How to Become a Better Singer: Practical Tips & TechniquesFeb 22, 2023
"How to Be A Better Singer? Practical Tips to Improve Your Voice & Become a Great Singer" - by Philippe Hall
Ready to dive deeper into your singing education, knowledge & know-how? Check out my comprehensive online courses:
The FOUR ACTIVITIES OF SINGING
Ready for some professional 1:1 guidance? Schedule a free consultation:
WORK WITH ME
My name is Philippe Hall, and I'm thrilled to share some tips and tricks with you on how to become a better singer. As an expert vocal coach with a successful personal international singing career spanning 30+ years, 3000+ performances & 28 countries, I literally have thousands of hours and decades of experience working with singers from around the world of all ability levels. Helping them “YOU” reach their “YOUR” full potential is my mission with Singing Revealed. Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your singing to the next level, I'm offering you my expertise & real life know-how to guide you on your singing journey. I sincerely hope you’ll enjoy these practical daily steps you can easily do in the comfort of your own home to become a better singer.
Let's dive in!
Are Vocal Warm Ups Important?
I get this question all the time! Before jumping into any singing, it's important to understand the importance of warming up your body & voice. We forget somehow that the voice lives within the body at a constant "warm" temperature - the voice is always “warm”. Now singing requires the coordinated movement of many different muscles, including those in the throat, chest, and abdomen. To prepare these muscles to work and synchronize their activity for singing, it goes without saying that we should want to "activate" them and get them working dynamically together.
That's where vocal warm-up exercises come in. Instead of thinking of them as just "warm-ups", however, I want to change the way you think about thinking and redefine them using my philosophy as "Voice Activation". Start thinking, “I need to Activate My Voice before I sing.”
The goal of these exercises is to activate the moving parts involved in singing, such as the vocal cords, diaphragm, and facial muscles, to help you sing with more control, range, and flexibility.
Activating your voice before singing, you'll also help to prevent injury or strain to your vocal cords. Just like stretching before a workout, an activation or warm-up phase prepares your muscles for the maximum performance output, so you can sing with ease and confidence. Ready to activate your voices and take it to the next level?
Now that we understand the importance of activating our voice, let's move on to the next step: breathing techniques.
As we all know, breathing - or breath control - is fundamental to singing. Proper breathing techniques can help improve lung capacity and breath control, which are essential for maintaining consistent tone and volume throughout a performance.
No big surprise - my course Airflow Control - is dedicated to teaching singers how to breathe & manage their airflow during vocalization. Airflow Control is all about synchronizing your Breath, Body & Voice.
One of the most effective breathing techniques is called "diaphragmatic breathing" or "belly breathing." You can practice this technique right now. Start by standing or sitting up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Take a deep breath in, and as you do, focus on the rise & fall of your stomach and the gentle pushing of your diaphragm down against your internal organs. You should feel your stomach moving out against your hand, rather than your chest rising. If your chest is rising, you’re likely breathing in too much air. Try to calm yourself, relax and breathe easy. Next, slowly exhale, observing your stomach gently contract & pull inward as you release the air.
Simply by practicing this technique regularly, your body will grow accustomed to take deeper, fuller breaths and automatically improve your breath control. This, over time, will help you to sing with more power and stamina. Remember to incorporate breathing exercises into your vocal warm-up “activation” routine and practice them daily to see the best results. It’s easy, and feels great.
Try this out. Think of your breath as a balloon that you're inflating with each inhale, and deflating with each exhale. To make it even more fun, if you have one, you can use an actual balloon as a prop. Hold the balloon in your hand, take a deep breath in and as you exhale through the nose, slowly blow up the balloon. Once it's full, release the air with a controlled exhale, imagining the air flowing out of you like a beautiful note.
As you practice this exercise, you'll learn to control your breath, just like filling up the balloon with the right amount of air and releasing it at the right pace. And just like a balloon, your singing will become more buoyant, controlled, and full of life as you learn to control your airflow.
So, grab a balloon and get ready to inflate your singing skills with the power of breath control!
Yes, Posture is Important
Posture is often overlooked & misunderstood, but it's essential for proper singing technique. Good posture helps to align your body and support your breathing, which ultimately affects the quality of your singing. Let’s do some activities to help you find your natural, optimal posture.
Go ahead and stand up straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed and not hunched up towards your ears. Gently align your head over your spine, tuck in your chin “slightly,” and keep your jaw relaxed. Now imagine a string is pulling you up from the top of your head, elongating your spine and opening up your chest more and more as you grow taller & taller. Don’t overdo it - keep it subtle.
By maintaining proper posture, you'll find you’re able to take deeper breaths and sing with more power and control. It'll also help to prevent vocal strain and fatigue, allowing you to sing for longer periods of time - practice or performance - without getting tired.
So, let's stand up tall and proud like a superhero, with our shoulders relaxed, heads held high, and spines elongated. We'll be able to sing like a pro and captivate our audience with our powerful, beautiful voice thanks to our optimized posture.
Here's another fun activity to help you find your optimal posture:
First, stand up and walk around the room for a minute. Then, stop and shake out any tension in their shoulders, neck, and back.
Next, stand with your backs against the wall, heels about an inch away. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly, feeling your spine lengthen against the wall. Now, step away from the wall and try to maintain that lengthened posture.
Now for the fun part: Imagine you're a puppet being controlled by a puppeteer. The puppeteer is pulling you up by a string attached to the top of their head, elongating their spine and opening up their chest. Play around with this visualization and find the posture that feels the most natural and comfortable to you.
Once you have found your optimal posture, take a deep breath in and sing a note, noticing how much easier it is to control their breath and project their voice.
By using this fun visualization technique, you will not only find your optimal posture, but also learn how to maintain it for better singing performance.
Here are more fun activities for you to try:
Stand up and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, feeling your body expand with air. Now, exhale slowly & gently, and feel your body relax and sink into your natural posture.
Imagine you're standing on a tightrope. Shift your weight to one foot and then the other, finding your center of balance. Notice how their body naturally aligns when you find your center of balance.
This time imagine you’re a superhero! Yes, you ;-) You’re wearing your superhero cape. Lift your arms and spread out your cape, feel your chest open up and your shoulders roll back (Superman Power Pose). Now maintain this power posture and bring your arms down to their sides.
Take another deep breath in through your nose and exhale slowly out your mouth, feel your body naturally align into the optimal posture for your singing.
By using these fun visualization techniques, you will not only find your personal optimal posture, but you'll also learn how to maintain it for better singing performance. Plus, you may discover your inner superhero at the same time ;-)
Your Vocal Health
When it comes to singing, taking care of your voice is super important to me as a coach and should be equally if not important to you personally. Here are some important points to consider when it comes to your vocal health:
First, the importance of staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps keep the vocal cords moist and supple, which is essential for good singing. Encourage your audience to drink at least 8 cups of water a day.
Next, consider the harmful effects of smoking and alcohol on the voice. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can cause inflammation and irritation of the vocal cords, leading to hoarseness, strain and other vocal problems.
It's important to avoid excessive coughing or throat clearing, as these actions can strain and damage the vocal cords.
It’s not difficult to drink plenty of water or use throat lozenges to alleviate any irritation and reduce the urge to cough or clear your throat.
Getting enough rest is another key factor in maintaining good vocal health. A tired or overworked voice is more susceptible to injury, so remember to prioritize your personal rest and relaxation. Be good to yourself.
Lastly, let's discuss the importance of seeing a vocal coach or speech therapist if you experience any persistent discomfort or vocal problems. A professional coach can help diagnose and treat any issues and provide tailored exercises and techniques to improve their singing and maintain good vocal health. A professional coach will also recommend you see an ENT or SLP - trained medical professional to help you with issues that go beyond their area of expertise.
By following these tips and taking care of their voice, you’ll be solidly on the path to improving your singing, avoid damaging your vocal cords and maintain your vocal health.
Ever seen a singer like Bob?
"Let's take a look at our friend Bob here, who clearly knows nothing about taking care of their voice. He’s smoking a cigarette, downing a bottle of whiskey, and clearing his throat every five seconds. Who needs water when you've got booze, right?
And check out that posture – slouching over and hunching their shoulders like he’s trying to hide a giant humpback. He’s been singing for hours now without a break, straining and pushing his voice to the limits. He knows nothing about the value of rest, partying it up every night. A clear singing expert.
But hey, at least he’s consistent – his vocal cords are just as red and raw as his throat from all that coughing and throat-clearing. If he keeps it up, he’ll have a voice like a bullfrog in no time.
So, if you want to sound like a washed-up bar singer by the age of 25, follow Bob’s lead! But if you want to actually sound good and avoid damaging your vocal cords, maybe listen to some of the tips we've been discussing."
How about Isabella
"Ah, our dear friend Isabella here has been practicing the art of vocal self-sabotage! She loves to belt out high notes without any warm-up or vocal care, as if she’s auditioning for an opera of dying cats. What's that she’s sipping on? A nice cold gin & tonic, the perfect drink for a dehydrated throat and a raspy voice.
And let's not forget that trendy posture – she slouches like she’s auditioning for the role of Quasimodo in a musical. Who needs proper alignment when you can look like a wilted plant on stage?
Na, why bother with vocal hygiene or rest? Who has time for that, right? Just push through the pain and strain until your voice sounds like a rusty chainsaw. It's a great way to show your audience how not to sing!
So, if you want to sound like a croaky frog with a beer belly, follow Isabella’s lead! But if you’d actually like to sound good and not scare away your fans, maybe try some of the healthy habits we've been discussing."
Vocal Anatomy "Light"
Here's a brief overview of the anatomy of the voice and how it works:
Our vocal sound “our voice” is created by the vibration of our vocal folds, which are located in the larynx, also known as the voice box. When we breathe in, the vocal folds open up to allow air to pass through. When we exhale, the airflow creates vocal fold oscillation, which produces sound.
It's incredible to think that the vocal folds can vibrate up to 1000 times per second! (Soprano C6) This speed capability allows us to produce a wide range of pitches and tones.
The larynx is made up of several cartilages and muscles that help to control the tension and position of the vocal folds. The hyoid bone is another important part of the larynx, which supports the tongue and other muscles involved in swallowing and speaking.
The epiglottis is a flap of tissue that starts within and extends slightly above the larynx and helps to direct food and drink away from the airway and back down into the esophagus during swallowing. It can also play a role in changing the resonance of the voice and interacting with the tongue & other moving parts of the larynx..
Our pharynx (the tube connecting your nose and mouth to your larynx & lungs or esophagus & stomach) is divided into the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx. It plays a crucial role in changing the resonance of the voice. By adjusting the shape and position of these areas, we can alter the tone, timbre & even volume of our singing.
Your tongue is another important muscle involved in singing, as it helps to create different vowel sounds by changing the shape of the oral cavity.
Finally, the embouchure, or the way you shape your lips, mouth and facial muscles, can also play a role in changing the resonance of the voice and achieving different vocal styles like rock, pop, country, opera and more.
Understanding the anatomy of your voice and how it works can help you to better control and utilize your vocal abilities, leading to more expressive and powerful singing!
Learn the most important anatomy of the voice in The Four Activities of Singing - my online course.
What is Resonance?
Resonance is the process by which the empty spaces within the vocal tract have a resonance frequency potential that can amplify the frequencies created by the vocal folds or impede and turn them off. This resonance frequency potential is determined by the size and shape of the vocal tract, which can be changed by various structures such as the tongue, lips, soft palate, openness or narrowness of the pharynx, as well as height of the larynx. Changing the shape of the vocal tract can amplify some vocal frequencies while impeding others. This can make your voice louder & clearer, or cause you to be “pitchy”, as well as making singing more easy or more difficult. The shape of your vocal tract directly affects the quality of your vocal sound. As Ingo Titze from the National Center for Voice and Speech and Johan Sundberg from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm explain, "The voice source (vocal folds) produces a complex sound spectrum, and the resonances of the vocal tract selectively enhance some frequencies while attenuating others." Understanding resonance and how it affects the vocal sound is crucial for proper vocal technique, vocal process, and vocal health.
Resonance is the quality of sound that is produced by the interaction of sound waves with the resonant properties of the vocal tract. In simple terms, it is the way that sounds waves bounce around inside your mouth, throat, and nasal cavity before they are projected out as your voice.
According to Ingo Titze, a renowned voice scientist, "Resonance is the key to power and beauty in singing." Resonance is what gives a voice its distinctive sound and tone, and it can greatly affect the quality of your vocal sound, vocal process, and vocal health.
Johan Sundberg, another influential voice scientist, explains that resonance plays an essential role in shaping the harmonic structure of the voice, which is responsible for the richness and fullness of the sound. Proper resonance can enhance vocal clarity, projection, and tonal quality, while poor resonance can cause strain, fatigue, and vocal damage.
The vocal tract extends from the laryngeal inlet (just above the vocal folds) to the lips & includes the larynx, pharynx, mouth, and nasal cavity. Each of these structures can be adjusted to create different resonant spaces, which in turn produce different sound qualities. For example, changing the shape of the mouth or the position of the tongue can alter the resonance and produce different vowel sounds.
Understanding the concept of resonance is essential for singers like you, who want to improve their vocal sound, process, and health. In learning how to adjust the vocal tract to create optimal resonance, singers can produce a more balanced, full-bodied sound that is both powerful and beautiful.
The empty space within the vocal tract, also known as the vocal resonator, has a resonance frequency potential that can amplify the frequencies created by the vocal folds. The vocal resonator can be thought of as a tube with an opening at one end (the mouth) and a closed end at the other (the larynx). When sound waves generated by the vocal folds travel up the vocal tract, they bounce back and forth between the open and closed ends of the tube, creating resonance.
The shape of the vocal tract determines the specific resonance frequencies that are amplified. When we change the shape of our vocal tract by altering the position of our tongue, lips, jaw, or soft palate, we change the resonance frequency potential of our vocal tract. This can cause some frequencies to be amplified while others are impeded.
According to Ingo Titze, a renowned voice scientist, the optimal vocal tract shape for singing is one that amplifies the harmonics of the fundamental frequency produced by the vocal folds. This is because these harmonics are the ones that carry the most important information about the singer's voice, such as their unique timbre and tone color.
Johan Sundberg, another voice scientist, has also studied the role of resonance in singing. He has found that skilled singers are able to adjust their vocal tract shape quickly and accurately in response to the demands of the music they are singing. This allows them to produce a wide range of tones and effects, from bright and piercing to warm and mellow.
In summary, resonance is a crucial concept in singing that determines the quality of the vocal sound, vocal process, and vocal health. By understanding how resonance works, singers can learn to optimize their vocal tract shape and produce the most beautiful and expressive sound possible.
Phew! That was technical! But oh so important!
Pitch & Intonation
Pitch is the musical term used to describe the highness or lowness of a sound. In singing, having good pitch accuracy means being able to sing the correct notes in a song without singing flat (too low) or sharp (too high). Intonation refers to the accuracy of your pitch in a musical performance. Being "pitchy" or struggling with intonation can be a nightmare for singers. It can be a powerful source of stress, frustration, and even embarrassment, especially when performing in front of an audience.
Most intonation and pitch problems stem from suboptimal shapes in the vocal tract, which can impede certain frequencies from being produced (see resonance above). It is usually a simple lack of technical ability on the part of the singer, which can also contribute to intonation issues. The good news is that pitch accuracy can ALWAYS be improved with practice and training.
To improve pitch accuracy, start by practicing basic ear training exercises, such as matching pitch with a reference note or singing scales. It is important to focus on the sound of each note and make small adjustments until the pitch is accurate. Using tools such as pitch pipes or tuning forks to help develop their sense of pitch. However, you’ll probably get the best results using an app made for singers to train your pitch accuracy. They’re free by the way.
Singing along with your favorite songs & artists, your brain will automatically try to match the pitch of the singer on the recording. With practice over time it will develop your listening skills, become easier to recreate & match pitch and improve your intonation.
Overall, good pitch accuracy is crucial for any singer who wants to deliver a confident and polished performance. With the right training and practice, anyone can develop their sense of pitch and improve their intonation. So, don't give up and keep on singing! Don’t despair over pitch issues. Every singer can IMPROVE their intonation. It is a skill grounded in coordination & all coordination can be improved.
Vibrato in Singing - The Basics
Vibrato is a slight oscillation or fluctuation in pitch produced by a singer's vocal cords. It is a natural, musical phenomenon that occurs when the voice produces a sustained tone.
What kinds of vibrato are there?
There are different types of vibrato, such as natural vibrato, controlled vibrato, and straight tone (no vibrato). Natural vibrato is the vibrato that occurs naturally when the singer sings without trying to manipulate it. Controlled vibrato is a deliberate, steady oscillation in pitch that a singer can control and use for musical effect.
When is it desired? When is it not?
Vibrato is often desired in classical and operatic singing, as it can add richness and depth to a singer's tone. It is not always desired in contemporary genres like pop or rock, where a straight tone may be preferred.
How does vibrato help a singer?
Vibrato can help a singer by adding a layer of expressiveness and emotion to their singing. It can also help to create a more resonant, full-bodied tone, as the slight fluctuations in pitch cause the vocal cords to vibrate more fully. To improve vibrato, singers can practice exercises that help them control the speed and intensity of the oscillation, such as sustained vowel exercises with gradual increases in vibrato.
Here are five tips for you to train your vibrato:
Breath control exercises: Vibrato is closely linked to the breath control of a singer. Practicing breath control exercises like breathing from the diaphragm and using proper support from the abdominal muscles can help improve vibrato.
Lip trills or SOVT Exercises (see my blog): Lip trills or lip bubbles involve blowing air through closed lips to create a fluttering effect. This exercise can help singers develop a controlled and consistent vibrato.
Sustaining a note: Holding a sustained note while gradually increasing and decreasing the intensity of the sound can help train the muscles responsible for producing vibrato.
Mimicking a Siren: Mimicking the sound of a siren can help to develop your vibrato. Starting with a low note and gradually moving up to a higher note while incorporating vibrato.
Practicing with a metronome: Yes, use a metronome to help train your vibrato. Setting the metronome to a slow tempo and gradually increasing the speed can help some singers develop a consistent and controlled vibrato. Why not give it a try?
Here are some fun vibrato training tricks:
"Bubble" Exercise: Make bubbles in a cup of water with a straw while sustaining a pitch. The vibrations from the bubbles can help singers develop a natural vibrato.
"Siren" Exercise: Sustain a pitch and gradually slide up and down in pitch, while keeping the airflow consistent. This exercise helps to train the vocal folds to move quickly and smoothly, resulting in a more controlled vibrato.
"Wiggle Your Jaw" Exercise: Wiggle your jaw side-to-side while sustaining a pitch. This exercise helps to loosen up the muscles around the larynx, allowing for a freer and more natural vibrato.
"Panting" Exercise: Take quick, shallow breaths while sustaining a pitch. This exercise helps to develop the diaphragm and support system, which are crucial for a controlled vibrato.
"Shake It Out" Exercise: Shake your arms, shoulders, and torso vigorously while sustaining a pitch. This exercise helps to release any tension in the body and promote a relaxed, natural vibrato.
"Wiggle Room" Exercise: Singers can stand in front of a mirror and place their hands on their hips. They can then try to wiggle their hips in time with their vibrato as they sing. This helps them feel the natural oscillation of the body and can enhance the vibrato effect.
"Bubble Bath" Exercise: Singers can fill a bathtub with warm water and add some bubbles. As they soak in the tub, they can practice singing long sustained notes with a natural vibrato. The warm water and bubbles help to relax the body and can enhance the natural vibrato effect.
"Shake It Off" Exercise: Singers can listen to a fast-paced song and practice shaking their body in time with the rhythm. This helps them develop a sense of timing and rhythm, which can be useful for producing a natural vibrato effect.
"Hummingbird" Exercise: Singers can imagine themselves as hummingbirds, flitting from flower to flower. As they do so, they can practice singing short, fluttering notes with a natural vibrato. This helps them develop a light and agile singing style.
"Laughing" Exercise: Singers can practice laughing out loud and then transitioning into singing with a natural vibrato. This helps them relax their body and develop a sense of joy and playfulness in their singing, which can enhance their vibrato effect.
Articulation in singing refers to the clarity of diction with which a singer enunciates the words of a song. It is essential to have proper articulation when singing because it helps the listener understand the lyrics and meaning of the song. Poor articulation can result in the listener missing important parts of the song's message.
One of the most common issues with articulation in singing is the tendency to mumble or slur words together, making them unintelligible. This problem can be caused by a lack of breath support or poor vocal technique, such as not opening the mouth wide enough or not forming consonants and vowels properly.
To improve your clarity of diction and articulation, here are some exercises you can try:
Tongue Twisters: Practicing tongue twisters is an excellent way to improve your articulation. Start with simple ones and work your way up to more complicated ones. Repeat them at varying speeds and rhythms to challenge yourself.
Vowel Articulation: Practice pronouncing vowels in isolation to ensure they are clear and distinct. Practice forming each vowel shape with your mouth and holding them for several seconds. Then practice transitioning between different vowels in quick succession.
Consonant Articulation: Practice pronouncing consonants clearly and with proper emphasis. Use a mirror to observe your mouth shape and position when forming different consonants.
Lip Trills: Perform lip trills to loosen up the muscles in the lips and mouth. This exercise can help improve articulation by increasing mouth flexibility and control.
Singing with a Straw: Singing through a straw can help improve articulation by forcing you to enunciate words more clearly. The straw also helps to focus the air stream, which can improve breath control and support.
CAUTION: Articulation is super important. Good articulation in singing requires understanding how consonants are produced. Consonants require tension & too much tension in singing is NEVER a good thing. Learning how to optimize your consonants and be efficient in the amount of pressure & tension you use to articulate them is key to your singing success. This is one of the easiest ways to tell amateur from professional singers apart. It’s not hard to do and can give your singing progress a quantum leap.
Improving your articulation takes time and practice, but the benefits are worth it. Clear diction, and being clearly understood can help you become a more effective and expressive singer, allowing your audience to connect more deeply with your music.
Vocal range refers to the span of notes a singer can comfortably and confidently sing. A large usable vocal range is an important aspect of singing as it allows the singer to express themselves more fully and perform a wider range of songs.
To expand your vocal range, you can try exercises like lip trills, sirens, and vocal slides. These exercises help to warm up your voice and gradually expand your range over time. It's important to practice these exercises regularly and consistently to see improvement in your range.
However, it's also important to remember that range is not everything in singing. It's more important to focus on singing in a comfortable and healthy range for your voice, rather than straining to hit high notes that may not be in your natural range.
TIP: I’ve written a detailed blog article on this subject. For more tips on strengthening your voice, increasing your range, and hitting high notes, check out my blog post on the topic: "Strengthening Your Voice, Increasing Your Range, and Hitting High Notes.".
Dynamics refer to changes in volume, intensity, and power in a singer's voice. It is an essential element of musical expression and needed to add depth, emotion, and nuance to a performance.
To improve your ability to sing softly and loudly, here are a few exercises you can try:
Lip Trills & SOVTE’s: Again? Yes, I know, but that is simply how effective these exercises are. Lip trills are a simple and effective exercise that can help you develop control over your breath and vocal cords. Start by blowing a raspberry, then transition to singing while maintaining the same buzzing sensation in your lips. Start soft and gradually increase your volume, then decrease it again. Repeat this exercise several times working on your ability to sing softly and loudly with control.
Crescendo and Decrescendo: This type of exercise involves starting a note softly and gradually increasing the volume until you reach a loud intensity, then decreasing the volume again. This helps you practice controlling the airflow and pressure of your breath while maintaining a consistent pitch.
Singing with Dynamics: Practice singing songs that have dynamic changes, such as soft verses and loud choruses. Pay attention to your breath support and control, and try to maintain a consistent tone and pitch while adjusting your volume.
Remember to warm up your voice before attempting any exercises, and be patient with yourself as you work to improve your dynamics. Consistent practice and proper technique will help you develop control over your volume and intensity.
For more tips on strengthening your voice and expanding your range, check out my blog post on "Strengthening Your Voice, Increasing Your Range, and Hitting High Notes."
“Singing exists to communicate an emotional message - there is no other reason to sing.” - Philippe Hall. Uh, yeah, that’s me quoting myself. I’m really big on this. Interpretation is a crucial aspect of singing, as it allows the performer to convey emotion and meaning to the audience. It's not just about hitting the right notes or having good technique, but also about delivering a performance that truly connects with the listener. This is where the artistry of singing really shines through.
One effective way to add emotion and expression to your singing is by taking a course on song interpretation, such as my "Emotional Layering" course - the only online course on song interpretation specifically designed for singers. Emotional Layering has received high praise from both students and industry experts.
Through this course, singers can learn how to analyze and interpret the lyrics of a song, as well as how to convey the intended emotions and meaning through their performance. This can involve exploring different vocal techniques and nuances, as well as body language and stage presence.
“There is no faking this. It’s either there or it’s not & everybody knows it. If you don’t have emotional layering in your voice you are not communicating, you’re “just making noises.”
In addition to taking a course, singers can also work on their interpretation skills by listening to recordings of other artists and analyzing their performances, as well as experimenting with different vocal techniques and dynamics in their own practice sessions.
Of course, getting coaching from a skilled expert in song interpretation & emotional communication is always worth every penny.
Overall, interpretation is a key component of singing that can elevate a performance from good to great. The best singers do not have perfect pitch & perfect technique. They understand Emotional Layering. By adding Emotional Layering to your singing, you can discover your personal vocal identity, learn how to truly connect with your audience and leave a lasting impression.
Here are some practical tips for practicing and improving your singing outside of formal lessons:
Warm up: Before you start singing, it's important to warm up your voice. This can be done with exercises like lip trills, sirens, and humming. It's also important to stretch your body and practice good posture.
Record yourself: Use a recording device to record yourself singing. Listen back to the recordings and evaluate your performance. This can help you identify areas where you need improvement and track your progress over time.
Practice regularly: Consistency is key when it comes to improving your singing. Try to practice for at least 30 minutes a day, even if it's just vocal exercises or working on a single song.
Use a metronome: Practicing with a metronome can help you develop better timing and rhythm. It can also help you maintain a consistent tempo throughout a song.
Practice with an accompaniment: Singing along with an accompaniment, whether it's a recorded track or a live musician, can help you develop your sense of pitch and timing. It can also help you learn how to blend your voice with other instruments.
Experiment with different styles: Don't be afraid to try singing different genres and styles of music. This can help you develop your versatility as a singer and discover new techniques and vocal styles.
Take breaks: It's important to take breaks and rest your voice. Singing for too long without a break can cause strain and damage to your vocal cords.
In addition to these tips, my course "Professional Practice Technique" is an invaluable online course designed to help singers develop effective practice habits and improve their singing skills. TIP: the techniques can be used to learn and improve any skill - not just singing. With this course, singers can develop a comprehensive practice routine and take their singing to the next level.
You can also visit my blog post: The Science of Vocal Warm Up: A Step-by-Step Guide to Vocal Warm Up and Voice Activation.
In conclusion, we've covered a wide range of topics related to singing, from breath control and resonance to pitch, vibrato, articulation, dynamics, and interpretation. We've provided exercises and techniques that can help singers improve their skills and expand their range.
Remember, practice is key to improving your singing, and there are many ways to practice outside of formal lessons, such as recording yourself, listening to recordings of yourself and others, and experimenting with different styles and techniques.
If you want to take your singing to the next level, we recommend checking out the professional courses and coaching offered by Philippe Hall at www.singingrevealed.com. Philippe Hall's "Professional Practice Technique" course and "Emotional Layering" course are highly recommended by experts in the industry and can provide invaluable guidance and support on your singing journey.
Keep practicing, stay passionate, and never stop exploring the beautiful world of singing!
- Philippe Hall
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & MY RESPONSES
What vocal exercises can I do to improve my singing?
Ah, vocal exercises, my favorite topic! Let's get into it. If you're looking to improve your singing, there are plenty of exercises you can try. First up, we have lip trills, which are basically the equivalent of blowing raspberries with your lips. Not only is it a fun exercise, but it also helps to warm up and strengthen your vocal cords. And who doesn't love a good warm-up?
Next, scales are a classic exercise for singers. They help you get familiar with your vocal range and can even help you hit those high notes that always seem just out of reach. Plus, there's something really satisfying about hitting a perfect note on a scale.
Now, let's talk about vowel sounds. Humming a vowel sound like "ah" and sliding the pitch up and down helps you to focus on your pitch accuracy and intonation. It's a great exercise to help you get those crystal-clear notes that everyone loves to hear.
And finally, we have slurs. No, not the kind you find in your speech when you've had a few too many drinks. These slurs are an exercise that helps you improve your breath control. By connecting notes together smoothly and controlling your breathing, you'll be able to hit those sustained notes like a pro.
Of course, these exercises are just the tip of the iceberg. If you're really serious about improving your singing, be sure to check out my blog posts on the subject - The Science of Vocal Warm Up: A Step-by-Step Guide to Vocal Warm Up and Voice Activation - for more in-depth information. And if you want to take it to the next level, I highly recommend checking out Philippe Hall's "Professional Practice Technique" course. Trust me, it's a game-changer.
How can I develop a better vocal technique?
Be good to yourself! It's a journey, not a destination. But don't worry, it's not rocket science! First, you need to warm up those vocal cords. Think of it like a workout for your voice. Start with some simple exercises like lip trills, scales and arpeggios. It's like a little spa day for your voice! Once your cords are all warmed up, it's time to focus on breath control and articulation. This is like doing sit-ups for your singing! It'll help with your range and clarity of sound. But wait, there's more! Now it's time to work on your phrasing, intonation, and emotional expression. This is where the magic happens! You'll create a unique and engaging sound that'll make people stop and listen. And don't forget to practice regularly and record yourself so you can track your progress. It's like having a personal singing coach right in your pocket!
For more details on developing better vocal techniques, check out my blog posts. And for the ultimate singing education and training program, I highly recommend our Singing Revealed online course - The Four Activities of Singing. It's the most comprehensive singing education & training program in the world. Trust me, your voice will thank you!
What tips can I use to increase my range?
If you're looking to expand your vocal range, I've got some tips for you that might help. First off, practicing vocal exercises is key. You can start with some simple scales or even try lip trills to warm up and strengthen your vocal cords. Breathing exercises are also important to improve your breath control, which can help you hit those high notes with ease. Another tip is to pay attention to your posture and alignment while singing. Making sure your body is in the right position can do wonders for your range. And don't forget to warm up properly before singing to avoid straining your voice. Remember, developing your vocal range takes time and practice, but with the right techniques, you can achieve your goals.
For more detailed information, check out my blog post on the subject. And if you're really serious about improving your singing, I highly recommend checking out Philippe Hall's Singing Revealed online courses - The Four Activities of Singing is the most comprehensive singing education and training program out there.
How can I practice to become a better singer?
Here are some tips to get you started on your journey to becoming a better vocalist:
Get Philippe Hall's "Professional Practice Technique" and learn to practice effectively.
Warm Up: Before belting out your favorite tunes, take a few minutes to warm up your vocal cords. Try humming, vocalizing on scales, or doing lip rolls or trills.
Listen To Your Voice: Sing in front of a mirror or record yourself to hear how you sound. It may feel awkward at first, but this is a great way to identify areas for improvement and track your progress.
Practice every day: To make progress, consistency is key. Try to practice for at least 30 minutes each day, focusing on technique, intonation, and breath control.
Take Voice Lessons: Consider working with a vocal coach to develop your skills. A good instructor can provide valuable feedback and help you improve in ways you never thought possible.
There are now many apps available for singers to practice with. These apps offer exercises and vocal warm-ups to help you improve your vocal range, intonation, and breath control. Staying hydrated and getting enough rest is an important part of your overall vocal health.
With a combination of regular practice, vocal coaching, and the use of technology, you can take your singing to the next level and become a better singer.
For more information, check out the latest blog posts on our website or try Philippe Hall's Singing Revealed online singing courses, The Four Activities of Singing, the most comprehensive singing education and training program in the world.
Remember, with regular practice and dedication, you can become the best singer you can be! Don't give up, keep pushing!
What techniques can I use to improve my pitch?
Improving your pitch is definitely achievable and can be very rewarding. Don't be discouraged if it seems challenging at first, as it takes time and practice to develop this skill. Here are some techniques that can help you improve your pitch:
Firstly, practicing vocal exercises such as lip trills, scales, and runs can be really beneficial for strengthening your vocal muscles and ultimately improving your pitch. Consistent practice is key, so make sure to set aside time each day to do some exercises.
Additionally, recording yourself and listening back to your singing can be incredibly helpful. It allows you to hear any mistakes and areas that need improvement so that you can work on them more effectively.
Singing with a group is also a great way to develop your pitch skills, as you learn to match your sound with those around you. This can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially if you're new to singing.
Use a pitch training APP for singers. They’re free!
Taking vocal lessons can be a game-changer. A good vocal coach can provide personalized feedback and guidance to help you improve your pitch, and teach you exercises and techniques that will benefit you in the long run.
Remember, improving your pitch is a journey that takes time and practice. Celebrate your progress along the way, and don't be afraid to seek guidance and support from others. Be good to yourself, and you'll see improvement before you know it! Consistency & Repetition are key.
How can I improve my breath control?
Everything you need to know about breath control is in my course: Airflow Control. It truly “reveals” how breathing, support, appoggio work in singing.
Improving your breath control can be a challenging but rewarding task, and it's great to see you're interested in improving your singing skills. Breath control is one of those fundamental building blocks of good singing, and it's essential for sustaining long notes, hitting high notes, and singing with emotion and expression.
There are many techniques to improve your breath control. Diaphragmatic breathing is an excellent place to start. When you inhale, focus on allowing your diaphragm to expand and fill your abdomen with air. This will help you draw in more air with each breath, allowing you to speak or sing for longer periods of time.
Breathing exercises are another great way to gain better control of your breathing. Focus on breathing from your diaphragm and take deep, slow breaths. Remember that breathing is a learned skill, and it takes time to develop. You can find many exercises in my other blog posts or resources like my online singing program: The Four Activities of Singing.
Most importantly, practice! The more frequently you practice, the more you'll improve your breath control. Aim to set aside some time each day to focus on your breathing and practice taking deep, slow breaths. Don't be discouraged if it takes time to see progress - improving breath control is a process, and everyone progresses at their own pace.
Remember, the journey to becoming a great singer is all about consistency and dedication. Keep practicing these techniques, and you'll soon see a significant improvement in your breath control. Keep up the good work, and don't forget to have fun along the way!
What methods can I use to develop better vocal tone?
Improving your vocal tone can be an exciting journey, and there are many ways to achieve this goal. One way is to practice vocal exercises regularly, which can help you warm up your voice, increase your pitch accuracy, and improve your overall clarity. Check out some of the vocal exercises in my previous blogs, and you can also consider exploring the Four Activities of Singing by Philippe Hall, which includes breathing, phonation, resonance, and articulation.
Another great method for developing better vocal tone is to work on your breathing technique. Diaphragmatic breathing is an excellent way to increase the amount of air you can take in and control, which can help you project your voice with more strength and control. You can find breathing exercises online, or consider taking vocal lessons with a coach to help you develop your breath control further.
Lastly, don't be afraid to experiment with vocal adjustments like changing the volume or pitch of your voice to give it more variety. This can add more interest and excitement to your singing or speaking performances. Remember, improving your vocal tone takes time, patience, and practice. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve your goals and become the best vocalist you can be!
How can I learn to better control my vibrato?
TIP: I shared a lot of strategies in this blog post - revisit them.
Learning to control your vibrato can be challenging but with consistent practice, you can improve your vibrato control and become a better singer. Remember, practice makes perfect! Make sure to set aside time each day to practice and focus on developing your vibrato control.
It's also important to listen carefully to other singers and musicians who have great vibrato control. You can learn a lot from their sound and try to emulate it in your own singing. Don't be afraid to experiment with different ways of using vibrato, such as different speeds, intensity, and even different vocal registers.
Getting feedback from a vocal coach or teacher can also be extremely helpful. They can provide you with tips on how to improve your vibrato control and identify areas for improvement. Check out Philippe Hall's Singing Revealed The Four Activities of Singing and other resources to learn more about vibrato and vocal control.
Learning to control your vibrato takes time and dedication, but with patience and persistence, you can achieve great results. Keep practicing and never give up on your dream of becoming a great singer!
How can I become more confident in my singing?
Becoming more confident in your singing takes more than just practicing; it also requires a mindset shift. You need to believe in yourself and your abilities and have a positive outlook on your progress. Here are some tips to help you build confidence in your singing:
Visualize success - Picture yourself performing confidently and receiving applause from the audience. This visualization can help you feel more prepared and confident when it comes time to perform.
Surround yourself with supportive people - Surround yourself with friends, family, and mentors who will encourage and support your singing. Having people who believe in you can make a big difference in your confidence level.
Practice positive thinking - Avoid negative self-talk and focus on your progress and strengths. Remember that everyone makes mistakes and that practice makes perfect.
Believe in yourself - Believe that you have the ability to improve and become a great singer. This belief in yourself can give you the confidence you need to succeed.
Seek guidance - Working with a vocal coach or mentor can be a great way to gain valuable feedback and guidance. They can help you identify areas for improvement and provide tips and exercises to help you grow as a singer.
By incorporating these tips into your singing practice, you can build your confidence and become a more confident singer. Remember, singing should be enjoyable, so make sure to have fun and enjoy the process of improving.
What advice can I follow to become a better singer?
Do you dream of becoming a better singer? I sincerely believe everybody can improve their singing! No exceptions!
One of the best ways to get there is by following my philosophy on singing. It's all about taking control of your thoughts and habits to change the way you think about singing.
First things first, it's essential to educate yourself. Learn about how your voice works and what exercises you need to do to improve your vocal range, pitch, and timbre. Remember, your voice produces exactly what you ask it to, so it's crucial to think positively and believe in yourself.
Next, create better singing habits. This takes time and effort. To do this, you'll need to rewire your neurological pathways by thinking positively about singing and practicing meaningful exercises the right way to build muscle memory. It takes about 6-12 weeks to create new habits, so be patient with yourself.
Thirdly, every singer needs guidance and mentorship to apply and execute the knowledge and exercises they're learning correctly. Improper execution will not produce the desired result and could even cause more problems. So, find a qualified singing teacher or coach who can provide you with feedback, critique your performance, and offer guidance and support.
It's important to take care of your physical and mental health as well. Singing can be physically demanding, so make sure you're getting enough rest, drinking plenty of water, and eating a healthy diet. Additionally, take care of your mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, which can affect your voice.
Remember, most singers don't have many problems to correct. Most issues are "symptomatic" or sympathetic compensations of the body attempting to correct for an imbalance in the singing process. When the root problems have been eliminated and corrected, the sympathetic vocal issues disappear on their own.
So, if you want to become a better singer, educate yourself, practice, take care of your physical and mental health, get guidance and mentorship, and most importantly, practice patience. With time and effort, you can improve your singing and achieve your goals!
Follow the tips outlined here and the advice from my other blogs. Fast track your path to personal singing success with my Singing Revealed Online courses” “The Four Activities of Singing.”
Never give up on your singing dream! You were built to sing!
Ready to increase your knowledge & know-how about becoming a better singer?
Get the buzz on the latest by visiting my YouTube and Social media channels for professional tips & techniques on how to activate (warm up) your voice, keep it healthy, train it, develop it & develop professional vocal technique. @singingrevealed
Would you like more specific exercises & instructions on how to execute these correctly, get the most out of your voice & keep it healthy for life?
You'll find detailed information on the "How To" become a better singer in my online singing courses:
If you're looking for singing lessons, vocal coaching & personal mentoring check out
It's time to stop struggling and start singing!
Make the most powerful,
life-changing shift in your singing.
Get your FREE mini-course!
Get to know more about the Four Activities of Singing and enjoy some free tips that can improve your singing immediately.
Your information is used for internal purposes only.