Have you ever wondered what separates a really good voice from one that you would rather not hear?
The answer is actually quite simple to the trained ear of a music expert.
There is no substitute for having natural talent, but there are technical aspects of singing that can be identified in creating a sound that is pleasing to the ear. The lack of those technical attributes makes it easy for a professional to spot an untrained voice.
You can improve your voice dramatically by learning how to sing properly through technical voice training. Here are five technical aspects that a vocal coach will work to improve your singing voice in a typical series of voice lessons.
1. Avoid singing from the throat
2. Sing from the diaphragm
3. Use the resonators
4. Develop proper singing posture
5. Use your ears
1. Avoid Singing From the Throat
When learning how to sing, most people believe that you have to sing loudly to sing well and they attempt to do so by shouting or what is also called singing from the throat.
Although throat singing is actually a type of aboriginal style of singing, it isn’t what we are accustomed to hearing. In fact, singing from the throat is not what we would traditionally consider a sound that is pleasing to the ear. In order to improve your singing voice, every vocal coach will tell you to avoid the throat when singing.
Your voice and sound are created in the vocal cords. Your breath is what supports your sound. By developing the correct breathing habits you can support the air that carries your voice and this way, you have more control over the sound and volume you create.
Avoid the throat when you’re singing and you will be able to sustain the sound you make for longer breaths and sing for longer periods of time without getting tired.
2. Sing From the Diaphragm
In order to find the most effortless way to develop vocal control, you must sing from the diaphragm. You can practice this by taking deeper breaths and filling (what feels like) your stomach with air. This is an extremely important aspect of singing, as it will allow you to avoid the throat and focus on the sound you are creating with less effort.
3. Use the Resonators
Your voice is an instrument itself and your singing is something that involves the entire use of your body. One aspect of using your body is to allow sound to resonate in your chest and head resonators.
The chest is used for the lower notes and the head is used to resonate sound for the high notes. Well-trained singers are able to transfer the sound between the two with effortless, smooth transitions.
4. Develop the Proper Singing Posture
Singing involves the use of the body and the smooth release of air as you make a sound. To do this is the most effortless and natural way, it’s necessary to sing using the proper postures that allow the air to support your voice for the longest time and allow you the most control.
Sitting up or standing with a straight back is an obvious singing posture that opens the lungs to allow for deeper and fuller breaths. Chest up will also assist in opening the lungs.
When standing, have your feet shoulder-distance apart, with one foot slightly in front of the other. You should be able to shift your weight comfortably with a stable base.
Your head should be straight, arms and hands at your side and relaxed. When you sing high notes, tilting the head down will help to hit those notes and help you use your head resonator for a fuller sound.
5. Use Your Ears
Finding the perfect pitch is something that talented singers are able to do naturally. This can also be achieved by ear training exercises to improve your singing voice. When you are aware of the sound you are making and can match it to the right pitch you are demonstrating complete control of your vocal cords.
When you hear people miss notes or sing off-key, this is due to a lack of vocal control or simply not being able to recognize how to match their voice with the correct pitch.
There are many ear training exercises you can do to improve this aspect of your vocal ability. Consistent practice is what will really help you to break through to the next level. When you’re constantly singing you develop more awareness of the muscles that help control your sound.
Remember that singing is a full-body effort. By incorporating the use of the abdominal, back and intercostal muscles you improve your ability to control breathing. There are dozens of facial and neck muscles that help enunciate while keeping an open jaw at the same time. Using all of these muscles becomes easier when you practice religiously.
Use Your Technical Knowledge to Explore Your Talent
The benefits of voice training can be quite obvious in your performances. Now that you’re aware of five different technical improvements you can make, you can improve your voice dramatically by mastering these areas.
Talent only gets you so far. Developing a solid technical foundation is something that every talented artist must pursue at some point to improve the quality and capabilities of their voice. Only when you’ve mastered the technical elements of how to sing can you truly explore the limits of your talent.
About the Author: Ian Garrett is a well-known vocal coach and the founder of the Canadian Academy Of Vocal Music. Ian has worked with Shania Twain and other notable entertainers and musicians and continues to coach aspiring artists from his studio in Mississauga, Ontario.