No matter what you have heard, the best singing tip is to sing! Not so much to practice. You need to log your hours singing to audiences, like someone learning to fly — they rack up their flying “hours” before they are issued their pilot’s license. Once those hours are completed, you are in command of where and for whom you wish to sing, and what price you will charge for your talents.
Here are some singing tips to help you get started.
1. Sing to audiences ‘til you get used to it. You will evolve very quickly into feeling natural “on stage”. If you are not comfortable, you won’t sing your best. Commit to finding a place to sing as many times in the next 2-3 months as possible, until you are relaxed in front of groups.
2. Look at your local or nearby calendar of events, easily found online. Check out the open mic events, talent nights and jam sessions, as well as places you can volunteer to sing. This could be a senior care home, the children’s ward of the hospital, your church, school events…. Anywhere people gather is a potential place to sing. Even a shopping area where you can plant yourself in a place a lot of people pass through.
3. Remember, singing is just slow talking, talking with a beat and a lilt. A common mistake of singers is failing to use their voice the same way they naturally use it when they speak.
4. Avoid pushing to attempt to sing a passage that your voice is not accommodating naturally. With each attempt, it gets worse. Something is preventing you from singing a passage as you would like to. To discern why your voice isn’t doing what you what, you may need to consult with a (good) teacher who can analyze what’s happening. If the teacher knows what he or she is doing, you will learn how to adjust your voice so you can achieve the result you desire. Check the blog about speech level singing for more about this.
5. What’s all this fuss about “breathing technique”? When you are singing, breathe the same way you do all time. If you can feel your belly move up and down as you breathe, that’s all you need to sing your best. Sometimes singers think they are breathing wrong, and then they get stressed out. As shown on a biofeedback monitor, people under stress hold their breath or breathe much faster. Have you ever seen a scared animal? The tense up. Try it right now — imagine someone is chasing you and you are scared for your life. Notice your breathing? Your neck and shoulders get tight; you are kind of “frozen in fear”. Now try singing. You can’t because your air is shut off. The stress is what messes up your breathing, and therefore your singing.
Stay tuned for more singing tips from the pros who’ve taught everyone from Stevie Wonder to Keith Urban.