There’s no shortage of advice when it comes to singing/vocal technique. But where do you start? Here are the top 5 tips for beginner singers.
You can’t sing well without singing in tune! And singing in tune starts with the ability to match pitch: being able to hear a pitch and sing that exact pitch.
You can measure your current ability to match pitch by playing a reference pitch on an online tuner, singing the pitch you hear, and then checking to see how close you got with a chromatic tuner. I recommend using headphones so the chromatic tuner only analyzes your pitch (not the piano’s).
For male voices, try matching D3; that should be comfortably low, speaking-voice range. For female voices, try C4; again, you should be comfortable there.
Consider downloading a chromatic tuner or ear training app to keep practising. Check out this video for more instructions on the matching pitches.
Vocal range extension is a goal of most beginning singers – but that happens over time, and it’s helpful to know where you’re currently comfortable! Follow the steps in this video or article for a vocal range chart to help you determine your range. You might be a tenor, where you’ll be going into your falsetto register much sooner than an alto would. Once you’ve determined your range from the various vocal ranges, you can find songs to sing on this website or check the range of your favourite song here.
Vocal development happens by learning and developing the coordination of healthy singing. Good voice teachers design vocal warm-ups to help your voice find these coordinations, and you establish your “technique” by returning to those coordinations over and over again. One “magic” tip from a skilled teacher can certainly help you at the moment, but the real “magic” happens when you make good technique habitual.
I know it’s tempting to shoot for the moon and try to sing “Listen” by Beyoncé – but until you’ve developed the coordination to sing that song, you’re likely to get frustrated and burn out. Start with songs that feel like an easy fit, and check out this article for some other suggestions
There’s a lot to learn – but you don’t have to learn it all at once! Consider subscribing to a podcast like “The Intelligent Vocalist” or “The Naked Vocalist” to get regular doses of vocal education. Subscribe to quality YouTube channels with educated, qualified instructors (like 30 Day Singer if you haven’t already)! Commit to learning a little at a time, because as your knowledge grows, you can implement what you’ve learned and gain even more vocal control.
Camille van Niekerk is a vocal coach and writer for 30-Day Singer.
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