The Secret to a Successful Singing Practice

There is a myriad of books, CDs, DVDs, videos, online singing practice programs and educational series that help people improve their singing.

However, there is one very crucial part that is often not discussed in these training programs:secret to successful singing practice revealed

How to practice singing.

This topic is often not discussed in private lessons too. Teachers and students somehow assume that they know what to do.

Do you know how to practice singing?

Do you know what is the secret to improvement?

How do you get the most out of your singing exercises?

Most new singers are very enthusiastic about their new endevaours. They show up at voice lessons, choir and singing practices, or they study books/CDs with vocal exercises. But as soon as they start practicing by themselves, they are lost. 

They work hard, they practice every day but the progress is slow. 

They know what to sing but they lack the knowledge how to practice singing.

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The Secret to Becoming a Better Singer Revealed

This is my story:

When I first decided to take up singing, I invested quite a bit of money in books, CDs and online programs. You should see my library!

With every new book and online course, I felt more empowered. But there was no progress.

I spent lots of time reading books and watching videos. Of course, I practiced and I did my daily singing exercises. Still no progress.

Until I realized something very important. 

I knew very little about myself!

Do you know what I was missing?

It’s called self-awareness.

 

Self-Awareness and Singing Practice

Learning to sing is a process of discovering your vocal instrument and your body in order to use it more efficiently and freely.

It starts with a theoretical understanding of how your body and voice work. The most important skill is the kinesthetic awareness – actual sensation of body or muscle position, movement and tension.

Developing self-awareness is the key to improving your vocal skills. If you know exactly what is happening in your body when singing, you can control it, change it or improve it.

self-awareness and singing practice

Here are some more examples:

When your teacher tells you to open your throat, try to understand what it really means:

How does it feel when the throat is “closed”?
What body parts do I need to move to open my throat?
Where is my tongue?
Where is my soft palate?
How does it feel?

Or when the book says to use the correct posture for singing, ask yourself these questions:

Where is my head?
Is my rib cage open?
Do I feel tension in my body?
Where are my shoulders?
And what about my hips, knees and feet?

It is easy to focus on one aspect of singing but it’s almost impossible to focus on all the elements at the same time.

Right?

It’s almost impossible even for those who can multitask!

 

How to Develop Self-Awareness?

Don’t worry. Singing is like driving:

When you learn to drive, you turn the radio off and you do not talk to anyone in the car. You keep your focus on the road. Once you get the hang of it, you can listen to the radio and drive at the same time.

Later you even engage in long discussions with your fellow travelers.

Eventually, you can divide your attention between several elements and still not cause an accident. Over time, your awareness of the road conditions, cars around you, traffic rules and many more aspects of driving will become more automatic and you can even sing along with the radio (wasn’t that the ultimate goal?). 

The same process applies to singing and vocal practice.

Initially, you focus on one aspect of singing. Once this skill becomes somewhat automatic, you add another skill.

Slowly but surely, you become aware of your head, chest, vocal cords, breathing, tension etc. You progresivelly become able to check them all at the same time and make adjustments. Some of these skills become second nature to you so they will not require too much focus.

how to practice singing

 

How to Practice Singing?

Singing is a self-discovery process. Enjoy this process. You will know yourself more than anyone else.singing practice

Here are a few tips to make your next singing practice more effective:

1. Play with sounds and sensations

Experiment with your voice and have fun with it.

Make ugly sounds, make pretty sounds.

Make sounds with different mouth openings, vocal tract shaping, breathing patterns etc.

Move around, move your head and neck.

Shape vowels and consonants.

Pretend you are a cartoon character.

Try something new that you have not tried before.

Experiment and have fun!

2. Pay attention to your voice and body

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How does it feel?
  • Where do I feel the tension?
  • Where is my tongue, soft palate, larynx …?
  • What happens if I change …?
  • Does singing feel free?
  • What did I do to make it feel this way?
  • How did I do that? …

3. Let go!

Many people feel vulnerable during the discovery process of their voice. To be silly, to sound like a cartoon character or to make movements that we normally don’t make is not “cool”.

But it is very important to let go and free yourself of fears.

I often remind myself to let go. It’s not easy for me as I am usually a reserved person. But when I let go, the feeling is empowering! 

singing practice

4. Be patient

Building self-awareness takes time. Do not rush things.

Sometimes, it may feel that you are not doing much singing.

For example, you may be working on discovering the breathing muscles. Not much singing involved in this task. But believe me, before you develop properly controlled breath support, you need to know where your breathing muscles are and what they can do for you!

5. Create time for singing practice

But remember – do not just blindly go through exercises.

Try to understand and feel what you are doing and how you are doing it.

Pay attention to what you feel. Constantly assess your muscle and body position, movement and tension.

Gradually, you’ll become better and better at feeling and adjusting.

singing practice

6. Write a check list

It may be helpful to write down the questions you want to ask yourself during singing practice.

Start with one question.

For example, focus on the position of your chin (“Am I lifting my chin when singing high notes?”). Do your singing exercises and focus only on your chin.

Once you are confident that you can keep your chin where it should be, add another question.

For example, pay attention to your shoulders (“Am I lifting my shoulders when breathing in?”). Now focus on both your chin and shoulders.

Continue gradually. In a few weeks, your check list will be long but some of the skills will not require your focus any more. 

 

BONUS: Do You Breathe Correctly for Singing? Download a FREE Breathing Checklist. Discover Your Strengths and Areas for Development. Transform Your Breathing and Sing With Ease and Confidence. Click Here to Download It NOW!

 

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