Improve your singing with Successful Singing and our free singing tips and resources.
Whether you are a professional singer, sing in a band or community choir. Perhaps you join in at your local on the karaoke, or just sing in the shower, there’s something here for everyone. Why not pick up a few singing and performing tips from our free guides, or browse the above tabs to see our large range of backing tracks, sheet music, song books, equipment and accessories.
The human voice is one of the most fragile instruments, and is incredibly difficult to master. If you want to learn how to sing well, it’s going to be a long battle, but here are some great singing tips to help you avoid some common pitfalls.
1. Breath from the diaphragm. You really need to control the air that you’re expelling when you sing, and breathing from the diaphragm gives you more control to do this. Breath in so that you feel your stomach moving gently outwards when you inhale.
2. Practice your scales. Yes they can be boring, but they really will exercise your singing muscles and help strengthen your voice and extend your range. They will also help your sense of pitch.
3. Don’t strain your voice. Warm up before you start and don’t try to sing too loud or too high as you might damage your vocal cords. Take it slow and steady and you’ll sing well in no time. Keep your practice time to an hour or so a day, then move up if you feel like it. If you ever feel like your voice is straining, or if you feel soreness or pain, stop right away.
4. Seek out people’s opinion. Learning to sing well takes a long time, and during this time you may hear people’s comments about your voice. Use their comments constructively and if there is something you can improve on, try to work on the problem.
5. Make recordings of yourself. This is the best way to hear your problems, because you can separate yourself from your voice and listen to what other people hear. You may not like the sound of your voice at first, but keep at it; you’ll improve vastly, and you’ll start to notice stuff you like about your voice and really expand on those things.
6. Talk to established singers. Most of them will be happy to give you some tips and exercises that helped them out, and any time you need to ask for directions, the best idea is to ask the person that’s already at your destination.
7. Eat and drink well. Eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Don’t do anything that’ will affect your voice and prevent you from singing well. Caffeine isn’t particularly good for you, as is anything that causes mucous build-up like dairy products (drinking milk before singing is a particular bad choice). Don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol as this can really affect your singing voice.
8. Sing for the style. If you’re singing country, listen to country singers. If you’re singing rock, listen to rock singers, etc. Notice things that are the same in each style and emulate those. Be careful, however, to keep your voice unique, and not to simply copy another singer’s voice. Allow your personality and your voice to come out in your music.
9. Experiment with different sounds. Play around with different sounds. If you sang something with a nasal sound or perhaps a growl, would it improve what you are trying to convey in your song. Have fun too singing your songs in a different genre ,or in the style of a different singer.
10. Stay positive! If you’ve had a bad session, that doesn’t mean your voice is going to be bad forevermore. Have a break, address the problem and try again another day. Don’t get down on yourself, and don’t think that your voice is bad, Mindset is definitely a big part of singing, and you need to be positive. If you don’t think you sound good, neither will anyone else.
Singing when done with correct singing techniques will help improve your singing voice.
Are you singing through your nose? Sing an open vowel sound such as AH whilst pinching your nose. Listen to how your tone sounds. Does it sound normal. If it doesn’t or is difficult to do, then you are singing through your nose.
Open your mouth Cradle your face in your hands and gently pull down so that your jaw opens more than usual. Now try singing with your mouth in this position and see how much easier it feels to sing.
Lip Trills This is where you blow air through your lips as if you were mimicking a horse or an engine noise with a gentle sound coming from your throat..Brass players also use this technique to play their instruments. It sounds a bit like you are blowing bubbles underwater. It might take a bit of practice at first to get used to it, and if you smile, you’ll lose it. Yes I know you feel stupid and that it tickles your nose, but it’s a fantastic way of keeping your larynx down and not straining your voice when practicing scales or even songs.
Tongue Trills This is where your tongue rolls and vibrates against the back of your teeth, as if you were saying Brrrrrr on a cold day. It may not come naturally to some people, and may take a bit of practice to get used to. Its another gentle way of exercising your voice along higher notes without straining your voice.
Tongue Tension Does your tongue have too much tension? Press your thumb up into the flesh behind the bone of your chin when you are singing. It should feel soft and supple. The base of your tongue is almost attached to your larynx, so if your tongue is tense, then your voice has to work harder. Try to relax and open your mouth more when you sing.
How much air do I need? Try humming/singing through a straw. Try not to let any air escape through your nose either. This will give you an idea of how much air you really need to be able to sing.
Problems With Your Voice
Singing Should Never Hurt. If you try to sing a song and it hurts, you are doing something wrong. Don’t continue as this is going to cause damage to your throat and vocal chords. You will need to identify what you are doing that is causing you to hurt.
Did you warm-up your voice before you started singing? You wouldn’t see an athlete tearing around the racetrack without having gone through a warm-up routine. You should do the same for your vocal chords
Are you singing too high or to low? Maybe you should think about changing the key of the song to make it more comfortable for your range.
Is it your singing technique? Many singers have never learned good singing technique, so seek advice from a singing teacher or vocal coach.They will be able to help you to identify where you are going wrong, and point you in the right direction
If this doesn’t help then a visit to your Doctor may identify what could possibly be causing your singing voice to hurt.
Your voice is your instrument, so always take care of your body.
Drink plenty of water. This allows the cells around your throat and larynx to be well hydrated
Eat healthy. Junk food is so called for a reason
Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking,
Don’t shout or whisper. It really strains your voice
Try to give your voice a day off every week, especially if you have a busy schedule. That means no singing or talking.