How To Sing: My Top 5 Most Important Singing Tips

When you guys ask me what the most important things to know about being a good singer are, I usually can’t come up with an answer right on the spot. There are tons of things that can contribute to your vocal performance, which is why I have so much information on my blog!

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However,  I sat down for a few hours and made a list of a ton of different thoughts that revolved around singing:

  • Performing
  • Staying on key
  • Preventing damage to the vocal cords
  • Mimicking Mariah Carey’s famous high notes (okay, you probably shouldn’t try that unless you’re really experienced – plus, you don’t want the neighbors to knock on your door asking what all of the ruckus is about!)
  • And lots more stuff…

Eventually, I took all of these pieces of information and ranked them in order of what I thought were the most important parts of my singing success. The result? This list! In no particular order, I am giving you my 5 most important singing tips.

All of these tips should help you to get started with developing your vocal foundation. So if you’re struggling and/or are new to singing, this is a great place to start. Here we go:

#1 – Use Vocal Warm Ups Daily

Whether you are just learning how to sing or are a singing expert, I’m a strong believer in having you use vocal warm ups. In fact, I’ve found that they are the most important part of strengthening your voice, especially when you first start learning how to sing better.

So I lied in the first part when I said that these were in no particular order. But that’s only for vocal warm ups, because they are definitely the most important thing to use. The rest are in no particular order. The best part about them is that you can see results extremely fast after doing them for only a few minutes each day.

So what exactly are vocal warm ups? You could call them singing exercises, or vocal stretches (okay I wouldn’t call them that, but they really are similar to the stretches you might do before physical exercises). Vocal warm ups are what you do before you start to “full-on sing”, meaning before you start to sing full songs, audition for a musical, go for high notes, etc.

You should use them any time you are going to be doing strenuous activity with your voice. Not only will they warm up your vocal cords (which is why they are called vocal warm ups), but they will also make you sound better – better as in your voice will be more “stretched out,” effectively allowing you to:

  • Hit more notes
  • Stay on key
  • Avoid voice cracking
  • Prevent a sore throat
  • Keep a smooth tone
  • Prevent losing your voice
  • And experience many other vocal benefits

There are so many benefits of vocal warm ups that I could go on forever, but I hope you get the point.

Any professional athlete knows that they shouldn’t run a race or go for a touch down without stretching their muscles first. In the same sense, any professional singer knows that they shouldn’t fully use their voice unless they’ve warmed up their vocal cords with vocal warm ups beforehand.

The most important thing you need to know about vocal warm ups (besides actually knowing which ones to do), is that you have to be consistent with them. As a singer, they will become a natural part of your daily routine. It might be hard to remember to do them every day at first, but it will become second nature before you know it.

I’ve actually compiled a list of some of the best vocal warm ups and put them here on how-to-sing.net. I’ve even created a daily routine for you to help stay on track while you learn how to sing better.

My next top singing tip goes hand in hand with vocal warm ups, so be sure to read onward!

#2 – Try Online Singing Lessons

Online singing lessons are a great way to start improving your voice and use vocal warm ups, which is why they can be really important.

A lot of people ask me what online singing lessons are. They aren’t necessarily the same thing as face-to-face singing lessons (I also refer to these as local singing lessons, they can be done locally) with a vocal coach, but they are very similar.

Face-to-face singing lessons are generally tailored to your specific problems (well, that is if you actually have a good vocal coach). Online singing lessons cover a wide range of topics to take care of the most common problems a singer might have. For a full-on comparison you can read my post on Do online singing lessons really work ?

I personally prefer online singing lessons to face-to-face singing lessons for a variety of reasons. Some of them are:

  • They are significantly cheaper and are often a one-time payment, as opposed to expensive payments for each and every lesson
  • You don’t have to spend time trying to find a vocal coach who actually cares about you and your goals
  • You can go at your own pace
  • You can do them any time and anywhere (well, anywhere that you can have an iPod/mp3 player playing)

To be honest, a large portion of my singing knowledge comes from online singing lessons. I’ve tried vocal coaches before but they all seem to want to start at the same place, and act like robots going through the process with “just another customer”. I’ve learned how to sing in a much healthier and stronger way using online singing lessons, and I’m sure glad that I found them.

One thing people have to know about online singing lessons is that they aren’t usually meant for “vocal masters.” What I mean is that they are much better for a singer who is struggling or just starting off, not one who has been singing for years and is at that Mariah Carey point.

You’ll hear me talk about online singing lessons quite a bit on my website, because I’m a strong believer in them. Even though I consider myself a pretty good singer, I still use them for my daily vocal routines. Currently I’ve been using Superior Sining Method course quite a bit, and I’ve definitely gained an octave or two in the short amount of time I’ve been using it. Also, if you want to find out a bit more about it, I wrote a detailed Singing Success review for you to check out.

Even though I recommend them, online singing lessons are definitely not required for you to improve your voice. In fact, you can find everything you need right here on my site. What online singing lessons do is just make the journey a little faster and easier to deal with, so they are great to use if you are serious about wanting to see improvements.

#3 – Don’t Strain Your Voice With Unreachable Notes

Remember when I mentioned mimicking Mariah Carey earlier on this page? Well, that’s exactly what you don’t want to do if you’re inexperienced.

I’m sure you’ve heard people attempting to sing notes (and songs) that are out of their vocal range. A great example of this is the people who audition on American Idol, The X Factor, etc. Sure, when we see a funny audition of a hopeful contestant trying to sing a song that’s too challenging for them, we laugh. But really, it’s not all that funny because they are just damaging their voice.

Being unaware of your vocal limits can be very dangerous. It can lead to cysts on your vocal cords, cracking, voice loss, permanent vocal damage, and even cause you to need surgery.

Don’t worry – I’m not telling you that some day you won’t be able to hit that famous Mariah Carey note. If you practice and use the information I give you on my site, you will reach that point over time. But for right now, starting off slowly and challenging yourself gradually is the way to go.

Plus, I’m sure your family doesn’t want to see you in the same light as those contestants on the TV shows I mentioned. Instead, you can WOW them and feel accomplished when the time finally comes.

#4 – Learn How To Sing With Your Diaphragm

Yikes, the dreaded tip that you’ve probably heard of many times before: sing with your diaphragm. I don’t really know why this process comes off as scary to many singers, but for some reason it’s become the spider of the singing world.

Did you know that almost 80% of the source of singing relies on breathing? That’s 4/5ths – or a whole lot! Without proper breathing techniques, problems are bound to occur.

So what is the proper way to breathe while singing? It’s been disputed for quite a long time (probably centuries), but most vocal coaches are in agreement that singing with the diaphragm is the proper way to do it. Some individuals claim that it has had no effect on their vocal performance, while others rave about it. I have yet to hear any negative things about diaphragm singing.

Personally, it works wonders for me. I have asthma myself (I also wrote an article on how to prevent running out of breath while singing, which showcases how I combat my breathing problems), so not always having enough air is a recurring problem for me. Converting to diaphragm singing has probably improved my breathing effectiveness by at least 60%, so I highly recommend you try it.

I’ve written a handy post on how to sing with your diaphragm here on the site, so if you’re interested, be sure to check it out.

#5 – Be Confident In Yourself And Your Ability To Sing

I’ll be the first one to say it: singing in front of people – or even singing by yourself – can be a scary thing to think about. “Will I be good enough?” “What if I don’t hit that note?” “What if they laugh at me?” are all things that I know have run though my mind at one time or another.

As with anything else, you do your best when you are confident in yourself. A singer who isn’t confident is more likely to mess up and have a harder time developing and improving their abilities.

Being confident is something that isn’t easy to do for a lot of people. And believe me, I’ve been there. I know how scary it can be to go up on stage and sing in front of others (or even with just my best friend being in the same room as me).

This is why I’m not telling you that you have to become a new person and be comfortable with everything you do. No – this tip is here to help you understand that confident singers are better singers. Everyone has their own unique style and voice, and no one is perfect.

Eventually, you’ll need to let your guard down a little and trust that it will be okay if you sing. The world won’t end if you mess up a note, and your audience will certainly pay more attention to the excellent parts of your performance rather than any bad parts.

Soon I will write some detailed articles on stage fright and how to become a more confident singer. So watch this space for the link!

So What Now?

Now that you’ve read my top 5 singing tips, you may be wondering what to do next. Well, I hope you’ll put them to use! Also, you should know that being a successful singer comes with a price. I’m not talking about a hefty price tag involving the gold coins that you stole from that Leprechaun under the rainbow (yes, I do know about you’re mischievous acts); I’m talking about the price of your time and commitment.

In order to be successful, you will need to stay consistent and put time into working toward your goals. If you do this, you will be successful.

I hope that this information has been helpful, and I wish you all the best in your singing endeavors. Your journey doesn’t stop here, so get going and make something happen

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Adele

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