Monday, July 23, 2018

How to sing better 4: getting down to it, putting the hours in and professional help

I get asked questions like these a lot: “How can I be a good singer?” or “How can I sing better?”


Of course, it depends on what you mean by ‘good’ and ‘better’. In this series of four posts I’ll outline a few things that might help.

I’ve drawn together 40 posts of mine on improving your singing voice, and have collected them into a four post series called How to sing better.

In the first post of the series, I looked at the very beginning of your journey: getting started and not making excuses.

In the second post of the series, I looked at discovering your own voice and learning to love it.

In the third post of the series, I looked at vocal range, breath control and singing in tune.

In this fourth and final post, I’ll look at the nitty gritty of actually getting down to it, putting the hours and whether you need professional help.

getting professional input

Here’s some input from Janet Shell, a professional singer and qualified teacher.

Read her guest post How do you keep your natural sound yet develop real tone quality?

One of the best ways to learn is to have a role model. Don’t try to copy them, but find out how they got where they are today. What techniques do they use? What habits do they cultivate?

Read How to sing – 10 habits of successful professional singers

You might think that you need some professional training before you get started. This is not always the case.

Read Do you need singing lessons in order to sing?

You might also want to check out Your singing voice: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

It’s fine to take professional advice, but sometimes training can get in the way. Many trained singers end up sounding alike and lose some of their uniqueness.

Read The pleasures of the untrained voice

Way back a guy called Tim wrote in to ask for help. He said “I can’t exactly ‘sing’, do you know what I mean?” So I wrote a post to help him with tightness in the throat and general confidence.

Read How to improve your singing voice

is it talent or do you have to put the hours in?

There’s a strange belief going around that accomplished musicians and singers have an innate talent that they’re born with. That’s a bit insulting to those who put in hours and hours of practice to get better at what they do.

Read Putting the hours in – are singers born or made?

singing with others

You might think that your singing is fine when you’re singing on your own, but as soon as you try to sing a harmony with someone else, everything goes wrong.

Read Why do I end up singing the tune when I should be singing harmony?

your conscious brain can be your worst enemy!

On your journey to become a better singer you will learn lots of things about posture, breathing, voice placement, enunciation, pitching and so on. The worst thing you can do is try to apply these consciously when you come to sing.

Read When you sing, forget everything you’ve learnt

Most singers are worriers at some point. They worry about getting their part right. They worry about remembering the words. They worry about letting their fellow singers down. There are no end of worries! Because of this worrying it may seem that you’re actually getting worse as you practise more. That’s because your head is getting in the way.

Read Singing – the more you do it, the worse you get!

Whatever you do in your attempt to become a ‘better’ singer, it while take time. Don’t get upset if things don’t improve fast enough. Take baby steps and be patient.

Read What small changes will make you a better singer in the coming year?

singing is not the only thing in life

Finally, don’t lose sight of the rest of your life! Some singers end up focusing totally on their singing and forget that there’s more to life. You know those contestants on X-Factor who say things like “If I don’t get through, I don’t know what I’m going to do”?

Read Be the best singer you can, but don’t forget there’s more to life

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Chris Rowbury



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