Learn How to Sing Better

Posted on 14th July 2014 in Learn to sing, Singing lessons, Voice lessons

How To Sing Better

Answering the question of how to sing better really depends on what your goals are and where your current level of ability lies.

This discussion of course is dealing with newer singers looking to get better.

In becoming a better singer, you’ll need to start with what you know and what you need to know to improve your singing voice.

 

> Are you wanting to get better pitch when sing?

> Do you want to improve your tone?

> Are you interested in learning to sing high notes?

Fortunately, throughout this website you willl find discussions on these topics.

Things To Consider:

Regardless of the pitch or highness of the sound, in particular your production of tone plays a key part in how you will improve the quality of your singing voice, thus sounding better!

We will be learning about the vital role your larynx plays in the production of your voice and how it operates.

The combination of steps involved for music to go from our hearts to our brains to our vocal cords, and so on…

Do you know what a glottal attack is and how to avoid it?

We will briefly talk about the importance of good posture and the ability to control your larynx when attempting a clearer and better projected sound.

There are so many ways one can learn to sing better.

In brief we will look some of the basic steps necessary to improve your singing voice.

How To Sing Better: Forming Sound

Below is a breakdown of some of common steps each of us take when we preparing to sing.

As you go through them, think about each step as a mental rehearsal, in order to become more aware of how you create sound.

This will aid you in understanding the mechanics of your vocals and how to tweak each area in hopes of building a better sounding voice.

 

The Mechanics Of Your Voice:

1. It’s starts with your desire to sing and so you choose a song.

2. You feel confident about the song you have chosen to sing, reviewing it in your head.

3. This sends a signal from your brain to prepare vocal cords causing them to folding shut, in effect preparing your singing apparatus.

4. Next, you’ll take a deep breath and as you exhale the air rises up from the lungs passing across your vocal folds causing them to vibrate.

5. Depending on your ability to identify and reproduce the correct pitch and tone you will move into one of your three registers: chest voice, head voice, or middle voice.

6. As you exhale, you are aware of the resistance you are creating from your diaphragm, allowing just the right amount of air to flow by. Not only for sound but also for loudness and projection.

7. All the while focussing on the tempo and timing, as you wait for your cue to sing the lyrics.

 8. Lastly, you are ready to begin blending your sound and words together.

The Fundamentals of A Better Singing Voice:

crank

> Breath Support: Take a deep breath and hold. Now slowly resist the air using your diaphragm, pushing your lower abdominals outward.

Hint: A simple way to breath low from the diaphragm is to keep your chest up, especially when you are exhaling. It will force you into what is called diaphragmatic breathing, which is exactly what you are wanting to achieve for singing.

> Good Posture: Keeping your body aligned is of great importance to singing better. The two main reasons are:

1) It encourages smooth airflow.

2) It releases tension. Tension is a singers worst enemy.

> Locate Your Volume: Depending on your setting, you need to adjust your volume so that it is suitable to the circumstances. Will you be singing into a microphone or singing a cappella? 

Either way you need to be aware that your singing voice is ususally louder than your normal speaking voice. But you still don’t want to over power your listeners if you’re too loud.

Conversely, if you sing too quietly or gently, you either won’t be heard or you may not convey the proper use of energy appropriate to your song selection.

Open Your Mouth Wide: Prentend the doctor is shoving that wooden stick on your tongue. Open up and say ahhh… Allow your jaw to drop, but not move forward. Relax.

> Vowels & Pronounciation: Articulation is very important. Learning to clearly pronounce your words rather than mumbling them is vital.  

Practice: Concentrating on properly pronouncing the sounds of words by using rhythm, stress and tone change on the different syllables of the word.

Review and practice these pure vowels while moving up and down a scale:pure vowels to practice with:

AH as in “walk”, EE as in “eel”, IH as in “win”, EH as in “wet”, OO as in “glue”, UH as in “cut”, EU as in “would”, OH as in “snow”.

> Have Fun: Improving your voice takes work. Ask any professional. The key then is to find balance between discipline and pure enjoyment. 

Remember, singing is about emotional expression. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

The Role Of Your Larynx

A big part in becoming a better singer starts by removing tension from your larynx.

This is probably the most effective way to enable you to learn how to sing better.

The larynx (Adam’s apple if you’re male), better known as the voice box, has been compared to a small box where your vocal cords are located.

It is a mix of muscles and cartilage combined together working harmoniously and miraculously create your voice. Isn’t that amazing?

Your larynx is a major player when it comes to manifesting the your “voice” while singing. This ability to form sound is a combination of the following steps:

vocal cords

 

Notice the following illustration of the larynx. Can you will see the trachea tube running up to the vocal cords contained in the larynx?

It’s slightly below the epiglottis. When air rises up and forces against the vocal folds, causing them to vibrate, it is called subglottic pressure.

 

Would you like to locate and feel your larynx? It’s quite easy. Just lay your finger gently at the base of your throat. You can actually feel your larynx moving up when you swallow and down when you yawn.

Your throat is in an open position when your larynx is in the lower position, which means that air flow is less restricted. These are ideal conditions for creating solid, rich sounding tones.

 

How To Sing Better Tones

We have an entire article on this subject, which you are free to read.

For now, we will briefly discuss the causes of it’s creation to help you better appreciate how it all works together.

The subglottic pressure which we discussed earlier, along with the position of the larynx combined will directly affect your ability to sing.

 

Really, the key to you being able to learn how to sing better is your mastery over the flow of air you resist using your vocal folds, in a controlled manner of course, along with keeping your larynx in the lower or central position.

Glottal Attacks:

As the larynx begins to tense, the vocal flaps may end up closing completely as this subglottic pressure is created. If this happens, these flaps could end up bursting open as the pressure increases, which results in a peculiar sound, that resembles a clicking type noise, prior to forming a tone that is produced evenly. This term often used to describe this is a glottal attack.

As you start singing, the tone you start with when vibrating your vocal folds is better known as the attack. It sounds bad because – who wants pressure attacking your vocal cords? Right? But seriously, what you really want is to have air flowing smoothly and naturally.

Tips To Better Singing Tone:

> Avoid  these glottal attacks as they can damage your vocal cords

 > Don’t forget the importance good posture so that your vocal cords can close properly, controlling the air’s escape.

 > If your larynx is pushed upward, you will end up making a nasal sounding tone

 > Stay relaxed so that you can avert any tension in the muscles surrounding your larynx, allowing your vocal cords to function properly. This will lead to a much better tone.

 

> Too much air flowing through the vocal cords will cause a sound breathy type sound when you are singing.

> It’s no secret that your larynx plays an important role in your ability to create quality tones, so be aware of your control of it.

Putting It All Together

Think of the whole singing apparatus. See the whole process from the air in our lungs, to the control of your diaphragm, your posture, head position, the opening of your mouth, etc.

Again, keep your larynx in the down position, holding your head up straight to keep your neck in line with your spine, and your jaw should remain relaxed and free of tension. When this is accomplished you are now on your way to a better sounding singing voice.

Practice in a mirror and record yourself. Even ask others for their oppinion on how you could improve. Use the feedback to make adjustments to your voice just like tuning any instrument.

Certainly, learning how to sing better involves a lot more than just forming notes. All great singers are aware of how the body’s components must work in unison. A natural orchrestra indeed!

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