Singing entails creating musical sounds through the use of one’s vocal cords; it ranks among the most loved hobbies for many individuals across the globe. For some others, singing comes as a profession and a means of livelihood. While the act and art of singing come naturally to some people, others may have to receive lessons on becoming excellent vocalists.
Experts opine that one can learn the rudiments of being a singer. There exist practical steps and methodologies to help beginners become good singers. The advent of technology, specifically the internet, means that learning materials for singing, are just a click away.
If you desire an improvement in your singing as a beginner, the following tips will come in handy:
1. Maintain Your Vocal Health
As someone who has started on the path of singing, it is essential that you take proper care of your instrument: your voice! Just like a guitarist tunes his/her strings, or a pianist adjusts his/her chords, you have to keep your voice in prime shape. Without understanding the basics of voice control and health, your singing endeavor may become truncated before you get started (by way of inflicting severe or irreversible damage to your voice).
You should adopt a holistic approach to taking good care of your voice. Taking nutritious meals and staying hydrated are a part of the strategy.
Also, it is essential to identify how certain foods affect your voice. For instance, some people note that their singing is affected adversely after drinking a glass of cold water. For others, their voices may become lethargic after consuming a plate of processed food.
2. Identify Your Vocal Range
A vocal range refers to the field of octaves that you can sing in. In simpler terms, your vocal range comprises the highest and lowest pitches you voice produces. Becoming proficient at singing is dependant on knowing your vocal range. In turn, one’s voice type is a function of the vocal range and gender. Primarily, you can determine your best vocal range by your most comfortable and natural pitch. This pitch allows you to sing at your best levels without putting a strain on the vocal cords.
Beginners will often have a shorter vocal range than advanced singers. However, with practice and dedication, you should be able to build a voice that can accommodate more ranges.
3. Simplicity Is Key
As a beginner, you might want to try out advanced lessons and exercises too soon/fast. The secret to becoming a great singer is not to attempt complicated ensembles without building your voice. Conditioning your voice involves improving your technique and performance.
In the early stages, you should aim to know how to control your breath, select a song that’s in your range, and use your diaphragm to project. Attaining these singing thresholds will help deliver an excellent singing performance and prevent any damage to your vocal cords.
4. Start With Warm-up Exercises
Sports enthusiasts harp on the need to prepare the muscles of the body before the start of any sporting activity. Typical warm-up activities are stretching and a light jog. This same principle holds for singing. Your vocal cords (mainly consisting of muscles too) should receive adequate warming session before you practice singing. Warming your voice before any learning session ensures that you fatigue less quickly. Also, you will protect your vocal cords from damage (wear and tear).
The following can serve as warm-up strategies for beginners:
Make intentional yawns
As simple as this act might sound, it is an essential practice for everyone learning to sing. Make a yawn by slightly opening the mouth. This action opens up the throat and diaphragm. At the same time, the individual also preps other internal organs for singing practice. Experts advise engaging in repeated yawning cycles to ensure the diaphragm is ready and set for singing.
Employ abdominal muscles
The first lesson you’d need to imbibe is singing from your core. This step is necessary because singing involves the use of your abdominal muscles. Again, it is essential to warm these muscles before you start singing. The consequential muscles comprise the psoas, the pelvic floor, and the diaphragm. Engaging these muscles ensures that your singing improves in the long run.
Get into a relaxed state
Your singing will gain traction when complemented with a relaxed state of mind and body. You should avoid being tense. Otherwise, you’d find it hard, reaching higher notes during your practice sessions. A simple step in dissipating tension is shrugging your shoulders and holding them still for a time, before releasing them.
Massage your cheek muscles and jaws
A significant part of singing centers on the activities that go on in your facial expressions and mouth. As a result, you must ensure that these areas of the face are in a relaxed state, for better singing. You can massage facial muscles and jaws in a natural rhythm, to help you sing better.
5. Practice Proper Breathing
Breathing and breath control are essential factors in hitting high notes and singing beautifully. To ensure you do not run out of breath while singing, you must follow specific steps. For starters, inhale deeply through the nose right into the diaphragm so that you feel your stomach rising slightly.
Hold this position for a short time and then exhale through the mouth so that your stomach flattens back. Carry out this action for two minutes. As a flip, inhale air again. When exhaling, you should allow the air to come out slower than usual. You can perform this cycle a couple of times until you feel ready to sing.
6. Adopt A Good Singing Posture
Good singing emanates from a good body posture as you practice. Note that singing engages almost every part of the body. Assuming the correct position will free up space in the chest for the lungs to expand without undue stress. While practicing, it is ideal for you to stand and sing. The neck, shoulders, torso among others, must be as free as possible. Position yourself in such a way that these organs and lungs assume positions that enhance singing.
7. Make recordings
During your practice sessions, it is advisable to make both audio and video recordings of your singing. These recordings can help you pinpoint areas you need to work on as well as aspects that are you are gaining mastery.
The key to becoming a professional singer is to practice your lessons regularly. Experts advise that you practice every day, according to how busy your schedule. It could be the minutes spent in the bathroom, or during your laundry time, among others. The more practice you engage in, the easier the act becomes, which will impact on your confidence levels.
These tips are by no means exhausted. The kind of singer you’ll become depends on other vital factors such as determination, persistence, and the desire to succeed at the craft.