It’s a common misconception that you’re born with a singing voice. The narrative espoused by many is that singing is an innate talent.
While your genetics might play a role in how you sound, it’s possible to train your voice the same way you would learn a musical instrument.
If you want to know how to train yourself to sing, read on to find some of the ways you can perfect your singing and breathing techniques.
With these tips, you will unlock your voice and reach those notes you were struggling to master:
Warm Up Your Voice Before Singing
When singing, your vocal cords vibrate countless times in a second. These vibrations can put undue strains on your muscles and cause a vocal chord injury.
Therefore, it’s crucial to warm up your vocal cords before singing to avoid damaging them, just like you would warm up your muscles before exercising.
Vocal warm-up exercises only take a few minutes at the most and are pretty simple:
- Start by taking deep breaths and emptying your lungs of air
- Continue these breathing exercises for a minute or two
- Follow that up by singing some basic scales to get your chords moving
- End by practicing some of the notes you will be singing
Training your voice with some scales and arpeggios can warm up your chords and prevent any significant injuries to your chords.
Maintaining adequate care of your vocal cords will help you avoid visiting a doctor for musicians.
Keep Your Vocal Chords Lubricated
If you’ve ever sung on a dry throat, you would know how uncomfortable that gets, resulting in your voice becoming croaky.
As vocal cords vibrate relentlessly when singing, keeping them lubricated to prevent any tears is necessary.
Think of your vocal cords as a rapidly moving machine, like a car that has to be well-lubricated and maintained.
Drinking water helps keep your vocal cords lubricated and avoid dryness which can lead to strains. You can also use honey and lemon juice as alternatives to water while singing, training, or doing vocal exercises.
Maintain The Correct Posture While Singing
The best singers will tell you the key to improving your singing voice is to sing from the diaphragm, not the mouth.
To do this, it is essential to maintain the correct posture. If the airflow between your lungs, throat and vocal cords is restricted, singing can be challenging and even impossible at times.
A good singing posture means keeping your shoulders rolled back, chest and upper body high, held up straight, and your chin parallel to the floor. Stand straight, and don’t tighten your core muscles to allow unrestricted airflow to your cords.
However, there’s more to singing than just posture and voice training. It would help if you also learned how to control your breathing, which will help you hold onto your notes longer and avoid breaks during singing.
To control your breathing:
- Start by taking a deep breath and inhaling as much air as you can instead of just inhaling normally. Imagine an elastic band wrapped around your stomach that you’re trying to expand by breathing in
- Breathe out the air using your nose and mouth while keeping the rest of your body relaxed. Doing this will help you control your breathing in a way that can improve your singing and help you hold your notes for a longer time
Practice With Songs You Like
Although essential, repetitive practice with scales, arpeggios, singing training, and voice exercises can get boring quickly.
Rather than only conducting vocal exercises, why not switch to songs you like singing after you’ve done a few warm-up exercises?
Let your own music choices and tastes dictate what notes you use for your practice sessions and use them for training your voice.
Since sticking to one style can limit your singing range, try your hand with pop songs or ballads. Try and use some of the pieces you liked but could never reach their high notes well enough.
If your favorite songs do not push you to the limit, try and use scales that challenge your singing skills. But before doing any of this, remember to warm up sufficiently because high notes can push your vocal cords and risk muscle strain.
To make things easier for yourself, set goals and try to raise a semitone each week. With regular practice, you can reach notes that you thought were impossible for you.
Record Yourself Singing
How you hear your voice inside your head is not how it sounds to other people. You might think you’re singing with a perfect pitch while appearing off-key for those around you.
To get around this issue and hear how you actually sound while singing, you can record your voice and look for the parts you’re struggling with.
Record yourself in a room where there is no background noise and as little natural reverb as possible. After recording, play the tapes and review how you sound.
Take notice of the parts where you seem to be missing the notes or resorting to improper singing or breathing techniques.
By analyzing your singing, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, helping you improve your voice through practice and voice exercises.
Furthermore, you can even use voice training apps if you feel they help you improve your technique.
Practice In Short Sessions
Singing for too long can play havoc with your vocal cords and burn your voice out, putting them at the risk of permanent damage.
Have you ever felt that croaky sensation in your throat after screaming or cheering? That is what it feels like to have compromised vocal cords.
This is one of the reasons that singers schedule breaks between concerts when they’re touring for shows. Singing every night for extended periods could potentially render them unable to sing in the future.
Whenever you’re practicing by yourself or in a group, restrict the time duration of your sessions to one hour at the maximum to avoid any undue strain on your vocal cords.
And if you’re working on very demanding singing techniques, try and restrict your sessions to an even shorter duration.
Always remember to listen to your body and don’t ignore any signs of discomfort. If you feel your voice is cracking or you experience shortness of breath, take a break for a while.
Singing is a physical exercise, and if you’re feeling pain or strain, it’s essential to give your muscles and chords adequate time to recover.
Like we mentioned before, keeping your vocal cords lubricated is very important. Remember to drink water during and even after a singing session.
Practice With An Instrument
Perfecting your pitch is key to singing well. There is no point in having the best voice in the world if you don’t know how to sync with the tune.
Whether you’re practicing scales or arpeggios, it’s always a good idea to keep a piano or another musical instrument nearby to sync your voice with the tune.
Don’t worry; you won’t have to practice with a piano the entire time you sing, but a few warm-up exercises with an instrument by your side can help sync your voice to the tune and improve your singing.
Learning to sing is easy once you know how your voice works. Therefore, singing exercises are always preceded by basic vocal training and breathing exercises.
Train Your Voice With The Help Of A Professional Vocal Coach
Your voice is an instrument, just like a piano or a guitar, that can be trained through practice. Start with simple exercises and basic scales, moving onto more complex notes and melodies with time.
Vocal training can be challenging for those who aren’t familiar with singing. Training with a vocal coach can help you minimize errors in your singing technique.
Find qualified vocal coaches and singing instructors in your area with Superprof and sing with confidence the next time you go out for karaoke!