Are you here because you know that you can sing, but constantly thinking about how to sing better? Or worse, you don’t even know how to sing, but want to learn how?
We’ve got your back!
Singing is not passed through genes and there’s no definition of who sings better and who does not. With the right techniques and continuous practice, even you can sing like a cuckoo.
We are sharing the recipe of ‘How to sing for a beginner like you, that no one will ever tell you.
You can practise the following steps to sing better :
Step 1- Overcoming the Fundamental Hurdles
The basic hurdles involve building your posture, performing breathing exercises and ear training. Here’s how you master it:
Building a posture:
A good posture is one of the key elements for singing well, as it can completely make or break your game. You won’t play the guitar if it was broken or a piano if it was upside down right? Of course not! And you may ask, How to get the right posture while singing? Now let us understand what constitutes a good singing posture.
Your Jaw must never be forced open too wide, beyond your comfort level. And it must feel free to move sideways as well as up and down.
Feet should be at your shoulders’ width, wide apart and facing forwards.
Shoulders must be relaxed and straight, not bent forward or backwards. Along with your ears over the shoulder.
Torso should be upright and above your hips. If you’re sitting while singing then make sure your torso is intact, but not stiff at the same time.
To know more about postures in detail go through How to sing? Everything you need to know to start your singing journey
Now that we have learned how to maintain a good posture, we shall move forth with breathing exercises.
My friend, when it comes to singing, breathing is really important. If you go to sing something and suddenly start gasping for breath, the performance is over as soon as it starts. It will bring the audience back to the reality of the magical world you teleported them into. To prevent such a disaster from happening, follow the steps below which will help improve your breathing while singing.
Inhalation and Exhalation:
Relax! And bring your breath to the normal state then take deep breaths as you need to expand your lungs. This will help you control the amount of air you hold within your lungs. Imagine the strength and control ‘Shankar Mahadevan’ exerted while singing ‘Breathless’.
Warm up your vocal cords.
The modulation of your vocal cords decides the pitch and the shrillness of the song, that is why warming up your chords is important before any performance.
Blowing the Feather.
To remain smooth and consistent, one needs to have proper exhalation in singing. This will enable you to reach high notes and slow phrases during a song with ease and the best way to practice is to blow a feather around the room.
Breathing through the Diaphragm.
The diaphragm is a muscle underneath your lungs and controls the expansion and contraction of your lungs. You need to practice breathing exercises every day to expand and contract your diaphragm to its maximum capacity so that it acts as a supporting agent for your singing.
The next interesting technique will blow your ears off!
Let me ask you one simple question. What is the most important aspect of the singing process? You might answer ‘the Voice’ but where does your voice really get its instructions from?
It gets directions from the brain and the brain works as per the information received by the ears if the ear extends wrong information to the brain, then no matter how beautiful your voice is, you won’t be able to sing well.
That’s how ear training comes into the picture and here’s what you can do.
- Start differentiating between high and low-pitched sounds in objects and your surroundings like traffic, machines and animals and focus on the intervals of sound, whether the rhythm and sound are low or high.
- Test your hearing and practice every day on any song with vocal notes and practice dictation with the Riyaz app and challenge yourself whether you can pick up the notes through aural training after working on your rhythm, harmony and melody.
Now that we have learned and mastered the fundamentals of singing, the next step is to understand the most important element of singing, which is none other than your body.
Step 2: Understanding Your Body
Understanding your body is like acknowledging a relationship with oneself and moving forward with a great and solid foundation. Here is a list of all the body dynamics, one must understand in abundance.
What good of a song would it be if it is not able to express any emotion on its own. The most serene, pious and divine melodies are the ones that can touch the hearts of the audience.
To make your song do the same, the foremost thing is to learn how to control the dynamics of your voice. Controlling your voice means increasing your vocal range, hitting higher notes, and gaining confidence.
Classical singing differs from pop singing, Opera singing techniques aren’t quite the same as choral singing techniques. All of the genres are different because every singing technique requires a different type of exertion over your voice and a different pressure to hit the right note.
Learning your vocal dynamic will not only enable you to master different genres but will also help to hit the right string of emotions through the heart of the listener.
Singing is an athletic exercise henceforth you can’t strictly have an empty stomach before singing. And just like an athlete, you need to have plenty of energy before your performances.
Foods and beverages that should be avoided are caffeine, chocolates, ice cream, alcohol, sugar, spicy food, smoke, dairy products, and anything oily. All these food items dry and tighten your throat, blocks your voice track, reduce vibrations, constrict the production of mucus and give you a furry voice.
Because after plenty of self-practice, you don’t want a bar of chocolate to ruin your performance! Rather you should consume good quality food which is rich in fibre and protein, and drink warm water with added lemon and honey. And practice gargling and steaming every day to expand your lungs and overall abilities.
Learn how to access and use the different voice registers correctly:
Since we all were great science enthusiasts until the class tenth, we all know that sound is nothing but the vibrations travelling through air. Similarly, a vocal register is a range of tones in the human voice produced by a particular vibratory pattern of the vocal folds. In layman’s language, vocal registers are the different pitches a singer uses. Starting from highest to lowest pitch, they are:
It is found in the upper registers of male and female registers and usually sounds more breathy or hollow and can be heard all the time in Pop, Rock and Folk Music. T Typical examples include “We Don’t Talk Anymore” by Charlie Puth, and “Sugar” by Maroon 5.
The head voice is that range of notes which comes from the top and is created by the thin vocal folds. This is a lower pitch vocal range than the falsetto register, but is brighter and lighter sounding than the ‘chest register.’ It is the most popular singing style among musicians.
Mixed Voice or Middle Register
The range of this register varies between a man and a woman. The tone of the mixed voice is a symphony of both head and chest registers and allows you to produce full and warm melodies. Beyonce uses the chest and the head registers effectively.
The chest voice is that range of notes which comes from the top and is created by the thick vocal folds. It involves using the vocal folds in a way that is more relaxed naturally like we do when we have a conversation. When you use the chest register, you will be using fully open vocal folds and can feel the sound waves vibrating throughout the upper body.
Mastering all the voice registers can be challenging at times but by using the Riyaz app you can practice and tune your jingles just with a click.
Step 3: Time to sail the ship
Moving forward to this step, we have come across numerous terminologies and techniques but we all know what happens to that student who just learns all the concepts and does not practice them at all.
Well, no worries buddy, the ship has not sailed yet; you can be a master of the melodies by practising the aforementioned ways:
- Self-practice– Practice daily in front of a mirror and analyse what notes and rhythms are not being hit at the right spot. If it is not soothing you then it will never soothe the audience too. The most important lesson is to be self-critical and analyse yourself and your performance, then take steps to improve them.
- Karaoke– Before performing on a large platform or even at concerts, you need to lose your nervousness by being in a comfortable space and just singing and enjoying the moments. This will not only elevate you with a rush of energy and will also eliminate your social anxiety.
- Take part in extracurriculars at your college or workplace– Time has come where you have to push yourself to the next level and experience the most lively and challenging task, i.e., to sing with and in front of like-minded fellows. The best way to pursue this is by participating in college events and societies. Nonetheless, you can be a rockstar at your office parties too. This will help in boosting your morale and will also enable you to showcase the talent you’ve been treasuring for a long time.
- Perform– To build your confidence, you should perform in front of your friends and family or at local shows as this will tell you how differently you perform when you are alone and when you are with a crowd. Keep an open heart to ask them to critique you, as the more you are judged in a foreign environment, the better you can perform. At the end of the day, it is the audience who you want to mesmerise with your magic.
- External Guidance- After going through all the techniques, learning about all the right postures and understanding the bond you share with your body while singing, the next step would be to move towards a more guided journey and practice under the mentorship of professionals. What if I say, there is one such mentor who is a master in all the genres, knows all the techniques and is available for you at any time of the day? Yes, you heard it right! Riyaz is the solution to all your problems.
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