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Do You Ever Wish that You Could Sing Better?

Many people wish that they could sing better than they do, even if they only sing along with the radio or to their favorite songs on a CD. The truth is that even professional singers are continually working on being better at their trade. We may think that they already have outstanding voices, but part of what makes a good singer good is the drive to sing even better.

I’ve mentioned that I used to do a lot of singing and that a few years ago, my voice headed for the basement. I don’t mean that my voice got worse, not that it was ever great. But I used to sing tenor with ease. Suddenly, and it really was sudden, over the course of about 6 months, my voice dropped to the alto and bass registers, which I’d previously struggled with.

Since I like to sing, I decided to start working on it. I’ve never had any formal training in singing, though I wish now that I did. The problem is that voice coaches cost a lot of money. I don’t have a lot of money. So I’ve been working on picking up tips when I can, such as by watching voice coach reactions to singers and songs. They often mention a tidbit of information that is quite useful and it doesn’t cost a penny.

My “voice reclamation project”, as I think of it, is an ongoing process to sing better and I’m not in a rush, but I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned and continue to share if there is any interest in this by other people here.

Actually, I’ve already shared one important point; the importance of posture while singing. Most people know this, but don’t really think about it. However, if you watch a good singer, one thing you might notice is that even if they move around a lot, they stand up straight when they sing. This puts the least amount of strain possible on the vocal system.

There are many components to the voice, but it is all controlled with tiny muscles. Like any other muscles in the body, the more you exercise the vocal muscles, the stronger they become and the more control you end up having over your voice. One of the first tips I picked up is the need for daily exercise. Even without anything else I could share, this is something that will improve your voice. What you sing isn’t important, as long as you don’t force it. The point is to try to sing a little every day or even more often.

By doing this, your voice will improve, and yes, that is an absolute statement. It also happens to be true. If a person has a goal of running a marathon, they will probably start out by jogging every day, to work those leg muscles. Singing daily is no different, it just uses different muscles.

I guess that my biggest question would be, how many people want to sing better and would be interested in what I can share and will be able to share as I continue along this path? If nobody is interested, it does no good for anyone for me to share what I’m learning. If anyone is interested, though, it could be quite helpful and we can all learn together. Oh, and one last thing; you don’t need to be musically talented in order to sing well. Many great singers are nearly tone-deaf. You’d never know it from listening to them. Never think that you don’t have enough talent to sing better. All you really need is the interest and dedication to make it happen. I’m not a professional singer nor a voice coach, but this is something I can share if there is an interest. My goal isn’t to cut and release a single, it is merely to sing better.

  • Question /

    Do you want to be able to sing better?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I don’t like to sing and don’t want to sing
  • Question /

    Would you be interested in me sharing what I’m earning about voice improvement?

    • Yes
    • No
    • It would bore me

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Written by Rex Trulove

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8 Comments

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  1. One reason that I play so many musical instruments is that I can’t really trust my voice when I sing, sometimes it cracks right in the middle of a note and that really bothers me. So I play teach and perform on flute, clarinet, saxophone, guitar. and well harmonica.

    • I play 9 instruments and what I’m finding is that practice with a voice is every bit as important as practice with an instrument. I’m fond of many singers and groups, but one thing that is true of all of my favorites is that they spend many hours, just practicing. Many years ago, I performed Flight Of The Bumblebee on the trumpet. I probably spent several hundred hours practicing it. I wouldn’t expect to sing How Great Thou Art with only 10-20 hours of practice, or my voice wouldn’t just break, it would shatter into tiny pieces. 😀

  2. Breathing properly is vital. Unfortunately, if your idea of singing is thrusting a microphone an inch from your mouth, there is little incentive to get the breathing right. Another big mistake is to sing from the back of the throat – this produces the terrible nasal” intonation that seems to be so popular these days. Again, this comes down to not breathing properly.

    Another of my pet hates is non-American singers who insist on sounding like Americans. The worst offender in my book for this is Elton John – surely one of the worst ever singers to have made it “big”. One odd thing is that “real” American singers – i.e. singers of opera and lieder – do not sound American when they sing!

    • It is interesting that you mentioned Elton John. I disliked him until he wrote and sang Do You Feel The Love Tonight. I really liked it. There are several people I really like listening to who ‘sing American’ but who aren’t American. For instance, I love Olivia Newton-John. You’re right, though. Some try to force it and it sounds too unnatural, rather like Dick Van Dykes phony Brit accent in Mary Poppins.

      Yes, breathing is important and most people who start singing don’t realize that it is something that isn’t natural, it must be taught. At least, the proper way to do it must be. Most of the singers I enjoy the most have beautiful chest voices and that requires proper breathing. A head voice does have its place, but it normally isn’t my favorite, at least, unless it is a female voice hitting high suprano notes.

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