Singers are a very special kind of musician. While guitar players, drummers, and pianists rely on their physical instruments, singers have their tool inside them. Maintaining its quality is a special task.
You can learn how to care for your voice and get the best out of it. Here are the 8 best tips on how to improve your voice. Some vocal tips may seem obvious, some might be new for you. Let’s get started.
Who are these vocal tips intended for?
Of course, it makes a difference if you’re a classical singer or a pop singer or no singer at all. The following tips are suitable for all kind of musicians and non-musicians. These are the basics of singing. The basics which will teach you how to use the instrument inside your body.
1. Take care of your health to improve your voice
- Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. The membranes which produce the sound function best when hydrated.
- Whenever the throat feels scratchy, stay silent and let your voice rest.
- When having a cold, try not to sing. Drink some tea, eat cough candy and be quiet instead.
- Quit smoking if you want your voice to be better. Smoke damages your lungs and throat. You don’t need it for the smoky voice either – learn how to sing with smoky voice without cigarettes.
- There are also some foods that might affect your voice. Those are spicy food, coffee, alcohol, milk products, and nuts. Try out if they harm your voice.
2. Warm up before singing
Are you having cracks in your voice when singing? Does the throat hurt after singing? That’s a sign you need to warm up (more) next time. Your vocal cords need a warm up, just like your body muscles before doing sports.
What is a vocal warm-up? A set of exercises which prepare the voice and body for singing or speaking. It includes the following:
No worries if you haven’t done it before: It’s not difficult and many people have recorded tutorials showing warm up exercises.
How deep or high you start, depends on the type of your voice. Make sure to warm up both, the chest and head voices. This video brings it to a point and shows a set of exercises. Here’s another nice video so warm up to:
3. Sing at least 30 minutes a day
How to improve your voice? By practicing! Just like every other workout, you need to train your voice daily. A short daily practice will make your vocal cords stronger. Day by day, your voice will become better. If you can make the time, try to sing for a couple of hours daily.
Take care before important gigs and auditions: Don’t overdo the night before. You need your voice smooth and rested when performing. Better sing just a little the day before.
4. Record your voice to listen to yourself
In order to know how you really sound when singing, you need to record yourself.
- Use the computer or smartphone or even an online free song recorder.
- Sing a song you know well – so you can concentrate on HOW to sing it instead of what to sing.
- Listen to the recording you made. At first, you probably won’t like it. Get over it and listen to your mistakes to learn from them. Notice what you did well, too.
- Compare the way you’re singing to the original recording. What does the singer do better? What can you change to sound more unique?
- Practice some ear training exercises – the better your ear, the better you’ll be singing
Alternatively, you can use this famous trick. Close one ear to listen to your voice the way others hear it.
5. Sing songs you are comfortable with
Respect your limits and choose songs you are capable of singing. When exercising, choose something a little challenging but manageable. For performances and auditions, it’s even more important to stick to pieces you’ll manage.
6. Express emotions while singing
This is one of the dullest tips I ever got from my vocal teachers (get yourself a teacher, by the way!): You have to feel the song. And she was right! You can totally hear the difference if somebody is singing from the heart or simply repeating the words and the melody. So singing with emotions is a huge factor to improve your voice.
Try those steps:
- Choose songs you can relate to.
- Use your facial expression to stress what you’re singing about.
- Sing in front of the mirror and look for eye-contact of your audience.
- Try out different stressing, record your voice and check which one you like most.
7. Sing quietly
Singing quietly is probably the most challenging part of the singing process. Many amateur singers try to sing very loud to make up for wrong notes. Try to avoid this. It will damage your cords. Additionally, too loud singing sounds cranky instead of powerful.
In any case, avoid screaming and don’t strain your voice. A soft voice is achieved by correct body language and breath (point 8).
8. Use your body & breath to improve your voice
How to train your voice to sound better? – a quick exercise
- Stand in front of the mirror.
- Stand upright, without tension in your knees or neck.
- Start slowly breathing in and out through your belly .
- Start singing some scales in a comfortable pitch to slowly warm up your body. First, sing them with a closed mouth and the letter “m”. Then move on to “na”. And then to a “la”.
- After you warmed up, choose a song you can comfortably sing. Sing it in front of the mirror and watch your body language and mimics. Try to sing the text of the song to yourself, as if you would talk to a lovely friend. Do you notice any difference in your voice?
- Watching or recording yourself might be odd in the beginning, but it will truly help you. Especially, if you are not taking vocal classes with a teacher.
Those tips were collected for you by Natalia, Yalda and the rest of the sofasession team. We hope you find them a useful summary to help improve your voice!
The original post is here