Singing seems like it should be easy, but it’s actually much harder than people imagine. Getting your voice to do what your mind tells it to do is surprisingly challenging.
There are many reasons why people can’t sing. Some people do not have the physical machinery in their throats to make it happen. Others have psychological barriers that prevent them from getting the most out of their voices.
It’s a myth, though, that you’re either a good singer, or you aren’t. It turns out that there are many ways the average person can improve their vocals and create a passable sound (perhaps, even, a good one). Check out the following tips:
Tune Your Voice Box
Professional singers regularly tune their voices by singing strange-sounding vowel sounds at various pitches. They do this to create a stronger link between the brain and the voice box. Ideas about how the voice should sound in the mind should reflect reality.
Unfortunately, some people have poor control over the muscles controlling the sounds they make. Consequently, they sing out of tune at certain pitches.
However, tuning up can help vocalists gain more control over their voice boxes. It sounds a little strange when you practice, but over time it can generate tremendous improvements.
Warm Up Beforehand
Just going out and singing is risky. It takes a while for the human voice to warm up so that it can be at its best.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to hum for a few minutes before you start singing. Get the vocal cords used to air passing over them. Always warm up with the type of sounds that you will need to produce during your performance. So, if you will be singing at low pitches, practice humming low sounds.
Make Soft Cooing Sounds After A Practice Or Performance
Strange as it may sound, it also helps to make soft cooing sounds before a performance. These help to open up the airways and relax the throat, giving it a greater range when the performance arrives. It can also be a good way to cool down afterwards, speeding your voice’s recovery for the next concert.
Practice Singing Regularly
Great singers are like professional musicians: they practice anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour every day on their voices. Regular practice helps to dramatically improve vocals with time, strengthening the vocal cords and allowing you to perform across a greater range.
If you can, use a loop pedal to record snippets of your singing. Ask yourself whether it sounds good to you, or whether you could do with improving in various sections.
Relax Your Facial Muscles
People are able to sing at their best when they relax their facial muscles. Don’t squeeze or tighten your mouth and throat when you sing. Instead, focus on producing a natural sound that suits your physiology. You don’t have to sound like anyone else. Just embrace being yourself.
Adopt The Correct Posture
While some choirs perform sitting down, music science shows that there is a right and wrong way to hold yourself when you sing.
- Start with your legs shoulder width apart and your knees unlocked
- Tilt your weight slightly forward so that you are on the balls of your feet more than the heels
- Keep your spine and neck long as this will help transport oxygen into the lungs
- Keep your neck loose
- Keep the chest open and lifted at all times. Never constrict it
Once you adopt this posture, you should find that it becomes easier to control your voice. You also become more adept at projecting sound – great if you’re performing to an audience.
Learning to breathe correctly is a critical part of singing well. The more oxygen you can draw into the lungs, the more powerful your singing will become.
Many people make the mistake of breathing shallowly into the upper chest. This style of breathing allows for quick breaths, but it prevents the lungs from opening fully.
Instead, when you sing, breathe deeply into the chest, down into the torso. Let your belly expand if necessary. The abdominal muscles should keep the chest lifted, but they shouldn’t lock it in place.
Don’t Eat Too Much Before A Performance
There aren’t any hard and fast rules about what singers should eat before a performance, but most experts agree they shouldn’t eat too much. You don’t want burps to interrupt your performance.
You’ll also want to drink plenty of water before your performance. A dry mouth can adversely affect the sound that you make.