Learn To Sing Like A Pro

By David C. Messier

Learning to sing is less of a destination and more of a journey.If you plan to sing professionally and make a career out of entertaining with your voice, you'll probably spend a lot more time, money and energy on learning to sing than a hobbyist. I'm going to address both of you - the singer who wants to sing professionally and the singer who just wants to get good as a hobby.

Wherever you decide to have your singing lessons, you will be able to learn various exercises to help you with the very basics of singing, and breathing in the right way. People seem to get the wrong idea about singing lessons and make it much harder than it needs to be. Granted you will have to put some effort in and spend time between lessons practicing yourself, but all the work will be worth it in the end.The whole point of learning to sing is because you want to enjoy it, and to get the full amount out of your lessons you will need a fair bit of tuition. This is where if you decide to have one on one tuition you will make a rather large hole in your wallet as the weeks and months go by.

Many people have found it a lot easier, not to mention cheaper to learn to sing by using CD's and DVD's to help them to visualise exactly what they should be doing. There are many singing courses around that offer CD's to help you, but you really do need to be careful which one you go for. Read everything about learning to sing this way, listen to examples, see what qualifications the person who is making the CD's has. If you go for a Singing Success type course you will have CD's and a DVD which you can listen to and play over and over again until you are happy with your progress. Compare this type of learning to sing with the cost of paying a teacher on an hourly basis, and you will see that learning to sing in this way will be less expensive than learning with a personal teacher.

You'll be given lots of original songs and audio exercises for you to learn with. These include solo singing, singing warm-ups, singing in harmony, singing for auditions and very much more. The included Singorama "Mini Recording Studio" software features many tools including a virtual piano for working on scales and songs. Just imagine adding a WHOLE OCTAVE to your vocal range! Imagine how others will be blown away by your pitch-perfect singing. Just imagine how much your self-confidence and stage presence will soar! You'll be singing from your heart, not your mind, and your audience will see that right away.

These vocal coaches are usually the best trained and most experienced singing teachers around. Certainly you have a better chance of connecting with a truly great voice teacher there than by pulling a number off a paper flyer. Learning to sing is expensive...prepare to pay good money for your voice lessons! Anywhere between $40 and $100 per hour, once a week is common. If you decide to go to college, I'd recommend auditioning for a vocal program at your college or university. You may have to sing classical or jazz, but it won't turn you into a classical or jazz singer, just teach you another style, great musicianship and how to use your voice.

You see, like pretty much all of the major arts, singing is an extremely technical study. There can be a thousand ways to do something wrong and only 3 ways to do it right and only the eyes and ears of a highly skilled and experienced vocal coach can give you the immediate, actionable feedback you need to correct you AS you're actually performing the act.But, if for whatever reason you can't or don't want to take singing lessons - which, many people don't, and yes, they're very expensive! - then there are still A LOT of resources you can learn from and apply to your singing on your own.

Even just the act of sitting down in a room with some music playing and mindfully singing along to your favorite songs can help you gain awareness of your body, voice tone, range limitations, etc. On top of that, there are TONS of books on singing. Many of them have really great advice, although some of them can get a little technical with information about anatomy, acoustics, etc. I'd say that Richard Miller's "Art of Singing" and most books about SLS (speech level singing) are great places to start to begin understanding the fundamentals of healthy vocalism, although chances are good you already have a somewhat intuitive understanding of what good singing is and bad singing is; what sounds brilliant and what sounds god-awful.

Most of them anyway... Expect to run into some really unsavory people. But that's with any industry. As you take voice lessons and/or sing your gigs, keep continually educating yourself on all the different aspects of music: music history, music theory, aural theory, orchestration, arranging, harmony, etc. Essentially, you've just gotta keep working your butt off and growing and more and more opportunities will come your way. Remember, you're your own number 1 teacher. Even a great vocal coach who's your friend and mentor and an amazing singer and teacher can NOT replace your own drive and desire so be careful of emotional dependency, transference and vicarious living through your teach.

Even if you take voice lessons weekly, it's good to go visit another teacher and get another perspective. Working with high quality singing software programs will also put you way ahead of the curve. Sing With Freedom is great for increasing your range and relaxation while Singorama is a fantastic musicianship course. Learning To Sing As A Hobby If you've read the first section, your probably thinking...crap, I've gotta go through all that when learning to sing? Well, no.

The above breathing exercise is the most basic breathing exercise you can get, it is one you should do every day - four or five times a day. It's something you can do on the train, walking down the street, standing looking in through a shop window and no one will ever know you are doing it. Given a little time and practise you will soon learn to master your breathing and as you do start to increase the breathing count - eight, twelve, fifteen and as far as you can go.

I remember my somewhat progressive choir director (she was hot, too) telling me that "singing is singing" and I was like "pfft, not it isn't. There's right singing and wrong singing, my opera singing books told me so!" Man, what a jackass I was! Pardon the language, but it illustrates how easy it is to drink the "my way is better than your way" kool aid.The point is, she was right. Singing IS singing. But with that said, every singer needs to learn how to sing in tune, how to sing high notes with ease, how to keep their body relaxed, how to listen, etc., regardless of your favorite style of singing. These are just fundamentals.After leaving my singing career, I began to see singing education more objectively and democratically and now I realize that the modern singer can and should add as much as possible to their singing toolbox and even the best teacher in the world will be wrong sometimes and it's good to consult with other sources. One person can't know it all, especially when it comes to something as incredibly rich and complex as singing.

About the Author: