.

Take a look at the benefits of breathing diaphragmatically (belly breathing):

  • Weak tones become stable and controlled.
  • Your vocal range becomes bigger (extended.)
  • You'll develop a rich, beautiful tone.
  • The sound of your voice projects like never before.
  • Natural, easy, vibrato comes naturally.
  • You'll hold a note (sustain) forever and a day.
  • Fear is reduced and confidence gained.
  • No more running out of breath before you're ready.


Great Singing Requires Dedication and Discipline

Actor/singer Wren warming up his voice with Audrey Hunt.
Actor/singer Wren warming up his voice with Audrey Hunt. | Source

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Aristotle

Singing Tip #2 - Discover Your Resonating System

Your resonators are your mouth, nasal passages, chest, and head areas and they amplify your sound. That's right! If you're in the dark about these tremendous vocal enhancers, it's time to start producing your sound with their help. The result of resonation is to make a "better" sound.

All acoustic instruments such as the guitar, trumpet, piano, or violin, has its own special chambers for resonating the tone. Once the tone is produced by the vibrating vocal cords, it vibrates in and through the open resonating ducts and chambers. Since the vocal tract is often associated with different regions of the body, different resonance chambers might be referred to as chest, mouth, nose/"mask", or head.In general, the larger a resonator is, the lower the frequency it will respond to; the greater the volume of air, the lower its pitch. But the pitch also will be affected by the shape of resonator and by the size of opening and amount of lip or neck the resonator has.

Here's a brief introduction into your main resonating chambers:

  • The Chest Voice. This resonating area is usually an easy part of the voice to sing in, although for women it can sometimes be more difficult. The chest voice is easily found by simply sustaining your natural speaking voice, providing you speak with a decent sound. Use a deep "whoa" as though you were demanding a horse to stop. Feel the vibrations emerging from the chest.
  • Middle Voice. The middle voice is the most sought after vocal register. Why? It's the bridge between your chest and head voice. It takes your voice from low to high, bridging the gap in between. The trick for the singer is to bridge that gap without allowing the voice to "break" or "crack."

    ·The Head Voice, or "head register" is used when singing in the higher part of the range. When singing in the head voice, the vocal folds are thin; the head voice is usually associated with light, bright sounds. Singers often feel the vibrations from singing in the head voice in their head or in the back of the neck.
  • The Mouth. Another area where vibrations are found is in your mouth, such as the roof of the mouth (hard palate), or even the front of the face. Just be aware of these vibrations as you sing.


Singing Tip #3 Choose Your Song Written in Your Key

If the song you choose is too high or too low and you end up straining your voice to reach the notes then your material is in the wrong key. It's not for you my friend.

The point is - the easier the song is to sing, the better you are going to sound. This is especially true when you're in the beginning stages of developing your voice.

When choosing the right song to sing remember these rules:

  • Can you sing the highest notes without pinching the sound or cracking your voice, and thus making it clear to an audience that you are struggling to hit those notes?
  • Does the tone of your voice fall apart, change dramatically, become breathy or sink back into the throat when you attempt to sing the low notes? If so, you need to work on the bottom end of your range.
  • Do you struggle to stay on pitch? If so, you may not yet be ready to sing this particular song at this time.
  • Are you running out of breath or becoming lightheaded during a performance? You may need to return to the basics of proper breathing techniques. Closely examine where and how often you are taking breaths during a particular song. Breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth.
  • Find a song that highlights your own strengths and not someone else's. Simple songs allow you the freedom to do this.
  • Original songs, whether written by yourself or by someone who is writing specifically for your voice, allow you to be as creative as you like and to define the personality and sound of the song. These types of songs allow you the freedom to express yourself through your own lyrical poetry and vocal interpretations and allow you to have more control over a song's range and key.

Determination is the key to developing the kind of voice you would like to have. How much do you really want to sing and sound just great? The basic keys to a great voice are:

  • Total control over your voice. Practice proper breathing techniques Nothing else works right until you learn this basic principle. Be determined to spend the time needed to develop this magnificent tool.
  • Singing on key. There is no excuse for singing flat or sharp. If you have trouble with pitch or don't know if you are singing on key, get help by hiring a teacher or coach.
  • Proper Diction - If you have not learned how to shape the vowels that make up the words you sing, learn how now. Sloppy pronunciation of lyrics cause your voice to lose tonal energy as well as muffle the sound.
  • Open Throat. If the soft palate is not activated (lifted) during phonation your sound is trapped. It cannot "travel" and project. This is an important technique to learn.
  • Vibrato. Some styles of music call for a nice, controlled vibrato. Keep the neck and shoulders relaxed when using vibrato. Control the speed of oscillations.
  • Posture. Your body is your instrument, therefore you must use correct posture each time you sing. Your singing muscles must be supported properly.
  • Vocal registration (resonating areas). Learning how to place your singing in the right resonating chamber adds richness and quality to your voice.

Determination builds character. The first step is to set goals. Keep these goals simple to help you in following through and establishing small increments of success.

The 7 basic keys to a great voice as listed above can only be achieved one step at a time. As you master one singing technique and skill only then are you ready to tackle the next one. The order at which you practice these techniques will depend on your present voice. A qualified instructor will know which technique needs to be addressed after hearing you sing.


Stay Determined and Never Give Up

Determination builds character. The first step is to set goals. Keep these goals simple to help you in following through and establishing small increments of success.

The basic keys to a great voice as listed above can only be achieved one step at a time. As you master one singing technique and skill only then are you ready to tackle the next one. The order at which you practice these techniques will depend on your present voice. A qualified instructor will know which technique needs to be addressed after hearing you sing.



Surround yourself with supportive people.and avoid those who are negative and critical.

Audrey Hunt

Conclusion

Whether you plan to be a professional singer or just sing for the love of it the discipline required for learning how to sing also relates to other areas of life. Those who study a musical instrument tend to be disciplined throughout life.

We all want a richer singing and speaking voice. In a sense, our voice defines who we are. We recognize this truth when we feel angry. Our voice is elevated, harsh and out of control. And so are we.

The Three Singing Tips you've just read about develop the necessary tools for a more successful and rewarding voice.

One thing is for sure,singing is a wonderful way to express yourself. Vocal lessons help to improve a person's self-esteem because they are working to better themselves. Sing because you're happy and sing when you're sad. Sing about the good times and sing about the bad.

Singing is your birthright. Avoid being over critical and hard on yourself. Free the voice that lies within . . . let it fly



Have You Ever Studied Singing?

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What a Wonderful World Scenic

Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway. ~Emory Austin

© 2011 Audrey Hunt

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    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi michelle - You've found the best reason for improving your voice - to praise God. How wonderful!

    • profile image

      michelle 

      6 years ago

      eventhough im not a good singer but i love to sing to praise god..iwant to improve my voice until it become soft,clear and beautiful

    • profile image

      Andy 

      8 years ago

      Hi

      I have a blog for helping people sing, perhaps you'd like to visit and tell me what you think content wise, I how this is possible to post, otherwise apologies:

      http://singoramania.blogspot.com/

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 

      9 years ago from Castaic

      Hi Vocalcoach! Yes, I just might contact you re: singing lessons. I've noticed that you are in TN. Do you give online singing lessons?-just wondering:-). Anyhow, it might be a possibility. Thanks for commenting on my hub, too. I've enjoyed reading your comments very much. I'm looking forward to reading more of your hubs, as well! Have a lovely day. Peace and blessings!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Caroline - I loved reading your wonderful comments. And if you decide on singing lessons, let me know as I offer a wonderful and fun way to improve upon the singing voice. I just read and commented on one of your hubs. It is about your mother. I wish I could have known her. What a beautiful, kind and courageous person! And you are such a sweet and loving daughter and person. How proud of you she is. Thank you, for your support and for reading my hub. God bless you, too.

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 

      9 years ago from Castaic

      This was a very interesting hub! My family and my husband's are very musically inclined. His sister sang in broadways before and my late aunt was the founder and conductor of the Philippine Concert Chorale. She was a music teacher. My mother whom just passed away recently was a soloist in my aunt's choir along with my brother, sister and cousins. I was also a member of the PCC and sang in choirs as well with my husband. Although I am not what you call a 'soloist,' I'm more of a dancer, sacred dancer to be exact, my singing voice have become better over the years. One thing I would admit though is that I would like to improve my singing voice. My son is very musical; he loves to sing, and my hubby has a beautiful singing voice. We used to always have some sort of a 'musical entertainment' every time there's a family gathering. We still do (karaoke) sometimes. Although my older brother both sing and play the piano beautifully, which he got from our dearest mother. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, and writing this article. Looking forward to reading more of your hubs. Keep at it. God bless!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      gracenotes - You have it right! Vowels "carry" the sound as well as form and clarify the lyric. This , of course, is all accomplished with correct lip, jaw and tongue position. Don't be too impressed with my conducting the MTC - I really wasn't all that prepared back in those days. (I just thought I was :) Enjoy talking music with you gracenotes, anytime. Peace and joy to you.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 

      9 years ago from North Texas

      Hope you don't mind one more comment. I'd much rather work on vowels than consonants! And oh, me -- I'm suitably impressed that you used to direct the S.C. Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      gracenotes - I spent several years as a choir director (Southern California Mormon Tabernacle Choir). I understand what you mean about the breathing. Choirs use "staggard breathing" for a smooth legato sound. Vocal coaches and instructors, if they are qualified also stress proper diction as this helps project the vocal sound as well as be understood. If the choir conductor is schooled in vocal pedagogy, vocal techniques are the same for both choir director and vocal coahes and instructors. Thank you so much for your comments. I thoroughly enjoyed them. Have a magnificent day! :-)

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 

      9 years ago from North Texas

      Thanks vocalcoach. Regarding choral singing, if you've done a lot of it, and then go see a vocal coach, she may say something like, "Aren't you ever going to breathe?" Ha ha -- in a choir, you are given permission to breathe.

      Also, a perfectionist choir director is very concerned about good consonants, which is usually not the most important goal of the solo singer!

      Bottom line, a good choir director teaches all the time, but with a slightly different emphasis. I learned a lot from one of them in the past.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      gracenotes - First, I want to congratulate you for good diction. Next, I am impressed that you are supporting your choir. Much can be learned about singing correctly (with a good conductor), in a choir. Thanks for visiting and have a great day.

      Dim - Most people believe the concept that we must be born with a great voice in order to sing well. This is just not true. In my 35 years to teaching, many of my students have come to me who were turned down by other teachers. Over half of them reached their goals and dreams as singers. I have had several singers make it to the Broadway Musical Stage in lead roles, some perform on cruise lines, others sing for a living , are finalists on American Idol etc. Thanks Dim. :)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Micky Dee - Your poems are songs ready to be set to music - the music in your heart, the music which radiates from nature, the music that touches your face through the breeze, as you ride your bike. Sing, Micky, sing! Love your sweet comments. :) Stay healthy.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Silver Poet - I believe we all have a "gift" to sing. Singing is an extension of our speaking voice, supported by air, confidenc and joy! I, too offer singing lessons on a CD as well as "Skype" video program. I help and support those who want to sing better all over the world through skype. It is a great joy for me and the very reason for my being. Sing, my dear friend. Let is out. Allow your vocal sound to be free and easy, giving you a sense of peace and joy. Trust your god-given right. Thank you for stopping by and stay close! :)

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      9 years ago from Great Britain

      l honestly thought people were either gifted with a singing voice or not... What an insightful hub this was for me. Thank you.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 

      9 years ago from North Texas

      I took some voice lessons. Most helpful. I love singing, but right now, confine my efforts to choral singing.

      This is a good hub. My voice teacher told me "You use your face like a Northerner. Listening to you speak, I would not have known you were a Texan. Northerners are very concerned with pronouncing everything correctly." So the idea was that I needed more looseness in my lips, cheeks, and jaw to free up the sound. I need to keep this in mind, and it's something my choir director might advise as well.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      katie - La, la, la, la, la..."you make me feel so young" (Frank Sinatra Version). You have just given me an idea for a new hub. "Why singing is good for the body and mind". Look for it soon and, gee, thank you katie! :)

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      9 years ago from Westerville

      Sounds like the voice is a tool and one that should be exercised to work its best. Makes perfect since. Thank you for the great tips for singers. Also I would think singing is good for the body and mind. Peace and Love and do keep those golden pipes well! :) Katie

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      prasetio30 - How wonderful to see you again! Your gentle words fill my heart with joy and warmth. I am astounded and thrilled to learn that you have mentioned me in your hub. I am so honored. I will visit this new article soon.

      You are a "quiet anchor" in my life. Stay close.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      GreenLotus - I am not surprised that we are both Josh Groban fans. The Beatles changed music forever with their genius. And you changed my life because you were the first hubber to welcome me into the fold, encourage me with your comments and first class hubs. I will love you forever! :-)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      MartieCoester - I am humbled by your words - inspired even more by your beautiful heart. Being a teacher is a huge responsibility entertwined with huge benefits. Thank you Martie - Stay Close!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Fantastic advice - excellent encouragement... brilliant quotes! And to think the three D’s is not only the key for better singing, but also for doing and being every single thing. I love this kind of inspirational articles, Audrey, especially this one who was clearly written by a woman who practice DDD every day of her life. Thanks, you are a born teacher. Please let me know when you’re video is available on U-tube.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      How you fill my heart "with the sound of music". Your hubs also fill me with joy, laughter and knowledge. You are one-of-a-kind Epigramman. You always support and motivate others. I am proud to be part of the "family".

      Thank you, dear brother.

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 

      9 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      I've taken a few singing lessons from a CD rom called Teach Yourself to Sing. I also enjoyed watching the girl learn to sing on a little known movie called Rigoletto. We need more singing--everyone can improve, even if everyone doesn't have "the gift." It's what you do with what you've got, right? :)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hello, hello - The 3 D's are also necessary in living a successful life. I think most musicians fail to think about these 3 D's as they strive to develop their talents. Now, if only I would put this into practice as I procrastinate on organizing my files and closet. :-)

      Thank you dear Hello.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      Very interesting inside knowledge of a wold I hadn't got idea about. Thank you.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      9 years ago

      ..now there's enough reason for you my dear vocal coach to sing "the hubs are alive with the sound of music ..........." a visit from both the epigramman and the legendary Sir Micky Dee!!!!!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      Dear vocalcoach, if I were near you - I would hire you to teach me to sing. I love to sing. But my voice is not strong and repeated use doesn't seem to help. I love your work! Thank you dear!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      9 years ago

      ..this wonderful hub may be about singing and its many disciplines but I feel it's also about life itself which makes your writing assignement here so much more profound and deep and soulful - and it's all because of you - this beautiful lady behind it - so dedicated and sincere to her art and her students - well it makes me want to sing and I make Pavarotti sound like Leonard Cohen!!!!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      wilbury steve - Thanks for reading my hub and I appreciate the nice comment. Happy 2011 to you!

    • wilbury steve profile image

      Steve Webb 

      9 years ago from Great Wakering, England

      I really enjoyed this hub & the excellent practical advice!!

      All the best

      Steve

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Good morning (Indonesia time), mzvocal. This is my second visit to this hub. I love your personality and I am glad to know your dedication and passion to help other in singing. I believe you are great teacher and you have marvelous talent in singing. I'll wait your video. Unfortunately, I never use Skype before. But I am so happy, because you have good intentions to taught me. I never hesitate to give my second vote to you. God bless you, my friend.

      Prasetio:)

      ps: I hope you want to visit my last hub about "the most beautiful princess in the world", I put your photo over there.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 

      9 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      You are a true pro vc and your advice is right on the money. I've been watching the Beatles Anthology over the past week and it's been a joy to see your success list in action. I'm also a fan of Josh Groban :)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      mssorenson - Wow - I did not know the story about your ex husbands voice. He must have been gifted as well as disciplined to equal the voices of Tenors, Domingo and Bocelli. Both of these artists are on my favorites list. Such perfection vocally. You must have enjoyed listening to him practice as well as perform. And how honored I would have been to work with him. I can see that my article took you back in time for a brief moment. Isn't it amazing - how life brings us on such a journey? My great blessing of having met you here on HP is one example. What are the chances of you and I meeting one another, even through the use of a computer? Ah yes - life is good. I love you, my dear and beautiful friend - Melissa. God bless!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dee - Your comments are valuable to me. You are singing for the only reason that counts - for the joy and because you feel happiness when you sing. Wonderful! Thank you dear lady.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Mentalist acer - You are quite right. To project your voice it is necessary to 1. Fill the lungs with plenty of air 2. Sing from the correct vocal register to generate strong vibrations (usually the mask area)3. Use a generous mouth opening, along with lifting the soft palate. How nice to have you drop by and take an interest in my new hub. Thank you very much.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Prasetio - I am honored that you would like to hear me sing. I will be posting a video of myself singing on youtube next month and will contact you when it is available. I also want you to know that I give vocal lessons using Skype Video on the computer. So, if you decide you would like a lesson with me, I will comp you a free lesson. That would be so much fun! Thank you, my dear friend for your support and kind comments. You have made my day a happy one. Love and blessings to you, Prasetio!

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      9 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      My lack of disipline,leaves me untrained with ability as a long ago member of me elementary school choir...I think another valuble attribute from vocal lessons is learning to project your voice in key.;)

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 

      9 years ago

      I sing for my personal enjoyment because it makes me feel happy not because I want to perform anywhere. I find you hubs about singing and voice inspiring in all areas. Thank you!

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 

      9 years ago

      My ex husband took singing lessons from the time he was little, followed a teacher to Canada for a while and was on many productions in Honolulu. What he had was discipline.

      There were times when I could not distinguish his voice from that of Placido Domingo or Andrea Bocelli, on tape. Oh it was so long ago.

      I could look at it again now in my mind because I am no longer attached and know it was part of a great journey.

      I do know this. He would have enjoyed you as teacher, beloved friend.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub. I am glad to follow your tips. I love singing very much. I wish I could singing with you and hear your voice in person. I have a request for you. If you don't mind, I want you put your video while you singing. It would be nice to know and see your talent. This time, I learn much from you, my friend. You are my favorite singer and my favorite hubber too. I give my vote for you. Have a great day! Love and peace....

      Prasetio:)

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