Everybody can sing, the difference between singers is the quality of their voice, some have naturally a well-pleasing high-quality voice, while others are not so lucky. However even bad singers can become great ones, the big difference between the naturally talented one and the untalented one is how much they have to work on their voice. Do not be discouraged if your voice isn’t the best sounding one, with enough practice you will get your desired voice, practice makes perfect.
As a beginner singer, your first step is to learn how to breathe correctly, because how you breathe while you are singing will determine how your voice will sound. After you have mastered the first step it is time to learn a couple of simple vocal techniques, finding your range and your voice. Once you have the basics of singing at a comfortable level then you can start experimenting with different songs and singing methods.
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Through the years I have seen a lot of people giving up on singing after trying just for a few months, usually, the main reason is that they set way too high expectations for themselves. I have often said that singing is just like bodybuilding if you want to get big in the bodybuilding scene or a famous singer you will have to put in years of work. People who rely on their looks or money to get into the music industry tend not to last long and usually, they fade away fast.
Luckily there are a lot of exercises which you can do to improve the quality of your voice, if you read my article How to improve voice quality naturally ( 10 Quick and Easy Steps ), you will find several quick and easy ways to do it. The best way to learn to sing is to teach yourself to sing there are a couple of vital steps which you need to take, the below list is of 14 steps which are all vital for your singing success.
Step 1: Correct breathing is vital for good singing
If you are serious about singing then your first task should be to learn to breathe correctly, singing takes a lot of effort. If you have ever tried to sing in front of a mirror you probably noticed that your body becomes exhausted after just a few minutes, this is mostly because your body is not used to singing. The amount of air your lungs can inhale will directly affect how long you can sing, although this will also depend on the type of song you are singing.
Take a deep breathe and start singing, do not cross the point where you are already gasping for air as this gasping sound will be heard and the quality of your voice will drop significantly. Make a couple of breathing exercises in front of the mirror or laying down. If your main focus is to sing from your diaphragm than lay down, put on hand over your stomach, and repeatedly inhale and exhale, you should notice your stomach will expand and contract if you are doing it correctly. If you want more information on how you can get better at singing, then check out my recent article How to sing better ( Top 47 Tips and Industry Secrets ).
If your main goal is to sing from your chest then go in front of a mirror, relax your shoulders and simply inhale and exhale. Although as you are probably a beginner you do not know if you even can sing from your chest or diaphragm, in this case, start with breathing exercises for your chest. You will find a lot of beginner singing tips online, but most of them will try to sell you some kind of product, my recommendation is to learn from free sources at first and once you are comfortable with your voice you can invest actual money in improving it.
Step 2: Relax and meditate before singing
Most people underestimate the power of relaxing and meditation, however, if you have been at a job interview really nervous you probably already know that this nervousness complicates your life and makes the task at hand even harder than it should be. Being nervous at a singing audition where the competition is fairly high will be detrimental as your voice will sound fake and unnatural, this could get even worse if you panic as most beginner singers often do. If you are serious about signing my recommendation is to set aside 10-15 minutes every day for meditation and relaxation practices.
To relax you should choose a comfortable sitting position which is upright, close your eyes and inhale and exhale, try not to think of the daily problems or if your singing performance will be ok or not. Your main goal is not only to calm your brain but also your body, there are a lot of forms of meditations to choose from, my suggestion is to go on YouTube and pick the one that works for you. After practicing relaxing yourself and meditation before singing you will notice a significant increase in the quality of your singing voice.
Step 3: Drink water to lubricate your vocal cords
If you have read my article ( Top 18 ) Foods to improve singing voice, you already know how important hydration for singers is, especially for beginner ones. While inhaling and exhaling your body loses a lot of water, in addition to this when you sing your body loses even more water. Singing while being even slightly dehydrated is detrimental to your voice, not only you can injure your vocal cords but the quality of your sound will be much worse.
Most singers avoid eating any food before they are singing, however, this could lead to dehydration and a constant state of hunger which is not great for singing. My recommendation is to eat some light food like a salad an hour or two before you start singing and drink plenty of water. Do note that eating a big meal or a salty meal will make you thirsty and the thirst will kick in after you start singing as you are losing a lot of water while doing it, this could lead to sore throat with which you can not sing.
Step 4: Posture does impact your singing
The posture you have will directly affect the quality of your voice, to test how much it affects your voice, lay down and start singing for a couple of minutes, after which stand up and sing for a couple of minutes. It is a good idea to record yourself to compare the quality of your singing, but in most cases, you will find that laying down will distort your voice by quite a lot. The correct posture for singing is by standing up straight, having your shoulders relaxed, and have your chin slightly downwards.
Step 5: Warm-up up your vocal cords before singing
It is essential to warm up before singing, as this uses a lot of muscles during the process. In addition to warming up your body, you also need to warm up your vocal cords as these could get strained after extensive singing. You can warm up your vocal cords with the simple humming technique which is simply humming a song with your mouth closed if you have never tried this exercise my suggestion is to try it out as it is especially beneficial for beginner singers.
Step 6: Working out is beneficial for singers
Yes, you have heard it correctly, in order to get better at singing you will need to work out. By working out I am not necessarily talking about lifting weights although this is also a good workout for singers. You need to put some kind of stress on your body to kickstart its growth, as one of the most important aspects of singing is breathing my recommendation is to do exercises which facilitate the strengthening of your lungs, like jogging, running and even swimming.
By working out not only you will have better stamina to sing for a long time but you will also fatigue less quickly. Generally, speaking beginner singers will start gasping for air only after a couple of minutes of singing, by working out you will notice that it will take a lot longer time to get to the gasping phase as your body is already used to physical activity, and yes singing is also physical activity.
Step 7: Record your singing for self-reflection
Ever noticed that there is a big difference in how you sound in your head and how you sound when you are singing with your mouth. This is the same case when singing to yourself in your bathroom and singing with a microphone, in most cases beginner singers are horrified of how they sound after they have recorded themselves. However, this is a natural reaction and it will get some time to get used to listening to your own sound.
If you have recorded yourself and you are not amazed by your voice, just keep on practicing. Keep on recording yourself while singing and once every month compare how you sounded in the first recording and the most recent one, if you have been practicing your voice should sound a lot better, not only because you got used to hearing your recorded voice but also because your voice actually got better.
Step 8: Find your vocal range
After practicing singing for a while you will notice that you are having difficulty hitting certain lower or higher notes, this is your actual vocal range. However you can still increase your vocal range by practicing hitting those difficult low or high notes, but untill you can not hit these notes without much difficulty and sounding clearly you will be stuck on that vocal range. If you find it extremely difficult to increase your range do not worry as most singers have a certain pitch and no singer can sing every note perfectly.
Step 9: Let others criticize your singing
Sooner or later you have to let others criticize your voice as this will be a vital step in your overall growth to becoming a better singer. Believe it or not, this step is crucial, as depending on your personality you will not be able to be your best person to criticize your own voice, you either too optimistic or too pessimistic when it comes to your own voice. Knowing which part you need to work on when it comes to your voice will determine if the quality of your voice will improve or become even worse over time.
Not so long ago before the age of broadband internet, you didn’t have a lot of options when it comes to somebody listening to you sing and give helpful feedback. However today you have a lot of options with sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. There are people who hit it big with YouTube if you have ever heard about Justin Bieber then you probably already know that he was found on YouTube and become famous by posting videos of his singing.
Step 10: Find your voice
Honestly finding your voice is easier said than done, some people find their voice naturally while others have to experiment with different singing types before they find theirs. If you have read my article Famous alto singers, you will find that singing alto is kind of difficult and most of the singers in the list have one thing in common which is that they have been raised in a singing family predominantly church singing which favors the development of the alto voice.
Some singers take years of experimentation to find their voice, oftentimes even after they hit it big with a song or album they still experiment to find their own voice, and sometimes they might even change the type of music that they are singing.
Step 11: Practice singing daily
If you are serious about singing then you can not sing or practice once in a while when you feel like doing so, consistency is the key to anything in life, no matter if you want to learn to sing better, make more money or grow bigger muscles. For the first couple of months, you will have to force yourself to practice, your brain will play tricks on you and find excuses not to practice singing every day, you have to fight it and continue practicing every day.
The best way to practice singing every day is by having a daily routine, if you are young you probably will not have any problem squeezing in an hour a day of singing practice. However some people have busier lives than others, in this case, you should still practice singing every day but limit yourself to 20-30 minutes, in this case, your progress will be slower but you will still see results in the long run.
Step 12: Focus on diction while singing
If you are a beginner singer you are probably asking yourself what is diction, diction is the correct way to pronounce a word, it might sound easy and simple but if you have never considered how to pronounce a word correctly you might have some difficulties in the beginning. Some naturally talented singers with a good voice completely disregard diction and this is why you hear a lot of songs where you can simply not understand what the singer is singing.
Step 13: Have confidence while singing
No matter what you do in life in order to be successful at anything you will need to have confidence in yourself and in your own ability to sing. Generally speaking, confident people are considered strong, this reflects not only in their singing voice but also in their speaking voice, most often times people with confidence also speak a lot clearer and calmer than those who lack confidence. If you are naturally shy or introverted you have to face your own fears, this way you will become a lot stronger and confident.
Step 14: Hire a vocal coach
When you are ready to take your singing to the next level you can hire a vocal or singing coach, they will help you cross the brick wall where you got stuck with your voice. Just keep in mind to do as much research as possible on which vocal coach you choose as they are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there. Try to find out who have they coached and listen to their pupil’s voices if you have the possibility, generally speaking, you should find some samples only.
Just keep in mind not to take into consideration the “testimonials” and proofs of any vocal coaching website as these can be easily faked.
When it comes to how to sing for beginners step by step there are only 14 steps which you need to follow, however, you need to practice all these steps constantly and after a couple of months, you will see the results of your hard work. Nothing comes easy in life, this is true for singers also, most become discouraged after a couple of months only to restart their practices a couple of months later and repeat the same process, with that kind of attitude you will not succeed, remember consistency is the key.