After appearing on stage with such greats as James Brown, Boney M, Michael Bolton. Guest appearances, recordings and vocal contributions with artists such as Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Elton John and more, I knew I had created the career of my dreams. That’s when it became important to me to help others do the same.
Singing is one of the most enjoyable and captivating ways to express yourself.
I can assure you that there is singing going on right now, in every continent in the world.
The most exciting and mesmerizing voice is not always just down to natural raw talent alone. More often than not, it is the result of a burning desire, lots of practice, perseverance, the right vocal technique, and good emotional and physical health.
You were born with your own unique vocal identity - your "vocal fingerprint".
Take a moment now and think of all your favourite singers that you just love. It’s probable that each one of them stand out because they have a ‘Signature Sound’, that is unique and instantly recognisable.
Developing your own unique vocal identity as a singer, starts with of good posture, and proper breathing technique. Improving your voice is often a slow process, so be warned, it could take time, and if you haven’t sung for a while or you’re a beginner, you will need to begin with regular practice to develop your singing skills.
Perhaps you already have an amazing voice, in that case, here are some "how to sing better" tips for you too, to help make sure you keep your voice strong and healthy.
Let's start with how you hold your body when standing or sitting.
Your Body Loves Alignment!
Stand up straight – imagine a string pulling you up from the top of your head.
Align your body
Your ear, shoulder, and hip should form a straight line whether seated or standing. Your feet should be hip-width apart, keeping your knees “soft” not locked.
Neutral Head Position
Glide your head forward as far as it will go.
Then keeping your head level, glide it back pulling your chin down slightly, without dropping down.
Gently release your head to a position in between so that your ears are aligned with your shoulders.
Look straight ahead, keeping your shoulders down. Try to relax as tension will prevent you from making a good sound.
Singers are like athletes, so warm-ups are critical to your vocal health. Just like a runner wouldn't do strenuous exercise without stretching your muscles, you shouldn't try to tackle a song without stretching your pipes.
Here are three of my favourite sounds to warm-up the voice. Try these before doing more structured scale or detailed vocal technique.
2. VOCAL WARM-UPS
A bubbling sound made with lips or tongue. This exercise is really helpful as it encourages you to relax the jaw and requires that you keep the air flowing. Both of these techniques help with free tone production.
Sliding or Siren Sounds
Moving your voice up or down, gliding continuously, in a perfectly smooth way. Vocalize through a series of pitches, without stopping, on any particular scale notes. Imitate the sound of a siren. You can use any vowel or just hum.
While keeping your teeth slightly apart, close your lips, hum a tone; you will notice a buzzing feeling in the lips, nose face and cheeks. You can also use with sliding up and down as in the siren exercise. The buzzing sensation results when humming, will increase your awareness of resonance. Resonance makes the quality of your voice sound louder, adding variety in your tone, making it brighter, better projection and generally makes your voice sound more interesting.
When you’ve finished the first part of the warm-up, you can then move on to various other techniques that you might want to work on. Your daily practice should include exercises to help develop a variety of singing skills, such as: Range extension, Vocal Flexibility, Breath Control, Tonality, Articulation and Clarity.
3. IMPROVE YOUR VOWEL PRODUCTION
As a singer it's very important that you have good articulation, so don’t be afraid to ‘open your mouth’ when singing. Articulate and enunciate each word, so that the listener can hear the lyrics and the message of the song you’re singing.
I’d like to share five singing vowels to help you deliver every word with improved clarity.
The five primary vowels are:
• Ah - as in father
• Eh - as in met
• Ee - as in meet
• Oh - as in home
• Oo - as in blue
For example: If you sang the word “father” the "ah" sound requires a dropped jaw. If the jaw is dropped enough, the word "father" may sound like "further" to the listener.
Ever wonder why singers keep a bottle of water close at hand? Your vocal chords need moisture in order to function at their best. Proper hydration keeps them nimble and allows you to hit a variety of notes quickly and smoothly.
5. SING LIKE YOU!
Choose songs that sit comfortably in your vocal octave range(s), so you sound at your best, which will allow you to "get in the zone". Select songs that show off the colours, flavour and textures in your voice, to allow you to sing better instantly, and express the real character and the ‘sweet spot’ of your vocal performance.
6. NEVER STRAIN YOUR VOICE
If you feel tired, STOP! - Don’t risk damaging your voice.
7. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Listen and study as many singing styles as possible for inspiration, but don’t try to impersonate them, be YOU!
You might already be capable to do an even better rendition of somebody’s song in your own special way.
8. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Your voice functions at its best when your body is well-rested. Lack of sleep affects your voice, energy levels, your brain and mood. It affects just about every tissue in your body. Sleep also has an impact on growth, stress hormones, your immune system, appetite, breathing, high blood pressure and cardiovascular health.
Eat well and maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle. “Take Care of Your Body, and Your Body will Take Care of You”.
Here's To Your Success!
PS - If you are looking to get started on your singing career, I would love to help you. I’ve had Platinum records with major labels, toured the world, made guest appearances, recordings and vocal contributions with artists such as Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Elton John, James Brown, Boney M, Michael Bolton.
So, let's get you started - Find out more here: