To most people, falsetto and head voice are just one and the same thing. However, in contemporary music, the two could be entirely two different things.
The head voice is achieved when the singer sings with an open throat and a lower larynx. Falsetto voice, on the other hand, is achieved when the vocal folds are stretched to their maximum.
When you are singing falsetto there is no natural vibration. Your throat should be closed and your larynx up. At this point, it is very possible to hit very high notes compared to the head voice.
Funnily enough, there is a difference when it comes to gender when singing falsetto. A woman can sing falsetto but it may not be as noticeable as when a man does sings falsetto - this is due to the natural ways in which our voices are shaped by testosterone and estrogen.
We can categorize these differences into the following points:
1. A head-voice has a natural vibrato which lacks in falsetto.
2. The head voice is richer and darker compared to falsetto.
3. The falsetto is achieved when the throat is closed and the larynx is up. Head voice is achieved when the throat is open and the larynx is down.
4. Falsetto can reach higher notes compared to the notes which can be reached singing the head voice.
1. Practice doing sirens from your highest top register
The falsetto register is found at the highest point of your range. It can be achieved by experimenting with the highest pitched sirens you can achieve. Try mimicking the sirens of the police car or ambulance. Do the sirens from the top of the register and not to the top of the register.
2. Use your 'little boy voice'
Can you try talking like a three-year-old boy? Do you notice the difference? If that fails then try talking like a woman. The result is an airy voice and a breathy tone. That is probably your falsetto.
3. Keep it quiet
After you have found your falsetto don’t push it too much. Chances are, you may not be able to do it anyway. Ensure that you don’t use your throat either.
4. Sing on
By singing on I suggest you sing either eee’ or ooo’ - with falsetto aahh’ or aayy’ may not be attainable. Slide from the top to the bottom. Listen to the changes in the timbre of your voice.
If you notice that it’s getting really light at the top and you experience fewer vibrations internally, then you have found your falsetto.
Head voice can be achieved when the following five areas have been exploited:
What is resonance? Resonance is where you sing in a way where your voice doesn’t seem to come from your throat. This can be achieved when the singer seems like they have placed their voice around the eye area.
This can be achieved by pretending that you are wearing goggles. Go ahead and pretend that your voice is coming from the goggles in front of your face and directing your voice to the wall opposite.
So it seems like whatever you are singing, you are redirecting it to that wall. A very good way to achieve that is to hum through the song. You feel the buzz in your nose, once you feel that forward traveling sound go ahead and sing the words in the space after you hum it through.
2 Strong, Solid Support
A lot of emphasis needs to be put on the bigger and stronger muscles in the body. The tiny muscles in the throat should not be relied on to achieve head voice. Maximize the support of your diaphragm muscles. Doing this helps expand your rib cage which is essential in offering the skeletal support. Skeletal support is very necessary for singing.
How can this be achieved? Start by placing your hands on your rib cage. Make sure that your hands aren’t placed too low. Now, take in a good breath. Expand to directions in which you have placed your hands. Now, let go slowly and repeat this over and over again.
This allows the diaphragm to draw down and press the abdominal muscles. This gives your voice the required support and power it requires to achieve head voice and takes the pressure off your throat.
3. Chest Mix
When a good, strong chest voice and head voice are combined, the result is a perfect and a well-balanced voice. You need to develop a strong chest and a strong head voice.
The chest voice should never be pulled out. Doing this may result in a very painful situation which is not sustainable. The strain is too much and definitely gets flat.
For this reason, get a mix. At this juncture start incorporating your highest calling voice into your singing.
4. Developing a Powerful Head Voice
This is the most crucial part. Unfortunately, many singers want to omit this and go straight to belting out high volume notes. Many want to overlook the tedious work of learning to achieve the head voice.
Right before you even start a singing program, it is crucial to first work on your head voice. This can be achieved by starting practicing scales and isolating your head voice. So if you an opera singer employ your best opera voice. This will facilitate openness and the freedom to go high. The head voice should never be discounted or taken for granted.
5. Open Throat
The head voice requires plenty of space. For this reason, you need to have an open throat. When you breathe in, you need to develop the habit of opening your throat as much as you can.
It’s a simultaneous action where both actions should happen at the same time. As you practice breathing in, try to think of the sensation experienced you get when you sneeze or get surprised. This helps to open up your throat and help you achieve your head voice.
The difference between falsetto voice and head voice is very minimal and most people might overlook it. However, if you plan on becoming a professional musician, knowing how to differentiate the two is very important.
Falsetto can be achieved by singing with your throat closed and your larynx up. On the other hand, you can sing the head voice when your throat is open and your larynx is down.
The falsetto lacks a natural vibration which is evident in the head voice.
The best part of any performance is when the audience gets absorbed and reacts positively to your delivery. For a singer, receiving a standing ovation is the best indication of your singing prowess. One sure way of doing this is by hitting the high notes; the reason why the greatest singers like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston have always been revered all over the world. However, reaching such a singing peak that those singers are able to achieve does not come easy. Even if you are naturally endowed, a certain level of skill is necessary to hit those high notes, which can only come about with consistent and dedicated practice. You may now ask, how does one learn how to sing high notes? Well, the fundamental principle for achieving these transcendent vocals is dedicated, disciplined practice. Practice, combined with some key tips (we’re going to give you the juicy tips in this article), will allow you to improve your vocal control and achieve mastery of the high note. This article will give you some quick, actionable tips to immediately improve your vocal range to include those high notes, but always remember you need to be disciplined to see improvement!
The majority of people struggle with singing high notes because of practicing the wrong way. The key in doing this is by knowing your vocal range and learning techniques to control various aspects of the body as you try out the high notes. The following tips will guide you on how to sing the high notes without straining and damaging your vocal cords.
When you’re done here, check out our article on learning falsetto too!
Just like any other muscle in the body, the vocal chords require stretching before being utilized so that they are flexible while you are singing. Learning how to sing higher will be helped by learning how to relax the face. Daily practice will condition them to the stretching and make it more comfortable for you to hit high notes. Perform the following exercise daily before getting into your singing session:
• Place your trigger fingers over the chin and use your thumbs to gently massage the area so as to loosen the surrounding muscles.
• Open your eyes and mouth as far wide as you can and repeat the process a few times.
• Do a huge yawn to stretch your jaws and face.
• Stretch your neck and shoulders to relieve them of tension.
You use air to provide your voice with the needed power; therefore, a stable and continuous supply of air is crucial for anybody trying to learn how to sing high notes. Inhaling too much air may cause pressure to build in your throat, whilst also creating resistance below the vocal chords and result in the cracking of your voice. On the other hand, too little air will weaken the voice; this is why you should master how to control airflow by controlling your diaphragm. Follow these steps:
• Practice taking big breaths and staying relaxed in a standing position with your hand placed on your diaphragm.
• Maintain the position of your shoulder as you take deep breaths by pulling the breath from the stomach and not the chest.
• Take large breaths of air as you feel on the diaphragm expanding.
• Gradually release your breath using a “shhhh” sound with no breaks and repeat this until there isn’t enough air to produce the sound.
Mastering this technique will enable you to sing with an open throat and keep your voice from straining as you sing those high notes.
Learning how to sing higher really comes from being able to condition your voice for the actual power that the notes bring. Poor vocal stamina will cancel out the effectiveness of a good voice combined with the great technique a singer is using. Having a weak voice will be a challenge when you are singing and trying to sustain the high notes. Vocal stamina can be improved by working on vocal technique exercises four to five times weekly for between thirty to sixty minutes. This will stretch your vocal cords, expand your range and prevent damage to your muscles as you sing.
Here’s a supplementary article to help you further with building vocal stamina.
Another crucial factor in hitting the high notes is the need to maintain a smooth and connected sound. This can be realized by controlling airflow from the diaphragm, unless when one is singing a staccato- a method of singing notes that aren’t connected to one another. In singing a staccato, you should have the air pressure moving upwards at all times without pushing hard or very slow. By feeling the air pressure in your mouth, this training will assist you to achieve a smooth and connected sound.
In many cases, the reason why singers experience a cracked voice during singing is that they push their voices when trying to hit difficult notes. Pressing your voice is a poor technique when singing high notes and will end up limiting your vocal range to a great extent. Try as much as possible to avoid this!
Most singers tend to close their jaws a little in trying to reach the high notes. However, you should be wary of closing them too much as this may cut off your volume, power, and tone. Maintaining an open jaw to the close of a word will grant you more power and volume. This can be done best by practicing voice building exercises.
Given that high notes are positioned higher in any singer’s instrument, the mistake often made is to reach up. As much as you may want the soft palate to arch up in the upper backside of your mouth, you definitely don’t want the tongue or the chin to lift. Maintaining your chin in a downward-facing position during high notes will enable you to hit them without a struggle.
A healthy technique that can be employed to hit the high notes is by maintaining a balanced voice mechanism. This implies having a nice cord closure plus a leveled to lowered larynx. Cord closure helps to control the airflow into the mouth; cords that don’t close cleanly may cause your voice to sound “eerie”. Also, a level position of the larynx results in the perfect singing voice.
Hitting the high notes will without a doubt dazzle the audience and convert them into your fans during a singing performance. Achieving this doesn’t mean going above and beyond, by pushing the voice over the notes. What it takes is learning to control the flow of air and possessing a nice cord closure with a low to level larynx. Mastering this technique will gradually enhance your vocal range and put you in a comfortable position to hit high notes. The above guidelines offer an easy way to perfect on how to sing high notes.
To supplement this article, we definitely recommend checking out our informative guide on how to sing better overall and how to get a better singing voice in general. Good luck with your singing endeavors and remember to practice, practice, practice!
Here’s a video to help supplement the actionable tips mentioned above:
One of the biggest challenges in the way of every budding musician (or karaoke hero) is learning how to sing falsetto. Learning and perfecting a falsetto singing voice is a bit tricky. It doesn’t come naturally to most people – that’s where the ‘false’ comes in – but luckily enough, it’s a skill anyone can learn.
As with every skill you might want to learn, you have to start at the beginning and work your way through the steps until it comes more naturally to you and you can pull it off as effortlessly as the pros. To get you on your way to belting out those high notes, here’s a quick but effective guide on how to sing falsetto.
Check out further tips on enhancing your voice.
It might sound a bit strange, but this is the first thing you’ll need to do. Get into your little boy voice (Mickey) and try talking with it a bit. You should sense a difference not only in the sound, but in how speaking this way actually feels. It will feel as though the sound is coming from somewhere higher and further back in your oral cavity, back up towards your sinuses. This is your falsetto.
Now that you’ve identified your falsetto, you can now begin to work on it. Unless you were literally born for the stage, you won’t be able to carry any kind of falsetto tune just yet, but that’s what you’re reading this for.
A god exercise to sharpen your falsetto at this point is singing the vowels ‘eee’ and ‘oooh’. The way our throats and vocal chords are set up, these are the best vowel sounds to practice falsetto with. Keep to a low volume as you get yourself used to softly singing in falsetto, and it will gradually become easier.
Now, you’ve got your basic falsetto down, but you need to figure out how to place it on the musical scale of tones in order to manage any kind of song. This is where things get a bit technical. First up, you’ll need to pay attention to the placement of your forehead and sinuses. Deep notes emanate from your belly, but falsetto calls for you to produce sound from the very top of your esophagus and upper sinuses. Your tongue will be flattened and forward to the tips of your teeth.
Once you’ve mastered this position, you’ll need to practice what’s referred to as ‘opening up your head’. This isn’t as violent as it may sound. It refers to generally keeping things loose, free, and open – your center, your lungs, your sinuses, all the way through to your mouth.
With that done, you can now determine your range. If you’ve managed to get things right up to here, you will be singing, however low and broken it might be, in what’s known as your register. This is basically your baseline falsetto. You now want to find your range – from the high falsetto to the low. You can do this by simply singing in your baseline falsetto and then attempting to sliding your notes upwards and downwards as far as you can each way. This is a difficult part for many, but as with all the other steps, it gets easier with practice and an initially narrow range can broaden impressively with time. Don’t let yourself get discouraged.
Congratulations! If you manage to stick things out and put in a bit of practice, you will have learned all the basics you need to really get into some tunes with ease. It’s a learning process, but you now have the tools to tackle it.
Be sure to regulate your breathing to accommodate the new falsetto breathing pattern – you will have to train yourself to avoid the urge to pinch or hold your breath at certain points. Loosen up, breathe in deep every time, and let the notes flow out! Don’t worry if it sounds a bit weak or breathy, it will get better with practice.
Always keep in mind what every professional singer will tell you about how to sing falsetto – it’s not something people are born with. It takes time and effort to get the basics right before you can hope to achieve excellence, and even though not everybody will get to perform at the opera in this lifetime, we can all get good enough to impress a few people on karaoke night.
For a complete guide on how to sing, check out an in-depth article here. Best of luck in your vocal endeavors!
Here’s a video breaking down the process of singing falsetto:
In all cases, we want the best for our kids. That is why you will find a parent teaching their two-year-old how to read and do other complex things. Some parents will go ahead and teach their kids how to play a complex game even when it seems like pulling teeth out, just because we all love our little ones and want to see them develop. Forcing kids to do things before they are ready will be unproductive and can lead to resentment in the child towards the activity. The best thing is to teach them how to be happy, and if you’re trying to get your child integrated with learning how to sing, then it must be approached in a fun, yet structured way. Here are singing lessons for kids that will help you teach them everything they need fundamentally to have great singing voices, without making it seem like work for them at the time (we all know kids just want to have fun, right?).
Remember that everything that your child sees or hears is new to him or her. That means you should start with simple tips and fundamental skills. For a further guide on some of these fundamentals on learning how to sing, then we definitely recommend you go over our in-depth guide here.
Before deciding to climb a mountain, you should start with a hill. That should be taken into account when teaching your child how to sing. Avoid very complex songs and sing simple songs instead. At the moment you are likely asking yourself, “What kinds of songs are considered simple?” A simple song should have two to three pitches, and it should be very short. The lyrics of the song should have minor third intervals which are usually the best for children. The best example of such a song is, “Rain, Rain Go Away….”. Try to sing to them with the child so that a level of inclusion can be established.
With the minor third intervals we learned above, you can combine them and make new simple songs. Once you have made the tunes, you only need to teach your child. You must be patient because it will take a lot of time for your kid to learn the tricks. You can make the song like a game that you play regularly. Add more words as your child masters the words you have created. Act like a conductor and a teacher!
Remember to follow these steps as they come. Once your child knows how to sing your new songs, you can now teach him or her how to raise the pitch and lower it too. This can be done using your hands. Lower your hand and/or raise it while singing. That way, your child will learn how to sing while following your hands. Always make sure you raise or lower your hand when the pitch changes.
This is called the A, B, C of music. You can teach your child how to change the pitch using your whole body. The Solfège are symbols that represent different types of the body. Make sure that the highest pitches signify the head and the lowest pitches appear below the knee. Using the whole body makes singing enjoyable and memorable thus making it easy to teach your child how to sing. Play games like pitch-matching to help perfect this .
This game involves singing single syllables up to the time your child has the power to match them. Look at what your child likes and try to integrate it into the training. Most kids like clocks and they will time themselves on how long they took to match the pitch. You can also decide to involve a few children and play the telephone game where you whisper a tune in one person; the tune is whispered to another one until the last one says it out loud. Though it may not sound the like the initial one, you could have taught your child syllable stresses.
These are songs that echo what the soloist says. If you use this type of training, your child will be forced to sing the same lyrics that you use. You can also use response and call method where the soloist sings, and the respondent sings using a different tone. This is a complex stage, but it is good in training your child how to sing with a rhythm.
You can use a tablet, a phone or any other devices that have some music. Pick a song and listen to it with your child. Later talk about it and discuss it with your child. Get to know what the child likes about the song and what he/she dislikes. That way you will make singing simple and still enjoyable for your child.
While your child is learning, be ready to listen to him or her and join them in their singing. Consistency is key here, and the level of inclusion that a child can feel when you work with them can be great in allowing them to grow musically. Really, we want the child to feel like you encourage their singing and growth. By dedicating yourself to always being attentive and helpful to your child’s needs (not just artistically, but also from a general sense), you will greatly improve the child’s singing prowess in the long run.
Once you have done all the above things, you need a vocal trainer to train you’re child. Because you have been teaching your child how to sing, the vocal trainer will help in moderating the voices and handling high notes without affecting the throat. The training will prevent the vocal cords of your child from being damaged. Furthermore, it’s likely that a trained professional will be able to further develop the child’s singing voice and ultimately improve their craft much more than you were able to – but it’s still fundamentally helpful to have the parent connect with the child musically!
For boys, we also recommend the parent get them started learning falsetto, so that way they can enhance their repertoire down the line. Only do this once the child has been well-integrated into their vocal program!
Singing is a wonderful thing. Many musicians assume that nobody is really unmusical, it is also something that everyone can practice. Throughout this article, we will give you some actionable tips that will help you improve that innate singing voice YOU possess, which we believe almost everyone can improve upon – song long as you aren’t tone deaf.
A good prerequisite is already the fact that almost everyone is capable of learning to sing. Infants are known to produce very loud sounds, because they instinctively master the right technique: the abdominal breathing. This ability can be regained through practice, expanded and then honed precisely to produce far better musical sound than a dissatisfied baby.
Before looking for a choir or a vocal teacher you should ask yourself the following question: Do I like classical singing or do I prefer to dedicate myself to pop, rock or jazz singing? The fundamental difference between the two groups is that the latter types of vocals tend to be based on the speaking voice. The classical song is a very unique art form. The voice is artificially changed. The vocal folds are stretched through the vocal cartilages and thus thinner – Tild is called this technique. From the speaking voice the resulting sound quality is far away.
This article is well supplemented with another article on our site on learning how to sing. Starting from that article may provide a better scope of understanding for the following tips!
“Learning to sing is like a journey to yourself,” says Uta Habbig, jazz singer and vocal teacher. The voice is the most intimate instrument that can be used to make music. Because every mood and every feeling has an effect on the voice, so we reveal a lot of us at every vocal statement. So, if you are afraid to open yourself to others, it can be a bit difficult at first. On the other hand, learning to sing is also a good way to get rid of such fears.
The anatomical conditions that are fundamental in singing are the larynx and the vocal folds inside it. These produce the sound of the voice. That’s why every human being has his own vocal color, also called timbre. For example, some people have vocal folds that never close completely. This always releases some air without causing the vocal folds to vibrate. This is not bad, but can even be used as a stylistic device in singing.
In the course of their training, professional singers must acquire a whole repertoire of variants with which they can change their voices (such as the falsetto voice). But even when you start, you bring along a range of attitudes of the voice. Uta Habbig speaks of everyone being shaped by music that they like to hear and to sing along. These forms of the voice can be used as a basis and expand in the classroom.
Singing can be learned at any age, and we have a specific article to help you get your child to sing. If you have a kid, then this informative article will give you some ways to help integrate your child into the craft.
Every human being has an innate range of sounds called ambitus. You can also extend this by practicing and teaching. It is based on the relaxed voice, the indifferent situation. You can find them by watching the pitch of the voice in a relaxed conversation. From there one can work on expanding the boundaries of one’s own ambitus.
In order to be able to sing relaxed, one should loosen the face, in particular the cheeks, but also the throat and the diaphragm. One way is to pretend to yawn. Also, stroking the cheeks can help to make the face more flexible and open the mouth further – an aspect that should not be ignored, so that your singing is easy to hear!
In order to have no mistakes and to be able to control the voice in stressful situations such as high-profile auditions, it is important to master the technique that you practice with your voice. Mastering your voice involves mastering the vocal chords and the diaphragm. The latter is a muscle that separates the lungs from the abdomen. The diaphragm raises and lowers with the breathing. The more pressure the diaphragm makes to squeeze the air out of the lungs, the louder the sound becomes.
The diaphragm can be trained by exhaling three times with an “f” sound, as if you were blowing out a candle. Moving quickly, the diaphragm stresses itself to quickly move and then subsequently loosen. Do it as if you were scared for the best results!
The basis of the song is the abdominal breathing. You need the high breathing, i.e. the breathing in the chest, in order to achieve high performance quickly. However, you do not need much air for singing. It is more important here to control the respiration so that you can generate specific sounds. You can also prevent overexertion while singing with the right breathing technique.
To practice this, put your hand on your stomach and inhale. When the abdominal wall lifts, you open up the stomach to produce optimal sounds. This test can also be done on the sides by placing hands on the waist and inhaling. Even there, the abdominal space should expand.The upper part of the trunk should also be included, so hands can be placed on the ribs to control the dilation of the abdomen. Here you should make sure that the shoulders remain relaxed. Then the quality of your notes improves dramatically.
This is the name given to the idea that you use the entire body to sing, to take the tension out of your throat and not over-strain it. The whole body serves as a resonance chamber, which amplifies the sounds that arises in the larynx. While high notes tend to resonate in the head and upper body, you can feel low notes rather in the stomach.
Also in the head, certain ways to use the voice may sound in the head or back of the head. The following exercise will teach you to feel where the voice sounds: Try to speak like a witch. Then imitate the laughter of a Santa Claus. Pay attention to where you notice the vibrations of the voice. Those of the witch must be felt further up, Santa’s in the back of the head.
On the feeling that the voice sounds rather down or up in the body, is also the naming of certain sounds as chest or head voice. But there is no such subdivision. From a certain height you can only reach sounds by using the “Tild” technique explained above. Then you draw the vocal fold artificially in the length. However, this is not tied to specific pitches. If you apply more pressure, ie tighten the diaphragm while singing, you only have to use the Tild at higher tones than when you are singing softly. This is often done with soul singing. The technique of pushing the pressure of Tild to higher notes is called belting.
The posture of the body should provide good conditions for the voice to unfold. Stand firm with both feet, but relax. The knees do not have to be fully extended, but remain flexible. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed and not drawn to the ears – even when singing high notes.
Recognizing sounds that are predetermined with the ear and singing with your voice is a complex matter. That may be difficult in the beginning. One reason for this is that hearing in everyday life is overwhelmed by the multitude of noises. With practice of your overall craft, you’ll develop instinctive understanding of singing notes with your ears, and this will only serve to improve your singing itself!
Drinking plenty of water helps the voice. Sage sweets help with throat scratching. Always remember, alcohol and cigarettes are extremely toxic to your singing voice, so remember to keep that in mind next time you engage in consumption of either poisonous substance!
At the beginning of each session you should allow the voice to warm up. This will make your voice more flexible. Sing a middle C and then DEFG and then FED C. Then, starting from C, raise one semitone higher and sing up a scale from this tone (Cis / Des) and down again. Use an instrument, a tuning fork or an app for orientation!
The psyche has an immediate effect on the voice. Because emotional tension leads to muscular cramping. The vocal apparatus is affected by this. On the other hand, something that helps to stop the air is to helping to breathe again and to let out the air by making “f” sounds in quick succession. Singing with the right mindset is important, and daily meditation can help you become more centered which will allow you to focus on your craft and your fundamentals in a more relaxed state of mind.
Therefore it is also important to find a suitable vocal teacher or choirmaster. In the search, well-being should serve as the highest criteria: after the lesson you should not hurt anything. So if you feel a sore throat or tension in the throat or shoulders, try to get into another singing lesson or choir rehearsal!
Here’s a great video on some more actionable tips that you can implement quickly to improve that voice!
The act of singing is an art style in its own right, and it is a worthwhile pursuit that just about anyone can learn. Human beings are naturally inclined to find musical scores intriguing, and it is rare that each individual does not have at least one song or tune that will get him or her tapping a foot or humming along. But while singing is a natural part of what it means to be human, it takes serious dedication and practice to be a successful singer who can sing in tune and create a pleasing melody with your voice.
Regardless of what type of genre you are looking to sing in, there are some key, beginner’s tips that every budding vocalist should keep in mind or practice in order to achieve success in a singing career. Or, if a career is not your end goal, then these tips will help you to achieve better overall vocal control so that you produce beautiful sounds as opposed to something less than pleasing to the ear.
To sing correctly and for extended lengths of time, it is absolutely necessary that you learn how to control your breathing the right way. Start with some basic breathing exercises that can help you learn the different pitches that your voice can reach and train your lungs and vocal chords to hold those notes longer. Furthermore, breathing exercises are necessary to ensure that you do not cause undue damage to your throat which can mean a short life to your singing aspirations. Here are a few such exercises that you can start doing now to get a feel for just how much breathing and vocal control proper singing will require:
– Work on relaxing your throat muscles. Being able to move through different tensions in the muscles of your throat will help you develop more varied tonalities.
– Inhale slowly, imagining that the air you are drawing in is heavy and thick. As you breathe in, actively work to move the air below your belly button and into you diaphragm (this is a dome shaped musculature that sits between your chest and abdominal cavities; it is the major muscle responsible for respiratory movements and is a crucial component for a successful singer). Exhale and then repeat.
– Find a lightweight feather that you can practice keeping in the air with your breath. This will help you fine tune your overall breath control and help strengthen and extend your lung capacity. The key to this exercise is to maintain a steady flow without allowing your diaphragm to completely deflate.
– Breathe in for 4 counts then exhale for 4 counts while making a “hissing” sound. Then, you will slowly increase the time: 6 counts in, 10 hissing breaths out. 6 counts in, 12 out. 2 counts in, 12 out. 4 counts in, 16 out. 2 counts in, 16 out. 4 counts in, 20 out. 1 count in, 20 out. As you practice this hissing exhalation exercise, you are training your lungs and body to be able to hold an extended note with less breath. The goal is to create a smooth, even tone, so no changing volume or pitch as you exhale.
– Breathe in slowly and envision that your lungs are filling up in sections as you count. At 1 count, fill your lungs up 1/4 full; 2 counts, 1/2 full; 3 counts, 3/4 full; 4 counts, completely full. Then exhale slowly as you continue your count to 12. Start again, this time section your inhale between two section: 1 count, 1/2 full; 2 counts, completely full. Then exhale as you continue to count to 10. Again, the idea is to teach your body how best to control your breathing.
This topic is explored further in our article on improving your singing voice, check it out now!
Just as you might stretch before you consider preparing to do a set of weights during an exercise routine, your throat muscles and vocal chords also require some “stretching” to get them warmed up before you sing. Work slowly and carefully, practicing with different notes to get your vocal chords loosened up and ready to work. By doing this, you will help prevent your vocal chords from becoming strained from excessive use while the muscles are stiff or otherwise “cold.” Here are a couple of exercises you can start with to warm up:
– Exhale through your mouth and empty your lungs. Relax your stomach muscles, open your mouth, and slowly inhale. Repeat this a few times. Then, as you are preparing to breathe in after a few cycles, add a hissing sound to your breath and see how long you can hold the note while inhaling. Once you have reached your limit, exhale once more, and then practice with different sounds, such as “shhhhh” and “fffff” to help stretch different areas of your vocal chords.
– Close your eyes and breath normally, inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth. Keep your shoulders relaxed and try to make sure that when you are inhaling the breath completely fills every part of your lungs. When you exhale, maintain your inflated shape while working to completely empty your lungs. This may prove difficult at first, but it is an excellent “stretch.”
– Count to 4 and breathe out slowly, lowering your left ear down to your shoulder as you do so. Then count to four again and lift your head back to its starting position. Repeat with the right ear, and continue for several cycles.
Having the right posture may not seem all that important, but it is: having an even area for your breath to flow in and out is crucial to creating the right sound and maintaining it. Make sure that when you are practicing singing that you are standing straight with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent and loose (you do not want them locking up and causing you to possibly pass out). Keep your head up and your neck straight, but your shoulders down and your stomach relaxed.
Relaxation is key for creating the right song comfortably. You do not want your body to be tense, else you risk altering or otherwise damaging the sound you are preparing to create.
Now that you have learned how to breathe correctly, warm up your vocal chord muscles, and are standing straight and strong, it is time to figure out just what your voice is capable of. On average, men and women are split across four major voice ranges: soprano (high) and alto (low) for women and tenor (high) and bass (low) for men. To find where your natural range sits, start by creating a sound, sticking to whatever pitch and volume comes naturally to you.
Once you have discovered your natural pitch, start trying to raise the range as much as you can to reach a high note. If you notice that you throat is starting to feel uncomfortable or you simply cannot seem to go any higher, then you have reached your range maximum on the high end. Repeat this process with a low note to determine your low range. Do not try and surpass your natural range; doing so can damage your vocal chords or cause a great deal of discomfort.
You can also look online for a musical scale reference to give you an idea of which notes you can try to hit. The key is to always start where your singing voice feels most comfortable and then try to add in some variation as you go.
Another surefire way to try and determine your pitch range and get a better feel for what your voice is capable of is to try and record yourself singing. Nothing too complicated, just a simple melody will do. Then, play the snippet back to see how you sound. If you notice that your pitch is wavering in places, record again and focus on correcting those errors. You can also consider purchasing or finding some free audio recording and analysis software that can help you fine tune your practice by visually showing you when your voice goes out of pitch.
Just remember: everyone has a range that their voices naturally fall into, and you are no exception. Much of the time, a singer will find him or herself singing out of tune because he or she is trying to sing beyond their natural range. As you practice and gain experience and skills, you can start branching out more; but as a beginner, make sure that you stay in your comfort zone when it comes to range so that you can learn the basics and create a pleasant sound (not to mention avoid damaging your vocal chords).
Even if you are being careful not to put too much undue pressure on your throat muscles, you are still straining them in the same way that muscles are strained during exercise. For this reason, it is very important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. What you may not know is that lukewarm water is actually the best to drink while practicing, because it will help keep your vocal chords loose unlike cold water which will tighten them back up.
Avoid drinking or eating dairy products or other thick drinks before you prepare to sing as these types of drinks and foods can cause a build up of mucus in the throat which will make it more difficult to sing.
Regardless of your past experience with musical theory and practice, learning to follow a “scale” is simple enough. Scale refers to a series of notes that are sung in a row going up in pitch and then back down. There are many different kinds of scales, and practicing with different ones can help you develop your singing voice more fully. Training your voice to be able to move along a scale is necessary for developing proper vocal control.
One useful exercise is called solfa, short for solfege, which you may recognize as the “do re mi” scale. Rather than just sing formless notes, you give a “name” to each note and sing them up and down the scale. A simple internet search can help you find a working solfa scale that you can use to practice with.
Want to learn falsetto, check out our article on the matter here.
Tone deafness, unfortunately, is a real disorder can affect a number of individuals. The disorder is classified by an inability to properly match the tone of music with your voice–and you can often be completely unaware of the fact! Tone deafness is, put simply, being unable to tell the difference between two different tones played on an instrument. And if you cannot feel the rhythm of a song, then it will be very difficult to sing along at an even cadence.
Luckily, the amount of truly tone deaf individuals in the world is extremely slim. So to test whether or not you suffer from tone deafness, you can search for an ear test online which will test your ability to tell the difference between notes. Tone deafness has nothing to do with your ability as a musician or to read musical notes, etc. This is a biological condition that cannot be reversed.
The nose is the body’s soundboard, and learning how to utilize it in the singing process will help you develop better overall sound control. Depending on the type of singing that you are looking to do, you will also want to practice creating either a more nasally sound or a less nasally sound. Country singers tend to employ nasal tones, while other forms of music find it less appealing.
On average, nasally singing is not what you will want to aim for since the sound tends to be more squeaky in nature and will not give your voice the full range that it can achieve. Improper placement of the tongue and soft palate are often what cause nasal singing quality, and learning how to control them while singing will help you fine tune your vocal quality.
While looking in a mirror, open your mouth wide and look to the back of your throat where your uvula hangs. This organ is attached to your soft palate, and when you yawn, you will notice that the palate and uvula move upwards. You can also create certain sounds (such as the sounds in the word “sing”) to force your tongue to touch your soft palate. Essentially, what all this proves is that you can control the size and shape of your mouth and throat opening which will affect the sound and quality of your singing.
“M”, “N”, and “NG” sounds create a more nasal resonance, while “B”, “D”, “G”, and “UH” create less nasal sounds. If you replace the nasal consonant sounds with these less nasal consonants, then you can practice bringing your vocal chords together, lowering your larynx, and developing a less nasally singing voice.
Diction can mean your choice of words, but it can also refer to how you pronounce those words. If you are singing “covers” of songs written by others, you are not choosing the words, but you are choosing how you sing them. In the beginning of your singing practice and education, you want to make sure that you sing each word clearly and not shorten any of them. After all, you want to make sure that you can be understood. The following are a few key tips to keep in mind when singing to achieve good diction:
– Slow down and pronounce the words fully. There are some singers who speed up and become difficult to understand. If you are a beginner, this is not a helpful place to start. Your goal right now is to strengthen your vocal chords and develop your body in a way that fosters healthy singing.
– While singing, make sure that you can hear the first and last letters of each lyric as well as the first and last words of the lyric. This way, you know that you are coming off in a way that can be understood.
– Practice speaking the lyrics first without signing. Clearly pronounce each word as if you are reading a poem (which music generally is, anyway). Even when you start singing, you can always go back and continue practicing clear pronunciation at any time (and you should).
Being able to determine your pitch and listen for inconsistencies or tonal imbalances is important to learning how to sing. You must be able to clearly hear what and how you are singing while you are singing (and afterwards, if you are using recording equipment). For this reason, it is just as important to learn how to listen to singing as it is to learn to sing in the first place. Keep your ears open for the following:
– Balanced pitch
– Overall tone (adjust as needed while you are singing)
– Balanced volume (you do not want to sing over the music, nor do you want to music to drown out your voice)
– If you are a part of a duet or band, you should be able to pick out the individual voices of your fellow singers and the music of your band mates
– Listening while singing overall (or, being able to pay attention and hear how you sound while you are in the act of singing)
As with any skill, practice is what will help you develop your style and your abilities to excel. It is not enough to do breathing or vocal exercises once and then expect to suddenly be a master vocalist. These exercises should be done on a regular basis to ensure that your vocal chords remain warmed up and strong before you go into a song. As little as ten minutes a day can be enough to keep your vocal chords in proper working order.
When you start singing songs, record yourself and play the recordings back after the fact. If you are listening to music, then you can play the recording back and compare your voice to the song you were mimicking. If not, then you can still listen for any inconsistencies in your pitch or other poorly timed or strained notes.
While singing is a “natural” phenomenon, it is still a skill that can be developed and improved with both practice and guidance under a good teacher. Search around where you live for singing lessons for beginners that might give you a good place to start building your vocal foundation, especially if you are finding yourself struggling to understand the basics. A proper instructor can help you establish basics with your singing voice such as unlocking your head voice and falsetto voice respectively.
Singing lessons can also be found online, either for free or via a webcam platform. There is no real wrong place to start when it comes to trying to learn to sing; being comfortable, especially in the beginning, is perhaps most important to ensure that you maintain your confidence which will spur you to keep practicing. Find the method of learning that best complements you and keep up with it.
Here’s a video to help you sing better in just a few minutes. Take some of these actionable tips to improve your singing over time, but you can make a lot of progress in a short period of time if you just implement some key practices into your routine!
Want to get your child started with the art of singing? Check out our article for some actionable tips to get your kid learning to sing now.