Whether you’re just starting out on your singing journey or you’ve been doing the rounds for a while now, you must understand that vocal techniques matter.
It’s not wise to assume that how you currently use your voice is going to go the distance when it comes to using it ‘under pressure’, which effectively is what singing does.
So where do you start?
#1- Learn what’s going to make the biggest improvement to your singing voice in the shortest period of time.
#2- Allow time in your daily practice routine to focus solely on vocal techniques, instead of just singing songs.
Now, all you need to know is WHICH vocal techniques to focus on.
Our TOP 5 Vocal Techniques for Beginners
If you’re new to singing, it can be hard to figure out WHERE to start when it comes to Vocal Techniques for Beginners.
You might have A LOT of questions like….
Do I even NEED vocal techniques?
Should I be learning something more complex or just sticking to something SIMPLE?
Are singing lessons worth the money?
And, how long should I work on each vocal technique for?
It’s predictable that I’m going to tell you that EVERYONE can benefit from learning to sing with vocal techniques.
And when practiced for long enough, those techniques will help you transform your voice into the singer you know you could be.
But I won’t lie.. Becoming a great singer is going to take some work on your part. Like anything worth doing, it will take time, dedication and consistent practice.
If you’re up for that, you’re in the right place.
These are the vocal techniques myself and the rest of the Voicehouse team have been teaching 1000s of singers on a daily basis over the last 14 years at Voicehouse Singing Studios.
Practice and perfect these to lay a solid foundation for the growth of your voice.
VOCAL TECHNIQUE #1
Train Your Ears
Okay, technically this isn’t a vocal technique, but it’s the most important skill to train when it comes to improving your singing.
You can have the best-sounding voice in the world, but if you can’t sing on pitch or in time, it’s not going to cut it.
I’m sure you’ve done that awkward head turn when you’ve heard someone singing off-pitch or felt like you’re on the edge of your seat when someone’s singing off-time.
And hey, maybe you’ve been the singer in that situation… and if that’s you, focus on aural (ear) training before anything else.
Your ears are your gauge, not just for pitch and rhythm but also for whether you’re implementing a technique correctly.
Further to that, your ears will help you determine the good and not-so-good qualities of your voice.
Let me give you an example…
I had quite a nasal voice when I began singing which stuck with me for years until I could actually hear it.
If you can’t hear a certain quality within your voice, then it’s very hard to make the necessary changes.
To be honest, the nasality still comes out sometimes if I’m not paying attention and that’s because I had spoken and sung with that quality in my voice for my entire life.
Old habits will always die hard, and whatever is in your speaking voice is going to come through in your singing voice.
VOCAL TECHNIQUE #2
Perfect Your Posture
Think of your body as an instrument.
If you had a trumpet and it didn’t have a clear path for sound to come out, how do you think it would sound?
Now imagine that air didn’t have a clear path to move throughout your body, you’d expect the same result.
This is why posture is so important for your sound production.
You’d be surprised what standing up straight and opening your chest can do for both your sound quality and releasing body tension.
My favorite thing about this vocal technique is that it also doubles as a fix for your posture in everyday life.
Try it for yourself!
Follow our 5 Easy Posture Tips for Singers below:
You can save this graphic to refer back to later on, or even download it, print it out and stick it up in your practice area as a reminder to keep at it!
VOCAL TECHNIQUE #3
Master Diaphragmatic Breathing
The fact that you’re alive and reading this, means you’re at least doing this to stay alive!
But are you doing it to a level that singing requires?
Your breath is the fuel of your voice, and if your fuel sucks then you’re already limiting what you can produce.
Diaphragmatic(or belly) breathing is the best way to breathe as it allows you to use the deeper parts of your lungs that a lot of people don’t.
Take a second to observe your breathing as you read this.
If you’re breathing into your chest, that is what we call a shallow breath.
This is not ideal due to the shape of your lungs, the tension it creates in the upper chest and the state of your nervous system.
The deeper the breath, the calmer the mind, the better the voice.
Here are our 5 Simple Steps to Diaphragmatic Breathing that you can try out now, or save to refer back to later:
Practising belly breathing is simple, but does take consistency to retrain the habit.
Use the 5 steps below on a daily basis (best done in the morning or at night in bed) and you’ll have that Diaphragm breathing strong in no time!
- Set a 10 minute timer.
- Lay on your back and place a hand on your belly.
- Breathe into the belly, trying not to expand the upper part of your chest.
- Slowly exhale through the nose or mouth.
VOCAL TECHNIQUE #4
Learn the art of Vocal Placement
This is the bee’s knees of vocal techniques for changing the way you sound when you sing.
Think of it as how well you can use your mouth and throat to produce a killer sound.
All of your favourite singers have worked on their vocal placement, even if they don’t know they have.
So how do you work on it?
Vocal placement requires the manipulation of your tongue, soft palate and throat to produce the best sound possible.
We have yet, another, little infographic to help you open your mouth correctly during your next practice session:
While you can only ever create sound at your vocal cords, your brain will make it feel like you’re placing sound in a particular area of your mouth.
This takes a lot of focus and practice to begin with but over time it’ll become second nature, kinda like driving a car.
Remember all the things you used to think about when you first started driving?
I’m sure now it feels more like you magically appear at your destination.
Do a BIG YAWN and pay attention to the feeling in your throat.
That stretching feeling is the feeling of an open throat.
While this isn’t exactly how you’re going to sing, it’s a good start to getting you on the right track.
You’re aiming to ‘find your sweet spot’ for singing, which requires some experimentation.
Vocal placement is one of those singing techniques that just keeps getting better and better, the more time you spend on it.
And although a shameless.. yet honest plug, it is made easier with the assistance of a trained vocal coach.
Simply because a vocal coach can hear what you may not be and can guide you from there.
VOCAL TECHNIQUE #5
The secret is in the Vowels
The glue that holds all words together.
Regardless of the language you speak, they hold the same value.
When it comes to singing techniques, I refer to vowels as an extension of your vocal placement.
The two go hand in hand, the better your vocal placement, the better your vowels.
The vowels A,E,I,O,U form into vowel sounds that create the flow in everything you speak and sing.
You’d be surprised how much better your singing will become, when you spend time working on these.
Start by examining the words you’re singing and picking out the vowel.
Don’t be afraid to sing the word over and over again, in fact, the more you do it, the better.
If you’ve got a mirror handy, that’s even better.
Get in front of it and start experimenting with your vowel sounds.
Bonus points for how over the top you can get with your mouth shapes.
My rule of thumb – Take it to the extreme then pull it back from there.
In no time you’ll start to notice the improvement in both your vowel sounds and your vocal placement.
So there you have it.
These 5 Vocal Techniques will put you on the right path to becoming a great singer.
Remember though, how you work on these and how often you work on these makes all the difference in your improvement.
As you can see,
It’s not fancy,
It’s not pretty,
It just involves good old fashioned consistency and discipline.
I’ve spent countless hours over the years trying to find the solution to being a great singer and believe me when I say, there is no magic pill.
It honestly comes down to the time spent doing the simple things over and over again and your dedication to doing the “boring” work.
If you enjoyed this article, we’d love to offer you a FREE value-packed resource that’ll help kick start your singing journey immediately.