Improving your singing voice is a lifelong endeavor, but that does not mean you can’t make progress right now. In fact, with these singing tips, you should be able to improve your singing voice in just a week. If you keep at it for a month or more, you will make vast improvements.
Here is my advice: don’t action every one of these tips this week. Pick a couple things you want to work on, and work on them for a week. When you are done, move on to another tip.
Avoid burnout, and start singing!
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Sing Every Day This Week
The best thing you can do to improve your singing is singing regularly. “Practice makes perfect” is a cliché, but practice really does make you better. Singing every day strengthens your vocal cords, improves your vocal range, and will gradually lead you to a better vocal tone.
Practicing every day is best paired with some of the other tips in this guide – learning to warm up, singing with good posture, breathing properly – incorporating all of these elements into your practice will result in better singing, faster.
That said, if there is one thing I’ve learned after years of playing music professionally, it is that showing up to practice is the key thing. If all you manage to do is sing some songs you love and accompany yourself on the guitar, that is 100x better than nothing.
It is easy to fall into the time-crunch trap. If you only have half an hour to spare, you might think to yourself, “why even bother?”
Singing for half an hour gets you a half-hour closer to singing for 10,000 hours. Honestly, it is so much better than nothing. 30 minutes per day will go far, just like a workout. So, get to it!
Record Yourself Singing
As often as you can, you should record yourself singing. It is amazing how different we sound in a recording vs. out in the air. The fact is, you don’t really know how you sound until you record yourself.
Recording yourself allows you to identify both strong points and weak points in your singing so you can improve.
Sometimes recording yourself is a tough experience. You may find that you weren’t singing as well as you thought you were. That is okay! Remember that a recording is a moment in time. Everyone sounds worse in a recording than in a live setting.
That said, you can hear your improvement directly when you record yourself. Even over the course of one week, if you practice daily, record yourself, and work in one or two of these other tips, you will hear the difference, guaranteed.
Learn To Warm Up Properly
Once you have established a practice routine, it is important to practice good technique. Daily practice without technique can eventually result in injury. You do not want to injure your vocal cords – that will put you off practicing for weeks or months!
Learning to warm up your vocals before singing will make you a better singer in the long run. It will also make your practice sessions easier and help you sing with more control and power.
There are lots different warmups to try, but here are a few easy ones:
Lip Buzz Vocal Wam-Up
Doing a lip buzz or lip trill is an easy vocal warmup. Try to make a motorboat sound by loosening your lips and blowing air through your mouth and nose.
Once you are buzzing your lips, incorporate pitch. Start sliding the pitch up and down. Feel free and comfortable to explore pitch and sound. Keep your face and lips relaxed.
Jaw Loosening Exercise
Your jaw should drop lower when you sing than when you talk. With your finger, trace your jawline back to the space between your jaw and your ear. That is where you want to feel your jaw drop.
To start, try yawning. This will drop your jaw. Exhale through your noise as though you are sighing. This will help you improve your vocal range.
Try to incorporate some singing. Sing up and down a scale or sing a simple song in your range – practice letting your jaw drop and keep your vowels nice and open.
Two-Octave Pitch Glide Warm-Up
This is another easy vocal warm-up. Make an “eee” or “ooo” or “ohh” sound and start on a note that is comfortable, but low in your range. Gradually slide up two octaves and slide back down. This should help you warm up your chest voice and your head voice.
You can also do this without octaves: just start on your lowest note and gradually slide all the way up to your highest note and back down again. This should be a continuous, smooth sound.
You can also do this exercise while singing actual notes instead of gliding. Hit every note in the chromatic scale all the way up and all the way down.
There are many more vocal warm-ups available for free on YouTube and even on streaming platforms like Spotify. Find one you like and stick to it for a while. Eventually, you will get better at the vocal warm-ups and get better at singing.
Take An Online Course
Talking about vocal warm-ups brings me to my next point – taking an online course will give you many of these tips in an organized fashion and give you real-life examples, so you can understand the concepts better.
There are lots of these courses online, and we have even reviewed some of the best courses.
Taking an online course can make it easier to hold yourself accountable to regular practice and work on your singing. Many of these courses offer a seven to 14 day trial, which is all you need to make some serious improvements.
You clicked on this guide because you wanted to improve your singing quickly, and taking a course for a week is a sure-fire way to make some improvements.
Practice With Good Posture
Singing with good posture is a huge deal. So many singers struggle with their posture as they're singing, and it has a direct effect on their singing ability.
Your posture has to be flexible enough to allow for expansion in the lungs and good projection. It also has to be efficient, so that you are not spending extra effort on singing or creating tension in your body.
Let’s start from the top down.
Imagine a string holding up your head at the very top. This is a neutral position for the throat and allows the jaw to drop. Do not raise your head or look up when singing high notes – this creates a lot of tension and cuts off the air supply. Maintain your posture, and sing with good technique.
Your shoulders should be low and back. Place your arms behind your back and try to touch your elbows. When you let go of this position, you will have an open, flexible position that doesn’t create extra tension.
Your chest should be open and forward, but not too far forward. There is no need to be unbalanced and cut off your lower body. Do not collapse the chest backwards or inwards.
Your hips and knees are related. Keep a nice loose position in your knees, and do not lock them. Stay in a comfortable loose position so that you can move with ease. Keep your hips in a slightly tucked position. Don’t push them too far back or create extra tension in your lower back.
Feet should be shoulder-width apart and under your hips. If your feet are too close together, you will find yourself with excess tension in your upper body. If they are too far apart, you will find yourself using excess energy to support yourself.
Learn To Breathe Correctly
It seems weird to focus on improving your breathing – we all breathe all the time! That said, breathing while singing is different, and many people do it improperly. Normal breathing is a shallow inhalation and an even exhalation.
When you sing, breathing must be taken off this autopilot. You need to be able to inhale quickly, take a full breath, and exhale over the course of a phrase. This requires a different technique.
Here is how to get your body used to inhaling while singing:
- Pretend that air is heavy as you inhale. The airs weigh 50 lbs. When you breathe in, let it fall low into your body.
- Let the breath land lower than your belly button.
- As you practice this sensation, let the breath fall in quickly. It is heavy and it falls quickly.
- When your lungs fill, imagine it blowing up like a balloon. Your lower back and abdomen should expand.
Controlling your exhale is also important. You need to be able to have a sustained and smooth exhalation. This will help you sing high notes and long phrases.
Here is a technique to practice proper exhalation:
- Find a feather from a pillow or something similar. Try to blow the feather high up in the air and keep it there for as long as possible.
- Keep your chest supported while you do this. Don’t let it collapse while you exhale or inhale.
- Practice exhaling until all the air is gone. You should feel the need to immediately inhale again.
After a while, this will become second nature. However, this is a small thing that can make a big difference.
Work On Opening Your Mouth
One of the biggest improvements you can make to your singing regimen is learning to open your mouth properly while singing. Again, this seems simple, but many people do not do it properly.
Learning to open your mouth to sing vowels correctly is key to a great singing voice. We talked above about dropping the jaw, and that is exactly what you want to do here.
Stand in front of a mirror and sing the five vowels. A, E I, O, U. On “E” and “U,” your jaw will tend to move upward. Practice singing these vowels in front of the mirror until your mouth no longer changes shape. Attempt to sing all of these vowels with the same mouth shape.
Relaxing your face is the goal. Your lips should be relaxed and your jaw should drop easily. A relaxed jaw, a relaxed face, and a nice open vowel is the goal.
Learn To Project Your Singing Voice
Many students also struggle with projecting and getting volume out of their voice. We can all learn to sing louder – after all, opera singers sing without a microphone over top of an entire orchestra!
However, if you do not employ proper technique when attempting to project your voice, you will end up with a brash tone that is unpleasant to sing and listen to.
The first step to singing loudly is taking a good breath. We already talked about the importance of taking a good breath – all aspects of technique are related to each other.
Inhale using the diaphragm. Allow your stomach to puff out a bit while maintaining excellent posture and a relaxed face.
Exhale using the diaphragm again. Good breath support required muscular effort – you should feel your exhalation in your abs. Keep your rib cage expanded and your chest high while you exhale.
If you sound too breathy while singing, this is because you are not using your muscles properly. You need to work on taking good breaths and using your diaphragm to support the exhalation.
If you sound too pinched or bright while singing, you are probably using too much muscular effort. It should be relaxed and natural.
One way to fine tune this balance is to sing a note too breathy and then sing the same note too pinched. Once you identify these two feelings, you can try to find a happy medium between the two.
When you are trying to project, it is important to open the back of your throat. This relates to singing vowels well – you need to open your mouth wide in order to project properly.
Imagine an egg in your throat while you sing, or the feeling of a yawn while singing. You could also imagine smelling a rose while singing. You should be able to feel the back of your throat opening.
Finally, you need to place the voice properly. To increase volume, you need to place the voice in the mask of the face. The mask is below the eyes and along the nose (where a fancy mask is worn).
Vibrations can be felt in the mask when you speak sing an “ng” sound. Try singing the word “sing” and hold the “ng” sound. Feel that vibration? That is where you want to place your voice.
Opening in the back of your throat while placing the voice in the mask will create a tone that is both bright and warm, and loud enough to hear and control.
Eat The Right Foods For Your Voice
A healthy body supports a healthy voice. All professional singers know the value of watching what they are eating.
One of the best foods for your singing voice is liquids. Water, flat soda, apple juice – these are good for keeping energy up while staying hydrated. Nothing beats room temperature water.
Honey with warm water and lemon is a soothing and calming drink to have before you sing. Honey will soothe the throat if it is getting rough from a long day of singing.
Any food with a high water content is good for hydrating the throat. Watermelon, apples, celery, broth-based soups, are all good examples. Tomato-based and cream-based soups are not great, as they cause acid reflux and increase phlegm production.
Finally, protein sources such as fish or chicken are good for energy and feeling full for a long period of time.
Dairy products should generally be avoided right before singing. They tend to create phlegm in the back of the throat and make it harder to sing. This includes pizza, unfortunately.
More bad news, caffeine and alcohol do not help the voice. They are both diuretics, meaning they dehydrate the muscles in the throat and cause them to constrict. You may see singers drinking on stage, but they are not necessarily doing themselves any favors.
Anything too oily or spicy may coat the throat or cause acid reflux as well. Avoid these foods on days that require a lot of singing.
Keep in mind that everyone’s tolerance for foods is different. Some singers drink loads of coffee and still sound and feel fine. Personally, I avoid large amounts of dairy before singing, but afterwards, I will eat dairy and it doesn’t seem to have an adverse effect on my voice.
It’s up to you as a singer to decide which foods are good for your voice. What is most important is having a healthy diet, eating consistently, and eating enough to feel full and have energy. Don’t stress the diet too much!
Choose A Song In Your Vocal Range
One of the biggest mistakes singers make is choosing a song that doesn’t suit their vocal range or style. Everyone has a particular vocal range that sounds comfortable and feels good. They also have styles that suit their voice.
Picking the right songs for your voice is essential. Instead of just finding a song with an impressive singer to emulate, you need to find a song with a singer that sings like you.
If you are a man, it can be helpful to sing songs by other men. Same goes for women. However, this is not always true. Some men sing incredibly high, and some low. Some women have huge range, and others don’t. Some of the greatest voices of all-time defy all notions of gender.
So, it is best to start with a song in your “style” or “genre.” If you like singing country, it is best to start singing country, rather than singing Whitney Houston. You will be more comfortable with the melodies and phrasing, and it is more likely to suit your range.
Second, you need to learn about your vocal range. Vocal range is the measurement of the lowest note and the highest note that you can sing. Try sitting in front of a piano and figuring out what your lowest and highest notes are.
Generally, a bass singer will have a range from E2 to E4. Baritone range is A2 to A4. Tenor range is C3 to C5, Countertenor is E3 to E5. Alto is F3 to F5. Soprano is C4 to C6.
These ranges are approximate – most people have these ranges plus or minus a few notes on either end.
Once you know your range, you can try searching for “songs in the bass range” or similar.
Find Your Own Voice
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to find your singing voice. This is a combination of everything I’ve talked about so far. Technique, posture, range, style, and practice.
The first step to finding your voice is finding your range and improving technique. The second is picking songs that feel great to sing. And finally, you need to let go of the judgement you have for your own voice.
Once you relax, you can begin to develop a voice that sounds like you. You need to overcome your dislike for your own voice. Practicing all of these techniques will help you do that.
Personally, I found that writing my own songs was the thing that helped me find my voice. I found I could write songs that perfectly fit my voice with melodies that were designed for me to sing.
Final Thoughts How To Improve Your Singing Voice In One Week
It will take longer than a week to become a great singer. In fact, it will likely take years. However, if you commit to practicing every day this week and pick one other technique to practice, I guarantee you will see results after a week.
Just make sure to come back the next week and try it all over again!