Whenever we hear great singers perform, it’s easy to believe they are naturally gifted with a phenomenal voice. But singing isn’t just a talent, it’s a skill you build with practice and hard work. You can be sure that some of today’s most popular singers — people who are paid for their singing voices — took the time to practice and improve their singing skills.
And if they can do it, maybe you can.
Here are some tips and techniques you can use to learn how to sing better. If you put the work in to make your voice better, you’ll be singing better before you know it.
Practice, practice, and more practice
The very first thing you have to remember about singing is that it takes practice every day to get better. Basketball players shoot free throws every day, writers write every day, and anyone who has a skill they want to improve works at it each day. Singing is no different.
If you’re committed to having a better singing voice, you have to sing every day. You should have vocal exercises to do and songs in your repertoire to rehearse. Practice these songs until you’ve mastered them, then either switch to new songs or sing the same songs with different arrangements.
Focus on more than just pitch
Most budding singers think hitting all the right notes is the most important aspect of learning to sing well and so focus solely on it. However, It takes more than matching pitch to be an excellent singer. To be a good singer you also must master:
- Vocal control: You have to learn to control your voice and keep it in check so it makes the sounds you want it to make.
- Posture: Good posture is crucial for achieving a strong singing voice. When you are slumped over and trying to sing, you struggle to get enough air in your lungs. Not only is this bad for your lungs, but it also inhibits your singing ability.
- Breathing: Great singing happens when the right amount of air meets the right amount of vocal cord. Proper breathing is instrumental to developing a good singing voice and without it, your voice won’t sound strong.
Perfect your breathing technique
There is a right way — and a wrong way — to breathe when you sing. To improve your voice, practice diaphragmatic breathing. This technique forces you to breathe through your nose, not your mouth. When you breathe through your mouth, the air dries out your mouth and cords. Your voice doesn’t sound good when the cords are dry. By breathing through your nose instead, you can keep your throat and cords moist.
Diaphragmatic breathing also includes expanding your stomach when you breathe, not moving your shoulders up and down. You have to imagine there’s a balloon in your abdomen that expands and contracts when you breathe in and out.
Stay hydrated before performing
Drink plenty of water when you rehearse or in the days leading up to a big performance. Hydrated vocal cords are happy vocal cords. When they aren’t adequately hydrated, it puts strain on your vocal cords and prevents you from being able to sing well.
Hit the high notes
Many amateur singers struggle with knowing how to sing high notes. Other than sticking to songs that are within your range, there are two easy ways to sound better on those high notes:
- Don’t get louder. A lot of people start singing more loudly when they try to climb up to those high notes. There’s no need to get louder and it usually doesn’t sound any better. Keep your voice at the same volume.
- Don’t let the corners of your mouth get wider. Another thing people do when they’re reaching for high notes is let their mouths open more widely. But doing so doesn’t make you better able to crush those notes. It just makes your singing voice sound unpleasant.
Record yourself singing
By practicing your singing often, you’ll have ample opportunities to record yourself while you sing. Most people feel uncomfortable when they hear their voice on a recording for the first time because our voices sound different inside our heads than they do to others. Recording and listening to yourself singing can help you better understand what you actually sound like when you sing, which will help you make further improvements to your voice.
Improving your singing voice is possible
The best singers work hard to have and sustain their marvelous voices. Commit to working that hard and you will start to see results.