It’s hard to know where to start.
When you first start out learning to sing, you don’t know what is most important to work on.
That’s why our best tip for beginners is to get a structured course to work your way through. If you have the money, get an actual vocal coach.
But if you have a limited budget (and who doesn’t), you’re better off saving your money and getting a comprehensive course instead.
We reviewed the best vocal courses online. Start there and get a coach later, once you’ve got the fundamentals down.
If those courses are out of your budget, start with our complete guide on learning to sing. It costs nothing and it gives you every exercise you need to start improving right away.
If you’re just looking for a few quick singing tips for beginners, read on. We’ve compiled the best below.
Table of Contents
- 1 Singing Tips And Tricks For Beginners
- 1.1 Singing Tip For High Notes
- 1.2 Singing Tips For Guys
- 1.3 Singing Tips For Women
- 1.4 Singing Tips To Improve Your Voice
- 1.5 Singing Tips For Bad Singers
- 1.6 Singing Tips From Famous Singers
- 2 Singing Tips For Beginners: Final Thoughts
Singing Tips And Tricks For Beginners
The following tips and exercises are all great for beginning singers who want to improve their voice. We’ve broken them down into several different categories, but the truth is, every tip will work great for any singer.
Singing Tip For High Notes
The following exercises are great for helping you sing high notes, but they are far from the only ones to try. We have an entire article on singing high notes.
The Lip Trill
Your range now, without doing the lip trill, is nothing compared to what it will be when you start doing this exercise. It’s one of the best ways to practice your range, and at the same time, extend it.
When you start out doing the exercise, you might find that you are able to hit higher notes when you’re doing the exercise than when you sing. That’s a good sign.
Here’s how you do it.
- With your lips together, blow so that they vibrate.
- Then, hum while you do that. Get comfortable with this.
- When you are, hum a comfortable note at the bottom of your register.
- Then hum a siren, from the bottom of your register right to the top, and all the way back down again.
- Hum the siren again, but now try to not let your voice crack or break – you want a smooth ride.
Don’t worry if your voice cracks while you’re doing it. As long as you aren’t hurting yourself, you’re okay.
Sing Your Vowels
Which parts of a word do you carry when you sing an extended lyric? It’s hardly ever the consonants, when you think about it.
Being able to project your voice properly depends a lot on how well you sing vowels. And being able to hit high notes while projecting properly is just as dependent on your vowel control.
And vowel control is something you can work on. These two vowel exercises will help you sing higher: the ooh vocal siren and the eeh vocal siren. Honestly, they’re practically the same thing, but they do exercise your vocal cords differently.
If you’re doing the ooh siren, make an ooh sound, and if you’re doing the eeh siren…I think you get it. For both, follow these steps:
- Sing the sound at a comfortable note in your register.
- Then, hit the siren – sing the sound from the bottom of your register, right to the top.
- Sing the siren again, but this time, much like with the lip trill, try not to let your voice crack – remember, a smooth ride.
Singing Tips For Guys
Know Your Range
What separates people who can sing from the people who wish they could? Control. Being so in control of your voice, that it doesn’t falter.
And key to that is knowing where in your register you have the most control. Knowing your range is vital to being able to manipulate and use your voice to achieve the potential that you have as a singer. Your range is entirely affected by the type of voice you have.
These are the voice types men have:
- Alto: the highest, singing in the falsetto range
- Tenor: which isn’t as high as alto, but more common
- Baritone: which is the most common, the everyman tone
- Bass: the lowest, and few and far between – bass roles are sometimes given to baritones who can hit the lower notes
There are a few factors that go into the type of voice you have, so pay attention to these. They will help you figure out where you fit in, and from that, work out your entire range.
- The weight of your voice: tenors and basses could hit the same notes, but how they control that note, how clear it is, how clean it sounds, won’t be the same. That’s your voice’s weight.
- Tessitura: the range within your entire vocal range that you can sing comfortably. Don’t get it confused with your range, which is every note you can hit, even those you can’t hit comfortably.
- Your bridge location: the note you hit when you move to your second register – when you move from your chest voice to your head voice.
Singing Tips For Women
Chin Down To Release Your Power
This exercise will help you gain extra power, without the strain. But it’s something that you’re going to have to practice until it becomes second nature.
I don’t want to assume, but I’m guessing this might be true for you: when you want to hit that big note, the crescendo, you probably tend lift your chin, right?
Don’t worry, that inclination is perfectly natural. It makes sense that lifting up your head will give you more power. But it doesn’t. In fact, the opposite is true: keeping your head level is the key to hitting and holding powerful notes.
But doing that is not intuitive. That’s why it will take practice to train yourself to keep your head level intuitively. But the actual implementation is very easy:
Keep your chin pointed down and your pecs slightly flexed.
An easy way to practice this, and more importantly get used to it, is to sing a scale. But do so with a dropped chin and flexed pecs.
You might find that when you reach the higher notes, your head will want to lift – this is when you build the habit. Fight the urge to lift your chin, and keep it tucked instead as you go up and down the scale. Practice makes perfect.
Singing Tips To Improve Your Voice
Keep Your Voice Healthy
There are so many exercises you can do to improve your singing voice. But there’s something else that you need to do all the time: look after your voice.
Guitarists change their strings to get the best out of their instrument, so why shouldn’t you do everything you can to keep your instrument in the best possible shape as well.
There are a number of things you can do to keep your voice in top shape.
- Drink six to eight glasses of lukewarm water a day. Drinking water is good for you anyway, but it’s good for your voice specifically, because it keeps your throat hydrated. If you want to ease your throat even more, you can add some lemon or honey.
- Sleep for eight hours. You’re at your best mentally, physically, and vocally when you’re rested. Getting your full eight hours in when on tour might be tough, so nap – even a short nap can help improve the quality of your voice.
- Practice your deep breathing, and meditate. Being stressed could cause your voice to sound strained, so learn to stay calm, breathe deeply (1, 2 in; 3, 4 out) and let go of stress.
- Don’t overuse your voice. Just like all your other muscles, if you overwork your voice and don’t give it enough time to rest and recover, you will strain it.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking is so detrimental – it negatively affects your throat, vocal chords, and lung capacity, meaning you’ll be straining to hold notes that are weaker than they should be.
- If you’re straining your voice, you need to stop. If your voice sounds hoarse or scratchy, or your throat hurts when you sing (or even just talk), you’ve overdone it and need to hold back for a while. Try to avoid even talking, until your voice is rested and back to normal. If your voice doesn’t go back to normal, please see a doctor to check for growths.
Singing Tips For Bad Singers
It doesn’t have to be anything technical – you can record yourself on your phone. The point is simply to have evidence that you’re getting better over time. It’s a great incentive, and it’s a great teacher.
When you’re starting out, what you hear when you sing isn’t a true reflection of what you actually sound like to whomever might be subjected (at first) to listening to you.
When you listen to your recording, you’ll hear what you actually sound like. Don’t be too put off at first, and don’t give up. Persistence is key. Use what you hear to figure out what needs to be improved, so you can pinpoint what to practice.
To help you feel comfortable recording yourself, sing the song that you have the most fun singing. And let loose. Sing loud, sing proud, sing as you would for a stadium full of people.
You don’t want to tire yourself out before you’ve even really gotten into a song. You don’t want to cause very easily avoidable strain on your voice.
What you do want to do is breathe properly. Not breathing properly is a surefire way to not achieve your full potential. If you can’t breathe, you can’t sing.
Breathing into your diaphragm is key. You can practice this by putting an imaginary elastic band around your waist. When you breathe in, the elastic band should stretch. Don’t lift your shoulders and chest, but rather stretch the band.
Singing Tips From Famous Singers
Not quite a tip from their mouths, but more a tip based on their actions. Famous singers are professionals. Like any professional, they want to get better at what they do, so they do the single most important thing you can do to improve your voice.
For one of her performances at the Oscars, Lady Gaga practiced with a vocal coach every day for six months. Whitney Houston carried on practicing every day, right up until she passed away.
If it means so much to two of the world’s biggest stars, it must be advice worth following.
Singing Tips For Beginners: Final Thoughts
If you are a beginning singer, every one of the tips on this page are actually more than tips. They are things you absolutely must do to maintain and improve your voice. Read our monster guide on learning to sing for much more on improving your voice.