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Learning How to Sing as a Beginner

Have you ever wanted to learn how to sing? Now is your chance; this guide will contain a couple of key points to get you started singing. These specialized techniques are monumental to becoming a better singer. Some people dream is to be the best singer and sing in front of an audience. Whereas some people believe singing is an achievement, most are unable to pursue it. Other people think they cannot become singers because they are not naturally able to sing. However, you can learn to sing just like the greats as with everything else; all things take practice, dedication, and knowing the tools to become a great singer.

You may have noticed how the musicians learn to play musical instruments. They practice days after days with precision and patience. Singing is just a form of instrument playing that you perform through your voice. Guitarists play the guitar; pianists play the piano, but the vocal is their instrument for singers. Like any other instrumental musician, singers need to practice precisely days after days too. This article is about how you can improve your singing.

Additionally, you want to know the proper way to take care of your vocal cords. Drinking lots of fluid will loosen up your vocal cords and muscles and help to open and close them to control and stretch to your limit. While you are singing, it is vital to keep your throat moist. Lukewarm drinks are the best. Many professional singers drink hot tea with honey before they perform. Before singing, be aware that certain beverages include but are not limited to alcohol, cold water, and dairy liquids. Try to avoid it because cold water drinks and alcohol can tighten your vocal cords. And dairy products can build up mucus in your throat. Some specialized techniques that you can practice to learn how to become a singer.

Breathing

When you learn to sing, your breathing is a crucial technique; if you cannot breathe correctly through your mouth and are not singing from your nose but your diaphragm, the exhalation in your breathing matters when trying to release melody. Relax! Start by relaxing your body, most importantly, your shoulders. Most people hold stress on their shoulders.

So, start by relaxing those shoulders! Next, you want to start by putting one hand on your chest, place your other hand under your ribs. Once you find those areas, try inhaling and exhaling. Breathing from your nose but releasing that air through both your mouth and nose.

One of the joint exercises for breathing is the inhale/exhale routine exercise.

The steps are:

*Inhale air using your diaphragm to fill up your stomach in four seconds. *Exhale the air in four seconds as well.

*Switch the length to eight seconds. That means eight seconds each for inhaling and exhaling.

*Finally, push yourself for the sixteen seconds routine.

 

This exercise will help you to extend your breathing capacity. It is essential to learn how to control your breathing as you release the air. You want to be able to remove the air from both your nose and mouth but not so much through your nose that you will start to sound nasally. Let the air fall from your diaphragm throughout your body, and then use the air to guide it through your body, releasing the air. Most importantly, keep your shoulders and body relaxed during this process and allow the air to flow through your body—an important step to control tone and melody.

Diaphragm

What is your diaphragm? How does it help you sing better as a beginner? Some people are not aware that a singer’s voice comes from their diaphragm rather than just pushing air out of your body. Mastering breathing from the diaphragm is like stretching a muscle. Your diaphragm is a muscle located on the lower part of your rib cage. If you start from the top of your chest with one hand and take the other hand and place it under your ribs by starting from your left or right side, whichever hand you are using and intersect your hands directly under your rib cage, practically coming to a crossing point. Do you feel that? Your abdominal wall right in the middle of your body. That is your diaphragm; that is where you want to focus on stretching using the breathing technique we spoke of earlier.

Every time you take a breath, your diaphragm is usually full when you inhale. When you exhale, your diaphragm muscle is relaxed and flattened. You breathe from your diaphragm every moment; however, the process focuses on controlling your diaphragm, pushing that air through your lungs and to your vocal cords. Balance the act of exhalation and inhalation using your muscles around your diaphragm to release that air.

Remember to relax; if you are tense or your posture is not aligned or relaxed, this could lead to you stopping your airflow from your diaphragm in your chest. Attempt to keep your breath flowing through your mouth and nose at a slow pace. You do not want to feel your diaphragm up with air too quickly. That will only leave you full of air with no ability to control it.

Practice breathing in and filling your diaphragm up with air slowly while releasing the air through both your nose and mouth. Again, breathing is a huge part of mastering singing, as most of your power will come from your diaphragm.

Nasally Singing

You want to avoid singing mainly out of your nose and not controlling your diaphragm. The nasal sound could result in not knowing how to breathe while singing correctly and not having a flat diaphragm. Causing you to have no control and release the air as your breath but not focusing on pushing the air up using your diaphragm.

Your hard palate is referenced as the top of your mouth. However, if you go further to the back of your throat, that is referred to as your soft palate. That is where you want to control your breathing and release air from your soft palate. The soft palate with a lack of control is how you can make the nasal sound when singing—controlling your breathing as previously provided in the steps above. You want to use that soft palate as a guide to managing your breathing while releasing the air you built up from inhaling.

Posture

We spoke lightly about having the right posture, but we did not detail how important your posture is when singing. You want to feel relaxed in your body; however, you do not want to be slumped in your stance. Posture can be challenging as some people are naturally tense.

Usually, that tension is held in your shoulders, so relax those shoulders! Keep your feet flat to the floor sitting or standing, aligning your body. You want your chin tilted up, which can assist in the release of your air. You do not wish your head so tilted that it is uncomfortable but held high enough that you are aligned throughout your body. Find what works for you that feels comfortable. You can do this during your breathing technique to make sure your posture and breathing can work together.

Tone

Once you have your posture and breathing down, let’s focus on your tone. All voices have a particular style to them; you need to find yours. Learning your technique should help find your tone and what your singing voice sounds like with balanced air and good posture. Where does the tone come from, and how can I control it. Recently, we spoke of soft and hard pallets.

Your tone is almost always going to push from your soft palate. While practicing finding your tone, you want to keep your breathing in mind. You will probably notice the reference to everything when learning how to sing leads back to breathing. Practice that breathing and using your soft palate to find your tone/style of singing.

Finding the perfect airway balance while using your soft palate will change your tone. If you use your soft palate a lot, the tone could have a higher pitch; if you are not using as much of your soft palate, then your voice could be too deep; finding that balance that works for you, avoiding pushing the air so far that you sound nasally but more of control. You can put a little nose to it but learn what vowels you want to hit with a nasal tone; however, you cannot use too much and switch your style during singing (all controlled by breathing techniques.) Your singing style is found through your tone. So take your time with your breathing to find what works for you more comfortably.

Finding control of your soft palate is monumental to assisting you with singing. Not everyone’s tone will sound the same, and it is your unique style as a singer. Some singing notes may sound higher than others, but it’s all in the control of your soft palate. In the beginning, focus more on controlling your soft palate while hitting notes. Once you find your voice by managing your soft palate, you can add a bit of a nasal sound.

Singing from your nose is not encouraged initially as you do not want to breathe out from your nose. Instead, you want to focus more on finding your tone through the controlled breathing techniques we discussed earlier.

Hearing

Some people believe they are tone-deaf. However, you most likely are not tone deaf but are just not skilled in hearing yourself sing. Hearing yourself is hard for some to manage, as you may think you are hitting those notes, but what you think you hear and what others hear may be a little different—lack of being able to hear when your tone off is vital. You want to start by learning how to listen actively. It is one thing to hear the note while it is being played; however, can you hear the note and pitch the note.

We will discuss the pitch later on in the article. Practice active listening. What is active listening? When you listen to understand and pay attention to annunciation and pronunciation of other words. You are not focusing on hearing to listen. You are focusing on hearing to understand. The goal is to vocalize your listening skills. You want to have a focus on the ability to listen to yourself in different tones. Active listening will come with practice; however, you can master active listening by doing everyday activities.

Active listening while listening to music or talking to friends will help you master the art of active listening. You want to master this to be able to master hearing yourself while singing. Active listening is a crucial component in music when learning to sing. You want to be able to set a guide for yourself and your tone. To hear your intention and range, you would need to practice active listening. An excellent way to practice enhancing your active listening skills while applying them to music is to focus on the structure. When we speak about active listening in learning how to sing, you want to focus on writing.

Instead of listening to the music as a form of enjoyment, start focusing on the song’s pattern: the pitch, the tone on certain vowels. Listen to the music style; this will essentially explain the structure and the tone of the song. Additionally, you want to pay attention to the instruments that are used in the music. Focus on pulling out the piano or guitar. Focus on the beat of the music as well. All of this comes together with pulling out specific music areas, which is a key part of active listening. Throughout the music, the artist’s style will critique the parts you enjoy and attempt to find your imperfections.

Remember, music is subjective, and you can control the style and genre of music you want to put out. However, challenge yourself and try other genres that may not necessarily be your style and apply active listening techniques to practice learning more.

Ear Training

Some may not focus on this part of singing, but this is important to learn ear training as a beginner in singing. Get your headphones and get ready to take notes. We are used to focusing mainly on the words of the music.

However, we have to train our ears to hear tidbits when learning to sing. You want to identify the structure, the style, the pitch, and the form of the song. The way to master music is to continue to practice by listening to music. It is best to start by focusing on a specific instrument or style first. If you try to hear it all at once, it won’t be as effective.

Practice! Get your headphones on and pull out a specific part of a song and focus on it. For example, if the guitar is in the background, focus on the chords from the guitar. Notice how it matches with the style, structure, and form of just the music. Don’t focus on the words just yet. Continue to keep your ears on the one instrument and gather all that you can from that one instrument in the song. When you have done that, then move on. If you get tired of that song, it is always nice to focus on the same items before and apply the same technique.

Remember, ear training takes time, but it goes hand in hand with active listening. If you can practice both together, help you find your style and what works best with your pitch. When practicing active listening and ear training, it is a good idea to have a notebook in hand. Ear training is an excellent way to reference those essential elements you could pull from using your active listening skills. Additionally, writing it down gives you a guide to what you need to learn or start paying more attention to in certain areas.

Vocal Ranges

Finding your vocal range is most important. There is some standard vocal ranging from bass to soprano. We will break down and look at all of the vocal ranges in between as well.

Finding your content as a singer is vital to your craft. It will help with how and what you need to become a great singer. Typically in music, you can find more male singers in categories like bass, baritone, and tenor. Women usually fall in the alto, mezzo-soprano, and soprano. Not to say as either gender, you can’t be a master singer in that category. It is just more broadly seen women and men gravitate vocally in these particular categories.

Bass

Learning bass is a specialty. Bass singers are in the lowest vocal range, usually a male vocal range. Bass singers typically have a lower pitch in their vocal range. Bass singers represent a heavier and softer range in pitch. Find your voice if you are looking to focus on bass singing. That is the most important thing when learning bass.

An example of a bass singer usually can be found in males who perform opera singing. Bass singers usually involve learning to make voices but keeping the range low and soft. There is also such a thing to alternate your pitch from low, bass, mainly a lower pitch. It is imperative that you learn to find the breaks in music and how to insert your voice.

Do not be afraid to jump in where you hear a bass pitch; this is a part of your ear training to pay attention to and practice while also practicing active listening. Focus on exercising your lower vocal pitch. Learning to control your lower range will take a bit, of course, to master; however, it is not an unreachable goal.

Bass singers are valuable even though the bass tone is not always valuable. However, if you are interested in adding a somewhat higher range to your bass singing abilities, you would be considered learning a more bass-baritone.

Bass-Baritone

Bass-Baritone falls on a scale to a low; of course, the bass is the lowest. The difference between bass-baritone takes it out of a lower vocal pitch and recognizes it as a part of the baritone class. Falling between bass and tenor would be considered bass-baritone—a more solemn sounding tone. That differentiates bass singers from bass-baritone singers—balance controlling your style and mastering different chords from flat to sharp means you must control your range to fit in most slots.

Connecting what you hear in your mind and breathing from your diaphragm, and releasing the air slowly through your chest is a part of mastering singing as a bass-baritone. Knowing when to apply your style to your music using different ranges learning bass-baritone finding your place is essential to learning to classify yourself as a bass-baritone. Always practice managing your airflow and how you inhale and exhale. Continuing to practice breathing from the diaphragm to enhance the different ranges you need to hit in music.  

Tenor

Learning to sing as a tenor is a lot of practice. Breathing and control are most important when approaching high notes. Vocal range requires you to focus on enhancing those chords. Strengthening your pitch and range are essential tools of value as a tenor. Additionally, being able to play an instrument would be instrumental in learning to master tenor.

Learning tenor requires discipline. You not only have to practice your breathing. It would be best if you got control over high notes. Posture applies heavily in the tenor singing category. If you want to hit those high notes, you want to focus on chest breathing, explicitly using your diaphragm muscle for range. Mastering the lower notes could potentially give you an advantage.

Alto

If you attempt to become an alto singer, you want to focus on tones using a softer pallet to hit lower chords. This is often referred to as “chest singing” because you use a lot of chest power to hit higher notes. The goal when learning to sing as an alto can hold higher notes. The amount of air pushing your lungs up.

This process enhances your ability to use your diaphragm muscles to exhale the air through your chest. You must find out if your style can fit into the category of alto. You want to be able to hit all the right chords without strain. You want to be able to support the lower notes and control and balance the higher notes.

It may sound redundant; however, the only way to become a singer and truly master breathing from your diaphragm. Chest breathing is the heart of mastering being a singer in the alto category.

Mezzo-Soprano

Finding your voice is probably going to take time. If you think your vocal range falls in the middle, then more than likely, you want to focus on developing your skills as a mezzo-soprano. A mezzo-soprano can go low, but they can also go high; however, they cannot go as high as a natural soprano singer. Focus on the beat of the music.

Try using your tone to the music’s beat as just a melody and not with lyrics just yet. Finding all the right chords as high notes will be a challenge, and going to low is also a challenge. You want to be able to spotlight your range as a singer that falls in the middle range. Keep your posture healthy as breathing is your strength in this category. You want to be able to expand those lower abdominal muscles.

Soprano

Let’s start by saying you want to make sure that your vocal range can even be in a soprano category. You need to build strength in your voice with this category. All techniques are doubled at mastering, which could take years. The ability to hit the highest notes requires not just physical strength but mental strength as well. You want to be confident as a singer in all-singing areas if you commit to the soprano.

Vocal Scales

Vocal scales are specific to pitches. Learning about scales as much as possible is valuable to you as a singer, as scales are a universal language in the music industry. By perfecting your vocal scales, it helps strengthen your pitch, help you find your range; how low or high your voice can go. Uplift your singing ear, and master balancing and controlling your breathing.

Scales are a series of notes that you can sing by going up in a pitch and then back down. Singing scales can improve your pitch memory (the ability to hear notes and phrases and accurately sing those notes and lyrics), which is also a part of ear training. There are many different scales, such as major, minor, pentatonic. You may know how to sing “do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, (high) do” on the major scale. Well, try to sing this at different pitch levels (like starting from C4 or E4).

Make sure to sing it in backward as well. It will help you to extend your vocal range too. In music, vocal scales are broken up into several important topics as we go into breaking these vocal scales down. As a singer, you want to master all of these vocal scale techniques to grow.

Practice breathing was stressed a lot throughout the literature. However, let’s find out what else we can practice expanding our vocal abilities to become a great singer.

Major Scales

The most popular vocal scale would be significant scales. It is taught in music classrooms everywhere to guide your pitch and tone, mostly with the ability to sing together. You can start your warm-ups with this scale as it is universal.

An array of whole and half notes. Notes measure your vocal pitch. Think of it like stepping stones with whole notes being large stepping stones. Semitones would be considered small stepping stones. You want to think of it in a way you understand when you increase or decrease your pitch, tone, and range. Typically, major scales have eight notes starting from seven notes and ending on the eighth note in the octave style. Your pitch should raise as you sing.

Minor Scales

A more complex scale would be a minor scale, which can be divided by harmonic, melodic, and natural. These may be a little bit more advanced for the beginner. It will nonetheless be a part of your learning process as a singer.

Harmonic starts on note A. Start with a whole note, and when you get to the seventh note, when you would switch your pitch to a more semitone.

Natural scales reshape its style. You would start with a whole pitch, and you want to lower your pitch on notes three and six. The seventh note should be back to the pitch you used throughout. You can start on any note with natural scales.

Melodic usually starts from high notes and leads down to lower notes. This pitch workout is a lot different than the previous two scales. Melodic lowers on the sixth and seventh notes of your warm-ups. It means keeping the same notes on the natural scale.

Chromatic Scales

We spoke about one of the most challenged scales above. Yet, it is also as labeled as the most challenging. As stated above, whole or half notes were a wave of different pitch levels using up to eight notes as a warm-up. What separates chromatic scales from the rest is now you are warming up to 12 notes versus eight.

Nonetheless, using chromatic scales is more of a challenging vocal scale. Also, mixing in melodic scales as the pitch will go higher in pitch and lower in pitch in some 12 notes. When learning to sing, we usually use the piano to develop our skill level to find the right note.

Chromatic scales will assist you in being able to use whole and half notes from the lowest note growing high in pitch to the highest note on the piano. The great thing about chromatic scales is you can start at any note as your base starts. Chromatic scales are usually more challenging to master. The reward for mastering this scale will come with more practice. We spoke about big stepping stones and small stepping stones.

The goal in chromatic scales is to assist in ear training, active listening, and expanding your range through pitch. Only enhance your capacity as a singer and aid in balance and control over your breathing.

Whole-Tone Scales

We spoke about the most challenging scales, from extremely difficult to hard. Contrary to the above whole-tone scales are a bit simpler to learn, as you only have big stepping stones to focusing on your whole notes. There are no half notes within the whole-tone scale.

Commonly, whole-tone scales are used to broaden your pitch level as a singer. It may be a bit challenging to get used to as a beginner. However, you are only practicing on a six-note scale. Practicing this particular scale might take an adjustment as well, but it will bring a great reward to have the ability to use a whole-tone scale.

Muscle warm-up

Your throats and vocal muscles need stretching before you start to sing. A massage can help to relax your body. Massage your forehead and around the cheeks and nose to release the tension out of your face. Then go through your chin and jaw. Use soft and small circular movements. Roll your head downward, upward, left, and right a few times. Also, roll your shoulders in a circular motion to eliminate any stress in the shoulders and chest area. Make a motorboat sound with your mouth. Press your lips together and exhale air through your mouth. Trill your tongue and lips. Place your tip of the tongue on the back of your teeth and breathe out to make sure your tongue vibrates.

Vocal warm-up

Opening your vowels to practice is an excellent way to develop your vocal chord. Sing the vowels'(aa, ee, ii, oo, uu.) Keep your jaw open while you are singing them. Vocal warm-ups will help to grow energy in your voice—practice singing in arpeggios. Focus more on changing pitch to sing from one note to another smoothly. Arpeggios help you to perform a tremendous vocal warm-up exercise. Plus, it also allows you to improve your ear training.

Muscle Tension

Throughout this literature, you can practice as much as you can and start in techniques by relaxing your body and mastering using your diaphragm to push air throughout your body. We have not spoken about how your muscles’ stress will not help you find your voice category as a singer.

As a beginner singer, you do not want to strain your vocal cords, and you want to make sure you are not damaging those chords in the process. Singing should be with ease and comfort. If you are not comfortable and hitting a particular note is difficult, you may want to try a lower note. Additionally, we spoke regarding balance and control over your voice. Some may hear cracking, thrown off pitch, or unable to perform the range.

As a beginner, all of the above will take time to get used to but require a lot of practice. Loosen up those vocal cords, the right and healthy way is imperative as a beginner singer. A good practice to start in the beginning is to try looking at yourself as you are singing.

Notice how your face and body are in position, and make sure you are comfortable while singing. Putting too much stress on your vocals you will notice it in the mirror. That should let you know you have more practice at a lower note before pushing your pitch above what you can sing at a higher pitch.

Practice

In conclusion, if you are serious about singing, the above technical techniques require dedicated practice and a disciplined attitude. Do not be discouraged, but do not force yourself.

Have fun with singing but know there is more to singing than just what we think our favorite artists have a gift for singing. That is not true; your favorite famous artist has spent a lot of time and disciplined energy to master all of the techniques they can master. Control and balance your breathing, focusing by using your diaphragm muscle.

Since your diaphragm is a muscle, you need to learn to work that muscle out. Since you are a beginner, you want to practice breathing from your diaphragm; assisting with chest breathing will benefit you in the end. Finding your vocal range, pitch, and style will also be found in the more you practice.

The importance of setting intentions for yourself in the beginner as a singer should be placed at the start. What do you plan to accomplish? Do you want to be able to ask yourself where you want to go with your singing? If you are not consistent in practicing, then you will have a hard time mastering singing. It is crucial to find your range and style to know which warm-ups work for your voice and current range.

Mainly, in the beginning, you will work on those muscles and loosen them up more. Singing is a form of art like many others that can be taught. You do not have to be born with a fantastic voice. All singers beginning and advancing all have to practice the same techniques. You may be a beginner but, with practice and continuing to challenge yourself but not stress your vocals. You can become a singer; this is a goal that one can accomplish with time, patience, and practice.

Every musician practices. But the difference between an amateur and an expert musician is how much time they spend in training. If you follow any expert singer, you will see they spend a vast amount of time (more than hours per day) practicing exercise.

Spending time in practice could be useless if you are not doing it in the right way. You must have precise practical knowledge about any technique before starting to practice it. Otherwise, in the long run, you might find yourself in the reverse direction. Patience is a virtue. To master the singing skills, you must give a lot of time and effort.

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