How To Learn To Sing
Ever wondered how to learn to sing? And how to sing really well? To do just that, you might want to follow a few simple guidelines to help you on your way from the shower to perhaps even singing in front of an audience! There are preferred ways to sing that will help sustain your voice and keep your vocal cords healthy.
If you are singing for fun or wanting to know how to learn to sing for a potential audience, you’ll want to look after your voice, as it may become your most precious commodity. Keeping yourself fit and healthy, avoiding excesses of alcohol or tobacco, and getting enough sleep and moderate exercise play an important part in preserving your voice (not to mention your overall health).
We’ve all seen stereotypes of hard partying rock stars but when we look at the artists achieving the greatest success most have avoided the excesses that ended the careers of certain ‘greats’ such as Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Elvis Presley. You may want to know how to learn to sing with some of the ‘raspiness’ of certain artists but there is a right way and a wrong way and abusing your vocal cords is not a good idea!
If you are someone looking to become a dedicated singer, It’s imperative in training, how to learn to sing with the correct training techniques. Indeed, for the aspiring singer learning just how to sing is as important for you as it is for other professionals who train for their chosen vocation. You may choose to find a local teacher in your area or use an online singing course such as Singing is Easy by Yvonne De Bandi or Singorama by Emily Mander.
Whichever way you decide to go, you will need to understand how your vocal apparatus works and how to use it. You will also learn how to address any vocal problems that may be indicated. However with the right programme or teacher, they will help you learn to sing and it can be great fun and very rewarding.
It’s important to know that the first thing any good teacher or online course should address is posture and breath support. This allows you to produce the best vocal tone. When considering how to learn to sing, you need to get into the best habits early on. Standing relaxed with your feed about hip-width apart and one slightly forward is the ideal singing posture. Keep shoulders back and chest high though not too rigid, as is a mistake many people make when first learning.
Try this simple activity to help you achieve great singing posture. Start with standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Whilst rising onto your tiptoes, take in a good deep breath and at the same time bring your arms in a rapid circular motion across your body and over your head.
Whilst slowly exhaling, bring your arms down to your sides and lower yourself down from your toes. Whilst you are exhaling, keep your chest and shoulders in the same position they were in at the start. This support for your breath will enable you to produce a good tone without straining your throat (it’s vital to remember breath support as one of the basic skills when learning how to sing). When you inhale you should feel the midsection of your chest expand as your abdominal and spinal muscles will all be working together.
Once you have taken in a strong breath, breathe out making a hissing sound and try to hold the position of your midsection. You will notice when you begin to learn how to sing that this skill will take you a while to develop. Those muscles will need to strengthen but in the end you can feel confident that you are learning how to sing with a good foundation that will preserve your voice. Down the track if you want to sing in a particular way, this is a great method to ‘workout’ your muscles.
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For example you may want to know how to learn to sing children’s songs or if you are in musical theatre, you may want to know how to learn to sing angrily, dependant on what vocals the character calls for and this is a great way to warm up in any circumstance.
Effective breathing and posture provide the basis for singing well. The next level in learning how to sing is about tone, placement and quality. The three main areas that our voices resonate in are the mouth and throat, the chest and the head or sinuses. Your ‘head voice’ creates the higher notes and the lower notes are produced by resonation in the chest.
When you begin to know how to learn to sing, your instructor or teacher will, in most cases want you to use a combination of these notes, which means that they will come from both the pharynx and the head. This is known as a mask resonance because the vibrations you feel are in the area that you would imagine a Halloween mask covering. You can try to feel this with a simple exercise. If you draw in a reasonably deep breath , try making a ‘hoo’ or ‘hee’ sound sliding from a high range to the lowest you can produce. You should feel the roof of your mouth vibrating and you may also feel it in your nasal cavity.
So these are some basics you will need to apply if you are wanting to know how to learn to sing. You may find it will take plenty of effort and lots of practice but with consistency and patience, anyone can do it!