Music is a daily part of most people’s life. Sometimes we do not even realize how big a part music plays. We listen to songs on the radio, we listen to songs that are played during our favorite computer games, and TV series like “Game of Thrones” also have a lot of music in them (e.g. the famous “Rains of Castamere” which is quite a challenging song to sing).
Music is everywhere and everyone has a favorite song. Some people who like music would like to become more involved in it and be an active part of music. Some of that group would like to learn how to play an instrument, others want to learn how to sing, and some want to do both.
This article is meant for people who would like to learn how to sing. It will examine your reasons for wanting to sing, the direction you should take, and how you can work towards becoming a good singer in your chosen field.
Before you even start to learn how to sing
Ask yourself why and what
There are dozens of different music styles out there and two general directions you can take as a singer. You need to ask yourself why you would like to sing, as this will play an important role on how serious and dedicated you need to be.
There are two options: you can try to become a professional singer or you can become an amateur singer who has no interest in earning money with music. You will also need to decide which style you would like to focus on.
Do you want to sing opera, musicals, choir, rap, rock, pop, or something completely different? Each style of music has a different appeal, and while you might be interested in more than one kind of music, it is a good idea to focus on one in the beginning.
Once you have mastered your voice, you will always be able to play with styles; mix them up, make them your own. But if you want to learn how to sing, it is not a good idea to say that you want to learn how to do opera and rap at the same time. Focus on one style in the beginning.
Be honest about your start position
When it comes to learning how to sing, you need to know that the steps taken differ depending on how experienced you already are. Some professional singers admit to still getting help when it comes to singing.
They do not learn how to sing as such – but they need to practice and they need to improve. So ask yourself where you are. Are you a total beginner and have never once worked on your voice? Do you know how to read music sheets?
Basically, you could be a beginner, an advanced singer, or a professional. Also ask yourself whether you have any kind of talent that can help you on your way to becoming a (better) singer. Do you have a talent for performance, a very good sense for rhythms and/or melodies, or are you good with words (that comes in handy for people who want to become singer-songwriters)?
Think about the cost and the “how”
You need to make sure you know what types of costs are involved when it comes to how you learn how to sing. How much money can you invest in your singing career, and – even more importantly – how much time can you put aside every single day to work on your voice? Setting yourself a budget, money as well as time, right from the start is a very good idea.
You also need to think about how you would like to learn how to sing. There are a variety of options, and some of them will appeal more to you than others. Make sure that you choose a path you enjoy and can stick with for a long time because great singing does not just happen after one single training session.
Just like a body-builder won’t turn from being a bean sprout to superman in one training session, you will not be able to turn from amateur to Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson over night. Your options are:
- a proper study of music at university level (expensive and very time intensive but ideal for people who take music very seriously and can afford it)
- a private vocal coach (also very costly, but easier to schedule into your daily life)
- online classes (cheaper and flexible)
- teaching yourself (difficult because you will not receive feedback and will have to do a lot of research to find trustworthy sources to learn from)
- singing software like Singorama (affordable, flexible, and reliable information)
- singing groups or choirs (great for social people but often they do not focus on teaching proper singing techniques)
And then learn how to sing
Once you have considered all of the above, have made an honest assessment of where you are as a singer, you are ready to become a singer or improve your singing skills. Singing, however, is more than just producing musical notes with your body. Someone who takes singing seriously will have to look at their voice, their musical knowledge, their performance, their own character development, and how recording music works. People who would like to make a career out of music also need to learn how the music industry really works.
Your voice – learn how to sing, but also learn a lot more
If you would like to learn how to sing, there is more to learn than just singing itself. You might be surprised about how much you need to know when it comes to singing. For a start, you will have to be aware and/or learn about the following things:
- Pitch of your voice (low, medium, or high)
- Volume of your voice
- Vocal range – first define your range and then train to extend it if desired
- Vocal placement
- Vocal hygiene – learn how to warm your voice up correctly, and how to mark it
- Voice training
- Singing training
- Correct breathing
- Correct posture
- Keeping your vocal chords healthy
Learn how to sing, but do not do so without learning about music and performance. A song consists of more than just singing unless it is an acapella song. If you would like to be a good singer, you also need to learn some basics about music and how to perform. A singer who just stands on the stage is often boring unless it is a ballad that can go without much movement.
But even then, it pays off to know about little gestures, about when to look at your audience, about when to close your eyes and when not to, for example. You will also need to learn about different instruments (even better if you can play one), about melodies, harmonies, rhythms, and more.
Develop your own personality while you learn how to sing
For most people, singing is also a great chance to improve their own character and become a better person in a variety of ways. Of course, some people ignore their own personal development, but those people usually do not get far.
Think about it: when you like a singer, do you want him or her to be a stupid moron, or would you like him or her to be someone you can look up to, someone who inspires you and makes you want to become a better person yourself?
Music touches people’s lives and souls. Make sure that you touch the people who listen to you in a meaningful way.
It is important to look at these four questions:
Do you know what you want?
This question should already have been answered in parts when you thought about your reasons for wanting to learn how to sing. You looked at whether you want to be a professional or an amateur.
But what exactly do you want to achieve with your singing? Do you want to become rich and famous? Do you sing because you have a genuine love for music and the magic of it? Where do you want to go in your life, and what part will singing have?
Do you believe in yourself?
If you would like to become a better singer, then it is important that you do believe in yourself. You need to believe that you have the ability to be a good singer otherwise no training in the world can help you. If you doubt yourself, then your mind will try to sabotage you, and you won’t even notice it. You do not have to turn into an arrogant character. You simply have to have a belief about your own abilities in your heart.
If being a great singer is your dream, then believe in that dream. Imagine yourself on a stage, singing your favorite songs or even your own creations. Do not let doubts fill you, as they will not support you on your path to learning how to sing.
Do you allow your own potential to unfold itself?
Often, we put limits on ourselves without even knowing it. This is directly related to the question of whether you believe in yourself or not. If you do not believe that you can sing a certain way, then you will never try it, and you’ll never be able to find out the truth. Give things a try. You will never know otherwise, and you might regret not trying for the rest of your life.
Do you have fun when you learn how to sing?
It is important that you have fun. If you feel like you need to force yourself to practice, and if you notice that you are not filled with joy when you sing, then there is something wrong.
Sometimes a dream can turn into a nightmare. Sometimes you realize that your dream wasn’t really your dream, and you lose all interest in it. You should then not force yourself to continue.
Or maybe you have been pushing your voice too much in the wrong direction and you start feeling physically uncomfortable. In that case, you need to change your approach and accept that there are certain limits to what you can achieve with your voice.
Your dedication to music
It is easy to learn how to sing when you are truly dedicated to it. You should not expect any wonders, however, if you have a very casual approach. The sportsman who only trains once a month will never be able to win against the sportsman who trains twice a week – and has fun while doing so. The manager who only talks to his staff once a month will never know his staff as well as the manager to talks to his staff once a week to check on their progress.
Examples like this are countless, so it should be easy to see that it is the same with learning how to sing like a professional. A professional is dedicated and spends time on his or her progress regularly.
Some helpful tips about singing
As you have seen above, there is a lot to learn when you take singing seriously – but it can be a very rewarding experience. Not only for yourself but also for the people who will listen to you once you feel confident enough to perform.
You might even become a singer who inspires other people. Your path can take you anywhere if you are dedicated. Learning how to sing is only the beginning of your journey. And make no mistake, you will never stop learning.
Here are some shorter tips that will help you along your exciting journey:
Do not believe everything people tell you
Double check information so you can be sure that you get everything right. One wrong piece of information that floats around – just to name an example – is that hot tea is great just before a performance or before voice training. This is not true. Both extremes, hot and cold, are not good when it comes to singing. You need to keep hydrated, but if you want to do your vocal chords a favor, then drink something room temperature before you sing.
Do not smoke
Smoking has a negative effect on your vocal chords. If you want to reach the high notes, then smoking is your enemy.
Your lungs play an important role when it comes to the quality of your singing. By exercising, you will improve how your lungs work, and you will have less issue with breathing while singing.
Watch the masters, but have your own style
It is always a good idea to see how other people do things. What do the singers you admire do when they sing and perform? What can you learn from them? Do not make the mistake of simply copying them though, unless you want to become a tribute artist (which is an art in itself). Put your soul into what you are doing. Make the songs your own.
Ask for feedback
Sing to other people and ask them for feedback. Tell them to be honest. Or record your singing and listen to it yourself.
If it hurts, stop
Sometimes, people overdo things. This can also happen with singing. Once your throat stops hurting, stop. Take a break, and continue at some other time. You do not want to risk permanent damage to your vocal chords. Also do not try to push your voice over its natural limits. You can – over time and with patience – extend your vocal range, but you cannot expect miracles.
You do not have to do it all alone – Learn how to sing with help
While you might not feel like hiring a vocal coach for a variety of reasons, you should be aware of the fact that nobody ever learns how to sing like a professional without actually learning from a professional.
Fortunately, in the times of the internet and well performing computers, you can get all the help you need from software that has been designed and programmed by people who know a lot about music and how the human voice works.
One outstanding example of software that supports you on your path to learn how to sing is called Singorama. This software allows you to enjoy the benefits of a vocal coach in your own home at a fraction of the price.
Once you have it, you can use it as often and for as long as you want while your vocal coach would always want more and more money. Singorama only expects that you put 15 minutes aside for working on your voice every day. Check out their website to find out more about the software and what it has to offer to you.