Vocal Training Tips – For Those Who Are Serious
There are physical exercises, breathing exercises, warm-up exercises, how to get your voice range and pitch, how to mix the head and chest voices, how to protect your vocal health, to name a few. There’s an enormous amount of vocal training tips out there. They are all important things for a singer or becoming a singer.
What I want to talk about here is a different type of “tips”, I’d like to say recommendations. I’m going to walk you through 5 things a singer needs to know and consider very seriously.
We all are at different skill levels in our singing abilities, don’t we? Some just want to sing for fun, for himself or herself, for friends and family, or for a certain audience. There are the serious ones that are committed to honing their craft all the way through, beyond just casual singing.
They have dreams that someday they will hit the “big league” and many times, the way to get there is through a process, a competition, an audition, hoping that some producer comes along that might lead as a turning point to someone’s career later.
What Type of Music are You Drawn To? Cultivate a Passion for It
There’s nothing wrong with being able to sing every style of music. Being a versatile singer is remarkable, but to be identified in just a few of them is beneficial. In my opinion, it will dictate your identity, your trademark, and why your audience connects and follows you.
There are several music genres that we all know – Hip-hop, rock, R&B, musical theater, folk, country, classical, to name a few. What do you most gravitate to when listening to music or when singing for yourself?
One of the ways to develop the passion is to immerse yourself by listening to lots and lots of songs and sing regularly and consistently. This is crucial if you want to be the best at it. I mean, you’re going to do a job here and if you want to do it right, why not shoot for the stars, as they say.
Don’t allow someone to say you’re average, why not be the best that you can be. Someone said, I quote, “Good enough is not good enough if you can be better, and better is not good enough if you can be the best”, which I have no doubt, you can be.
How Far Do You Want to Go with It, And Why?
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this article, some just sing for fun, and others are going all out. If you have come this far, I assume you might be the latter. If you want to be the best, put your blinders on and don’t even think twice.
I must warn you, though, if you’re going to shoot for the stars, you’re going to fall down many times. But you know what? Rock bottom is a good place to start to build, to grow. Sometimes, our condition must be painful enough to push through the threshold.
Google any successful singer, or better yet, listen to their stories on YouTube. They have inspiring stories to tell, how they failed many times over, and keep getting up. Don’t be afraid to fail, it’s a good thing. I also recommend studying from other successful people in other fields, how they made it and how they got there, despite setbacks along the way.
They just didn’t show up there without going through tough times. They inspire and change our outlook in life in general. The great thing these days is we have Google and YouTube and the internet readily available on demand. We don’t have to buy biography books or go to the library anymore.
It’s very crucial to determine where you want to go with your singing if you want to reach your dream. Obviously, if you intend to be a casual singer, that’s what you get. The level of success depends on where you want to go and how bad you want it.
A famous quote from Henry Ford says, “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”. If you have determined that early on, then half the battle is won. It won’t be easy, but the rest will become less strenuous and it will all be worth it.
Burning Desire Brings You There. How Much Do You Want It?
You heard about the phrase, “It’s All About Attitude”. The attitude of an intense desire will automatically exclude you from mediocrity, from being good enough, and from the rest of the pack.
Most, if not all successful people started from the bottom and struggled in their journey before they got where they are now. They didn’t get there overnight. What made their career is a strong desire, determination, and persistence to get where they wanted.
I loved to sing so much that I didn’t have to discipline myself because it was already integrated into my daily routine. When I am studying a certain song, I work on it until I don’t have any more left in me. Even so, I always felt like I need to keep working until no stone left unturned.
When you’re at that point, the determination and love for what you do (sing) is in full bloom, and you are headed to something great. You feel there’s a source of unstoppable energy.
Working hard is not hard work anymore if you’re burning with desire and loving every minute of it. Time goes faster, you don’t even think of it, just like breathing, you just do it. Success is inevitable, it’s just a matter of time.
A Course of Action
In learning how to sing, there are many technical aspects to it. They are all very important for a singer. If you go back to the first paragraph of this article, I mentioned a couple of them there, but that’s for another discussion down the road. What I am going to talk about in this section is something that you can do whether you have a teacher or not.
I already mentioned it here, but I want to emphasize that you immerse yourself with music, your genre, lots and lots of it. Exposure is key or experience, if you may. Like applying for a job, education is important, but without experience, there’s less chance of getting hired, isn’t it?
The one that has the experience is more likely to get the position than merely having a college degree. The same is true of singing. Listening and singing to tons and hours of songs will give you an advantage. Eventually, you’ll gain so much confidence that nobody can stop you. Something special in inevitable. Work is not hard work anymore, but at the same time, hard work works every time.
There are some parts of the world that love to sing more than the rest of the world. People, without even having a single singing lesson in their entire life, just come out the stage with amazing voices. I’m not saying, having a private teacher is unimportant. I want to emphasize that a group of people that integrate singing to their lifestyle (culture) have the most chance of being great at it.
A Voice Teacher is Critical. How Do You Look For One?
There’s always something we don’t know that another individual knows, especially if that someone is good at what he does. A voice teacher that has gone through the process himself from start to finish will have a lot to say and we need to listen very closely. This is necessary for guidance, to improve what is lacking. Even if we think we already heard everything, a good teacher can fine-tune, fix, and tweak stuff.
There’s always something new to learn, regardless if you are a complete beginner or a seasoned singer, it is necessary to keep up and be evaluated by someone that has an extensive background under his belt. We hear ourselves differently when we listen to ourselves talking or singing, and a teacher might have the right ears to assist us. I said “might”, because we must find the right one, don’t we?
How to find out if someone is a good voice teacher?
This is a whole topic on its own and looking for one is a whole undertaking just the same. You can’t, there’s no absolute answer until several lessons deep into the relationship between you and the teacher. It’s a subjective matter, depending on the goal of both sides and at least some tangible results after a couple of sessions.
Here are some things that you can find out before the start of the first lesson. Teachers are now globally available because of the internet; online lessons are rampant via Skype. You can pick anyone you want, anywhere in the world these days because of technology.
Of course, a great local teacher is more preferable if you can find one so he can work on the physical aspect of the vocal apparatus, like the larynx, diaphragm, jaw, and so on.
Cautious and meticulous of course, with a bit of skepticism, will help in your search for your teacher. Read a lot about this person. Again, Google, YouTube, Facebook are good places to start, it’s free. What are their accomplishments, their students’ comments, and testimonies, who they worked with?
You might find a video or audio online demonstrating an outstanding prospective teacher. Look for someone specialized in your genre. Anyone can claim to be a voice teacher but confirmation is vital. Look for the best that you can find that you can afford.
I must also add that you can have voice lessons in the comfort of your own home. There’s a ton of them on the internet. A reputable one is Robert Love, available by clicking here if you’re into popular music. If you don’t know him yet, you’ll find out very quickly.
Now, listen up. Christina Aguilera has her own singing masterclass online. Can you believe that? Check it out here.
Albert Einstein defines insanity as, “…doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result”. In singing and in all other areas, if you don’t do something different now, you will be where you’re at 5 years from now, guaranteed.
Please, leave a comment below, so I may better serve you in my next post. Thank you for stopping by.
Thank for this informative article and website. My boyfriend has had a small band for years. He was happiest playing the guitar. Unfortunately, when he got divorced – prior to my meeting him, he lost his lead singer. Although served as the backup singer for years, he is now the lead singer also. He is still able to get a lot of gigs, but he knows the band would do even better if he took some vocal training and improved his singing.
After reading this article, it sounds like he needs to try to become as passionate about the singing as he is about playing the guitar. I will be sharing this with him.
Hello Sondra. I love the fact that he didn’t abandon his band after being divorced and losing his lead singer. That only tells us that he is very passionate about his music and his band, especially that he even took the responsibility of a lead singer. That to me deserves a big standing ovation, “Bravo!”. The good thing is, becoming as good in singing as playing the guitar, half the battle is already won. It seems like his dedication is in place with a going for broke attitude. He doesn’t have to pay a huge amount of money for a one-on-one vocal coach or teacher at this stage in his career. I mentioned some recommendations at the end of the article above, have him check it out.
I read your article out of curiosity, as I earned my living as a singer for a couple of years. I was part of a group at the time. It interests me that you point out that learning to become a good singer has the same sort of action plan as starting a new business. You have to first figure out what you want from your singing. Then you need to develop a plan and follow it. If you have a burning desire, that is very helpful. Then you need the proper training to get where you want. You need to believe in yourself, and make a commitment to take the necessary steps. Very good outline. I” be watching for more.
Hello Fran. I’m glad that singing was a big part of your life in the past and to hear that you actually earned a living out of it is commendable. Yes, your observation is quite accurate, that becoming a good singer is just like any other field of interest. Although the end result is different from each one, the mindset to achieve something in life, in general, is the same in all of them – guts, perseverance, hard work, consistency…you know where I’m going. Pick any pursuit, then fly with it, burning with passion and dedication and no one can stop you.
I sing soul music and gospel. Most of my singing is done in the choir in my local church. I’m quite an ambitious person but I’m happy with just blessing the congregation with my voice. I have a good teacher who challenges and motivates me to be better and I’ll be checking your blog for more updates to become a better singer.
I love soul music. I grew up singing gospel music in church, and honestly, that’s how I got started. I sang in several singing groups aside from doing solos and I benefited a lot from those experiences. I’m glad to hear that you sing in church because most young people start from there as well. Two famous people I can recall are Whitney Houston and Katy Perry and a lot more of course.
A good teacher is key to your progress and consistency with lessons and your goals and dreams will come true.
Thank you for visiting my site. Have a wonderful time singing in church.
Oh my god Christina Aguilera is on Masterclass? Wow I have got to join that, I was on Masterclass when it first started many months ago but back then there weren’t many classes so I ended it but man, this changes everything. I can’t wait to learn how to sing from Christina, it’s gonna be a bomb! How would you rate her class teaching?
Yes, the website is amazing. It keeps growing. I just got an email that they have a new teacher on board, “The Art of Storytelling”. by Neil Gaiman.
For Christina Aguilera, I would rate her class 10 out of 10. Why? because what you get is based on real world experience, she’s a singer/performer herself and at the top of her craft. She’s not there for nothing whether we like her style or not. I’ve seen many teachers of singing who never reached their highest potential and can’t even sing themselves. They teach based on theory but never had the chance to apply what they know, it’s head knowledge.
I’d rather pick someone who’s retired from performing, then became a teacher, rather than someone who teaches with no or little performance time in front of an audience. Well, Aguilera hasn’t retired yet, but it’s only a good thing that she’s even doing it now before retiring. You’ll gain a lot of real-world application from this course, I can assure you that.
Hey, thank you for stopping by. Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll be glad to help you out.
After reading your article, I have found that this is very important for one of my best friend who is trying to learn classical music. He is very serious about learning professional singing. Though he is learning from his home tutor, he is searching always for more professional training. I believe this article will be helpful for him. I am going to share it with him. Thanks for sharing this helpful tips.
That’s very nice of you for sharing this article. I’d be glad to answer any other questions he may have in the future. Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again sometime here.