The Techniques of Singing

Beginners:             (Experienced signers > Here)

As I have said in many places on this site, you can't sing well unless you 'know the notes' which is why I stress the use of good quality customised recordings that I make for you to help you learn your songs.

BUT! this is not the end of the experience of learning to sing! Learning the notes and the rhythms is important but what about the voice itself?

HOW you sing those correct notes that you have learned so carefully is another thing altogether. This is where we really start to deal with what learning to sing is REALLY all about.

To use an analogy You want to take a drive to the next town in your car. As well as checking the map to find out the directions to the next town and work how long it will take you to do the journey, you also need to check that your car is in good condition and able to do the journey.

With singing, learning the notes and rhythms is like checking out the map, working out WHAT you want to sing. But ,learning to sing is also about checking out that the "car" (your voice) is working as efficiently as possible.

Now of course, if you haven't worked out where you're going to go by checking the map for your car journey, it doesn't matter how well tuned your car is, you're not going to get there. And the reverse is true too. A very carefully worked out journey is no use to you, if you find yourself stuck at the side of the road after a few minutes because the car isn't working properly.

Once again as it is with singing: If you haven't learnt the notes correctly, then you're not going to be able to get your voice to behave efficiently. If the voice is beautifully "in tune", but you don't know what notes to sing, then you'll also be in trouble! So both things affect each other - as with your car journey.

I have noticed over the years, that many people feel that being able to sing is a sort of "Gift of the Gods" - you can either do it, or you can't. Famous singers like Barbra Streisand or Pavarotti, were somehow born with their beautiful voices, and that's just it. Will guess what? None of us were around and listening the first time Barbra Streisand or Pavarotti tried to sing. We don't now how good they were when they started out. We only saw the finished product, when their voices were well tuned and ready to be presented to the public. And of course, it is their job to make it look effortless, so you may not be aware how much work is involved when these famous people sing so beautifully. There is no doubt that some people are born lucky, with some singing skills already in place, or else they just picked up the right way to do it be chance, or due to early experiences in childhood.

But many people don't understand that voices CAN be transformed. I've had many students come to me singing quite badly out of tune, with no tone, making a quite unpleasant sound. But after a year or so of work, their voices have truly come alive! So the first thing to understand is, don't make assumptions about how you might eventually be able to sing based on how you are doing it now!

Some of the things that help you to sing better, involve learning how to train your body to behave differently than it does now when you are singing. Yes, it is a little bit like learning to ride a bicycle. Different muscles and techniques need to be learnt before you can do it properly, and like the bicycle, it may involve falling off every now and again!

MORE > Some of the techniques that affect the quality of your singing voice