What basic singing techniques should I know?
10 beginner singing techniques to become a better singer with this step-by-step guide
Many people want to be able to sing well. As a beginner in particular, it is particularly important not to just start singing. That is what distinguishes a professional singer from a hobby singer. With this step-by-step guide, I want to introduce you to the best singing techniques for beginners. You can simply imitate and repeat these at home.
Can everyone really sing?
Many people wonder if you can really learn to sing or if you are just born with it. My motto is: everyone can learn to sing. It doesn't matter if you've been told you can't sing. I promise you can learn to sing. It just takes practice and the correct singing techniques for beginners. To become a great singer, you need work. A lot of it. And some people learn faster than others. But learning good breathing support, a good singing tone, and how to hit high notes takes practice like anything else. And as with any other skill, there are many ways to learn.
Where can i learn to sing?
For example, you can go to a music school and learn the craft of singing there. But if you are not sure whether singing is something for you in the long term, or you don't have enough money for a music school, there is another option: You can teach yourself to sing from home with an online singing course. Then you can learn individually at your own pace and still get feedback and learn what is important when singing so that you do not get used to long-term mistakes.
But the fact is that you always have to warm up your voice before you go on stage. Everything has to fit there so that you can offer a successful stage performance. So now follow these steps as I show you my ten favorite singing techniques for beginners so you can practice them from home. Before you start, however, it's worth understanding what vocal technique is and how it can help you. So here's what you should know.
What is “vocal technique” anyway?
Everyone wants to master singing techniques, but very few know what it actually means. Some people think it's just exercise. Others think it means learning to control breath. Here's my view: A singing technique is any means that one uses to sing something better, easier, and more effectively. That's all a vocal technique is: a tool that you use to help you sing better. Some beginner singing techniques work better than others. That's why I want to help you find the fastest and most effective way to improve your singing. But before we dive into the exercises, I would like to give you a brief introduction to how you can maintain your voice. Read this before you start singing. Here are some golden rules for keeping your voice healthy:
Try to drink plenty of water
As I explained earlier, your vocal cords need a lot of moisture to vibrate properly. Drinking water can also help remove mucus and other debris on your vocal cords that can ruin your vocal tone. So you should drink about 2 liters of water a day.
This may sound obvious, but smoking is bad for your singing. Smoking not only decreases your breathing capacity, it also dries out your vocal cords. And since the vocal cords need moisture to vibrate properly, be careful not to let them dry out too much.
There is no substitute for good rest when it comes to singing well. Not only does good rest give your voice time to recover, but you will also be able to concentrate more on your voice. Just think about it: when you are tired, it is much more difficult to learn new tasks. So if you are not rested, your brain will automatically focus more on keeping all important systems online. And unfortunately, singing well isn't really a priority compared to preserving your life. The best singing techniques for beginners won't help you there.
Watch your diet
I've seen some singers whose voices changed completely after they changed their diet. That's because the food we eat affects our body a lot. Unfortunately, many of us eat foods that promote food allergies. In this case, when foods that trigger a response are consumed, the throat secretes more mucus to protect itself. But that extra slime makes it a lot harder to sing well. So if you want to do your best while singing, start by avoiding these foods.
Have a healthy voice
If your voice is not healthy, vocal technique will not help you. So if you have a cold, heartburn, or even nodules, it's important to get well first. For more serious problems like nodules, polyps, or vocal bleeding, see an ENT doctor to create a treatment plan before singing. Then, when your voice is healthy again, you'll be amazed at how much faster you progress. Now that that is out of the way, here are the ten best vocal techniques to help you sing better.
If you drink, smoke, and yell yourself hoarsely every night, no matter how good your vocal technique in the world can help you. This is because your instrument is in your body. And your vocal cords are flesh and blood like anything else. So if you don't use your voice properly, it can get tired, tense, or damaged. So it pays to know how to care for your voice. Here you can find more tips on how to maintain your voice.
Not much time? Now warm up your voice quickly
If you don't have a lot of time and still want to do a few exercises quickly, I recommend the video from Tolga the vocal coach from Berlin. He has many helpful videos on his channel, including this one where you can warm up your voice within 5 minutes. There he shows singing techniques for beginners in practice. For example, applicable just before a concert. I was also allowed to ask Tolga my questions in an interview. You can read the interview about his online singing course here.
Singing technique Step 1: The vocal warm-up
There's no getting around this beginner singing technique: Vocal warm-ups are the strangest part of learning to sing. From lip trills to “Gee” and “Nay” - vocal warm-up exercises sound totally silly. But there is a good reason! The truth is, singing songs is one of the hardest things to do when learning to sing for the first time. This is because the melody, vowels, consonants, and volume of songs are constantly changing. So if you're learning good beginner singing techniques, it's good to start with vocal warm-ups where something stays the same.
For example, you can do a warm-up where you sing the word “Gee” over your entire range. In this case the “gee” stays the same even if the notes change. Vocal warm-up exercises can help expand your pitch range, hit higher notes, and gain more control. That way, you can do that in songs too. Another big reason to warm up is to allow more blood to flow to your vocal cords and to thin out additional mucus on the vocal cords. But first I'll show you my absolute favorite warm-up exercise.
Exercise: A very easy way to warm up your voice
- Blow out some air so your lips flow together. They should vibrate together like in a car or motorboat.
- As soon as the lips vibrate together, start saying the word "Uh".
- Next, find a comfortable note at the bottom of your voice and sing that note through your sagging lips on the "Uh" sound.
- Finally, sing an octave and a half long scale in which you gently let your lips sing from the lowest to the highest note and back again.
As you sing your way through the scale, try to move your lips as evenly as possible. This will help you find a really smooth sound from the bottom to the top of your voice. You'll be amazed how much better you can sing after this simple warm-up! Are you struggling with this beginner singing technique? Receive individual feedback in an online singing course of your choice.
Singing Technique Step 2: Posture
Fixing posture is one of the easiest ways to improve singing, and is an important singing technique for beginners. This is because many singers sit crooked while singing or keep the tension in their bodies. But that tension can make it harder to sing well. Now that you've warmed up, let's fix your posture. Here's What You Should Know: The correct posture for singing is called the high posture. Because if you do them right, your body will be erect and "tall" without being tense or rigid. So, if you've noticed that you're standing a little crooked while singing, start by finding the high posture. In an online singing course, you will learn the correct posture with videos and receive individual feedback.
Exercise: How to Prepare Your Body for Singing
- Stand up and spread your feet so that they are about shoulder width apart.
- Next, align your hips with your feet and shoulders so that your whole body is straight.
- Finally, keep your chest comfortably raised and make sure your gaze is directed straight ahead.
You should feel that you are really grounded in this pose and can move freely and easily. With this simple change, you'll be amazed at how much better your voice sounds. Are you struggling with this beginner singing technique? Receive individual feedback in an online singing course of your choice.
Singing Technique Step 3: Train your breathing
Now the third singing technique for beginners: To be able to sing well, you have to learn to breathe properly. This is because many singers breathe too shallowly when they sing. Fortunately, it's really easy to learn to breathe properly. Here's What You Need to Know: The correct breathing for singing is called diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing from the diaphragm simply means that when you inhale, you contract your diaphragm completely. Your lungs fill with air and your stomach comes out. Then when you exhale, the diaphragm relaxes and your stomach comes back inside. So, if you've noticed that you're running out of breathing or vocal stamina while singing, start singing from your diaphragm. In an online singing course, you learn how to breathe properly with videos and receive individual feedback.
Exercise: This exercise increases your breath control
- Stand in front of a mirror so you can see your body from the waist up, and then turn to the side.
- Next, place your hands around the bottom of your stomach and inhale so your stomach comes out as you inhale. Do this without lifting your chest or shoulders!
- Finally, exhale so that your stomach re-enters as you exhale. Again, be careful not to move your chest or shoulders as you do this.
Well, this way of breathing may feel very strange to you at first. But I promise you, if you practice this exercise for just a few minutes a day, you will be amazed at how much more vocal power you have! Are you struggling with this beginner singing technique? Receive individual feedback in an online singing course of your choice.
Singing technique step 4: vocal range
You have to know where your weak points are as a singer. There's a good reason for finding the weaknesses in your voice: if you know where your weaknesses are, you know what to work on. So, in order to improve your singing voice, you need to find your vocal range. Finding your vocal range has many advantages. It will help you choose the songs that best suit your voice, find your voice type, and measure your progress in voice training. But finding your vocal range will also tell you where your weak points are.
So what is the vocal range and how do I find it?
The vocal range is the measure of the distance between the lowest and the highest note and thus an important singing technique for beginners. It is usually written as two letters with numbers after them. For example, C3-C5 is a common vocal range for men. And A3-A5 a common vocal range for women. The letter refers to the note you are singing and the number refers to the octave you are singing in. A C3 would be a "C" tone in the 3rd octave. And a C5 would be a "C" tone in the 5th octave. That means, if your vocal range is C3-C5, you can sing from a C in the 3rd to a C in the 5th octave and all notes in between. Does it make sense? Now that you understand your vocal range, here is my favorite exercise to find it in your voice.
Exercise: How to find your vocal range
- Go to a piano, find middle C (also known as C4), and sing the note on an “Ah”.
- Next, play each key down from the middle of the C until you hit the lowest note.
- Mark the lowest note you can sing.
- Find middle C again and now sing upwards until you have reached your highest note.
- Then mark the highest note you can sing.
- Now that you have the lowest and highest notes, write them out like this: Lowest note (with octave number) - Highest note (with octave number)
That's it! Don't worry if you feel your voice break or tip over on a certain note. Just notice where your break is and sing past it. Now that you know the lowest and highest notes of your voice, you will know exactly where to work in your voice. Do these singing techniques for beginners until you know your vocal range. Are you struggling with these beginner singing techniques? Receive individual feedback in an online singing course of your choice.
Singing Technique Step 5: Vowel Tone
Most singers need to improve their vocal tone and therefore often resort to this beginner singing technique. From being too breathable to being nasal, the vocal sound is something that many singers struggle with. But now that you've warmed up and know your vocal range, it's time to improve your vocal tone as well.
Improve your singing tone
Fortunately, it's really easy to sing with good vocals. The best way to improve your singing tone is to use a speaking tone while singing. What does that mean? Well, most of the time when we speak we speak nasally because we want to communicate with people. But when we sing, we often change our voice to sound a certain way. And sometimes that makes us too breathless or nasal. So an easy way to improve the vocal tone is to “speak” the notes a little more. Here is my favorite exercise for how to do that. In an online singing course you will learn all singing techniques with videos and receive individual feedback.
Exercise: improve your voice tone
- Say the number "1" out loud and at a comfortable volume.
- Now find a comfortable tone at the bottom of your voice (try C3 for men and G3 for women) and sing the word "one" on that pitch. Try to keep the same strength in your voice as you did when you were speaking the word.
- Finally, sing the numbers 1 through 5 on a 5-note scale, being careful to keep each note strong.
Remember that the point of this exercise is to apply the tone of your speaking voice to your singing voice. So as you go through the exercise, try to keep all the notes very "spoken". You'll be amazed how this simple exercise can make your grades sound so much richer. Are you struggling with this beginner singing technique? Receive individual feedback in an online singing course of your choice.
Singing Technique Step 6: Projecting
If you want to sing in a space larger than your room, you have to learn to project your voice. The truth is that learning to project is one of the most important skills to learn as a singer.Because if you want to perform on stage, you have to be able to reach every person in the room without harming yourself. Unfortunately, many singers think that projecting is just screaming. But the screaming will strain your voice! In an online singing course you will learn how to project correctly with videos and receive individual feedback. So, if you dream of singing in front of a large audience, here is the best beginner singing technique to learn how to project.
Practice: Reach your audience by projecting your voice
- Pick up a phrase from a song that you want to sing stronger.
- Next, say the words of the sentence out loud as if you were on stage and needed to reach the back row of the audience. Find this volume without whispering or screaming.
- Finally, go back to the text and "speak-sing" the words on pitch with the same feeling you felt when you were speaking.
- It is important that you keep the volume at the right level during this exercise. You should project in such a way that you neither scream nor whisper. If you do these vocal exercises correctly, you will be amazed at how much stronger your voice becomes while you are relatively relaxed. Are you struggling with this beginner singing technique? Receive individual feedback in an online singing course of your choice.
Vocal Technique Step 7: Sing the low notes
Learning to sing well, how to sing low notes, is one of the best singing techniques for beginners to improve their singing voice. But it's not just so you can sing Johnny Cash songs. It is important to learn to sing low notes because the low notes are a foundation for all higher notes.
If your lows are breathable and light, what happens when you sing higher? Your voice will be so quiet and breathable that no one will be able to hear it. So before we dive into the high notes of singing, first make sure that the notes on the lower end of your voice are strong. Working on the low notes will also help you sing better. Italian old-school singing teachers found that when you sing low notes, you feel a vibration in your chest. That is why they called this range the chest voice. You can see for yourself: Put your hand on your chest and say your name loudly and at a loud volume. Do you feel this vibration This is the chest voice. We now know that chest singing is key to singing low notes well. But chest singing is also really important for hitting high notes. So if you feel like you are a little breathy at the lower end of your voice, it's time to strengthen your chest voice. In an online singing course you will learn how to sing low notes with videos and receive individual feedback.
Exercise: improve your low grades
- Put your hand on your chest and say the word "Gug" at a loud volume. If you say it at the correct volume, you will likely feel a vibration against your hand.
- Next, find a comfortable note at the bottom of your voice and sing the word “Gug” on that note with the same strength as you spoke it.
- Finally, sing the "Gug" on a 5-note scale
You should feel the strong vibration in your chest every time you sing the "Gug" exercise. If you do this exercise correctly, you will be amazed at how much stronger your low notes feel. And that leads us to big, high notes! Are you struggling with these beginner singing techniques? Receive individual feedback in an online singing course of your choice.
Vocal Technique Step 8: Sing the high notes
Who are we trying to fool? Singing high notes is the coolest part of learning to sing. Who doesn't love the sound of a great singer singing crazy high notes? Now that the bottom of your voice is firmer, I want to show you how to hit high notes using this beginner vocal technique. Ancient old school Italian singing teachers found that they felt a vibration in their head while singing higher notes. That is why they called this range head voice. You can see for yourself: put your hand on the back of your neck and sing a “wee” on a really high note. Do you feel this vibration? This is the head voice. We now know that the head voice is the key to striking high notes. So if you're having a hard time singing higher, it's time to find your head voice. Here is one of my favorite exercises for singing with the head voice. In an online singing course, you will learn how to sing high notes with videos and receive individual feedback.
Exercise: improve your high notes
- Sing the word "wee" out loud at your normal volume. Try to sing the "wee" at a normal volume.
- Find a comfortable place to take off and sing the word "Wee" on that pitch, keeping the tone very relaxed and light.
- Sing an octave and a half long scale, replacing each note on the scale with the "wee". If you feel like your voice is breaking through the exercise, don't worry. Just keep singing from the bottom up, through the broken voice each time. You will be amazed how much higher you can sing when you let your voice go from the bottom up. Are you struggling with these beginner singing techniques? Receive individual feedback in an online singing course of your choice.
Singing Technique Step 9: Singing with a mixed voice
The "wee" exercise is great for singing with the head voice, but it's not very good for helping you sing more forcefully. Now that you've found the upper part of your voice, it's time to put some more power into these notes. The best way to sing high notes powerfully is to sing in a mixed voice. What does that mean? Well, as mentioned earlier, the lower tones are called the chest voice and the upper ones are called the head voice. Singing with a mixed voice means singing with the power of the chest voice in the head voice.
How do you sing with your chest voice?
An easy way to imagine this is to combine chest and head voices for each note in your area. So instead of singing each note with the chest or head voice, each note is a mix of chest and head voices. This way, you can hit high notes with the power of your chest voice. And that means you can eliminate your broken voice, hit high notes without falsetto, and sing with more power overall. But for now, here is my best beginner singing technique for mixed voice singing. In an online singing course, you will learn to sing with a mixed voice with videos and receive individual feedback.
Exercise: How to sing high notes with more force
- Say the word "Nay" loudly and brat-like. To achieve the "brat" tone, just imagine you are a small child who annoys someone in the playground: "Nay Nay Nay Nay!"
- Next, find a pleasant note at the end of your voice and sing that note out loud on the brat sounding “nay”.
- Finally, sing the brat-like “nay” on an octave repeat scale, where you sing every note of the scale with the brat-like “nay” sound.
This exercise can sound pretty fun. And that's a good thing because you're just doing exercises and not singing songs. So as you go through the exercise, try to keep the tone very brat and nasal. I promise you that if you practice the brat-like “nay” properly, you will be amazed at how much more powerful the high notes are. Are you struggling with these beginner singing techniques? Receive individual feedback in an online singing course of your choice.
Singing Technique Step 10: Sing songs
The whole point of learning singing technique for beginners is to help you sing songs better. So after all of the crazy singing and warming up exercises I've shown you, it's time to apply what you've learned to songs. But the catch, as I mentioned earlier, is that songs are a lot harder to sing than vocal warm-ups because the notes, vowels, consonants, and dynamics are constantly changing. So before you dive into a Robbie Williams or Madonna song, let's talk about how to choose a song that suits your voice. In an online singing course, you will learn many songs with videos and receive individual feedback.
How to choose the perfect song for your voice
There is a lot to consider when choosing a song; the artist, the genre, or the hook. But now that you've learned the beginner singing techniques, there are a few important things to look out for when choosing a song. Unfortunately, many singers choose songs that are outside of their comfort zone. And while that seems like a good challenge, the truth is that choosing a song that is too difficult actually slows down progress. So I want to show you the two most important things to look out for when choosing a song.
1. Choose a song that you are connected to
To master a song, you have to sing it often. Even if you choose a song that is perfect for you, chances are that you will have to sing it a lot to make it perfect. This is why it is so important that you choose songs that you really love. If you have already memorized the text, you shouldn't get bored after singing it 1,000 times. Now that you've picked the perfect song for your voice, I want to give you my favorite practice for improving the song.
2. Choose a song with just a few notes outside of your range
Many singers start out by choosing songs that are outside of their vocal range. But if you choose a song that is too far out of your vocal range, you may not make it. So when looking for songs to sing, first choose songs that have just a few notes outside of your vocal range.
Here's an example: Let's say your pitch ranges from C3 - G4 (which is pretty typical for people who are just starting out). Choosing a Sam Smith song might just be too difficult for you as he often sings around an A4 and above! Instead, choose a song that has a few notes in the lower range, with just a few notes outside of your comfortable range. Then, once you have mastered the song, move on to songs with higher notes.
By now you should have learned a lot about singing techniques for beginners! But your journey doesn't end there. Actually, it's just the beginning. The truth is that the best singers in the world work on these beginner singing techniques on a daily basis. There are many other more advanced singing techniques such as vibrato, but for now you should find the exercises that work well for you, practice them daily, and thereby qualify your voice. I wish you a lot of fun practicing and good luck! Make sure, however, that you always have someone to make sure that you are doing the exercises correctly, either a singing teacher from a music school or a virtual music teacher in one of the online singing courses. You can also easily record your successes there!
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