People love to sing, but not everybody can sing. I firmly believe that anyone can learn how to sing.
Anything is easy to teach with a teacher. Singing is a skill that most of us already have but we are not practicing it that much. What the teacher does is to make sure that we are having the proper training and we are putting the right amount of effort into learning a certain skill, in this case singing.
But what if we don’t have the luxury of having a teacher? Can we learn to sing on our own?
Surely we can learn things on our own. It’ll take some time but the good thing is we don’t have to start from scratch.
Here are some tips to help guide you to learn singing on your own.
1. Make Sure Your Voice is in Shape
Maintain a healthy voice by taking care and not stressing your vocal cords. Your voice box is a very sensitive part of your body that is vulnerable to many kinds of disorders, mild and severe.
Warm-ups will never fail if it comes to keeping your voice in shape. Even if you’re not using your voice professionally, warm-ups will loosen your throats for unexpected difficult usage.
Breathing exercises, yawning, humming, and so on are some good vocal warm-ups that you can start with. You’ll notice that after warming up, you’d feel more comfortable every time you use your voice.
Avoid any vocal activity that will stress your vocal cords. You may have warmed it up but as I say again it is sensitive. Extreme shouting will put pressure on your vocal cords causing hoarseness or swelling.
Whispering may also harm your voice because it requires more effort than talking normally. Speaking at a moderate volume is still the best option for our voice.
Staying in shape is the challenge. All of these tips are very effective until you lose your discipline.
2. Listen to Different Tunes
Listening to different tunes will develop your hearing skills and note recognition. To develop your natural singing instinct you must first know how and what to listen to.
Listening to a number of songs and genres will also shape your singing style. it is very essential for aspiring singers to know what kind of style and what kind of genre are they going for.
You’ll also learn the details of the song when you listen to a song from time to time. You’ll hear new things again and again. For example, the parts of the song and how singers put dynamics and emotional expression on each part.
3. Hum in Tune
Now that you can recognize the notes, try humming with them and make sure that you are humming the notes correctly.
If you somehow developed your note recognition well, you will notice if you are out of tune or not. Melodies run up and down the scale, some are easy and some are a bit complicated.
Start with the easy tunes like nursery rhymes. The goal is to make sure that your humming can follow your listening skills. Recognizing the note is one thing, singing the note is another.
You can start also with a basic “do-re-mi” ascending and descending hum if nursery rhymes are still giving you a hard time.
There are a lot of factors that may affect your ascending and descending humming but don’t worry, we’ll get into it.
4. Learn Breathing Exercises
This step will really make your voice ready for singing. Breathing correctly will put more power into your voice and longer sustain. Learning it this early will also lengthen your capacity for practice in the future.
Effective and stable breathing should be from your stomach or diaphragm. We might not be used to it though but most often, when we sleep, we breathe from our stomach.
Our ribs limit the air our lungs can contain which may cause a shortage of air when singing. If you are lifting your shoulders when you breathe in, you’re most likely breathing from your chest.
To breathe in your stomach, you must feel your stomach expanding as you breathe in and shrinking as you breathe out instead of your chest and shoulders moving. This way, you will have more air for better use of your vocal techniques.
5. Discover Your Vocal Range
Your vocal range is the lowest and the highest possible note you can sing. Knowing your vocal range will help you protect your voice from singing notes that you can’t reach. Singing outside your vocal range may force your throat and damage it.
The easiest way to find your vocal is with the help of an instrument, particularly the piano. Sing your lowest and highest note and match them with the keys in your piano.
If you have a wide range then good for you. There are many songs that you can sing. If not, don’t worry. After learning some vocal techniques, you can improve your vocal range.
6. Learn Vocal Techniques
There are a lot of vocal techniques depending on the style, orientation, and genre. Learning vocal placement will give you better control and versatility to your singing.
To explore more of the different techniques, we must know our vocal placement.
Vocal placement is a method of focusing your sound on a specific part of your body. It gives you a better projection of your voice in terms of power and volume. The two most efficient and most used by professional singers are the chest and the head.
Normally when we speak, we are using the chest voice. There are very seldom opportunities where I personally meet a person who speaks with their head voice.
The chest voice is characterized by warm, thick, and deeper tones. When we talk calmly, a lot of the vibrations are happening in the chest area. You can feel these when touching your chest while talking.
The range you can access from your chest tones is mostly from the low notes. Accessing the higher notes requires a different vocal placement which is the head voice. Trying to access it with your chest voice may force your throat which is not good.
The head voice is thinner and has lighter tones. Head voice makes sing high notes easier if you can access it. You’ll be surprised at how high can you get in terms of notes after accessing your head voice.
Some singers deliberately use their throat voice. It is not recommendable as it will usually strain your voice if you don’t know how to do it. You can check out some singers who did it and you’ll see how they struggle with it.
Falsetto is sometimes mistaken as the head voice but it is not. Though it may have the same high register, falsetto is thinner and less powerful than the head voice. It is very applicable to emotive ballads.
Vibrato, which sounds closely with vibration, means almost the same. It is a wavy kind of vibrating variation when you hold a note to put extra emotion and emphasis on a certain part of a song.
There are more techniques as you go deep finding your style and genre. These are the foundations of those techniques.
7. Improve Your Vocal Range
Now that you are equipped with all these techniques, Use them to improve your vocal range. Mixing all of these techniques especially the chest and the head voice will widen the variety of songs you can sing.
Learning to shift from chest to head voice and back seamlessly will be a great addition to your arsenal as a singer and it will be a great advantage for a newbie to have learned these techniques this early.
8. Learn a Song
Not that you haven’t learned a song up until this process, maybe you are singing bits of many songs but when I say learn a song, I mean the whole song.
The details, the lyrics, where to shift, where to breathe, where to put power, and where to cool down, this is what learning a song means.
If you can video yourself, much better. You can be your own critique and you yourself would know what to improve.
It would also be nice if you have feedback from other people, especially from professionals. You may have missed something that they’ll see for sure.
9. Online Lessons
There are a variety of lessons, both free and paid lessons that will help you understand more about singing.
The best thing about having lessons online is you can jump to what really interests you the most. Maybe unorthodox to some but if you know what you’re lacking, you can go directly and find the information you need to improve your skill.
For some who don’t have that much time anymore, you can access these online lessons, stop at any point you want, and continue again later.
For better results, follow the program and don’t just jump ahead without knowing the whole context of why are these online lessons ladderized in a specific order. You need to learn to walk before you can run.
The ultimate tip that never fails, practice. Practicing regularly will turn thinking into just doing. You will be surprised that all these tips will just come out naturally and instinctively.
Practicing is the road to mastery. That is the goal.
Can You Really Teach Yourself to Sing on Your Own?
Of course, but with the help of some references. If you are going to rely on your personal knowledge, it will take you forever before you learn something. All the information we have, we got from someone else. We should learn from each other and continue sharing all the knowledge that we acquire.
Make use of the information around you. And nowadays, all the information you need can be accessed easily with the internet.
With all these pieces of information, discipline is the other half. Everything you need is already in front of you, all you have to do is apply it in practice and keep on improving every day.
All the road ahead needs to go forward and after learning all these tips, you have to continue learning on your own. All the progress will end when you stop. Keep going and share your experience with others as well.
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This article aims to help its readers develop a way to learn singing on their own. Help us by sharing your personal experience and by adding to the list we made. Leave a comment and let’s talk about your developments and how we can improve them more.