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Can Anyone Learn to Sing?

Hearing a beautiful voice belt out a song is still one of the most awe-inspiring, alluring things that we can experience. Throughout centuries and millennia, myths and legends are rife with people and creatures blessed with a magical voice and the endless accolades that go with it. It's no wonder we believe singing is a unique talent that is innate in a select few.

So, can anyone learn to sing? That is the question that many people ask every day, and I am here to answer YES! with a 98.5% certainty... About 1.5% of the world's population – or 1 in every 75 people – is affected by a disorder called congenital amusia, which prevents them from hearing a difference in pitch, tone, and rhythm.

Virtually anyone else can learn to sing with practice, so don’t listen to the nonsense that you don’t have the innate talent to sing. I have prepared a short guide about how to get started developing your singing voice with some tips that will help you improve as you go. Read on.

Why Do We Perceive Singing to Be Talent Rather Than Skill?

The main reason for the prevailing myth that singing is about talent vs. skill stems from the way we perceive singing in our surroundings.

If you are a person who tries to sing well but always ends up missing the pitch, hearing someone with no professional training do it effortlessly will play tricks with your mind. Does the other person have some traits in their genes that naturally make them a better singer than you? While talent might play some role in how quickly you can pick up singing, in the end, it merely requires a tremendous amount of hard work and practice to become a great singer.

man singing on stage in a hoodie with crowd in background

With this in mind, singing is much more a skill than it is a talent. Sure, a combination of talent and hard work is necessary to become the next Pavarotti or Adele, but anyone can improve their singing voice with hard work and practice.

So, can anyone learn to sing? YES – as long as you are willing to put in work and have realistic goals, you will surprise yourself with what you can achieve.

Many of you might feel skeptical about this. Most of us are familiar with real-life examples of people who never practiced singing a day in their life, and once they open their mouths, a beautiful voice floated out, leaving everyone in awe. And what about all those kids on talent shows that can flat out sing like an angel? What those examples prove is that some people have a better aptitude for mimicking pitch, tone, and rhythm.

It does not mean that you can’t do the same thing, but it will take more practice and time to accomplish it. If you are passionate about singing as something that you want to do well, there is absolutely no biological reason why you shouldn’t pursue it.

Unless you among the unfortunate 1.5% of the population with congenital amusia, the only limits are the ones you impose on yourself.

Improving Singing Just Requires Proper, Consistent Practice

It’s nearly impossible to become the cream of the crop at anything without putting in a significant amount to work, and people who put in the same amount of work and time often get significantly different results. Sure, a part of this is a person’s general aptitude or talent for the discipline. Yet, a lot of it is in the method and approach you use in your training.

Singing is no different than any other specialty. Employing the right course or coach for you can make a tremendous difference in your results.

Girl sitting in room playing guitar and singing

Bear in mind that technical expertise and knowledge are only a part of the learning process. You want a coach who can motivate and encourage you, help you improve, and become constructively critical in your process. When choosing the singing method you want to follow, consider the following:

Form and Breathing Exercises

Whichever method you choose, the starting place comes with instigating a singing form and breathing exercises. A proper form, or singing position, is essential to getting the maximum out of your instrument – that is, your vocal cords. Meanwhile, breathing exercises will help you improve your lung capacity and get you to utilize your diaphragm in singing, thus enhancing your singing stamina and ability to mimic various levels of pitch accurately.

The standard form for singing is as follows:

  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms resting on your sides.
  • Do not clench your hands or fidget with your fingers; it will only distract you and affect your overall relaxed state.
  • Make sure that you are not looking up or down. Balance the bottom of your skull on your atlanto-occipital (AO) joint, which is the joint between your top vertebrae and your skull.

Breathing exercises are essential to learning how to use your diaphragm, which is crucial to developing a powerful singing voice. One of the most common exercises for your diaphragm is the pacing inhale/exhale exercise:

  • Pace yourself as you inhale air into your body for four seconds, filling your diaphragm.
  • Exhale the air over four seconds.
  • Switch the routine to eight seconds, inhaling and exhaling for eight seconds.
  • Finally, extend the routine to 16 seconds.

This exercise will help you improve your breathing capacity and teach you how to ration the air in your diaphragm – a must for singing phrases of varying lengths.

Learn Basic Music Theory

It might not seem as intuitive as breathing and helpful singing exercises, but music theory can help you improve your understanding of how music works and, as a result, make you a better singer. By investing time into learning how to read music and understand music concepts, you will learn to sing better and faster.

What’s more, after you make your way through the beginner exercises in the singing method of your choice, you will likely encounter more advanced concepts and materials. These complexities might be more challenging to overcome without a thorough knowledge of basic music theory.

Practice Articulation

Articulation or diction is especially crucial if you are interested in singing contemporary music, including Pop, Rock (using vocal tones such as grit), R&B, and the like. The pronunciation and accenting of particular words can make a tremendous difference when it comes to sharing the message of the song with an audience. 

I believe it’s crucial to start recording yourself when you sing right out of the gate. These recordings will enable you to track your progress, identify problem areas, and quickly solve any issues you might have with articulation, pitch, or tone.

Yes, You Can Learn to Sing!

I hope that you find this short guide helpful and motivating. Every time you practice, repeat the words “Learning to sing is something that I absolutely can do!”

By dedicating time and effort to developing your voice type and tendencies, you will witness steady, stunning improvement. Sure, some people are born lucky, and this process is a piece of cake. Don’t envy them. Instead, respect your drive and effort!

Man Singing in Room with Blue Shirt

It’s important to understand that the amount of time you put into practicing is crucial, but it’s equally vital to employ the methods and techniques that will help you improve. In short, practice smart and work on continually improving your singing. 

One of the best things you can do to improve your singing is breathing exercises. Singing uses your body as an instrument. Using your diaphragm and breathing correctly will help you improve your pitch and rhythm. You also must put effort into caring for your vocal cords by adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Singing is a skill that requires constant self-critique and objectivity, too. Numerous studies have shown that those who make significant strides and improve can identify mistakes in their singing and self-correct them quickly. This process is crucial to developing a consistent singing performance and a genuine ear for music.

With the number of resources, online singing improvement courses, and videos available on the topic of learning to sing, it is a perfect time to pick up your microphone and get started. If you always dreamed of being able to sing well at a wedding or family event or you are planning on starting your band or solo singing career, now is the time to do something about it.

Arm yourself with determination and patience and choose the right singing method for you. Finding the right mentor, coach, or teacher can make a huge difference in your singing journey, too. Belt it out!

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