10 Second Summary
1. Stand up straight. Keep your head forward.
2. Learn to breathe from your diaphragm.
3. Practice singing your vowels and really open them up.
4. Find your vocal range, then try to extend it.
5. Practice singing exercises daily. This includes humming and trills.
6. Build your confidence and step out of your comfort level.
Mastering the Basics
- 1Have correct posture. To sing properly, make sure you have good posture. You should be standing or sitting up with a straight back. Your body should not be tilted to one side or the other. Make sure your head isn't tipped back or forwards.
- 2Learn to breathe from your diaphragm. Correct breathing is one of the most important things when singing. When you breathe, make sure you are taking air from your diaphragm instead of your chest. This means when you breathe in, your abdomen will expand instead of your chest. When you sing, you will push down on the diaphragm when you ascend a scale and release when you come back down the scale. Supporting your voice with the diaphragm is one of the keys to singing.
- To practice, place a hand on your stomach and inhale through your nose. Your abdomen should expand and jut out when you breathe in. Your chest should not move out or up. As you exhale, push down and contract the abdominal muscles. It should feel like doing a sit up. Repeat until this is natural when you are singing.
- 3Open your vowels. One quick way to improve your singing is to open your vowels. This is called open throat technique. To achieve this, start by saying "ah" or "uh." Elongate your mouth without widening it. You want to separate your tongue from your soft palette and keep them separated while you sing. Your tongue should be against your bottom jaw. This gives you better quality.
- Try saying A-E-I-O-U. Your jaw should not close on any of those. If you can't keep your jaw down, use your fingers to pull it down. Keep repeating the vowels until you can say them with your mouth open.
- Sing the vowels. Keep the jaw open while you sing them like you did while saying them. Then sing a phrase and open the jaw when you sing each vowel.
- This will probably take some practice to achieve, but it will help improve the quality of your singing.
- By doing this you can start to grow your voice.
- 4Tilt your chin down. When you are singing higher notes and trying to get power, keep your chin pointed down. Your head has a tendency to move up as you sing higher notes, which can cause problems to your vocal chords. Singing while focusing on keeping the chin down helps give your voice more power and control.
- 5Extend your vocal range. First, you must find your vocal range. After you have done that, you can begin to increase your vocal range. To do this, you must have proper technique. You must have non-airy vowels and proper resonance in your voice before you try to extend your vocal range.
- To extend your vocal range, do it a half-step or full step at a time. Practice with short scales and get comfortable singing that new note properly before trying to push your voice any higher or lower.
- Taking lessons from a vocal coach is the safest, most effective way of increasing your range.
- 6Transition between the different voice areas. Your voice is made up of 3 areas. Moving between these areas changes the resonance of your voice. Learning how to control this change can help improve your singing.
- The voice has three different areas: the chest register, the head register, and the middle register. Each of these areas refers to the range of notes sung from that section of the body.
- Head voice is the higher area. When you sing high notes, they will resonate in your head. Place your hand on the top of your head as you sing high notes to feel the vibrations. Chest voice is the lower area of your singing voice. When you sing lower notes, they will resonate in your chest. Middle voice - or mixed voice - is the middle area between your chest voice and head voice. This area is where your voice will shift from the chest to the head to properly sing the notes.
- As you transition from high notes to low notes, you need go from head to chest voice. You should feel the notes moving up towards your head or down to your chest as you sing. Don't keep the notes in the same place as you ascend or descend. This will limit the quality of your voice.
- 7Drink water. Water helps keep the vocal chords moist and fluid so they can easily open and close. You can also drink any other unsweetened, decaffeinated, nonalcoholic beverage for the same effect. Aim to have at least one pint of water a day.
- Lukewarm drinks are the best for your throat. Drink something warm such as warm water or warm tea with honey. Try to avoid cold things, like ice creams or cold fizzy drinks, because they can cause your muscles to tense.
Exercising Your Voice
- 1Practice exercises daily. If you want to sing better, you have to train your voice. This takes commitment. Doing vocal exercises a few times a week or month is not going to make a significant difference. Exercise your voice every single day. You want to train it and develop the muscles so you can enhance your voice.
- Remember, before doing any vocal exercises, make sure you warm up.
- 2Practice humming. Say, "Hmm?" Or say, "hmm" like you aren't sure you believe someone. Both of those noises should change in pitch. When practicing scales while humming, you want to feel a buzzing around your nose, eyes, and head, or down into your chest.
- Hum Doh-Mi-Sol on an ascending scale, then back down to Mi-Doh. While you are humming, work on the accuracy of your pitch.
- 3Do trills. A lip trill is when you blow air through your lips, causing them to flap and vibrate. It sounds like a br, like you are cold. If your lips are tense when you exhale air through them, they will not vibrate. Try to relax your lips, and if that doesn't work, push the corners of your mouth towards your nose while you do the exercise.
- Try doing tongue trills. This helps you relax your swallowing muscles so you keep them relaxed while you're singing.
- 4Keep the larynx steady. When you are trying to hit high notes, you want to keep your larynx steady instead of lifting it. This gives you better vocal control and helps avoid strain. To practice keeping the larynx steady, say "mum" over and over. Do this until you feel relaxed saying the word.
- Lightly hold your thumbs under your chin. Swallow. You should feel your swallowing/throat muscles engaging. When you sing, you want these muscles to be relaxed. Sing scales while making the "mmm" sound with your mouth closed. Your throat muscles should remain relaxed.
- You may end up making a funny face as you try to keep the sound in the top part of your face. That's okay. Exaggerate the facial movement and the sound if you have to. The important thing is to train your swallowing muscles to stay relaxed while going through the scales.
- 1Build your confidence while alone. One way to help you break through your nerves is to practice at home. When you practice, you need to take it even farther than usual. For example, sing louder and bolder, try different moves, or act crazy. Gain confidence in yourself before trying to gain confidence in front of others.
- As you practice in the mirror or on video, learn how to show your emotion and passion on stage. It may feel uncomfortable at first to be that honest and vulnerable on stage, but some of the best professional singers have the confidence to sing honestly and emotionally.
- 2Step out of your comfort level. One of the ways you can build your confidence is to continuously step out of your comfort level. This can be many things. You may try singing in front of an audience. It may mean learning how to extend your range, or even singing in another genre. Developing your voice, trying new things, and learning everything you can will help build your confidence.
- 3Sing in front of friends and family. After practicing and learning new singing skills, you need to start singing in front of people. Start by singing in front of trusted friends and family members. Start with one person, then build slowly. This can help you get used to singing in front of people.
- Ask them to critique you when you sing. This can help you get better if you are making mistakes.
- 4Sing in your community. Another way to build your confidence is to sing in your community. This may not be as difficult or nerve-wracking as a concert or more formal event. Look for opportunities at nursing homes or children's hospitals.
- Try auditioning for local theater or sign up for acting classes. This might help you gain the confidence to be on stage in front of people without having to sing. Then you you apply that to singing.
- 5Go to karaoke. Though karaoke with your friends is not a formal concert setting, singing in this environment can help you gain confidence. Though it's not helping your vocal technique, you can start to lose the anxiety you feel singing in front of a crowd.
- 6Sing a familiar song. The first time or two you sing on stage, sing a familiar song. This helps your confidence from the start. Choose a song in your range that flatters your voice. Don't try to do anything fancy with it; instead, sing it like the original. The key at this point is just to get you comfortable on stage singing in front of people.
- As you build your confidence, you can make the song your own, adapt your own style, and change it.
- 7Position your body to hide the nerves. If you are shaking, move around to help disguise the nerves. You can move your hips or walk around a little to help you appear confident and focus your nervous energy in another way.
- Try looking at a point above the audience if you are really nervous. Don't look at them. Find a spot on the back wall to focus all your attention to as you ignore the audience.