Teach Yourself to Sing (FAQs)

Do you know how to teach yourself to sing?

As it so happens, repetition is key for learning, as that is how you communicate to your brain that the information is important.

Below is a checklist of things I suggest you learn.

If you see a point you want to know more about, click on it and the post will open in a new window.

• Do you have any potential as a singer?
• What are you best at singing?
• What is proper breathing like?
• How do you value your gift?
• What does good posture look like?
• Why is learning to sing so worthwhile?
• How do you stretch for singing?
• How do you warm up your vocals?
• Is practice important?
• How do you practice singing?
• How do you learn to perform?
• Is it possible to overcome fear?
• How do you become a famous or even infamous singer?

Anything else you would like to know? Post a question.

 

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How to Become a Famous Singer

The Teach Yourself to Sing Series ~ Part 12 ~ How to Become a Famous Singer

The two keys to becoming famous are connecting your potential audience and giving value, today this fastest through Video.

Below I go over some keys to success.

Step #1 Develop Value for Video

You do not have to be the best singer to be famous, but you do need to offer value.

The author, of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” Robert Kiyosaki stated that he may not be the best author, but he is a best-selling author.

If you can show people a reason to watch and keep their interest, you have made a great start on finding fame. Once you have developed your value you need to…

Step #2- Post Your Videos on YouTube

When people see your videos, they can see your value added. In this form, it is easier for people to to share your videos and for you to grow your fan base.

A useful video series to help with this is “Brand Personalization” with Dustin Salmons, it’s a thirty day-free course. It does take some time to go through, but if you apply what he suggests you will be ahead of your competition.

Step #3- Interact as Much as You Can.

In the course mentioned above, Dustin talked about the importance of seeing YouTube as a community, not just a video production location.

Often people watch videos, that are not particularly informative or entertaining in a standard sense, but the Video Producers and Video bloggers are like friends to those watching them.

For the observers, it is all about the people and the relationship. Sometimes it is nice to listen to friends talk, even if that is all there is to it.

Be that friend to people, give behind-the-scenes videos or other video blogs, and you may find yourself going further, than anyone would have expected.

Interaction can also help, by giving you opportunities to collaborate on creative projects (YouTube videos, etc.). By simply having the right connections, you can significantly develop your promotional efforts.

Tip #4- Use Social Media

It is important, but YouTube is not the only way to connect socially.

A Facebook fan page is another great way to connect with fans and potential fans. You can even give free mp3s through your fan page for those who ‘like’ your page. (http://www.bandrx.com/)

Starting a Twitter account is another great approach, whenever you release a video or blog, etc., Tweet about it.

Tip #5- Get a Manager

Mastering all the aspects of this business can be difficult, but managers can help promote you and find opportunities for you to perform. They can also connect you with songwriters and record labels.

If you have a good fan base online, your manager can help make the most of it and develop it for you, though keep some control, those fans are valuable! A Record Label that sees your’ pulling power might find it hard to resist you.

Tip #6- Develop You Gifts and Talents

You are more than just your voice, you are a performer, and a person. Having other gifts like playing the piano, guitar, or another instrument can help amplify that performance.  It can give you an edge on the competition.

Bonus tip: Learning an instrument can really help your singing develop further and help you relate to those you collaborate with.

Tip #7- Join Singing Contests

Try joining big contests on television. By making it to the main finals of these shows like American Idol, X Factor, and The Voice, you will gain fans to buy your album(s) and CD’s. Any respectable contest or opportunity is wise.

Look into your local churches, choir and even the side of the street. Build up your fame, and online video views, keep growing, even if you do not become successful you can at least become infamous…

To recap, you would be wise to:

1. Develop Value for Video
2. Post Your Videos On YouTube
3. Interact as Much as You Can.
4. Use Social Media
5. Get a Manager
6. Develop Your Gifts and Talents
7. Join Singing Contests

Good luck and if you would like more information, send me questions, check out my other material or;

Purchase the material I promote below which I receive a commission on;

Singorama

Singing Success

If you purchase using my affiliate links I will give you some free bonus e-books and training materials as a thank you.

 

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The Fear Factor

The Teach Yourself to Sing Series ~ Part 11 ~ The Fear Factor

So, you have done everything mentioned so far… but something is still holding you back? Are you scared? If you are that is normal, performing can be difficult.

Even when people are performing, they are can be scared, though they fight it.

It is those who win this fight we so often remember.

Preparation

Personally, I spend a lot of time preparing for performances so my preparation can make everything easier. If I have to stand up without any content, I am far less likely to succeed.

Sure, you can improvise, but preparation lays a great foundation for creativity, success and confidence.

Confidence Building

You will have to build your confidence – you can start this by singing with your friends or other groups of people.

As long as you keep practising with the right choice of songs for your voice, you will be able to sing them confidently in front of other people.

Learn to take criticism positively but do not be discouraged by demeaning comments.

I gave a speech on overcoming for a Public Speaking Course some time ago. It had three parts;

1.  Using your past success

2.  Focusing in your present

3.  Imagining success

How does this apply to singing?

1. Focusing on your past success means remembering them and realising that you can do those same things now, and even more.

Have you been practising this song, have you sung to an audience in the past?

If so you can say to yourself “I’ve done this before,” “I know what I’m doing.”

It does not matter how big the audience, if you can sing to some, you have the potential to sing to many.

2. Your present strategies include breathing and relaxation exercises. Learning Self-hypnosis and focusing activities can also help.

3. The third part, imagining success comes from research, which found visualisation leads to higher performance, and motivation.

By imagining yourself succeeding, you are more prepared for it, and more likely to be outstanding at it.

 

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Developing Your Performance Skills

The Teach Yourself to Sing Series ~ Part 10 ~ Developing Your Performance Skills

Once you have a good practise plan to develop your singing and you are starting to like some of the feedback you are getting from a teacher, etc., or just really want to perform, it’s time to go further.

Here are some keys to think about went moving toward being an amazing performer. First video and examine your singing, performance, protecting your voice, recording your performances/ practice time.

In ~ Part 9 ~, we mentioned performing in front of people as part of practice, and it is, but be your best you need more than just the confidence and experience.

Video and examine your singing to see:

• How you are doing overall

• If you are doing what you think, you are

• What areas you can improve

It is best to look at one aspect of your voice at a time as in ~ Part 9 ~. This will also make it easier for you to believe in your singing, well at least see where you really are, rather than relying on others so much.

How do you record yourself? A microphone is a good start, but video is best, as it allows you to check your posture and breathing, etc. more easily.

Why should I record it?

You may have heard me suggest cupping your hand, so you can hear your singing. I think this is valuable, but it is lacking. As it only gives a distorted version of what other people are hearing, and for performing what other people hear, is important.

Hearing and seeing how you appear to others, will help you develop a performance persona. This is when you show your personality (or anther) through your performance. By observing yourself, you will be able to improve, as a comedian can improve.

Many comedians do not get laughs the first time they use their jokes; they have to adapt, and probably you will too if you want to be your best. Video feedback can potentially save you a lot of time in growing as a performer.

Learn to Perform.

Before you start using video, you may try practising in front of a mirror. It is a great way to get creative. Maybe put a spin in during a pause, or an extra memorable smile.

Of course, you want to develop a personal style too; spinning may not work so well for a grungy male, and smiling as you sing “In the end it doesn’t even matter…” may not add much.

When you start practising in front of audiences, focusing on just singing is probably wise; it will help you build your self-confidence. As it is easier to maintain quality this way, so you are less likely to make big errors to start.

Another thing you can consider is learning a musical instrument. Learning the Guitar and Piano are particularly useful as they are so popular. Also, learning the basics of either will help you understand music theory, sing in key, learn to compose music, and play songs by yourself.

Be Careful Singing

Singing can be fun, but keep in mind that you also have to protect your singing voice. When people are in front of audiences, they often strain their voices to hit higher notes or for more volume. You are far better off using amplification than straining as this may hurt your voice, stopping you from achieving what you otherwise could.

Furthermore, smoking, alcohol, coffee, orange juice and even milk products can limit your potential or increase the chances of you hurting your voice. Minimise them to help maintain and develop the quality of your singing.

Work on keeping your voice as relaxed as possible for performances. As well as drink sufficient water, according to Singorama you need to be drinking the water at least four hours before singing for best effect. Of course, that’s not the only time for you to be drinking water, ideally it will be part of your lifestyle.

Summary

In this post, we have looked at the importance of; recording, performing and caution. Next post will look at over-coming fear.

 

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~ Practice ~ An All Too Important Consideration

The Teach Yourself to Sing Series ~ Part 9 ~ Practice ~ An All Too Important Consideration

Singing practice has different phases:

  • Warming up, as talked about in part 7 & 8
  • Learning music, through
    • Reading it
    • Listening to it
    • Thinking about it
    • Singing along to it
    • Singing it
    • Evaluating it
    • Perform
    • Enunciation

Warm up ~ as in the last chapter/ article.

Learn Music

This can happen at any time of the day, whenever you hear music or have it written down. It develops a greater understanding and connection with music. When you take in music and understand how it operates, you will be more prepared to produce it.

You may wish to learn to read it, regardless of whether you are reading or listening to music here are some things to pay attention to:

Spots for breathing (Pauses)

Timing (Tempo)

Meaning (do you know what the words are saying?)

Emotion (what is the emotion you are communicating?)

Start by examining music, than try singing along to it. Next, stop the music and sing it. Then, record your singing to see how you are doing (Ideally use video).

When you examine your singing, ask yourself whether you are:

  • In tune/ hitting the notes
  • Breathing correctly
  • Using proper posture
  • Straining your voice
  • Enunciating your words

If you really want to succeed, the ideal people to examine your singing are singing teachers, as they know what healthy singing sounds like and are more likely to know how to improve your weaknesses.

In between teachers, you can ask people/ friends with reasonable good hearing for advice.

This will help you correct and improve your singing.

Perform

To prepare to perform, sing everywhere and anywhere, not only when you are alone.

Start by singing in front of the mirror. Then start to sing in front of close friends and family members. Learning to sing can be fun, when you sing in front of other people!

Ideally, do this in a casual social way. People do not need to know too much to start. You are breaking down a barrier in your mind, and making yourself stronger, so you can handle negative criticism later on. If you become famous, you are very likely to experience criticism a lot.

Enunciation
When you are singing, people should be able to understand what you are singing, unless there is an artistic reason why they would not (by artistic reason, I mean a certain poetic underlying intention).

For this reason, your vocal exercises should include singing vowels. This is a great workout for the vocal cords and helps you improve on voice clarity (The Vowels are; A, E, I, O, U).

As vowels are sounds that normally occur in succession, try singing them to scales. Switch between a consecutive singing pattern and an out-of-order pattern.

This practice will help you achieve better control of your voice, making it easier to switch from high to low and low to high notes (vocal leaps).

Now you have started developing your skill have a look at ~Part 10 ~ Developing Your Performance Skills

 
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Preparing Your Vocals

The Teach Yourself to Sing Series ~ Part 8 ~ Preparing Your Vocals

The principle with vocals is the same as for other muscles in your body: exercising helps with undertaking any task. Here are some classics to get you started:

Lip Rolls

This is a powerful exercise, which warms up your voice. It is particularly valuable because it requires you to use your vocals with proper form (Samuel, 2012).

To do this exercise blow air out of your mouth, flap your lips together like a horse.

Try lifting up the cheek’s weight with your hands, and blow the air out to create that lip roll. You should then add some ordinary sound into the lip roll. This exercise will help in bringing some blood to the voice box to create a clearer sound. To do this more effectively, try doing it on scales (not the weighing yourself kind…).

Lip Rolls to Scales

Try completing Lip Rolls to piano scales or by replacing song, lyrics (see video in next paragraph). Ensure that your jaw remains relaxed and keep your lips closed while you try making a steady, motor boat sound. Do not try to force the sound – your stomach should remain relaxed while the sound flows out effortlessly.

Move Around Your Range

Sing in different ranges; from middle to low, to high then back to the middle range. Keep doing this for 5 to 10 minutes, but do not strain your voice trying to hit a note. Get back to your most comfortable range, then try going higher or lower. If you want to try out scales check out this video on YouTube, it will help lead you in the process.

YouTube Preview Image

Singing Scales

As mentioned in point two, scales are valuable. One reason is they can help develop your pitch. These will not only be developing your singing muscle’s strength and your control over them, but also training your ear to listen and analyse sound. Many people forget or ignore ear training without knowing that this skill can greatly improve their singing.

Singing scales involves identifying your singing range and finding the keyboard or piano notes that match this range. Practice singing each scale in different octaves – this means moving an octave higher after finishing a scale. You can find many resources online to help with scales and ear training (Checkout the the video above).

These steps are valuable to follow for achieving success when singing. The breathing exercises and the lip rolls and stretches are great for warming up.

Remember to evaluate your progress regularly with a positive attitude through video/ audio. This can help prevent you making the same mistakes excessively.

If you would like to accelerate your progress check out more of our articles, the online training programs and a local voice coach in your area.

To start have a look at our article on practice.

 

 
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Stretching Your Body

The Teach Yourself to Sing Series ~ Part 7 ~ Stretching Your Body

It is important to be relaxed when you sing (Singarama).

Why?

Being relaxed can be affected by many things, including your lifestyle, eating habits, and emotional state of being. Before you sing, and during it is also important that you are not excessively tensing up your muscles, which aren’t even meant to be in use, because otherwise you will injure them.

One key method of preparation is warming up, in the next article, we will talk about the vocals, but now we will talk about your body.

You can help your body to warm up relax, by keeping fit, stretching your muscles before you sing.

Stretching relaxes your body and puts you in better condition for singing. One stretch you could try is to take your right hand and try to touch the ceiling. When you do that, feel the stretch in your ribs when you stretch. If you can, try to breathe in deeply while stretching, and then as you slowly finish, breath out.

Do this on both sides, and then do some other stretches that relax your body too. Breathing exercises also help with this.

Even a simple stretch like trying to touch your toes works well, in fact, that stretch is mentioned in the Singorama program. One thing to beware of though, it can be a lot more effective to stretch by actually exercising rather than just stretching. If I go for a run, it is a lot easier to complete that exercise.

Though that doesn’t warm up your vocals.

 

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Why Sing? ~ Time to Get Motivated

The Teach Yourself to Sing Series ~ Part 6 ~ Why Sing?

Here are some benefits of singing to think about:

Health and Focus

Great singing requires proper breathing; that generally means taking deeper, healthier breaths.

This can have similar effects on your body to aerobics and meditation. When your breathing is healthier, you will be more capable of focus.

Singing can also give you an opportunity to express yourself and your creative side, which is fantastic when life is so often full with work, work and more work, doing so much for practical or financial purposes.

In fact, even if you sing for financial reasons it can still allow you to share your emotions and creative tendencies. This is great for your emotional health and therefore your ability to focus.

Satisfying, Fun and Social

It is easier to communicate with people who share an interest with you. The more activities you are involved with the more people you will share interests with.

Singing also puts you in a good position to join choirs and bands. These are great environments to have fun with new friends and find satisfaction as you progress with them.

When you are part of any team, you have an opportunity to contribute to the group; one day you may even have the opportunity to take part as a leader of some kind.

Developing Your Self-confidence

Many people are afraid of performing or nervous when people hear them sing. They do not know what they sound like and are uncertain of their ability. Once you have begun to work on your singing ability, you will have opportunities to develop a greater awareness of your ability and to develop it.

As your singing improves, you will be able to move from being uncertain of how good you are, to someone who knows you are producing a sound to be proud of. You may find yourself looking forward to every opportunity to sing and look amazing.

Increasing Your Attractiveness?

When I was doing research for this website (howtoteachyourselftosing.org) I searched on Twitter for people talking about singing, and I noticed a trend they were putting the hash tag #Myweakness with it.

As well as comments like ‘guys who can sing #Myweakness’ or ‘woman who can sing #Myweakness’. I found this very motivating, as you can imagine. This confirms what I already believed; people find vocal strength very attractive.

Enough said, so what is stopping you now?

Let the stretching begin…

 

 

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Master Posture

The Teach Yourself to Sing Series ~ Part Five ~ Posture

Posture, is important for two reasons, it assists your:

  1. Vocal quality
  2. Stage presence

How do you do it?

Start by standing up straight, with your feet shoulder-width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other. Thrust your hips forward, stick your chest out, with your shoulders back, and down, relax your jaw and facial muscles.

You want to be standing in an upright and comfortable position that allow relaxed breathing and creates enough room for lung expansion.

Bonus Points - if you have a full-size mirror standing in front of you, use it so you can watch yourself sing and make sure you’re breathing from below your chest.

Let’s look into increasing our motivation

 

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Value Your Gift; Deal With Your Emotion

The Teach Yourself to Sing Series ~ Part Four ~ Value Your Gift

Many people have dreadful experiences of singing and resign their hopes and dreams. Their talent is wasted; they could have been who knows what.

We are (almost) all born with the capacity to sing. It is what happens to that capacity, which determines what your voice becomes.

Most people need to learn to sing, if they really want to maximise their gift.

To do this, it helps to learn to understand your vocal ‘instrument.’ This can be hard, as you are likely to find some weaknesses in your ability, but that is okay, the truth really can lead to growth.

Negative information, can be positive, but be careful to avoid taking too much in. All you need to know is how to improve, and what to focus on.

Some people love giving feedback, so be ready to stop them.

Even celebrity singers have their singing criticised. Sure, they probably could improve, but if they spent all their time taking advice, they would not have any time to become celebrities would they.

What’s the take away?

Realise you have ability, improve it and accept it. Rinse and repeat.

Do you have any thoughts, experiences or suggestions? If so, put them below.

If not, let’s look at sorting out posture.

 

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Learn to Breathe for Singing

The Teach Yourself to Sing Series ~ Part Three ~ Breathe to Sing

Proper breathing for singing, comes from your core (diaphragm/ stomach), rather than your chest.

When you are breathing correctly, you will;

  • Be able to avoid singing from your throat, which is a common problem with beginners.
  • Find your shoulders will not need to rise.
  • Observe your stomach contracting inwards.

If you find this difficult:

  • Sit with your hands under your chair to hold your shoulders down
  • Lie down with books on your stomach, focusing on lifting the books with your stomach, by breathing in and out.

To develop your breathing control further sing both low and high notes while expelling the same amount of air.

Also, try breathing in and out on a certain count. Start off by, breathing in on a count of four, holding it for four seconds, and letting it out on a count of four.

Do this around eight times, and then when you are ready, change the set number to 6, 8, 10, and eventually 14 seconds.

Once you become comfortable with your breathing, it will be easier to control your voice, and sing in a steadier tone.

Bonus Point #1, Try to imagine blowing a candle, without putting out the flame when practicing (Rae Henry, 2012).

Bonus Point #2, Be careful not to over breathe. You will know you are over breathing when you become light headed, and/ or you seem to be taking too long with your breaths (Rae Henry, 2012).

 

Next up, the importance of valuing your gift.

Knowing Your Strengths as a Singer

The Teach Yourself to Sing  Series ~ Part Two ~ Know Your Strengths

The biggest key in singing and often life is, understanding what you have and using it effectively. To do that you need to know what works for you. Here are three methods to find out:

Method A: See What You Can Do.

Try out different music. Listen to yourself singing on a recording device or even just as you sing. One way to hear yourself is to try cupping the sound from your mouth to your ear; your hand should be shaped a lot like a seashell.

In a quiet place, you may hear what sounds like the sea in the palm of your hand. In case anyone asks, you can tell them, I’m just listening to the sound of the sea, I caught it, and I’m not letting it go… back to the topic at hand…

The songs you enjoy the most are probably the ones you should sing to start (Unless enjoy means laughing out loud for you…).

Method B: Ask for Suggestions

As a Junior at high school my guitar teacher helped my singing significantly when she suggested I play songs that suit my voice better (She offered suggestions and taught me the songs in my lessons).

Method C: Find out What Type of Voice You Have.

This is a more professional approach. Rather than just looking at the types of music you are good at, find out what type of voice you have. Once you know this you can find music which suites your type. You may be a bass, tenor, alto, soprano and so on. The great thing about finding your type is it allows an objective assessment, and you will be able to talk about it with others. To find out what type of voice you have, look at the following video, you will need to turn your sound and find a quiet room to see how your voice fits in:

YouTube Preview Image

Why is Method C so Valuable?
• Going through this process you can learn what your range is
• You will be less likely to hurt your vocal cords later
• It will help you choose the best songs for you

Side Point: With more practice, your vocal range can improve.

Once you have found what you are good at you will be able to choose the best songs for you to learn, and you will know when you are not ready to sing a song yet.

Later you will be able to learn approaches for many of the songs that you do not suit right now.

Next up, Learn to Breathe for Singing.

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Evan Dawber

Evan Michael Dawber, EzineArticles Basic Author