Want to learn how to sing?  – Birds on the Blog

Want to learn how to sing? 

It’s easier than you think 

If you can speak, you can sing, it’s that simple.  

However, how well you sing is down to you. The key to becoming a great singer is by learning some techniques and practicing them. The more you do it the better you become. 

But isn’t that true for everything? 

Can you ride a bike? Or drive a car? Or do many of the countless things that you now take for granted. 

At some point, you learned how to do it. Usually, when we learn to do something like ride a bike, we don’t have much fear about getting it wrong because we learned as a child. It’s quite dangerous when you think about it, but with a helmet, knee pads and stabilisers, we minimise the danger. 

What about learning to drive a car? 

We go through all the many stages required like mirror, signal, manoeuvre or repeating the Highway Code to pass the driving test and be deemed roadworthy. 

When we doubt ourselves, we focus on things like – well if my brother can drive, then I can too. Or once I have a car I can go wherever I want. It’s that sense of adventure and physical freedom that spurs us on. 

Singing is a learned skill. Getting over your fears is half the battle.  

So I ask you first, why do you want to learn to sing?  

To become a professional, or to just not suck at local karaoke night? Whatever your reason then keep that in mind when you start learning.  

And be safe. Just like when riding a bike you wear safety gear. Singing has its safety measures too. Don’t forget the voicebox is attached to you. It needs protecting and looking after. 

You wouldn’t run a marathon without building up to running 1k, 5k, 10, etc first until 26 miles was a physically doable activity. Treat singing the same. 

As someone who has learned the hard way and caused (temporary) damage to their vocal cords, I say, please look after your voice. 

Care of your voice

Do not drink ice-cold drinks when singing. It’s like warming up your body then taking an icy cold bath BEFORE going for a run. No one does that, so don’t have drinks with ice in when you sing. 

However, do drink room temperature water and lots of it. I drink at least a pint of water when I perform an hour-long set of songs. 

Also, avoid dairy before singing, especially cheese and chocolate, save those treats for afterwards. The mucus coats your vocal cords and it would be like running through mud, instead of running on an even track.  

Preparing the body and mind for singing

Now that you have some basic care tips let’s talk about preparing the body and mind for singing. 

  1.  Be relaxed, this is the number one rule in everything but especially in singing. When we are not relaxed our body stiffens, our shoulders tense up and our throat tightens. The exact opposite is needed for singing, so I cannot say this enough, relax.  
  2. Breathe. Yes, this is essential for singing and for living in general.  

To hold a note for longer than a few seconds or sing a phrase without taking lots of gasps of air, we need to practise our breathing.

  • I recommend breathing in for the count of 3, hold it for 3, then let it out through your mouth for 3.  
  • Then try for the count of 5. Breathe in for 5, hold for 5 out for 5.  
  • Then 7, then 9.   
  • Then work back the way down.  
  • Count in for 7, hold for 7, breath out for 9 
  • In for 5, hold for 5, out for 9 
  • In for 3, hold for 3, out for 9 then 
  • In for 1, hold for 1, then out for 9  

This exercise gets you used to breathing in quickly and letting the breath out slowly 

    3. And the third technique I want to share with you is, how to:

Stay in Tune

Imagine your voice like a dart hitting a target. Find a point on the wall like a light switch and sing a note hoping to hit it right in the middle. Once you get used to that idea then singing is just singing more notes that are either up or down or the same as the note you have just sung.  

By listening to the note you want to sing and imagining you are hitting it dead on, then you will be able to sing in tune.  

There are plenty more great tips and techniques, but here are just a few to get you started.  

Please let me know if these have been useful to you and if you would like to learn more.  

I have been singing professionally for 20 years and vocal health is at forefront of my mind whenever I am singing. Singing is a joy and singing with confidence is available to anyone they just need to have the right mindset and learn some important techniques. And then practice. Have fun. 

Author: Sam Crane  www.samcrane.com 

 

About the Author Sam Crane

Sam Crane is an incredible soulful female singer and performer from England. In her 15 + years of gigging experience, she has entertained audiences across the UK, Europe and Australia. She is equally at home on stage with a large band or in a small intimate setting with just her guitar for accompaniment.