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Ways To Perfect Your Vocals

The human voice is probably one of the most complex instruments known to humanity. What comes out as a cacophony of sounds produced through the vocal cords is impressive.

The fact that changing the pitch of your voice or adjusting your breathing can bring about a complete change in how you sound is undoubtedly a marvel.

The process that attunes singers to modulate their voice and bring about such beautiful variations in their melodies is known as voice training.

It is something all professional singers must go through before thinking of performing in front of audiences.

You don't have to be a Grammy Award-winning singer to consider taking up voice training lessons. Even if you don't plan to sing professionally and fancy yourself as a casual singer, singing training and coaching can help you improve your voice and teach you a thing or two about pitch control.

But to take up voice training, you need a coach. You can't make progress with voice modulation, projection, breathing maneuvers, and other singing techniques by yourself.

You need a professional who is well-versed with the nuances of vocal training to help you with the ins and outs of singing.

Although, if you're learning how to train your voice to sing yourself, follow these tips closely:

A woman in a green shirt wearing a pearl necklace and holding a guitar in her hand as she strums it. It is hard to train your voice without the help of a voice coach or a musical instrument to act as a guiding base.
Training your voice includes singing acapella without the aid of any musical instruments. You must be on-pitch while singing acapella as there are no instruments or beats to mask you if you go off-key (Source: Unsplash)

Vocal Elements To Improve Your Singing Voice

Have you had a bad experience when singing before? Did you receive an off-handed comment about how you sound, and did that end up putting you off of singing altogether?

Unfortunately, there's a popular misconception that singing is something you're born with. You're either a singer, or you aren't, as if singing is an innate ability.

While your genetics can dictate how your voice sounds, virtually anyone can learn how to sing, given that they don't have any disability with their vocal cords or throat.

If they put their mind to it, almost everyone can learn how to sing and do a pretty decent job at it, but only if they're committed to their singing training.

Every professional singer on the Billboard charts has gone through rigorous voice training, singing lessons, and exercises to help them reach where they are today.

No one becomes a singing maestro overnight. Improving your singing voice is a continuous process that takes time and consistent effort.

Below are some vocal elements that you should focus on to take your voice to the next level in no time:

Improve Vocal Agility

Vocal agility refers to a singer's ability to transition from one note to another. It's a measure of a singer's singing prowess and how well they can land on a note without sliding up or down by an octave.

What differentiates an average singer from a professional singer is having enough command of your voice to land on exactly the note you want to sing.

Those who can master vocal agility have a firm grasp of their rhythm and pitch. And to maintain proper vocal agility, you must take care of your cords.

Work On Resonating Your Voice

Most people are first introduced to the word resonance in physics class. Perhaps looking at the concept through the eyes of the singer can explain it better.

How well your voice resonates determines its quality and how it sounds to others around you. It is the distinguishing factor between sounding like a timid amateur or a maestro belting out high notes.

Voice resonance is a crucial part of voice training. Tutors will teach students voice modulation exercises through their diaphragm, sinuses, throat, and chest while singing.

While voice training apps automatically take care of this issue when recording a song, you cannot ignore the effects of resonance while singing live.

Improve Your Diction

Amateur singers do not give enough importance to their diction. But it forms one of the basic building blocks of your singing trajectory.

If you can't pronounce your words correctly, you will never make it big as a singer, no matter how well you sing.

How you enunciate your words, emphasize different syllables, and pronounce different phonemes can all come together to give a song its characteristic definition.

Some singers are distinctly renowned for their unique pronunciations, such as Dolly Parton for her characteristic southern drawl and Bob Marley for his Jamaican twang.

Correcting your diction is not something you can do on your own. However, when working with a voice coach, you can mirror their pronunciation, enunciation, and emphasis.

In the early stages of your training, you will need constant monitoring to identify your mistakes. And if you want to know how to train yourself to sing, you must first get a handle on your pronunciation.

The sound of vowels, the emphasis on certain letters, the clarity of sound, and the proper pronunciation of words need to be developed with formal training, which can only be achieved with the help of a music coach.

Expand Your Vocal Range

You must also realize and identify your vocal range. Remember that everyone sings with different pitch levels based on their natural voice.

Those with a low-range voice can sing in a deep voice and with more bass, while those with a high vocal range can sing higher notes well.

Men generally have low voice registers, but those with higher registers can use a broader range of their vocal cords, being able to sing in falsetto, among other types.

To work well within your vocal register, choose songs within your singing range, and you do not have to push yourself to reach the tune.

But relying on your comfort zone and sticking to one style will not do much for you as a singer either. Therefore, it's essential to experiment with different ranges when training your voice.

Try to increase your vocal range gradually so that you can enhance your singing ability. Ask your vocal tutor to:

  • Conduct exercises such as tongue and lip rolls
  • Go up and down the scales with you
  • Try switching the tunes you usually sing with high notes and low notes
A Sony Walkman is lying on a wooden table with a black music record in the background. Thanks to comprehensive technological advances, it is now much easier for singers to train using different voice training software
Voice training apps and software automatically correct pitch and fluctuations in notes while singing. That is why many singers sound different when you hear them singing live as opposed to hearing their songs on the radio (Source: Unsplash)

Correct Your Posture

Your posture plays a large part in how your voice is relayed to your audience, as it affects your breathing. If you have a posture that restricts airflow, it will show in your singing.

To maintain the correct posture:

  • Stand with your feet apart
  • Slightly extend your arms away from your body
  • Keep your shoulders and head back to allow your voice to project adequately.

Following these steps will put you in control of your breathing. The correct posture will help you inhale easier and release it slowly while singing.

Correcting your posture is one of the more accessible aspects of singing preparation. Avoid standing like a slouch, keep your chin tilted slightly upwards, and keep your torso straight.

A close-up of a brown bird on a grey rock. Human beings aren't the only animals who can sing. Birds have a highly attuned sense of music and use melodies as mating calls. Hence, you won't find a bird using a voice training app!
Our vocal cord is responsible for generating our voice. It's essential to take good care of our cords, avoiding unnecessary strain and dryness while singing. A vocal cord injury while singing can put you at risk of permanently losing your voice (Source: Unsplash)

Correct Your Breathing

Using the proper breathing technique is also essential to singing. If you've ever seen an infant breathing, you must have noticed how they only move their stomach while inhaling and exhaling.

As adults, we seem to lose this motion of breathing. Therefore, it is worth remembering this breathing technique as you avoid moving your chest and shoulders too much when taking a breath.

Initially, this method may be challenging to adopt because we're so used to breathing in our own way, but you can get there with practice.

New singers tend to hold their breath or reduce their breathing frequency when singing, but this is not the correct technique. The key is to take large and deep breaths.

Deep breathing is vital for those who want to sing well. To master your breathing techniques, try some breathing exercises, and quite soon, you will instinctively regulate your breathing as you sing.

The proper breathing technique keeps your voice from cracking and allows you to maintain your pitch and note while singing. Ask your vocal coach for help with breathing exercises for singing training.

Upgrade Your Fitness Levels

Body fitness doesn't seem like a prerequisite to singing, but because you will only sound as good as you feel, staying fit can improve your singing.

The last recommendation was focused on proper breathing, and breathing deeply requires stamina. To develop this stamina, one must persist with physical exercises, such as cardio.

Furthermore, while breathing techniques can help you tweak your breathing, physical exercise can help you increase your lung capacity.

With high fitness levels, you can sustain your notes without feeling out of breath. All your exercises should be geared towards increasing your lung capacity and strengthening your throat muscles, improving your singing voice.

High-intensity workouts like jogging, running, and aerobics can help you achieve these fitness goals as you breathe seamlessly and improve how you sing.

Follow a workout regime to avoid visits to the general physician or even the vocal doctor.

Avoid Singing If You Feel Pain

If you experience pain while singing, you're probably singing outside your vocal range and experiencing a lack of voice support. Doing so can lead to a vocal cord injury.

This could also be due to incorrect breathing techniques, which put undue strain on your cords. You might experience slight pain when singing very high or low notes because of the extra pressure on your cords.

Improve Your Singing Voice With A Professional Voice Coach

Vocal exercises and voice training can go a long way in improving your singing voice. You can access several vocal exercises online, watch tutorials, or consult with singers around you.

However, if you want to develop a consistent regiment to improve your singing, you should get in touch with a qualified vocal coach.

Superprof gives you access to multiple singing teachers and voice coaches in your local area. Get in touch with a coach and start your singing classes right away. Don't let your self-doubt get in the way!

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Ian