As a guitarist, one of the most fun things you can do is to accompany yourself with singing, especially if you are feeling that you are singing well and other people are enjoying your singing! I like comparing singing while playing to “delivering” the whole entertainment package both for yourself and for the friends and listeners around you when you play the guitar.
Today I'll share with you the 4 best instant singing tips on how to sing better immediately, as I found out from researching online, personal trial and error, and listening to my personal vocal teacher.
*Originally posted in March '17.
“I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing”
Since I started playing guitar I almost always used to sing. Even though I knew I was pretty terrible, I still enjoyed it. This past year I decided that I have had enough and that I want to improve my singing and enjoy it even more. What you're about to read is the result in terms of the best “nuggets” that I can tell to anyone who wants to learn about the little changes that can make you much better quickly.
Remember – Singing is just like learning an instrument, and everyone can become good if he puts in the time to practice and learn about it. Some people naturally have prettier voices, but any person can improve at least to a level where he/she sounds good and pleasant, even if you're not going to be featured on national TV for your singing skills. At the bottom of the article you can read more about great ways to learn how to sing if you are serious about getting better and singing very well.
The 4 Biggest Singing Tips that Everyone Can Immediately Apply and Just Sound BETTER:
1 – Sit/Stand Straight. Imagine a Cord Pulling You Up from Your Head (But NOT In a Rigid, Tense Way)
This is the first one, since posture is the single most important thing you can correct immediately. Just by doing that you will massively increase your voice resonance and get a fuller and nicer sound. Do not overdo that though, you are not a marine soldier, but you still have to feel your back and your neck straight. Further physical explanation on why this is so important is on tip #3.
♣ Extra Tip: When you are sitting on a soft chair that makes your butt sink in it, it makes you bend your back almost unconsciously! So make sure to sit on a firm and flat chair when you sing, or even better – stand! Standing does wonders to your voice projection and confidence, try it for yourself and you'll notice immediately!
2 – Your Head Should Be Pointing Straight
Even when I do sit straight with the guitar, sometimes I have a tendency to mess that up by looking down, for example to read chord sheets out of one of my chord books. Looking down will cut down most of the resonance and volume of your voice – since it will compress your throat and the space in which the air can flow.
Solution: If you are using a chord book, place it on a taller spot like a music stand or a tall table, preferably with a support from the back of it that will place it vertically.
3 – Breathe into the Stomach and the Sides Of The Stomach
Your chest should barely be moving, as opposed to what you might think. So let's talk about what should be moving instead. When you are inhaling deeply and correctly, you should feel the air inflating your stomach and the lower sides of your ribs and upper stomach. This happens when your diaphragm is lowered as you inhale as you can see in the pic, and this is proper breathing for singing. (and in general – when you breathe deeply – that's what happens in your body)
Good Belly Breathing creates more space for your lungs to expand to maximum capacity – and to give you the maximum resonance, volume, and “air time” between the breaths you have to take. This is why it is also so important to stand/sit straight, since by doing that you are allowing more room for the diaphragm to expand!
4 – Open Your Mouth, Show Us Some Teeth! SING with Energies!
When you are shying out and singing with your mouth almost totally closed, your voice gets a “mumbling” tone to it. Our mouth (look at it as an “oral cavity”) is also one of our most important voice resonators. And no, you don't need to look like you are at the dentist or like you're about to swallow someone like Mick Jagger or Steven Tyler, but in proper singing, we should definitely see teeth at most of the time and it's a great rule of thumb to follow. Sing with energies! Pronounce all the vowels of your lyrics, and these teeth will come out naturally.
Sing in front of the mirror for a bit to make sure that you aren't making this mistake!
That's it. Do not develop bad habits! I suggest writing those singing tips down and referring back to them before you are about to practice your singing, this will make sure that you do not forget that tomorrow.
Just by applying these 4 simple principles when you are singing, your voice is guaranteed to become stronger, more resonant and more pleasant! Record yourself and notice the differences!
If at some point you will decide that you want to work more seriously on your singing – become GOOD, and you are willing to put time into it, the Superior Singing Method course has helped me immensely when I was starting my voice studies. (here's what I fully wrote about my experience with it) If you are willing to commit to about 30 minutes a day for 8 weeks, it will teach you everything you need to know to start singing with confidence. At the end of those two months your voice will be MUCH better, and you will be a lot more confident.
I took it myself and I am extremely happy with it so I am happy to highly recommend it.
Have fun singing and don't be shy! None of us was born a Paul Simon, but nonetheless, singing is still always fun and you gotta start somewhere if you want to get better.
Last thing – can you help us all and name ONE singing tip that helped you the most in the comments? THANKS! (:
“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”