How To Sing Well - How To Sing Good
By: Aaron Anastasi
Let’s get right to it. You want to be able to sing better, but you don’t want to have to spend thousands of dollars taking private lessons for the next several months and years. There are a few things that you can start doing right now that will show you how to sing well.
In this article you will discover the three most important pieces of information that will help you start singing better immediately. Those three things are:
- Breath and Breathing
- Singing From Your Diaphragm
- Things To Avoid
You may have thought to yourself, “Well, I’ll just skip this first one and see if this guy has anything to say about what I’m interested in: how to sing good. I already know how to breathe. I’m alive aren’t I?” I’m mean, come on, what does breath and breathing really have to do with singing, besides the fact that I have to be breathing, living to be able to sing?
Breath and Breathing
Breath control is everything in singing. The three most important things to remember when singing are:
In order to learn how to sing well, you must have enough air, and learn to control airflow. This will directly affect how well you are able to hold a steady tone, hold long you are able to hold a note and how strong your pitch is when singing.
Correct breathing, and singing, is much more than simply taking in air and then squeezing it out of your lungs and past your vocal chords. Correct breath control has to do with using your diaphragm while singing. You’ve probably heard of this, and I’m going to talk in detail about what exactly that is, but I need to explain a couple other things in order to give you a better understanding. Remember, in the midst of the technical stuff that the goal is to know how to sing well.
When most people inhale, they are inhaling shallow little breaths with their chest rising slightly. This seems to be just fine, and it is fine if you just need enough air to function. But singing takes far more air and requires you to exhale that air steadily and conservatively so that you can hold out notes and stay on pitch. This requires a different kind of breathing.
When we were babies, we used to breath correctly. If you watch a baby, you can see it’s little stomach rising and falling with each inhale and exhale, while its little chest never rises. This is the correct way to breath. When you raise your chest as you breathe, you cut off some of your lungs’ capacity to take in air.
Singing From Your Diaphragm
We can learn a lot from a yawn. When you yawn you are naturally taking in air the proper way for singing. Go ahead; give it a try. But when you do so, make sure that you don’t allow your chest to rise but only your stomach to expand. Notice how your throat opens up nice and wide and how the back of your is rounded and creates plenty of space for the air to pour into your lungs.
Taking a breath this way allows your belly to get out of the way so that your lungs have their full opportunity to expand, giving you plenty of air to be able to sing with power and hold out notes longer. After all, singing is simply holding out notes from one to the next.
When you exhale, your stomach should naturally contract, like a deflating balloon regulating the air as it comes out, giving you a steady singing tone, which is much more pleasant to the listener. Be careful not to force the air out or use your abs to push. This will only cause you to lose the air more quickly and give you a forced sounding tone.
Things To Avoid
When thinking about singing there are things that should be done regularly, like vocal warm ups and exercises, and there are things that should regularly be avoided. For instance, water is the singer’s best friend. It’s important to keep your throat hydrated at all times. A dry throat leads to bad pitch, strain and possible vocal chord damage. Also, water will consistently wash away any unwanted junk in your throat that might be hindering you from having the maximum amount of vocal control. Also, it will continually flush out pollens and viruses that may cause sore throat or even sickness. And singing with a cold is just the worst.
This one may be more obvious, but maybe not, since many singers are also smokers. Smoke is bad for you body and lungs, of course. Nobody is going to argue otherwise, unless they work of big tobacco. But specifically, smoke inflames your throat tissue, which causes you to lose a degree of note manipulation control. Extended exposure to smoke, even secondhand smoke, can damage your vocal folds permanently.
One other thing to avoid when you are preparing to sing is dairy. Dairy causes mucus and phlegm to build up in your throat, which impedes vocal control. Mucus build up in your throat also makes you want to keep clearing your throat, which grinds and could cause damage to your vocal chords. It’s better to give a little cough instead of clearing your throat.
I hope some of these tips will help you in your search of how to sing well. Remember that information is vital, but application is everything. You can know these things and be on your way to becoming a better singer, but until you apply them, they don’t have any practical worth for you as a singer.
I wish you all the best. Singing can be a wonderful outlet and a fun way to express yourself and be a vehicle for communicating your heart to the world!