I believe that singing is an inbuilt part of the human mind and soul. For countless years the act of singing has been at the forefront of art, religion, social changes and of course love. We all have a desire to let flow with a burst of air and noise that lifts the soul and transports an emotive message be it from the screaming energetic rock anthem to the operatic tones of more studied precise singers.
We are not all born with a natural talent though but with practice anyone can take their instinctual desire to sing and become very good at it. Here are some tips for a better singing voice that can help you professionally, at the karaoke bar or even in the shower for your own enjoyment!
1. Control breathing
One mistake many singers make is to hold their breath while singing instead of letting the air flow through them. If you hold your breath tight you can never achieve a natural sound nor will you be able to achieve any great volume and it makes hitting the right tone harder as well. To combat this you must learn diaphragmatic breathing. This means you must breathe in to the lower part of your lungs by breathing deep and not shallow. This is not the same as belly breathing but should press out on your lower ribcage as you breathe in. There are many breathing exercises you can learn to help you achieve this such as lying down and placing a hand on the upper chest and a hand on the lower chest under the ribcage. When you breathe in the hand on the upper chest should not move and the hand on the lower chest should go up and down.
2. Use a Mirror
Mirrors are wonderful devices to help you improve your singing voice. By singing in front of a mirror you can watch your posture, your facial contortions and your breathing and determine what is and is not working. Try changing your posture and the way you use your face and mouth when you sing in front of a mirror and listen to the different sounds you make as you experiment. You will be surprised what straightening your back or opening your mouth wider can do to your voice once you see these things in the mirror.
3. Develop a natural voice
When starting to sing it is easy to imitate and copy your favorite style and singer and it is not a bad way to start. To become a better singer though you need to realize you have to have your own style. Everyone is different physically and psychologically and these things mean your styles will never match anyone else’s totally. Do not be afraid to sing without preconceptions, try singing to other songs outside your usual niche and try not to imitate accents and exact styles of others and let your true voice be brought forth. This may sound very strange to you to start with but when you sing naturally you can achieve notes, tones and emotions you could never do while restricted.
Quit smoking, quit drinking heavily and quit yelling or talking too loudly or too frequently. This may be very hard but your voice is a delicate instrument and needs to be taken care of or it will lose its edge and falter. If you are looking for that raspy style refer to the previous point, if you don’t already have it don’t try please!
5. Be emotive
Music and singing is about emotions; it conveys stories, feelings, color, strength and weakness. While knowing how to read music and understanding the clinical technical aspects of any music if you are a singer or musician and you cannot let your feelings rush into your breath and spread it through your words and sound you can never be a great singer. Learn to sing to a vision or emotion, forget about the technicalities of a song as some of the greatest music comes from the raw, ragged feral yell that may destroy the technically perfect aspects of a song but inject it with so much vitality and life it transcends the mundane and buries itself within your heart and echoes through your soul. If this sounds too dramatic you may need more work on this part of your singing.
There is no talent so great that did not need a massive amount of time to achieve. Without constant singing and testing your limits you may never realize your dreams of becoming a better singer. With practice comes an increase in range if you continually hunt higher or lower notes, it will ingrain good breathing into your performances and you will develop your style a lot more with confidence also. Make times to sing. Sing in the shower. Sing brushing your hair. Sing making dinner. Sing and feel the enjoyment of singing wherever you can as well as more formal sessions of practice and you will naturally evolve and don’t be afraid to be heard!
I hope these tips for a better singing voice can help you develop a confident natural style you can be proud of in any endeavor you apply your skills to and never stop living with music in your heart and soul!
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