Singing can be quite overwhelming when you first start. There are many things that one must be concious about such as pitch, breathing, posture, tone, diction, and relaxation. However, with these tips you'll be on the right track!
1. Open Your Mouth When You Sing!
Often, many beginner singers worry so much about pitch and posture (it can be come overbearing) that they slack off where it matters! Diction is very important and by simply opening your mouth, your voice not only projects more, but your words are clearer and your tone improves. Pretend as if you were singing for a deaf person and they only could tell what you were saying by your mouth movements. You'll see quite a noticeable improvement if you weren't doing this already!
2. Don't Breathe Into Your Chest
This is a common problem for new singers. Take a big breath. If your shoulders raise when you do, then you're breathing into your chest. This isn't nearly as supportive as breathing into your stomach region. When you breathe your shoulders should not raise, and your stomach should expand as well as your sides and lower back. This will help you sing with less breath's, more power, and simply more confidence.
3. Work On Your Posture
Many people are somewhat slouched when doing day-to-day activities, but when you're singing you can not slouch! Not only does it restrict airflow, but your muscles aren't being used effectively in a slouched posture. Another common bad habit is hitting high notes and lifting your head up when singing a high note. This is wrong because it restricts airflow and puts too much pressure on your throat. Maintain a straight posture whenever you sing!
4. Don't Sing Too Nasally!
This is a very common problem with beginner singers. This doesn't mean don't sing through your nose at all; it's required for many styles. However, many beginners sing way too nasally. How do you break this habit? Many don't even know they're doing it! A good idea is to try holding down your nose and singing. If you find that your voice becomes excessively nasally when you do this, then you are singing too much through your nose. Try practicing while holding down your nose without making that whiney sound. If you can do that, you're improving already!
5. Practice With An Instrument
I played piano many years before I began singing, but even I couldn't recognize just how out of pitch I really was! Practicing with an instrument will help your pitch tremendously. Simply play exercises, scales, and maybe just the melody of a song. Do this slowly and really try to match the pitch of your voice with the instrument. Eventually it will become effortless.