Singing should not be strictly viewed as a gift that one is born with. The ability to sing well can also be acquired simply through practice. How to practice singing is a question that most people struggle to answer. This is where I come in. I’ll do all I can to equip you with the right skills to enable you practice singing and bring you a step closer to becoming a great artist.
You don’t dishearten by the fact that you are not gifted with a golden voice, yet, you should not be, for singing should not be viewed as a genetic gift. Instead, you should view singing well as acquired through constant practice. Of course, we don’t want to dismiss the fact that some people are born with golden voices. But if you are just an average singer, you can still become a good singer through perseverance. Yet, how should you practice to be a good singer?
1) You Become What You Practice
Practice is not something that should be taken lightly by all who desire to be like their favorite singer or even better. Whether you become a good singer or a bad one solely depends on you. You can’t expect to be among the best when you practice wrongly. For long we’ve been told that practice makes perfect. However, a more meaningful statement in our context would be, perfect practice makes perfect. So my advice would be, take on your practice with the seriousness it deserves.
2) Don’t Just Sing The Major Scales And Arpeggios
Singing is a combination of different types of sounds meaning that you should not only consider major scales and arpeggios. Instead, you must also take into notice minor, diminished and augmented patterns in your singing practice routine. All aspects of practicing singing are equally important.
3) Good Time Management For vocal Practicing
My teacher always said that working smart is not the same as working hard. Better results are achieved in working smart than working hard. In line with this concept, you should set time to exercise each day without exerting pressure on yourself so that you are able to obtain the best results. When singing with freedom you will be able to learn more and hit your peak in a short time. Singing does not work well with exhaustion and strain. Also, remember to choose a comfortable place for your practice.
4) Practice In A Slow & Fast Pace
Practicing procedural and you are certainly not going to hit the highest point on day one. Singing practice can be compared to an athlete’s practice. The muscles of the larynx are just like any other muscles of the body and they need to be exercised consistently. You should consider taking up practical exercises that act in a smooth and coordinated fashion. However, as you are practicing this, you should consider moving slowly initially then working your way towards practicing in a fast motion. A good example is your hand. You can as well try raising you hand up while the palm is facing the sky and slowly close your fingers into a fist. You will realize that there is a stuttering and ratchet like feeling that adds an unsmooth quality to the motion. As you increase the pace of doing the same process, the process becomes smoother, much like how your larynx becomes with enough practice.
How to Enhance Your Singing Skills Faster With Your Vocal Practising Routines
Hence, we’ve outlined here the following steps on how you can become a skilled singer:
1) First, Set Your Own Goals!
At the onset, you need to know what you want to achieve and learn. Remember the saying of Confucius that you need to have a star to follow. Your start to follow is your dream or your goal. So, you need to set your dream realistically when you study to enhance your singing skills.
Once you’ve determined and have set your goal, then you need to divide your goal into achievable, measurable steps. Your goal should also be flexible and changeable so that you can reset it accordingly.
If you set your goal unrealistically, chances are, you will get frustrated. And if you get frustrated, you may fail to advance further. But if your goals are set in incremental and measurable steps, you will get inspired as you move to the next level. The process may be slow, but it is undoubtedly rewarding and encouraging if you know that you are progressing.
2) Develop Good Habits or Good Routine
The way you sing can become habitual. If you are reared, for example, in folk or country music genres, you may end up singing according to these genres. Now, if you want to enhance your singing skills further, you need to develop new habits and routines. It usually takes months or even years to establish singing habits. Thus, you need to undo your bad singing habits.
Employ a daily routine to enhance your singing skills. This routine may be a ten-minute daily singing routine that you would regularly engage in. Regular practice to improve your singing skills is far more desirable than participating in a marathon practice session done once a month. Developing a daily routine can help you maintain your interest in your goal. It can also bring noticeable results along the way.
3) Vocalize various Parts of your Voice
To produce a voice, your body usually makes use of different body parts and organs. Hence, if you want to improve your voice, you should hone the functions of the different voice-producing parts of your body. You can engage in vocalization exercises by focusing on a single song. You can sing the same song repeatedly, but you should add inflections by merely manipulating your mouth, tongue, diaphragm, nose, and throat. You should record your vocalizations and then play them back so that you can figure out the difference and nuances while you manipulate different parts of your vocal system.
As mentioned above, you need to choose a familiar song and sing that song repeatedly. You can print the song’s lyrics so that you can memorize them. Figure out the nuances of the lyrics. Then, work on how you can apply and vary your inflections when you sing the lyrics.
You should, however, choose a song that you truly enjoy because you will be working on it continuously and repeatedly. You should also choose a song that is within your vocal range and tessitura so that you would not strain your vocal cords when you sing it.
Where, When, How Long You Should Practice?
Where Should I Practice?
Most people have unrealistic ideas of where good practicing should take place. It doesn’t have to be some palatial building with expensive microphones and guitars. I would advise you to do it in a place that’s most comfortable for you. I highly recommend doing it at your home since that is where most people are comfortable. However, if that’s not your best option, you can choose other places. These can be in areas such as stairwells, bathrooms or even a basement. Some have also said that they prefer practicing in a car. Regardless of the place you choose to do your routine practice, ensure you find some time each week to practice while standing. Occasionally, you should consider choosing different locations to practice. Change of locations exposes you and this greatly improves your performances.
What’s The Best Time To Practice?
Try to make time for your daily vocal practicing routine. Practicing daily is effective and you can even place, a reminder that will guide you at a particular time each day so that you can adapt to the practice rhythm and never skip a session. However, caution should be taken in choosing the practice time. If you practice at a time when there are many distractions, you would eventually end up doing counter-productive work. Most people prefer practicing during the night, which is a good idea since disturbances are minimal.
Whether you prefer conducting your practice during the morning or even lunch hours. As long as that is the time you feel most free and would have the least distractions, then it’s the right time for you.
How Long Should I Practice?
The length of a practice session is not something that a vocal instructor would advise you to have as this depends on the period that you are most comfortable with. As a beginner, you will discover that you will have a lot of trouble with practicing over long periods. This should not discourage you. All muscles become fatigued when they are subjected to strain and the muscles in your larynx are not left out too.
As a beginner, you tend to absorb more in little time hence an average of 15-20 minutes should be taken during practice. With time, you may extend your practicing time to about 30-60 minutes.
Even if you want to allocate too much time to practice, keep in mind that quality is better than quantity. Overworking your vocals may make your voice to hurt during practice, and I would strongly advise you to take a break once you feel any form of strain or pain in your throat.
A break of a few hours will make your voice ready again for the next practicing session and once again remember to take breaks if your natural vocal instrument starts hurting. With experience, it gets a lot easier and less incidences of, pain will occur so do not give up.
Equipment that Could Help You Practice Your Singing More Effectively
As you work to improve your singing skills, you will need some tools and equipment to enable you to achieve your singing goal. Here are some tools that can help you sing effectively:
1) Tape Recorder & Player
You may be unfamiliar with the tape recorder, for you are a millennial and haven’t used one before. But the tape recorder was popular in the past. Nowadays, you may use your phone to record your voice and play it back. The tape recorder or any recorder can surely come in handy in recording the song.
You should record your practice sessions so that you can monitor your improvement. You will need a recorder for this purpose. Using the recorder, you should record a song and play it back. Listen attentively to the recorded song and figure out if you miss a note or if you are on the right pitch.
You should also be attentive to your vowel pronunciations. Your recorder, however, should be faithful enough to record your voice. It should also record clearly so that your recording will be clear to listen to.
2) Keyboard Piano
You should have a piano so that you can find the right note to sing. It would be good if you have a grand piano. Pianos, however, are expensive. So, if budget is an issue for you, you don’t need to buy a grand piano for even a small keyboard would do. This miniature keyboard could be battery operated or plugged to the nearest electrical outlet.
A keyboard can do you a lot of good. It can help you figure out the right note and pitch. You can also program it to record or remember melodies.
Another gadget that can come in handy in your desire to sing effectively is the metronome. A metronome is a gadget that can help you monitor your rhythm and speed when you sing. It gives off a ticking sound that enables you to stay at the same rate or tempo while you practice a song.
You may not be aware of it, but more often, if you don’t have metronome beside you, you would tend to slow down or speed up when you sing. Metronome provides you a consistent “tick-tock” sound that helps you stay on the right beat. Interestingly, metronomes come in different brands and models. You can also download the metronome online for your use.
4) Pitch Pipe
The leader of the choir usually carries this gizmo and blows into it to start a pitch. It has a round form with the note’s names on its dial that readily moves around to alter its pitch. This gadget is usually inexpensive. A pitch pipe can come in handy if you don’t have a piano or a tape recorder. It can also give you the starting pitch to help you stay right on target at the onset.