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Singing Tips – 5 Singing Tips To Improve Your Voice

Whether you’ve only dabbled with singing, or you’ve been singing professionally for years, I want to give you a few singing tips that should, in a short amount of time, move you farther along than where you are right now. Don’t believe the lie that because you weren’t born with an American Idol winner’s voice that you can’t improve. With the right knowledge and practice you can improve dramatically. In this article you will acquire singing tips and exercises that target the following three things:

  • How to sing in a way that doesn’t end in embarrassment
  • How to sing with sustained power and tone
  • How to maximize your vocal tone

Phrasing

The wrong phrasing, during a performance, can create an embarrassing situation. When singing, each stop or break you take in-between words and sentences is called phrasing. Phrasing sounds most natural when it’s done during punctuation marks, like periods and commas. Depending how much you choose to sustain certain notes, additional phrasing may be required. This is when you need to catch a quick breath and finish a phrase, without the break being to noticeable or sound awkward to the listener.

While what I’m about to tell you may seem overkill, it may save you from an embarrassing situation. This technique is used by public speakers all the time. In fact, I learned it in my speech class at Princeton, and you may have even seen in done in the movie The King’s Speech. It will help you avoid the odd sounding inhale in the middle of a word or phrase and make it sound more natural. This will also help you avoid running out of air toward the end of a phrase. It’s difficult to sing on pitch or with any power when you don’t have the proper amount of air to work with.

All you really need to do is sit down with your lyric sheet and mark out your phrasing, where your pauses and stops are going to be. How much air, and how much you decide to ride each note, depends solely on you. So, as you mark of your sheet, sing along to find out where the most comfortable pauses are for you and make a note of it. You can uses slashes (/) or whatever will help you remember where to take your breaths. And this will help you discover the trouble spots in the song of which you may not have been previously aware.

Singing with Sustained Power and Tone

I don’t have to try to convince you that the most vital thing to a singer is having enough air. It’s pretty obvious, right? But once you have a good breath and you’ve got some idea of how to sing from your diaphragm, and maybe you’ve even read some of my material about how vital posture is, how do you translate that into a nice full, sustained tone with power through out a phrase? That comes with practice. So without saying too much more, I want to give you an exercise that will help you with breath support and sustained tone, and will also be a good one to help give you an exercise that can help you develop more stamina in you singing so that you can powerfully sing the larger phrases when you need to without having to catch that quick breath.

The Bent Flame

I call this exercise the bent flame because that is the purpose: keep a flame bent without blowing it out. You also want to try to keep the flame from flickering or from blowing wax on you hand! All of these guidelines serve a purpose, and that purpose to get you used to sustaining a breath and getting the most out of it rather than letting the air slip away too quickly.

If you have a candle, that usually works the best for this exercise. Once you light the candle hold it about a foot away from your face. Not only do you not want to singe your eyebrows, but you want to give yourself some room so that you don’t blow the candle out to quickly and partially reproduce a light singing situation. Now, blow on the flame and see how long you can sustain the breath at a steady pace and bend the flame!

Vocal Tone

When speaking of vocal tone, this is a reference to the timbre or the color of someone’s voice. It is the thing that distinguishes one voice from another. And, while every voice is unique, there are vocal tone categories. You may have heard people refer to someone’s voice as shrill, or booming or warm. These are some of the many different ways that voices are categorized. The question is: how can you get the best possible vocal tone out of your unique voice? The quick and dirty answer is that it is dependent primarily on how much space you create in your mouth and throat for the air to resonate, or reverberate, in when you sing.

I want to give you a singing tip that will go a long way. If you apply just this one thing, you will create a warmer, fuller tone and be able to hit higher notes!

Dropping the Jaw

Dropping the jaw is one of the most important concepts you will learn when it comes to singing. Let me start by saying what dropping the jaw is not. It doesn’t simply mean lowering your chin. This will naturally happen when you drop the jaw, but the two are not one and the same.

In order to get an idea of what dropping the jaw feels like, take your fingers and follow your jaw line to where it stops, under your ear. You can feel a little dip there. Keep your finger there and begin a yawn. That little dip will open up a greater amount of space, and notice how much more space you’ve created inside you mouth and the back of your throat. Now try and do this with your mouth closed. That is what it means to drop your jaw. The application of this one piece of knowledge can possibly increase you singing ability more than any other single thing.

I hope this helps, and thanks for reading.

Aaron Anastasi

>> More odd Singing Tips you need to know

Comments (49 comments so far)


  1. henry
    736 days ago

    I love your ideas on perfect exercises that would help in improving one’s vocals..


    • Aaron Anastasi
      736 days ago

      Henry,

      Thanks, man! I carefully created and selected the right exercises that would be the most effective for the different areas of the voice and singing.

      Thanks for the note!

      Aaron


  2. unglid lodey
    734 days ago

    hey i love this ideas but i dont understand some phrases like ride each not.


    • Aaron Anastasi
      733 days ago

      Unglid,

      Thank you for the question. I apologize, but I’m not sure what you are referring to, “ride each not”? When did I say that? That doesn’t mean anything to me either, so there must be some breakdown in communication. Can you be more specific about what I was talking about.

      Thanks for the comment. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

      Aaron


    • Aaron Anastasi
      733 days ago

      Unglid,

      I found the spot that you are talking about. When I say, ‘ride each note’ I mean how long you choose to sing out and sustain that particular note.

      Hope that helps.

      Aaron


  3. j
    727 days ago

    cool thanks. anything in particular that helps warm the voice up? and also any tips for a good vibrato and how to not ound ridiculous..!?! thanks much appreciated!


    • Aaron Anastasi
      722 days ago

      J,

      You’re very welcome. Let’s see. I do have an entire section in my full course dedicated to warming up the voice (http://www.howtosing.com/superior-singing-method/), but to give you an idea, the best warm ups start with mouth closed doing humming in the middle of your range and working toward the top slowly.

      Vibrato is a little trickier to describe. I developed an entire course for that that you can get with the full course.

      Thank you for the note, and forgive the delayed response. I was out of town for the holidays.

      Aaron


  4. bayleigh
    726 days ago

    hello im bayleigh and i want to no if im a good singer and i have never had any singing lessons so i do not really no what to do.


    • Aaron Anastasi
      722 days ago

      Bayleigh,

      Thank you for the note. I would have to hear you sing to know if you are a good singer, but I have developed a course for all levels of singers that is step by step, giving you all you need in order to strengthen and improve your voice. You can find it here: http://www.howtosing.com/superior-singing-method/

      I wish you all the best, Beyleigh!

      Aaron


  5. Dylan
    725 days ago

    Hey Henry, I was wondering a few things. first of all I want to let you know where I’m coming from as a singer. I’m a freshmen in college, and recently started my own record label. Up to now I’ve only been doing rap, but I really want to incorporate singing as well. First I was wondering what you thought about smoking weed in regards to how much it affects your voice/stamina/whatever. I also wanted to know if exercise played a role in your voice, and just overall lifestyle ways to improve your voice. Good article btw, I’m excited to try out your tips!


    • Aaron Anastasi
      722 days ago

      Dylan,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article, and thanks for the note.

      Smoking is a known cause of lung, tongue, trachea and larynx cancer. And all of the things in that list are pretty important to the singer. Smoke, on a day-to-day basis, traumatizes the membrane of the vocal tract.

      Also, the heat from inhaling dries out and causes inflammation in throat tissues. As you can imagine, singing becomes more difficult with an inflamed throat, and you lose a degree of note manipulation control. Also, as the throat becomes dried out, the throat membrane secrets mucus to try and compensate, and this sets you up for a throat clearing, which grinds and adds trauma to the vocal cords .

      In addition, more and more evidence suggests that smoking cigarette speeds up the process of dyspnea, which is just a fancy way to say difficulty breathing. This resembles a faster aging of the lungs. With an activity that is so dependent on breathing, breath support and breath management, smoking is something that should be avoided, if possible.

      With singing, while warm up exercises definitely include vocal warm up exercises, scales, etc., it also includes warming up the whole body. Singing is a whole body event, particularly the body from the waist up. So, exercises should start with some type of motion that targets the torso, the abdominal wall and the neck. Certainly the shoulders are a part of the singing event as well.

      Maintaining regular exercise, 30 minutes to an hour, 3-4 times a week, will definitely help you to sing better. It will particularly affect your breathing, which is one of the main keys of singing well and beautifully. Excess weight makes breathing noisy, which doesn’t lead to free singing. Silent breath renewal in between sung phrases is the goal.

      Hope that helps.

      I’ve got a full, systematic course that I think could really benefit you that you can find at http://www.howtosing.com/superior-singing-method/

      I wish you all the best in your career, dude.

      Aaron


  6. dillian
    715 days ago

    ‘Thank you so much, i really love you ideas about singing and i hope someday i become a singing sensation..


    • Aaron Anastasi
      714 days ago

      Dllllan,

      You’re welcome, man. I hope you do too!

      Good luck!

      Aaron


  7. Galih Ramadan
    712 days ago

    Hi,

    I love how you teach us to sing, but do you mind if you check my youtube channel to tell what’s wrong with my singing? If you can please check http://www.youtube.com/user/galihramadan/videos and tell me what’s wrong…
    If you can tell me what’s wrong and give me some tips, I promise I will buy your Superior Singing Method!

    Thanks,
    Galih Ramadan


    • Aaron Anastasi
      711 days ago

      Galih,

      Hey man. Thanks for the comment. I gave your song/video a listen. First let me say that you’ve got talent and a lot of potential, especially for a guy your age.

      The things that struck me the the most are occasional pitch problems. This was mostly in the higher range, but not completely.

      Also, your agility could use a little work, your ability to jump quickly from note to note, like the little vocal run in that song.

      Also, your voice sounds a little nasally. This can be correctly by learning to lift your soft palate and enunciating more.

      Most of these problems can be solved with better breath support and by strengthening your voice muscles with the right warm up and vocal strengthening exercises.

      I can also help you expand your range so that those higher notes won’t be as strained.

      All of this I cover in detail in my course.

      Keep up the good work, my friend!

      Aaron


  8. Jadon
    710 days ago

    hey man, my voice seems as if it can’t choose weather to be high, or low. i have a really deep voice for my age (15) but when i sing i feel like my voice can’t choose to be high or low,, is there anyway help me practice on finding where my voice should be?


    • Aaron Anastasi
      709 days ago

      Jadon,

      You’re definitely at a tough age, especially if you voice is changing of just recently changed. But I would just work on vocal exercises in both your high and low range, letting your voice get used to the change and begin to build the muscles up so that you will have a full wide range and not have to choose one or the other.

      My course, Superior Singing Method could definitely help you, though.

      Thanks for the question, and good luck to you!

      Aaron


  9. michell selorm senior
    702 days ago

    I have been all these while without these in mind. God bless you.


  10. YoutubeFan
    696 days ago

    Well


  11. Malik
    692 days ago

    Aaron these tips where sooooo helpful i hope they make my dream come true i believe thats these tips will help the popular tv show has inspired mi to sing well i already liked singing but them stars inspired mi more


  12. Ser Vang
    688 days ago

    Hi. So I recently brought your singing guide. it’s really nice and helped me alot on my singing. My breathing is good. But the way I sound isn’t very good. Kind of like I sound bad but with good breathing.. Help?


    • Aaron Anastasi
      679 days ago

      Ser Vang,

      Hmmm…I would probably need more information to diagnose the problem. Do you sound nasally? If that’s the case, there is a section on that in the course. Do you sound pitchy (off key)? There are matching exercises that can help you to start dealing with that.

      If it’s something else, something that you can pinpoint, please let me know, and I’d be happy to help in any way that I can.

      Best of luck to you!

      Aaron


  13. evelyn wright
    688 days ago

    What is pitchy?


    • Aaron Anastasi
      687 days ago

      Evelyn,

      Thank you for your question.

      Pitchy just means an inability to stay on pitch. It is often used to mean that you can sing on pitch some of the time but frequently go off key.

      Hope that helps!

      Best of luck to you,
      Aaron


  14. zion
    688 days ago

    that was great i can now start with my career. u inspire me


  15. Christina
    684 days ago

    I have tryouts for musical theatre on the 21st and the 27th, but I recently got my tonsils out a few months ago and I’m still not very comfortable with my voice. I’m honestly not sure I’ll get in this year because of my inability to adjust. Any advice?


    • Aaron Anastasi
      678 days ago

      Christina,

      Well, protecting your voice long-term should certainly be the priority. If you feel pain, or even discomfort, it’s best to give your voice vocal rest. It may not be ready in time, and I know that would be heartbreaking for you, but what would be worse than that is to do some irreparable damage to your voice and never fully recover.

      Sorry for the delayed response. This comment got lost in the shuffle, and I just found it.

      I wish you well.

      Aaron


  16. Adam
    681 days ago

    Hi I’m 15 years old and I’ve been singing for about a year now. I was wondering if you can check my video of me singing on my youtube page http://www.youtube.com/user/aemm56 and tell me what you think, thank you soo much.

    -Adam


    • Aaron Anastasi
      679 days ago

      Adam,

      Sounds good, dude. And your songwriting is pretty good, as well. Nice work.

      Your voice is good, especially for a 15 year old. You have a good handle on vocal agility, and your pitch is pretty solid.

      I think that my full course, Superior Singing Method, can help take you to the next level vocally, but you’re definitely on the right track.

      Keep up the good work!

      Aaron


  17. Jordan
    681 days ago

    Hey there i was wondering why i can still sing really high like i could when i was little and now sing really low and high now but not in the middle at all i feel more confortable singing high and singing low is new to me??
    and im a guy 18 now

    Thank you


    • Aaron Anastasi
      679 days ago

      Jordan,

      That’s a good problem to have, really. Most people want to have an expanded range and be able to sing the higher and lower notes. Your mid-range will come in time, but to speed it up you would do well to do some vocal exercises that will strengthen your mid-range and help you to have one, full, wide range.

      My course is actually designed to do just that. It might be worth checking out.

      Thanks for the note!

      Aaron


  18. Sky
    679 days ago

    Hey… Ive tried your singing tips and just wanted to ask if you could check out my youtube channel. My name on YouTube is Sky6086300. Im only 12, and pretty unexperienced. But I just wanted to hear what you think. I want to be a singer, but Im not sure if I have what it takes, vocally wise. Could you check it out?


    • Aaron Anastasi
      678 days ago

      Sky,

      I checked it out. You’ve definitely got potential, especially with how young you are. There are several things that I would work on with you including, vocal agility, pitch and breath management.

      If you’re interested in getting better in those areas, I deal specifically with those things and more in my full course: Superior Singing Method. http://www.howtosing.com/superior-singing-method/

      Best of luck to you!

      Aaron


  19. Stella
    664 days ago

    Thank you so much for your very helpful tips! I am pretty young and hope that eventually I can become a successful singer. I have grown up singing and reading your tips make me want to follow my dreams to the fullest. God Bless You!


  20. Kevin
    653 days ago

    Hey I just found your site and you got some great tips. Thanks for the info.

    I’m a relatively new singer, ive been singing off and on for about a year. I started off with the worst voice ever and have improved to just a bad singing voice lol. Anyway, I sing alt rock, grunge type stuff, currently I’m still unsatisfied with my tone, and I am quite pitchy. Ive been doing scales, made sure I’m using my diaphragm, and I stll sound pretty bad. Maybe you could tell whats going on with my voice, heres a song http://soundcloud.com/bleakperfect/clean-like-dirt-final-mp3

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Kevin


    • Aaron Anastasi
      652 days ago

      Kevin,

      Improved to just a bad voice, haha. Very funny!

      I gave the song a listen. Pretty cool guitar work, BTW. It’s sounds like you might be pushing, forcing a bit too much. The point of singing from the diaphragm isn’t to push out as much air as possible, but to have all the air you need as you do sing. Try loosening up your throat and voice a bit and allowing the sound to come out more naturally.

      Also, as you mentioned, there is some pitchy-ness going on, and that a matter of doing the right exercises in the right way for a time and allow the muscles in your voice to build up naturally. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

      I know I can help you sing better, but not from a couple tips in a comment. Here’s my 8 week, guaranteed course, if you’re interested: http://www.howtosing.com/superior-singing-method/

      Best of luck to you, Kevin!

      Aaron


  21. BayLee
    652 days ago

    It really helped me it was very interesting


    • Aaron Anastasi
      650 days ago

      BayLee,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a note!

      I’m very glad you found it helpful!

      Aaron


  22. Kendra MB
    638 days ago

    I love your Tips!:)

    Well I love singing,and I’ve always wanted to sing professionally.I don’t have a voice coach,so I started training myself and singing a lot.I tried to increase my range and tried to hit higher notes.A month ago,I realized my voice sounded different but not in a good way and I’ve been in panic mode ever since.Can I get my voice back?,or is it gone forever?.Also I was talking with my friend and she thinks you can train your voice to sound like someone else’s voice…we were talking about Christina Aguilera.Is that possible?…I’m not so sure my voice is good,my friends tell me I have an amazing voice but I really don’t know,how can I change my voice to sound completely different and how do you train yourself to hit higher notes?.


    • Aaron Anastasi
      635 days ago

      Kendra,

      That is a lot of questions! :)

      You don’t want to change your voice completely, because you would no longer have the uniqueness that is only you, which is one of the most important parts of singing. And I’m sure your voice will come back. You probably just sang to much or too loudly in a car with the windows down or something.

      Best of luck to you!

      Aaron


  23. Ser Vang
    637 days ago

    Hello Aaron. Well The Problem With My Voice Is That My TONE Is Off. My Breathing Became Alot Better With The Help Of Your Guide. Like When I Sing The Tone Is Bad. But The Breathing Is Decent. I Also Feel Tension In The Throat. So I Always Try To Relax. But Any Pointers From You Will Be Very Great! Thanks Alot Aaron


  24. Maddie
    584 days ago

    Hey, I recently started singing and i feel like i have potential but i just cant seem to find the right key and tone for my voice. any tips?


    • Aaron Anastasi
      583 days ago

      Maddie,

      Hmm, I’d have to hear you sing, but tone and key are not the most important things right now. Working to further develop the voice you have is the most important. I can help you with that.

      You have a couple options. I’ve got a bunch of videos up on my YouTube channel that can help you (HowToSingDotCom), but if you really want to improve quickly, in a step by step kind of way, I’ve got an 8-week, intensive program that you can find out more about from this link: http://www.howtosing.com/sing-better-fast-ssm/

      That’s the best way I know how to help. I spent a few years developing and refining the course to help people just like you. :)

      Best of luck to you!!

      Aaron