When the singing contest The Voice premiered in 2011, many aspiring singers came out in droves in the hopes of becoming the next singing sensation. Some had natural talent, while others didn’t. If you want to become a successful singer, you’ll have to practice everyday to improve your singing capability. The following are five vocal exercises to add to your daily routine.
Before you can start singing, you have to hear how it sounds. Listening to notes played over and over will help you memorize its pitch to mimic them.
A simple exercise you can do is counting up and down the C Major scale. Here are the steps:
- Starting with the first key (Middle C), sing its note by saying the number one
- Sing C, D and then go back to C by counting one/two/one
- Sing C, D, E then back to D and C saying one/two/three/two/one
- Sing C, D, E, F, E, D and back down to C – one/two/three/four/three/two/one
- Repeat this until you have reached the octave of Middle C
After practicing this a few times, you can move on to other scales and work your way up to perfect pitch.
The importance of breathing properly as a singer is underrated. In order to hold a note for an extended period of time, you have to learn how to take in the right amount of air without passing out. If you ever wondered how opera singers are able to belt out such strong and powerful notes is because they build up their abdominal muscles daily with various breathing exercises.
As a beginner, you can practice the following breathing technique:
- Standing up, place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach
- Start to breath in through your nose while focusing on expanding your waistline
- Breathe out through your nose making sure to keep your chest still
- Repeat this 10 times
The goal of this exercise is to train your body to breath from your diaphragm. Your breathing will become stronger the more you practice.
Understanding rhythm is very important when singing. You don’t want be off beat or lag behind the music while performing. One specific way to perfect your rhythm is to practice clapping using a metronome. There are apps you can download from the App Store or Google Play if you don’t have a physical one.
Here is an easy exercise you can do:
- Set the metronome to 4/4 time signature
- Adjust the beats per minute (BPM) to 80
- Start the metronome
- As it ticks, clap your hands while counting 1 2 3 4
- Repeat this until you feel comfortable
You can adjust the settings and try clapping every other beat. Mixing things up as you go along strengthens your understanding of rhythm.
One of the most important assets you have as an aspiring singer is your voice. The way you sound is very unique from other artists.
There are a few training techniques you can do daily but we will focus on one for now:
- Using with the C Major Scale, sing “LA” with each note
- Go up to the fifth key in the scale and go back down to Middle C
- Next, move up one key (should be D) and sing each key up to the fifth and go back down
- Do this until you reach the eighth key for the C Major Scale
- Then go backwards until you rest at Middle C
Switching things up by changing the scale and words is helpful. Taking time to exercise your voice daily will advance its performance and increase your singing ability.
The difference between singing and instrumental music is that you do not have to worry about diction while playing a piano or guitar. A lot of artists write heart felt lyrics to express how they are feeling and want their audience to understand them clearly. There are a few exercises you can do to improve your diction. One of them is saying a tongue twisting phrase over and over:
“How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” (Typing that was just as difficult as saying it!)
Take your time when saying this and any other phrase to get your tongue, lips and mouth use to saying it. Practicing other techniques such as vowels and phonetics are just as crucial.
These 5 daily vocal exercises are just the beginning of your singing career. Creating and sticking with a schedule that follows the above suggestions will expand your chances of making it in the music industry. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions if you have them. We’re always happy to help.