Learning How to Sing and How to Sing Better – Everything You Need to Know

If you’re not a naturally good singer, you might find yourself despairing over your situation and giving up on singing altogether. However, there’s nothing that can’t be improved with practice, and the same goes for singing. You’re not stuck with a bad voice - you just need to train it up until it becomes good.  

Of course, this will take a lot of effort, but if you know what to do and work hard, you’ll make it there eventually. In this article you’ll learn all the methods you need to employ to practice the right way and improve your singing voice.

Even those of you that know how to sing will benefit here since these techniques will help you learn how to sing better. So, let’s get started and learn how to sing!

The Benefits of Learning How to Sing Online

The first step where most people go wrong when thinking about learning how to sing is that the first thing they reach out for is a voice coach. These teachers can be incredibly expensive, and that’s a thing that puts a lot of people off even trying to get singing lessons.

However, while getting a vocal coach can be an effective way to improve your singing, it has some major flaws. It is expensive, as mentioned, but it’s also slow. The coach will be available to teach you only on certain days and for an hour or two at most. If you want to improve quickly, this is not the way to do it.

Luckily, online singing lessons have become more and more popular in recent years. With some of these programs, you can find great pre-recorded lessons as well as tips that will help you learn much faster. You will be able to practice as much as you can, and you’ll see tangible results in a matter of weeks.

The best part is that some of these online lessons cost next to nothing, or absolutely nothing – you can find a lot of free online singing lessons as well.

So, to sum up, online singing lessons are:

  • Better-structured
  • More affordable
  • Allow you to learn quicker
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    Let you learn whenever you want

With that in mind, here’s some advice that will help you get better at singing.

How to Sing Better

In this part of the article you’ll learn how to sing better and improve your singing voice, no matter how good or bad you are. There’s nothing that can’t be achieved with enough hard work, as you’ll see.

Working on the Basics

To start training properly, you need to have a good base to start from. You can’t start singing opera pieces straight away. Lots of people start trying to master singing without paying attention to the basics, and then they wonder why nothing is working – you shouldn’t be one of those people.

Here’s some advice on how to properly start training your vocal chords.

First, you need to start by working on your posture. Most voice coaches might just tell you to “stand up straight” or “sit up straight,” but they will rarely explain what that entails.

Well, here’s how to maintain correct standing posture with a few easy instructions:

  • Stand with one foot a bit in front of the other
  • Keep your feet as wide apart as your shoulders
  • Keep your back straight – stand against a wall at first if you have to
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    Don’t tilt your body to the left or right
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    Make sure your chin is parallel to the ground
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    Puff up your chest high, so the lungs can take in enough air
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    Keep your shoulders down
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    Leave your abdomen flat and firm
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    Keep your knees loose and don’t lock them together

The correct sitting posture is not much different:

  • Move to the front part of the seat
  • Keep your back straight and avoid touching the back of the seat
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle
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    Make sure your legs are apart and avoid crossing them
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    Place your hands on your lap and avoid crossing them on your chest
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    Keep your shoulders low and relaxed and puff up your chest
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    Your chin should remain parallel with the floor

Once you’ve got a handle on that, you’re almost ready to start singing. Still, there’s one more crucial thing you need to watch out for – your breathing. The one constant with bad singers is that they constantly run out of breath, but if you know the proper breathing techniques for singing, that won’t happen to you.

Here are a few quick tips on how to breathe properly when singing:

  • Try not to move your shoulders while singing
  • When inhaling, find your diaphragm and try to inhale into it
  • Relax before trying to sing or doing breathing exercises
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    Breathe in through the nose and breathe out through both the nose and mouth

However, there’s more to it than just that. You need to practice your breathing thoroughly until you’re sure you can properly inhale and exhale. Over time you will get better at this and your lung capacity might even increase through the exercises you’ll see described below.

By the way, if you’re wondering how to find your diaphragm and breathe into it, here’s how: 

  • Place a hand on your stomach and another one on your chest
  • Inhale deeply through your nose
  • Try to make your stomach expand and poke out when you breathe in
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    At the same time, try to make your chest stay in place
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    While exhaling, push down, contracting your abdominal muscles
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    You should repeat this exercise until you can do it without even thinking about it

Another way to do this is something called “the book method,” which you can do by lying on the ground with a book placed on your stomach. Try to make the book rise when you inhale. Sing a note while you exhale and try to make the book lower.

Of course, you should train until you’re able to do this quickly since your backing music won’t wait for you to catch your breath.

If you want to learn how to breathe in effectively and quickly, you’ll get some tips on that as well:

  • Try to breathe in through both your nose and mouth while imagining that the air is heavy and that you’re letting it fall down into your stomach
  • When you’re done, exhale quickly and repeat the same thing, but imagine the air falling down faster
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    Continue doing this while making the air fall down faster and faster – you should also feel your lower back and abdomen expanding

Just with this simple exercise, you should be able to learn how to quickly fill your lungs with air and, over time, it will start increasing your lung capacity. Regular cardio exercise like running should also help with this.

You should also practice inhaling through your nose and mouth at the same time to keep your vocal chords healthy. If you inhale only through your mouth, you’ll quickly end up with a sore throat.

Of course, inhaling is not the only important thing – properly exhaling is just as important. This will allow you to avoid breaks and keep your voice nice and smooth while singing.

One method for practicing your exhaling is known as the ‘feather method’ and here’s how to do it:

  • Take a single feather and place it on your open palm
  • Try to keep it in the air with just one, long breath
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    Your abdomen should be steadily returning to its normal size without your chest collapsing
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    Exhale until you feel that all the air has left your chest, then inhale and repeat

Of course, that’s not the only method you can try. Another effective exercise is this one: 

  • Inhale slowly and deeply then don’t breathe for a few seconds
  • Let the air out of your lungs with a steady hissing sound
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    Try to keep the hissing steady with no breaks or changes in loudness
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    Once all the air has left your lungs, inhale and repeat
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    You can also do this by singing a single tone instead of simply hissing

And there you have it! If you work on your posture and breathing using these tips and exercises, you should start improving in no time. Even if you’re already singing regularly, this might be helpful since many self-taught singers are hindered by poor basics and are straining too much when they don’t have to.

Once you’ve got that down, it’s time to move further.

Moving on to Singing

Now that you’ve got your basics right, you can start training to sing. Of course, you’re not ready to start belting out full songs yet. Again, you need to start with some basic stuff and move up from that.

Before you do any singing though, even the most basic, you should warm up to protect your vocal chords from getting damaged. Here are some of the most basic vocal warm-ups:

1. Motorboat Sweeps

Press your lips together and exhale, letting air escape through them, making a sound similar to a motorboat. Repeat it three times, starting at a certain pitch and then increasing or decreasing in pitch.

2. Sirens

Start at a low note and make a siren sound, slowly moving up in pitch until reaching the end of your range, then moving down. Do this in one continuous sound, without breaks. Repeat it a few times while also stretching out your face.

3. Tongue Twisters

This warm-up exercise helps you avoid stumbling over words when singing. Just do some regular tongue twisters that you can remember easily and repeat them a few times.

4. Tongue Trills

The tip of your tongue should be placed behind your top teeth and vibrate while you exhale. Start at a certain range then go up or down for the repeats. 

5. Humming

This can be done for cooling down as well. Make sure your jaw and shoulders are relaxed and inhale normally. Then, hum the ‘m’ sound while exhaling slowly; you should feel a tickling sensation in your lips and nose.

With this, you should be sufficiently warmed up and ready to start working on some of your vocal basics.

One of the first things you could try is opening your vowels, also called the ‘open throat technique.’ With this, you’ll learn how to sing vowels more clearly without letting consonants get in the way, thus projecting more power and resonating better.

These are the five basic vowels:

  • Ah – like in father
  • Eh – like in bet
  • Ee – like in sleep
  • Oh – like in good
  • Oo – like in true

Learning how to identify them and properly sing them will help you massively improve the way you’re singing. If you’ve ever heard anyone sing unclearly and like they’re straining it’s probably because they’re not opening their vowels properly. If you’ve ever heard a local rock garage band, you’ve heard it.

However, you’ll avoid that by following just a few simple guidelines. Here’s how to open your vowels, one by one.

How to Sing the Ah Vowel

  • Position your mouth in an ‘O’ shape
  • You should be able to place two fingers between your top and bottom teeth
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    Keep your jaw, and tongue relaxed so you can produce a smooth tone
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    With your mouth in this position say the word “haaaa” and hold on to the ‘ah’ sound at the end
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    Next, try to sing the same word at a tone you’re comfortable with, trying to make it sound like a long sigh
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    Once you have a handle on it, try singing it at different ranges
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    You can also try singing the following words: call, father, brought, hot, sought, bought, thought, etc.

How to Sing the Eh Vowel

  • Place your lips as if you are just starting to smile
  • Keep your tongue relaxed and at the bottom of your mouth while resting it lightly against your front teeth.
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    Sing the word ‘Meh’ and keep the ‘eh’ sound going
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    If you feel vibrations above your upper lip and around your nose, you’re doing it right
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    Once you get the position right, try singing the vowel at a few different ranges
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    You can also try singing the following words: wet, get, set, met, pet, let, bet, bend, send, trend, etc.

How to Sing the Ee Vowel

  • The mouth position here is almost the same as for the Eh vowel, with the edges of your mouth slightly more raised
  • The tongue should be resting against your bottom front teeth
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    Try singing the word ‘Me’ and keeping on the ‘ee’ sound at the end
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    Again, you should feel vibrations above the upper lip and around the nose if you’re singing it right
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    When you’re sure you go it right, try singing the vowel at different ranges
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    You can also try singing the following words: she, he, meet, see, we, be, leave, feet, greet, seat, etc

How to Sing the Oh Vowel

  • Shape your lips into an “O” shape
  • Make sure it’s open enough so you can put one finger in your mouth without touching the lips, but no more than that
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    Try singing the word ‘No’ and keep on the ‘oh’ sound at the end of itMake sure it’s open enough so you can put one finger in your mouth without touching the lips, but no more than that
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    Again, you should feel vibrations above the upper lip and around the nose if you’re singing it right
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    After singing it a few times, try singing it at different ranges
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    This vowel is particularly hard to sing in full words, so try singing the following words: no, foe, blow, cold, know, scold, though, pro, glow, etc.

How to Sing the Oo Vowel

  • Pucker up your lips like you’re trying to whistle or kiss someone
  • Try singing the word ‘Too’ and keep on the ‘oo’ sound at the end
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    Then, try singing the sound at different ranges
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    After that, try singing the following words: Blue, new, glue, moon, balloon, room, doom, cool, do, sue, etc

If you’re having trouble keeping the correct mouth position for any vowel, here’s an easy exercise you can do:

  • Stand in front of a mirror and sing the vowel while looking at your mouth and ensuring it’s in the right position
  • After making sure you have the correct shape down, close your eyes and sing a few more times
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    When you open your eyes, check your mouth position again
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    Repeat this a few times and see how consistent you are with keeping your mouth in the right shape
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    Once you have it down for the single vowel, try singing words that contain the vowel and look at your mouth
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    Don’t let your mouth change shape until you pronounce a consonant – this is essential to producing the right sound
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    After a while of repeating this, it should become muscle memory, and you’ll do it without even thinking about it

Once you’ve got a handle on singing all the vowels properly, even in full words and sentences, you should be able to move on to something more complex.

How to Improve Your Singing Voice

When you’re done with your basics, you can start working on your singing and improving your singing voice.

Here are some things you can do to improve your singing quickly and effectively, as long as you work hard.

Finding Your Vocal Range

The first step to getting better at singing is knowing what your capabilities and limitations are. Plenty of people think they can’t sing simply because they’re constantly trying to sing music that’s far out of their range. To avoid that, you need to find out what your vocal range is, at least approximately.

You’ve probably heard of terms like soprano, alto, bass or tenor, but you might not know what they mean or how they apply to you.

Well, the classification was originally invented to help classify voices for opera singing. Of course, even if you’re not trying to become an opera singer, it can be useful to know which vocal type you fall into so you know what you can and can’t sing.

These are all the voice types, from lowest to highest, and the voice ranges usually associated with them:

  • Bass: D2 - E4
  • Baritone: G2 - G4
  • Tenor: C3 – B4
  • Countertenor: G3 – C6
  • Contralto: E3 - F5
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    Mezzo-soprano: G3 - A5
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    Soprano: B3 - G6

The first four categories are usually reserved for men, while the latter three are usually reserved for women, though there are exceptions. Singers may also have voices that encompass multiple categories or fall somewhere in-between categories. There are various subcategories as well.

Because of this, it’s usually more informative to know your vocal range and work from that, instead of one of these categories. Here’s how to easily find your vocal range:

  • First, you’ll need a piano, a piano-like instrument or an app that can imitate one and has at least 3 octaves
  • Next, you need to know to identify the notes on the piano – you can easily find that info online or in a piano app
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    Start singing in a note that feels comfortable and near the bottom of your vocal range – sing a single vowel like ‘ee’ or ‘ah.’
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    Find the note you just sang, or an approximation of it, on your piano or app
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    Sing a lower note than the previous one and find it on the piano
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    Repeat the process until you reach the lowest note you’re comfortable with and can easily sustain – record it
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    Then, go lower than that until you find the lowest note you can go without croaking or breaking, even if you’re running out of breath – this is the bottom of your vocal range, record it
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    Next, sing the highest note you can in your normal voice
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    Find it on the piano
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    Go up from that until you reach the highest note you’re comfortable with, without going into falsetto or significantly changing your tone – record it
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    Now go even further than that, into falsetto or even past that, into whistling, as long as you can sing it without cracking or straining too much – this is the top of your vocal range, record it
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    The lowest and highest notes you recorded are the full vocal range that your body can produce
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    The other two notes represent your ‘tessitura,’ the vocal range you’re currently comfortable with – you can expand past that into your full range eventually
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    Now, translate your vocal range into one of the voice types – if doesn’t fall exactly into any of them, choose the closest one

There, you’re done! With that, you’ve found both your full vocal range and the vocal range that you’re currently comfortable with. Now you know where your limits are and what you can work on.

Vocal Exercises for Singing Better

Of course, if you want to learn how to sing better, you’ll need to exercise regularly. Exercising does not mean just singing your favorite songs over and over again, though. You need consistent exercises that have a clear purpose.

With that in mind, in this section, you’ll learn a bit more about some such exercises.

The Solfege 

The point of this exercise is to keep your voice in tune and learn how to recognize the correct pitch of a song. This exercise will also make your voice stronger and help you access your full vocal range. Here’s what it entails:

  • Sing a vowel until you’re sure you’re singing on middle C – if you’re a beginner, compare this to a piano. Eventually, you’ll be able to do this without thinking.
  • Now, on middle C, slowly sing Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Da while paying attention to the pitch
  • Next, sing the solfege in reverse, Da-Ti-La-Sol-Fa-Mi-Re-Do, also slowly and carefully
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    To make this easier on you try to alternate with a piano to make sure you’re staying on pitch
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    To make this exercise harder on yourself, start at the lower end of your range then work up to the upper end, then go back down

Mah-May-Me-Mo-Moo

This is an exercise designed to help you improve your singing overall, and it will also help you with your breathing. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start singing “mah-may-me-mo-moo” slowly and in one low tone
  • Focus on pronouncing the M’s and breathing correctly
  • Try to do it all in one breath
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    Remember to stay relaxed, intone every word and don’t rush it
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    Repeat it multiple times, making the tone higher each time

I Love to Sing

What this exercise aims to achieve is to broaden the vocal range you’re comfortable with. It also improves your breathing. You need to do the following:

  • Smile widely
  • Choose a chord – for example, C
  • What you need to sing is “I love to sing.”
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    Try to sing it all in one breath
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    The beginning of the word should be sung in the root, then move to the octave, the 5th, the 3rd, and the root again to finish off
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    On the example of C you’d sing “I” in middle C, “Lo-“ in higher C, “-ove” in G, to in E and “sing” in middle C.

In addition to these exercises, all the vocal warm-ups described previously are a good addition. They will help you strengthen your voice and work on your breathing.

How to Sing Better Fast

If you’re looking to improve quickly without going through plenty of steps and a lot of exercises, here are some quick tips that you can use to quickly learn how to sing better.

Always warm up before singing

Try to find some vocal warm-ups online and use them before singing, every time. You can find some of them in this article. It will help you avoid straining your voice too much and damaging your vocal chords.

Sing scales 

Find beginner scales online and try to sing through them repeatedly as an easy exercise that will quickly impact the quality of your singing.

Practice frequently but don’t strain your voice 

Stay within your vocal range once you find it and practice often. Don’t practice too much or when you’re sick to avoid hurting your voice, which will set you back a lot.

Keep your face and jaw relaxed while you sing 

Always try to relax your face and jaw before you start practicing, it will help a lot with your consistency, especially if you’re just learning how to sing.

Make recordings of your practice sessions 

The way your voice sounds to others is different from the way it sounds to everyone else. To hear the difference, record yourself when you practice and listen through the recordings – it will help you notice flaws you would otherwise miss.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can everyone sing?

How do you improve your singing voice?

How can you improve your voice?

How do you make yourself sing better?

How can I sing beautifully?

How can I become a better singing without lessons?

How to sing without a vocal coach?

Can I expand my vocal range?

What is the difference between the chest voice and head voice?

How to sing in growls or screams without hurting my voice? 

How to sing when I have a cold? 

How long will it take before I can sing better? 

Conclusion 

With all these tips you should be able to quickly learn how to sing or how to sing better. It will take some effort but in the end, it will be worth it, and you’ll be able to show off your improved vocal capabilities to everyone. Just remember to practice regularly and take care of your vocal chords and you’ll make it!

If you have any questions just comment below the article and you’ll get an answer soon! You could also comment if you have some further info or advice to singers that are just starting out – it will most certainly be appreciated. Especially if you can offer a superior singing method.

Until next time, keep singing and stay persistent!