The ability to carry a tune comes more naturally to some than others. There are many popular singers who probably never had any formal training before they made it big. In some cases, they may not have even put in individual practice time.
That may seem like a blessing, but it can also be a curse. Without strong vocal technique, singers can do damage to their voices, and they never reach the potential they might have. Some styles that require complex melodies and precision, such as jazz vocals, probably won’t be in their reach. Opera is completely out of the question, as it requires dedicated practice and self-discipline. And on top of that, untrained vocalists will not know what to do with a written sheet of music.
Whether you are a natural or not, you need training to become a good singer. And you can start online today with a free course that teaches you how to warm up your voice. From that starting point, there is a lot you can do to reach your signing potential. Here are some of the top things you will want to learn.
Many untrained vocalists make the mistake of thinking that good singing comes purely from the vocal chords. But how you use your muscles when you sing is critical. Professional vocalists undertake exercises to master their breathing when singing so they ultimately have more power, range, and endurance. They also avoid doing damage to their vocal cords, a common problem that comes up for untrained singers over time.
To implement proper breathing and get results, it takes some time to strengthen the necessary muscles. But it is not difficult to learn, and you can begin to master it in a course on learning to sing from the diaphragm. This step-by-step method only takes a few lessons to understand. But you will use it everyday in your practice.
In addition to working out your singing muscles, you’re going to need to work out your ear. Or, in other words, you need to fine tune your ability to hear pitches, scales, and intervals. This is a necessary skill in learning to sing music composed by others or even improve your sound on original works. Consider this: if you tell a guitarist or piano player to play the notes in a G major chord, all they have to do is know how to place their fingers. You, as a singer, will have to know how the notes of the chord will sound, and that comes from training your ear so that you are used to them.
There are established methods for developing your ear. Any college-trained musician completes several semesters of coursework in ear training, but you don’t need the whole degree program to master the skill. Get going with an online ear training course that offers you practice techniques for development.
In training your ear, you will understand how notes sound in relation to one another. Going hand in hand with this is the ability to read those notes from a page. This is a comparatively simple task for a vocalist, and one that you will not want to skip. Soon after learning the basics, you will begin to recognize patterns in the notation, and you will be able to sing them just as easily as reading words out loud.
When you can do this, your singing will not only be more fun and fulfilling, but it will also open doors for you as a professional musician. You will almost certainly need to master this skill in order to obtain work as a professional singer. Recording studios, ensembles, and other groups in the music business will want to hire someone who can pick up an unfamiliar piece of music and be able to start singing.
To get a great start on understanding the language of music, you can take a basic course covering musical notation and how to read it fluently.
You want to learn musical notation because it will improve your vocal skill, but beyond that, understanding the language will help you communicate with other musicians, contribute to the success of group performances, and achieve your goals as a well-rounded musician.
If you want to give input on accompaniment for your performances or make suggestions on a musical arrangement, you are going to need some grounding in basic music theory. After all, you can’t expect to get through to a group of people when you don’t speak their language.
And even beyond that, immersing yourself in how music operates helps you grow as a performer. You will have a better understanding of what makes a vocal good and interesting versus bland or even grating.
Learning music theory can even be enjoyable, and it doesn’t have to be a highly formalized process. You can take a college-quality music theory course online and learn at a pace that suits your schedule, in the comfort of your own home.
Keep in mind that one of the most important things to learn as you begin to improve your skill is a strong routine to use consistently. Good training in any area of musical performance emphasizes practice. It is simply not enough to comprehend how it is done the right way. You need to drive regularly toward committing the information to memory and using it as second nature. It doesn’t take a huge daily time commitment. Just dedication and follow-through. And as you begin to hear the difference in your singing, you will be glad you stuck with it. And your audience will be happy about it too!