Becoming a proficient performer does not happen overnight. Even if you were born with a pleasant sounding singing voice, you will benefit from vocal training and music techniques. Although it is not tangible like the clarinet and saxophone instruments, your voice is an instrument too. Practicing your instrument daily will aid you in becoming a stronger singer. Similar to how a plant needs to be nurtured in a specific way in order to grow, there are specific things that you should do to develop your musical technique.
Knowledge of Instruments
Singers are often supported by other instruments. Some vocalists prefer to perform a capella, which means to sing without the accompaniment of other musical instruments. However, every crooner will benefit from knowing how to play other instruments. The piano is an especially important musical tool that a vocalist should make every effort to learn and master. Many singers accompany themselves on either the piano or on the guitar because those instruments don’t require using mouths to perform on them the way that flutes and bassoons do. Piano playing requires keeping both feet flat on the floor and sitting in an upright position, which is very easy to do for a vocalist who understands how important stance is in achieving proper musical sounds from the voice. The piano is also a much easier tool than some other instruments are for finding the exact key required to sing a note.
Learning to play on the piano to the level where you can accompany yourself while you sing will benefit you musically in every way. You will be able to warm up your voice by singing scales and can press the piano key to immediately know whether or not you are producing the correct pitch. You can also use your piano for practicing vocal exercises that are focused on proper breathing and dynamic control. Through learning to play the pianoforte you will also learn musical terms that are noted in song books such as crescendo (gradually louder), dolce (sweetly), and allegro (quick). All of these terms will be applied to singing, especially if you are studying classical music. Taking regular weekly piano lessons in addition to vocal lessons will nurture your talent. In musical scores, the instrumental accompaniment part is often written differently than the soloist’s part. However, the accompaniment is supposed to provide support and cues so that the vocalist knows when to be silent and when to resume. Knowing how to play instruments will equip you with becoming familiar with both the accompanist section and your section.
There are so many different genres of music that you can enjoy exploring. Jazz, classical, pop, swing, rhythm and blues, folk, and many more styles exist that you can serenade either yourself or an audience with. Learning various styles of music will help you to develop and strengthen your musicianship. Your knowledge and appreciation of sound will be expanded. It is fine to perform your favorite style of songs as the majority of your repertoire, but deliberately working on a piece from a different genre at least once per month will show you what you can do musically.
Focus on singing songs that are within your vocal range. A soprano should not try to sing a bass’ part, and vice versa. Performing outside of your natural range will strain your vocal folds, otherwise known as vocal cords. Hydrate your voice regularly while you practice. It is great to have a glass of water beside you while working on your material so that you can take sips. Eating proper foods will also assist your vocal ability. Avoid consuming food and beverages containing dairy before you sing. Milk creates mucus, which will interfere with your vocal clarity. Warming up your voice each day through singing scales, arpeggios, triads, and short passages will prepare your voice to be the best that it can be when it is time to perform more intricate and commanding material.
Singing is a skill that requires both natural talent and disciplined training in order to master. Knowing how to read musical notes and play instruments will greatly assist you in training your vocals, but you need to develop a strategic plan about how to accomplish your goals. You should create and implement a daily schedule for practicing. Hiring good instructors to train you will also be beneficial to your progress. Your vocal teacher should have a strong knowledge of singing and of how to play the instrument you’ll be using to accompany you while you sing. Often times, a vocal coach will play an instrument (often a piano, or a guitar) while the student sings. Always remember that a tracked goal grows. Be sure to set realistic goals for yourself, align yourself with experienced professionals in the music industry, and practice daily if you want to achieve your mission of improving your singing ability.