How do I improve my singing

Learn to sing: 16 tips and exercises for the perfect start

Anyone who listens to music knows the desire to be able to sing like their favorite singer for once. So it makes sense to try it out for yourself. Be it at karaoke, in the shower or with children - imitating melodies with your voice is fun. No wonder, because singing increases well-being and is good for the immune system. Yet few have really learned to sing or have the time and money to take singing lessons. With our tips and exercises you can train your voice and quickly learn to sing better.

Learn to sing in the online course

On-site singing lessons are expensive and time-consuming. In addition, it is difficult to find a really qualified singing teacher with whom you are on the same wavelength. An alternative to learning to sing are online courses that consistently combine instructional videos, audio exercises and written summaries.

Singing teacher Matthias Ernst Holzmann

Our recommendation is the course Sing with passion by Matthias Ernst Holzmann, an extremely renowned opera singer, audio book speaker and vocal coach (Wikipedia entry). In 31 lessons, Holzmann gives easily comprehensible and well-structured instructions for improving singing technique in your own four walls. The course consists of more than two hours of online videos and numerous additional materials.

Our opinion: “Sing with passion” is a professionally designed course with a personable trainer, with which participants can actually improve their voice in the long term. And all that for a total price that singing teachers usually take for a single lesson.

To the online course

Everyone can learn to sing!

A good basic requirement is the fact that almost everyone is able to learn to sing. It is well known that even infants can produce very loud sounds because they instinctively master the right technique: abdominal breathing. This ability can be regained through practice, developed and then produced far more melodious tones than an unsatisfied baby.

When learning to sing, decide on a type of singing

Before looking for a choir or a singing teacher, you should ask yourself the following question: Are I interested in classical singing, or do I prefer to devote myself to pop, rock or jazz singing? The fundamental difference between the two groups is that the latter types of singing are more oriented towards the speaking voice. Classical singing is an art form of its own. The voice is artificially changed. The vocal cords are elongated by the vocal cartilage and thereby thinner - this technique is called Tild. The resulting sound quality is far removed from the speaking voice.

Get to know your own voice

Learn to sing: tips & exercises for all ages

“Learning to sing is like a journey to yourself,” says Uta Habbig, jazz singer and singing teacher. The voice is the most intimate instrument one can use to make music. Because every mood and every feeling has an effect on the voice, so we reveal a lot about ourselves with every vocal utterance. So if you are afraid to open up to others, it can be a little difficult at first. On the other hand, learning to sing is also a good way to get rid of such fears.

Anatomical features that are fundamental to singing are the larynx and the vocal folds in it. These create the sound of the voice. That is why everyone has their own voice color, also called timbre. For example, some people have vocal folds that never close completely. As a result, some air always escapes without causing the vocal folds to vibrate. But that's not a bad thing, it can even be used as a stylistic device when singing.

In the course of their training, professional singers have acquired a whole repertoire of variants with which they can change the voice. But even when you start out, you bring a range of voice attitudes with you. Uta Habbig says that everyone is shaped by music that they like to hear and sing along with. These forms of voice can be used as a basis and expanded in class.

Find indifference

Everyone has an innate range of tones called ambitus. You can also expand this through practice and lessons. It is based on the relaxed voice, the indifference. You can find this by observing the pitch of the voice in a relaxed conversation. From there you can work on expanding the limits of your own ambitus.

Loosen face

In order to be able to sing relaxed, one should loosen the face, especially the cheeks, but also the throat and the diaphragm. One way is to pretend you're yawning. Stroking your cheeks can also help make your face more flexible and open your mouth wider - an aspect that should not be overlooked so that your singing can be heard easily!

Understand anatomy and technology

In order not to have any complaints and to be able to control your voice in stressful situations such as performances, it is important to master the technique. When learning to sing, this particularly affects breathing and the diaphragm. The latter is a muscle that separates the lungs from the abdomen. The diaphragm rises and falls with the breath. The more pressure the diaphragm creates while forcing the air out of the lungs, the louder the sound will be.
The diaphragm can be trained by exhaling forcefully three times with an “f” sound, as if blowing out a candle. Inhaling quickly also moves and loosens the diaphragm. To do this, pretend to be scared!

Breathing while singing

The basis of the singing is abdominal breathing. You need high breathing, i.e. breathing into the chest, in order to achieve top performance quickly. However, you don't need a lot of air to sing. Rather, it is important to control breathing in such a way that you can generate specific sounds. You can also prevent overexertion while singing with the right breathing technique.
To practice this, place your hand on your stomach and inhale. If the abdominal wall lifts, you are doing it right. This test can also be done on the sides by placing your hands on your waist and inhaling. There, too, the abdominal cavity should widen if the breathing is to be used in the best possible way for singing. The upper part of the torso should also be included, which is why the hands can also be placed on the ribs to control the expansion of the abdomen. You should make sure that your shoulders stay relaxed. Then the quality of your sung notes will improve.

Body attachment

This is the name given to the idea that you can use your entire body to sing in order to take the tension out of your throat and not to overexert it. The whole body serves as a resonance space that amplifies the sounds that arise in the larynx. While high notes tend to vibrate in the head and upper body, lower notes tend to be felt in the stomach.
Certain ways of using the voice can also sound in the head or in the back of the head. The following exercise will teach you to feel where the voice is sounding: Try to speak like a witch. Then imitate the laugh of a Santa Claus. Pay attention to where you notice the vibrations of the voice. Those of the witch should be felt further up front, those of Santa Claus further back in the head.

The myth of the head and chest voice

The naming of certain tones as chest or head voices is based on the perception that the voice sounds more down or up in the body. But there is no such subdivision. From a certain height onwards, tones can only be achieved by using the “tild” technique explained above. Then the vocal folds are artificially elongated. However, this is not tightly tied to specific pitches. If you exert more pressure, i.e. tense your diaphragm more while singing, you only have to use the tild for higher notes than when you sing softly. This is often done with soul singing. The technique of shifting the need for tild to higher notes by applying pressure is called belting.

Learning to Sing: The Posture

The posture of the body should provide good conditions for the voice to develop. To do this, stand firmly with both feet, but relaxed. The knees do not have to be fully stretched, but rather remain flexible. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed and not pulled towards your ears - even when singing high notes.

Train your hearing

Recognizing given tones with your ear and singing them along with your voice is a complex matter. It may be difficult at first. One reason for this can be that the hearing is overwhelmed by the multitude of noises in everyday life. So give your ears breaks every now and then or try to hear sounds one at a time.

Voice maintenance

Drinking plenty of water helps the voice, smoking and screaming are toxic. Before you really get started, you should get started. Use simple tone sequences for this. Sage sweets help with a scratchy throat.

Sing in

At the beginning of each practice session, allow your voice to warm up. This will make your voice more flexible. Sing a middle C and starting from there D E F G and then down again F E D C. Then starting from C start a semitone higher and sing a scale up and down from this tone (C sharp / D flat). Use an instrument, a tuning fork or an app for orientation!

Relaxation and a good mood

The psyche has an immediate effect on the voice. Because mental tension leads to muscular tension. This affects the vocal apparatus. On the other hand, it can help to breathe in deeply, hold it, breathe in again and let the air out by making “f” sounds in quick succession. Singing in a good mood is the best way to learn to sing. But the opposite can also be the case, because singing puts you in a good mood.

Find the right teacher

Therefore it is also important to find a suitable singing teacher or the right choir director. When searching, well-being should serve as the topmost criterion: After the lesson, nothing should hurt you. So if you feel a sore throat or tension in your throat or shoulders, it's better to try another singing lesson or choir rehearsal!

Learn to sing: stay tuned

Your voice and hearing get better when you train them. Hence, one should be patient with oneself. Don't expect top performance right from the start! Fun and joy should be the main focus when singing. And that pays off: after all, when you sing, you learn to control your voice in other situations too. This can even be helpful for important conversations or lectures.

Learn to sing in the online course

On-site singing lessons are expensive and time-consuming. In addition, it is difficult to find a really qualified singing teacher with whom you are on the same wavelength. An alternative to learning to sing are online courses that consistently combine instructional videos, audio exercises and written summaries.

Singing teacher Matthias Ernst Holzmann

Our recommendation is the course Sing with passion by Matthias Ernst Holzmann, an extremely renowned opera singer, audio book speaker and vocal coach (Wikipedia entry). In 31 lessons, Holzmann gives easily comprehensible and well-structured instructions for improving singing technique in your own four walls. The course consists of more than two hours of online videos and numerous additional materials.

Our opinion: “Sing with passion” is a professionally designed course with a personable trainer, with which participants can actually improve their voice in the long term. And all that for a total price that singing teachers usually take for a single lesson.

To the online course
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