Rohan believes that, with the right habits, everyone can sing well.
First things first: I am not a professional singer nor a singing coach. I, however, have a passion for singing and have sung at Church, prayer gatherings, school, and college. The tips that follow will certainly help you sing better and with more confidence. I have used them myself and benefitted in a big way.
Here's how to sing better!
Practice After a Workout
Singing after a workout or playing sport is a very smart thing to do. The exercise has warmed up your body and stretched your muscles. You are upbeat and your posture is great. This will give you a very satisfying period of singing and you will be able to do things vocally that you wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.
Bend Your Knees for the High Notes
When hitting a high note, it's important to be relaxed. Stress or tension will totally kill the sound of the note. Many people have the false idea that raising their heads and putting more pressure on the vocal chords will help them sound better during the higher notes.
I know from personal experience that raising the head and putting pressure on the vocal chords is the worst thing one could do during a high note as it reduces the amount of breath available.
The smarter thing to do is to bend your knees a little and go down a bit. This might look a wee bit funny but is effective in providing increased lower lung capacity.
Listen a Lot and Sing Along
Listening to the same song over and over again will help you appreciate many of the intricacies it contains. As you begin to sing along to the song, you will notice that you too are adopting some of the techniques of the original singer, which means one thing: you are developing as a singer!
Use the Piano
The Piano is a singer's best friend.
Playing simple tunes, or a progression of notes on the piano, and singing along, is a very effective way to develop control over pitch and increase your vocal range. It may be a challenge at first to do both together, but will soon get easier. If you are serious about singing, you simply cannot avoid using the piano as a tool of reference for your voice.
Maintain the Right Posture
Too many people run out of breath too soon because they hold the wrong posture.
Stand against a wall and straighten your shoulder blades. This will increase the capacity of your lungs. Now breathe normally and practice some lines, continuing to keep your shoulder blades straightened. You will be surprised at how well you sound and how much more breath you have now.
Eat on Time and Drink Loads of Water
A famished and dehydrated singer is a demotivated singer. A person without energy cannot sing well. Eat on time and eat as often as required to maintain your energy levels.
Drinking water frequently helps lubricate your vocal tract and also supplies you with energy. Too many people have the habit of drinking too little water. A dry, parched throat is the last thing you want while singing!
Drink Warm Water Before and During a Session
Warm water soothes the throat and helps the vocal system perform more smoothly. This is the reason why many singers drink only warm water before and during a performance or recording.
Singing well requires that you be relaxed. Stress and nervousness are the top enemies of your vocal range because they constrict your chest and prevent you reaching the high notes and going down to the really low notes.
A little bit of deep breathing before practice can really make a big difference to how you sound.
Breathe from the Diaphragm
As far as singing goes, the most important and basic thing to remember is how to breathe properly. It's surprising to realize that a large number of people do this wrong. They breathe from their chest (upper chest actually) whereas they are supposed to breathe from the diaphragm (the lower chest region). When one sings from the core of the body (the region just above the stomach), there is tremendous power in the voice, which is not the case when one sings from the chest.
A person who breathes from the diaphragm will definitely be able to perform better on the higher notes than a person who sings from the chest.
To ensure that you are singing from your diaphragm and not from your upper chest, place your palms on your diaphragm and feel the movement. If there is too little, you are singing from your chest.
Realize Your Strengths and Weaknesses
The worst mistake you could make as a singer is to come to the conclusion that you cannot sing. Analyze what the possibilities with your voice are. If you are struggling to hit the high notes right, you could probably develop the lower and more basal portion of your voice. A nice, deep voice sounds mature.
If you are a man who sounds womanly (just saying), go for it! You can probably hit the higher notes better than most other men, and that gives you a very distinct advantage!
Remember, every singer (even the top professional) has his/her strengths and weaknesses. A weakness is no reason to give up and pack your bag. A Lana Del Rey sounds different from a Jennifer Lopez sounds different from a Donna Summer.
Sing Often and Practice a Lot
Passion is the name of the game. Sing often if you really want your voice to develop into something attractive.
Singing is an art like painting or composing music, and practice is required to make progress in any art. Keeping in touch with your singing voice will keep you self assured and satisfied, besides also inadvertently working as a form of personal therapy.
Remember, your vocal chords are your body's inbuilt musical instrument. Keep practicing playing this instrument, and revel in your progress!
Bonus: Stretch Your Mouth and Move Your Tongue
This is a serious bit of advice. Mobility of the mouth and tongue is critical to improving your singing. The headspace of a good singer offers better resonance than that of an average person. One of the reasons is that the tongue is more mobile and the mouth open wider when singing.
Bonus: How to Know Which Genre Your Voice is Best-Suited For
Let's check how much you really know about singing!
For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.
- How often should you practice singing?
- Once a month
- Every day
- True or false? You shouldn't drink water during singing sessions.
- True or False? You should give up on singing if you don't sound like you favourite singer.
- Choose the right method to raise your vocal range.
- Shout at your neighbour
- Sing along to the piano
- A good way to reduce stress before singing practice is to...
- tell yourself that you are no good at singing.
- ask your sister to sing instead of you.
- True or false? Being nervous can actually make you sound better.
- Select the statement that is TRUE from the options provided.
- Michael Jackson is Ricky Martin's father.
- Eating loads of ice cream in winter increases your vocal range
- Frequent practice will help you sing better.
- Shakira lives in China.
- Gold or Rubbish? If you cannot sing well now, you will never be able to sing well.
- Pick the musical instrument from the list.
- Your sixth grade Math textbook
- Your vocal chords
- Your aunt's fiance'
- The couch in your living room
- Every day
- Sing along to the piano
- Frequent practice will help you sing better.
- Your vocal chords
Interpreting Your Score
If you got between 0 and 2 correct answers: You have some seriously wrong ideas about singing!
If you got between 3 and 5 correct answers: You definitely need to know more about singing.
If you got between 6 and 7 correct answers: You have a reasonable idea of what singing is.
If you got 8 correct answers: Great! You have the right ideas about singing!
If you got 9 correct answers: Keep it up! You have an excellent knowledge of what singing really is!
The only thing better than singing is more singing.
— Ella Fitzgerald
© 2013 Rohan Rinaldo Felix
Sunil on December 01, 2018:
Tip no. 8 really works
Jeon soyeon on July 18, 2018:
This is really very useful thanks for the author for such an awesome advice
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on April 05, 2016:
Oh, I love opera singing. Actually I was trained to sing opera during my first introduction to singing. My mother adored opera and would listen to the famous Lawrence Melchior day after day. So, I'm more than impressed to hear about your operatic voice. Wow!
Rohan Rinaldo Felix (author) from Chennai, India on March 30, 2016:
Really happy for you, Smitha!
smitha mary on March 29, 2016:
it helped me a lot....for the profit i placed second in a local singing competion.soon i will participate in x factor....thank u sooooo much guyssss
Rohan Rinaldo Felix (author) from Chennai, India on March 28, 2014:
I'm glad we're on the same page :)
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on March 28, 2014:
I share most of your feelings about singing. Your tips will help others. Thanks - vocalcoach
Rohan Rinaldo Felix (author) from Chennai, India on February 28, 2014:
I suggest, before going on to sing at church, if possible, to actually take a 10 minute nap... It will cut your nerves by more than half! I've tried it before, and it works! You will do well!
Joanna on February 28, 2014:
These tips are very useful especially for me because I take lessons and am in advanced choir but I get like something was missing in my voice! I needed this also because I'm singing at church on Sunday and I'm really nervous. Do you have any other tips?
Rohan Rinaldo Felix (author) from Chennai, India on January 21, 2014:
Thank you very much for taking the time to read the entire article, and congrats on scoring a perfect 100! I'd like to know if you're finding it hard to reach the higher and lower octaves... Do you have issues with your vocal range? In that case I suggest that you practice singing with the piano, keep raising the pitch gradually until you are at the highest level possible for your voice. Similarly, try going as low as possible. If you are not able to hear yourself, try this: put a little bit of cotton in both ears (only enough to block your ears a little, not so much that you cannot hear the others). This will help you self monitor. Try it and let me know if it works for you.
The Logician from then to now on on January 16, 2014:
Been a long time since I got 100% on a quiz - I enjoyed that :-). Really good hub page, simple and to the point, thanks. Anyway, I have a question. My problem is in a group everyone is singing in a higher octave than I am comfortable with but I can't tell how low to go so I harmonize with everyone. So I just sing at a level where I know I can meet the high notes but I have no idea if I'm way out of tune with everyone else and I guess I probably am. I suppose you have to have an ear for that. Sometimes I can tell (I think) if I am in tune with someone but not if I'm off. Is there anything I can do to melodically sync myself with a group?
Rohan Rinaldo Felix (author) from Chennai, India on January 14, 2014:
I can imagine how that would help... clearing any obstruction in the throat... Thanks for stopping by!
Antoinette Sampson from New York on January 14, 2014:
Very good tips. I'm not sure if you've heard of this one but, my voice coach in high school told me that sucking on a cough drop during warm ups is another great way to help boost the fullness in your voice.
Rohan Rinaldo Felix (author) from Chennai, India on November 17, 2013:
Thank you for the feedback! Maybe you aren't a singer by profession, but you can sing for the joy of it :)
FlourishAnyway from USA on November 17, 2013:
I appreciate your tips. On a good day, I like to sing opera style just in my house. I could have missed my calling, but that's life.