Some people think that a good singing voice is something you’re either born with or without. However, while genetics do play a role in defining the sound of our voice, our singing voice is still an instrument that can still be trained. So whether you have ambitions of singing opera, modern pop, or any other genre, the following vocal training tips will surely help you unlock your singing voice—and make you sound better than you may have thought possible.
1. Perform Warm-Up Exercises to Prevent Injuries
Just like how you’d warm up your muscles before exercising, you also need to warm up your vocal cords before singing to prevent injuries and strains. Start warming up your vocals by performing basic breathing exercises, or simply breathing in and out using your mouth until your lungs are empty.
After spending a minute doing breathing exercises, you can now start singing scales to warm up your voice and “acclimate” your vocal cords to the notes you’ll be practicing in your vocal lessons later on. Performing even just two or three minutes of arpeggios and scales are already enough to prevent any singing injuries.
2. Keep Your Vocal Cords Lubricated
Ever noticed how croaky your voice gets whenever your throat is dry? Your vocal cords move hundred times faster as you sing and when you learn singing in class in Singapore which is why it’s crucial that keep them well-lubricated just like any other moving machine.
So make sure that you drink plenty of water as you sing to keep your vocal cords properly lubricated. Apart from water, a lot of singers in Singapore swear by drinking a mixture of honey and lemon juice to clear their throats prior to their vocal training sessions.
3. Use the Right Posture as You Sing
Professional singers actually don’t sing from their mouth, but from their diaphragm. Unless you’re standing in the correct posture, letting the air freely flow through your throat and vocal cords might seem challenging.
Practise good singing posture by keeping your chest high, shoulders back, chin on parallel angle to the floor, and your upper body held up straight. While in this position, relax your muscles to allow air to flow freely through your vocal cords.
4. Master Proper Breathing Control
Apart from standing up straight to sing from your diaphragm, you should also be able to control your breathing. Having proper breathing control allows you to hold notes longer, while reducing the likelihood of straining your voice.
Master the proper breathing control by breathing through your lungs, and taking in as much air as possible. Imagine that there’s an elastic band tied around your midsection area, and that you’re trying to expand it using your stomach. Breathe air in using your nose and out using your mouth. Keep your body relaxed, and you’ll eventually master the right breathing control to enhance your singing voice and allow you to hold notes longer as you perform on your singing lessons.
5. Practice Singing Using Songs That You Know and Like
Arpeggios, scales, and other vocal practice routines get boring fast. So instead of practicing using the common vocal training exercises, sing along to a song that you like to keep your learning process more entertaining. From operas to pop songs, let your taste in music determine the material you’ll use to warm-up and train your singing voice. Just keep in mind that most pop songs only cover a small register, so try more challenging pieces to help you improve your voice even more.
6. Perform Scales to Train Your Voice
If singing your favourite songs isn’t much of a challenge anymore, consider increasing your vocal range and unlock your true singing prowess by practicing scales that will push your voice to its limits. Just ensure that you warm-up adequately, since practicing scales can be challenging for your vocal cords at times and could potentially lead to injury.
Set some goals for yourself, and try stepping up a semitone or two each week. Practicing scales regularly will eventually allow you to sing in registers that were previously impossible for you.
7. Record Yourself as You Sing
According to some vocal coaches in Singapore, recording yourself as you sing is one of the best ways to spot the weak points of your singing voice. Record yourself performing simple exercises or your favourite pop songs, preferably in a room with as little reverb as possible. After that, review the recordings of your voice and spot sharp or flat notes, as well as some bad breathing techniques.
Carefully analysing your singing will make it easier for you to determine as to what exercises or techniques you need to practice more during your vocal training sessions.
8. Train in Short Sessions
Singing for long hours may burn out your voice, and leave you feeling croaky for the rest of the day. This is the very reason why touring singers take a time off between their shows; playing every night could potentially strain and injure their vocal cords.
So as you practice singing, ask your vocal coach to limit your vocal lessons to one hour to avoid potential vocal cords straining or injury. If you’re practicing singing techniques like belt singing, consider shortening your training sessions even more.
9. Practice Within Your Limits
Your body knows itself well, so if ever feel any muscular pain or strain after singing, consider taking a break to allow you vocal cords to recover. Remember to stay well-hydrated before, during, and after your singing lessons. Just like your workout routines, singing can be an amazingly demanding activity, so make sure that you give your body enough time to relax and recover in between your training sessions.
10. Sing With a Piano Accompaniment
As you practice arpeggios and scales, have a friend or family member play the piano to make sure that you stay in tune. Mastering pitch is an essential aspect of singing well, because even the best sounding voice will sound bad if it’s singing off tune.
There’s no need to practice with a piano for your whole session though. Just perform your warm-ups with the assistance of a keyboard or piano to help you improve your pitch, and make you a much better singer.
Developing a good singing voice only takes enough patience and effort to practice. So whether you’re attending a prestigious music school, or just practicing on your own, working these tips out will surely help you become the great singer you’ve always wanted to be.