Can Anyone Learn to Sing?
By: Aaron Anastasi
Can anyone learn to sing? Generally speaking, yes! Pretty much anyone can learn to sing with the right instruction, knowledge and exercises. And this may sound crazy, but you can learn without taking lessons. You just need to know a few things and do a few things regularly. In this article you will learn…
- Anyone can build muscles, and the voice is just that
- Why your previous methods may not have been effective
- Why certain knowledge of the voice is equally as important as vocal exercises
Your voice is made up primarily of muscle and cartilage. And this is a good thing, because, as I mentioned above, vocal exercises are designed to build these muscles to help with voice pitch, tone, stamina, etc. Asking if anyone can learn to sing is almost like asking if anyone can get into shape or develop the muscles in their body to make them more toned or increase in size. And you don’t need a personal trainer in order to get into shape. It’s nice to have one as an accountability partner and motivator, but the truth is, you just need to know a few things about the body and the machines at the gym and you need to do the correct exercises, correctly. The voice is the same way. You don’t necessarily need a vocal coach. You just need to know a few things and do a few things. Your voice is made up of muscles and when developed correctly, great singing is the result.
Many people get discouraged when it comes to singing, thinking that some are lucky enough to be born with a good singing voice, while everyone else is out of luck and stuck with a mediocre or bad voice. Maybe that describes you.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. While it’s true that some people have more natural talent than others, everyone has to work at developing their voice no matter how much talent they have, and even if your talent is minimal you can improve, and probably in a shorter amount of time than you imagine.
Now, maybe you’ll argue that you’ve tried some vocal warm ups for a while or even started taking lessons, and you didn’t see much improvement. You finally got up the nerve to start the process but didn’t see the results like you hoped you would.
There are a few things that may have taken place. First of all, there are different types of vocal teachers out there, some better than others, of course, just like anything else, and there are different types of vocal exercises. For example, some vocal exercises are designed to simply warm up your voice to keep you from straining it and to help you give it a little stretch before a performance, much like a runner would do before a race. These are great and will help you protect your voice from harm, but they aren’t the type that will help you become a better singer, help you increase your range or even your pitch. The best option is to do your vocal warm ups (again, some are far better than others—the wrong ones can even damage your voice) and then follow those up with advanced vocal exercises that will help you begin to increase your range, help you sing higher notes and better you pitch.
Another factor to take into consideration is time. We live in such a “now” culture that people want to see results within a couple of minutes. I’m exaggerating, of course, but not much! If you’re serious about becoming a singer, the first thing you need to do is commit to doing the work. Decide that you aren’t going to allow yourself to get discouraged easily, and if you do start down that road that you will recognize it and bounce back quickly. Anything worth having generally takes time and effort to acquire. And it’s no different with singing.
Having said that, if you’re doing the right exercises, and doing them consistently (I’ll say more about this in a second), you will see progress in a relatively short amount of time, but be patient. You probably won’t go from tone deaf to American Idol winner after three minutes of vocal scales.
Consistency. I’m going to write a book about consistency some day. It is such a powerful thing. Doing the right exercises for a short amount of time daily will help you progress far more quickly than doing hours of exercises occasionally, which is another reason some find themselves discouraged, thinking that they can’t progress because they already gave it a shot. Vocal warm ups and advanced exercises are most effective when done daily. Anything you want to be good at should be practiced daily, even if it’s just for five minutes.
All right, enough of that. Let’s talk for a second about knowledge. Developing a good voice is half doing the right warm ups and exercises and half knowing certain things about singing and about your voice that will transform the way you approach singing. There’s the aspect of building the voice, but the easier, less time-consuming half of singing is just knowing what to do differently.
Let me give you a couple of simple examples. If you keep your tongue resting slightly up against your bottom teeth, flat like a matt, you will have better tone. Of course you will need to raise it up for syllables like T and NG, but it should go right back to where it was. You don’t need to build up anything to do this effectively. You just need to know it and be conscious of it when you sing.
Okay, one more. Proper posture will allow you to have up to 50% more air in your lungs, which will dramatically increase your power, tone, pitch and resonance. That’s just two of a ton of little tips that will help you increase your ability as a singer right way.
Hope that’s helpful!