Learn To Sing – You Can Learn How To Sing
By: Aaron Anastasi
If you want to learn to sing it is really a two-fold process. First, there is the aspect of knowledge, not only about the voice and how it works but also certain tips and tricks that will help you avoid pitfalls, protect you from creating bad habits and increase your ability to sing—and all this more quickly than just doing some vocal exercises that may or may not be the right kind. That was a mouthful!
Here’s what I’m saying.
There is a lot that needs to be learned before a single sound comes out of your mouth. With certain tips you can increase your ability to sing before doing a single vocal scale. The second, of this two-fold learning process, is, of course, vocal exercises. And vocal exercises are broken in to two separate types, which is a very important distinction to know, so that you don’t spend all your time on one type and never really have the breakthrough in your voice that you really want. So, in this article you will discover…
- Can ANYONE learn how to sing?
- Some thoughts and tips on the knowledge part of the learn how to sing process
- How the two distinct types of vocal exercises will give your voice a breakthrough
The question I hear more than any other, when it comes to singing, goes something like this: “Can I learn to sing even if I don’t have a ton of talent?” or “Do you have to basically be born with the ability to sing? Because I wasn’t, but I’d still like to become a good singer.”
The good news is, “YES!” You can learn how to sing, and if you already sing a little bit, you can learn how to sing better. That’s the short answer. Let me take a second to explain why this is the case.
Your voice box, the mechanism in your throat that you use to generate sound, is composed mostly of muscle (and cartilage). This is good news because just as you can go to the gym and develop the other muscles in your body, there are specific exercises that you can do with your voice to develop the muscles in your voice. And the result is a better singing voice!
Now it’s important to note that there are two different types of vocal exercises, but I’ll say more about that in a minute. First, I want to talk about the actual knowledge part of singing, which is important because with the right knowledge you can increase your singing ability dramatically and almost immediately, once you apply that knowledge. Of course you can improve your singing with vocal exercises, especially when doing both types, and I fully recommend doing them. But those take time and work, whereas the knowledge part is applicable right now.
Let me give you an example of how knowledge can begin to improve your singing immediately. One of the most important aspects of singing is breath-management, which just means having enough air and learning how to best use the air that you have. Well, while there is a lot to that, one thing is primary, and it’s something that you can do right now if you know it. And here it is.
Your posture is a key part of singing and breath-management. If you’re hunched over or sitting down or even just slouchy, you can potentially cut your breath support, and therefore your ability to sing well, in half. I won’t get into all the details of it here, but the basic idea is to keep your chest/sternum high and intake air so that your torso expands below the ribs, on your sides near your oblique muscles, and your lower back, not necessarily just in your belly.
Applying this one thing alone with increase your singing ability tremendously, immediately. And there are tons of other tips like it—some that you wouldn’t even necessarily think are connected to singing.
Okay, let’s talk for a second about the two different types of vocal lessons. The first are vocal warm ups. These are great for the purpose they serve, which is to wake your voice up and prepare it for more strenuous activity—singing! They are great for maximizing your current vocal ability and range. Vocal warm ups can be compared to stretching before working out or before a race.
But vocal warm up exercises are not going to necessarily give your voice a breakthrough making it any better than its current ability. You’re not necessarily going to increase your range, be able to sing higher notes or sustain better pitch by simply doing vocal warm ups. That’s where vocal strengthening exercises come in.
Vocal strengthening exercises are designed to push your voice and increase its ability. To continue with the analogy, they would be the workout or the race, whereas the vocal warm ups are the stretch, the warm up.
Now, it’s important to do the warm ups before doing the strengthening exercises, of course, because you don’t want to add unnecessary strain to your voice or even damage it. Just like you would never see a runner refuse to stretch his or her legs before a race, it’s unwise to jump right into performance singing or strengthening exercises without having readied your voice with warm up exercises.
But doing a regular regimen of the right vocal warm ups and the right strengthening exercises on a regular basis, along with applying the knowledge part, the tips and tricks of singing, you will move quickly toward being the singer that you really want to be. And while it’s not super easy per se, it is simple. If you apply these things you will become a better singer.
And don’t be discouraged. The amount of time you need to spend developing your voice, and the amount of information you need to know to get started, is probably much less than you think. Of course this kind of thing doesn’t happen overnight, but if you really want to make it happen it will be there before you know it!
I hope you’ve found some of this helpful, and best of luck to you as you begin your journey of becoming a better singer!