Where do I start with learning to sing?
Let’s be honest, many of us have sat through a Saturday night episode of X Factor, declaring that we can sing better than many of the competitors and that we could actually be the next big thing. In the other camp, there are those of us who think we can’t sing for toffee! But could we learn? As with playing any instrument, we all have the ability to learn to sing. However, just as somebody learning the guitar may not be the next David Gilmour, learning to sing does not guarantee us a signing with the much coveted SYCO label. Still want to try it?
There are lots of benefits of learning to sing, including emotional, mental and spiritual. Individual singing lessons start from around $30 / £20 / €27 per hour but you could also consider joining a group session or learning online. Many websites provide online courses and support designed to give you the voice you want. Head over to our review section looking at the top online resources for learning to sing, including our review of Vocal Power – our highest rated online resource.
In order to improve your vocal ability, you will need to master five foundational skills. These include:—
- Pitch: Singers need to train their ear to ensure they can hear themselves when they sing off key.
- Rhythm: A great sense of rhythm will ensure you are keeping up with the beat of the song.
- Breath: Often an underrated skill, breathing correctly will enable you to have great control over your voice.
- Voice: This is about strengthening the vocal cords in order to produce great sounds when singing.
- Diction: The audience needs to understand what you are singing about and so you need to form the words correctly.
Every singer wants more power but you need to be careful not to strain your voice. You will witness many singers straining forward when they want to hit notes with a lot of power, however it is more effective to tilt the chin downwards and flex the pectoral muscles. Not only will you sound better, but you will also save your voice for future performances. Another tip for new singers is to think about their vocal chords as any other muscle in their body. They need training and strengthening before they are going to work as we want them to. Considering that the vocal chords are a muscle, it is also essential to warm them up correctly.
When you first start singing it is important not to practice for too long. Your muscles will not be strong enough and so you will possibly do more damage than good. Build up slowly starting with 15 mins per day. Monitor your progress and be aware of any strains or pains. We’ve a few inexpensive books devoted to learning to sign, take a look here.
If you’re really stuck, why not do what the LMG team do most Friday nights – KARAOKE !!!!!
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