Singing is one of those little joys of life that most of us can’t help but partake in every once in a while. Some of us have a natural talent for carrying a tune, while others have a little trouble hitting those high notes…or any notes at all. And while not all of us can easily become the next Adele, there are some easy things to try if you’re looking to improve your vox skills.
Take it from a classically trained mezzo-soprano who quit studying voice after twelve years to change career focus: these tips will stay with you forever.
1. Stance and posture.
Singing while sitting, unless you’re at an instrument or belting it in the car, isn’t the wisest choice. Your stance and posture determine the flexibility of your diaphragm, the most important muscle a singer’s got aside from vocal chords. Stand with a straight back, slightly bent knees (relax!), and feet shoulder-width apart. The more air you allow into your lungs with your pristine posture, the clearer your voice will become.
2. Breath control.
Directly related to stance and posture is learning how to control that oxygen you’re taking in. While this is a technique that most vocalists perfect over years of study, it’s never too early to start thinking about how you’re utilizing your air. Think about the music you’re singing – think about the line lengths, the pauses you’ll need to take, and the notes that really need your attention. Deep breathing on a daily basis helps you make those lungs even stronger!
3. Practice really does make perfect!
Your piano instructor, your tennis coach, and your math professor were all right: practice is key to honing a skill. Even if you are singing way too loud in the shower or taking voice lessons for the first time, listen to their advice and carve out time to practice. Over and over and over.
4. Start simple.
Like I said earlier, not all of us can easily become the next Adele – and sadly, most of us never will! Don’t strain your voice by attempting to sing songs that are vocally difficult for you. When bettering your craft, start with songs that are within your range while also flexing it a bit. Learn your way around the scales and your range will learn with you.
BONUS TIP: While singing a melody that’s advancing upward in scale, visualize the notes descending instead (and vice versa). This helps you internally address any issues in tone by mentally hyper-correcting your voice.
5. But seriously, get out of the shower.
The greatest thing I did for my vocal career was join a choir when I was in the third grade. Whether you’re 8 or 88, consider joining a community or school chorus, or even singing with a group of friends. There’s serious strength in numbers, and you’ll not only learn how to sing well in a group (pivotal for the growth of your voice), but also how to grow from the voices around you.
If you keep these five simple tips in mind while singing your heart out in the car, on the stage, or even into the shampoo bottle in the shower, your talent will shine in ways you hadn’t seen before.
Break a leg!