Many of us aspire to be great singers. We dream of screams and applause from adoring fans at out stadium sold-out concert. We fantasize about being the next Michael Jackson or Beyonce. We long for our friends to be super-impressed by our vocal powers.
But somewhere in between our dreams and reality, we get overwhelmed. It’s all too hard. It takes so much work!
And we give up.
And you know what? That’s true. Greatness does not come from sitting on our buts. However, there are some quick actions that if all singers took on a daily basis we would be well on the road to becoming a great singer and being an off-the-charts wow-er of an adoring audience.
So today, I’m gonna make it super easy for you by outlining 10 simple and quick actions you can actually do TODAY, actually right NOW to become a great singer. Are you ready?
Action # 1: Get enough sleep
Sounds strange doesn’t it? But as singers your body IS your instrument. And if your instrument is tired, your voices will also be. This results in thicker vocal cords that feel very inflexible and hard to control. However if your instrument – your body – is well rested, you will feel energetic, and that will flow positively to your voice. You will have much more energy to use your body to support your voice and sing with greater flexibility and power.
Tip: Start tonight. Figure out how much sleep you need (everyone is different) to feel rested and go to bed at a time according to your sleep needs.
Action #2: Drink lots of water
The sound you make when you sing and speak comes from your vocal cords vibrating together. So if your vocal cords are dried out, they will vibrate together producing a crackly and weak sound. Your vocal cords need to be constantly hydrated in order for them to be able to produce a great sound. Water is also just great for overall body health – and as I said before your body is your instrument – so we should do what we can to look after it!
Tip: Don’t wait til you are thirsty to drink! Make it a habit to drink a large glass of water at every meal including when you snack. And take a water bottle around with you everywhere and just sip throughout the day!
Action #3: Manuka honey and lemon drink once a day
Manuka honey is a special type of honey that has antibacterial properties to kill any bacteria that threatens to lurk about causing colds and flus. Every morning, I dissolve 1 teaspoon of manuka honey into a warm mug of water and squeeze a few drops of lemon and stir. It tastes great and is good for my body and vocal cords! So it’s a no-brainer for me
Tip: Incorporate this drink into a meal that you definitely don’t miss as early in your day as possible. Maybe even replace it with your morning coffee (which dehydrates the vocal cords I might add!)? I know that’s a big ask for coffee drinkers – so that’s why it’s just a suggestion ;P
Action #4: Loosen your body with stretches before you sing
When we are tight and our muscles are tensed up, it is impossible to sing and sound great. The tension in our muscles absorbs the sound, so we end up straining and pushing to get the sound out. So it’s so important to just spend a couple of minutes doing some stretches and body loosening exercises to get rid of the tension. The tension that seems to affect singers most is found in our shoulders, neck, back, face and jaw.
Tip: Spend 2 minutes before any singing doing some shoulder rolls, neck massage, stretching body up to ceiling and letting go, jaw and face massage
Action #5 – Relax your tongue
The tongue is a muscle that can be a huge obstruction to great singing when tense. Often the root of our tongue can get really tight, causing constriction in our throats and therefore a strained sound that is often pitchy. So we need to be singing with a flat and fat tongue. The positioning of the tongue should be heavy with the tip of the tongue touching the back of the bottom from teeth. Try this next time you feel yourself straining, and you will hear an instant change to your singing – more freedom and a more beautiful sound!
Tip: Before singing anything, stretch your tongue out of your mouth and say “Ahhh” a few times to get rid of any tension that might be in the root of your tongue
Action # 6: Practice deep breathing by getting fat in the lower belly
Great singing needs a different breath to our normal everyday breathing. Everyday breathing just happens – otherwise we’d all be dead! But breathing for singing is voluntary – i.e. something we must choose to do. This takes practice, but doesn’t take much than about 1 minute everyday.
Tip: Put one hand on your belly, the part underneath your belly button. Drop your jaw open and take in a quick breath, trying to fill your low belly like a balloon, then release with a hissing sound ‘S…..’ until you run out of breath. Repeat 3 times. Try to breath in like this when you are singing.
Action # 7. Humming in the shower
This takes no extra time from you at all, because we all shower! So rather than just going for the huge sing in the shower, why not do some light humming while your showering? It will stretch your vocal cords thinner, making them more flexible and giving you an ability to sing higher and with more strength.
Tip: Hum by closing your mouth and making a buzzy “mmm” sound while doing a chewing action like you have gum in your mouth. Hum random tunes you make up, scales you know or your fave song. Keep it light and easy. There should be no strain.
Action # 8. Open your throat every time you breathe in while singing
Do something for yourself now…you have to trust me on this one: Yawn. Yep, yawn. Now feel what that feels like. Memorise what happened in your throat. Basically what happened was that your throat opened up. Now try to incorporate this action every time your breathe in while singing. This creates more space in the throat and results in a freedom in singing and therefore a beautiful sound
Tip: Do what I just said above =)
Action # 9. Drop your jaw
Often singers tend to sing with a very small opening in their mouth. Or with extremely tight jaws, almost like they are clenching their teeth. This causes tension and does not allow the sound to flow freely out of your mouth.
Tip: Try actively dropping your jaw down when you open your mouth to sing. You will find more volume and power results
Action #10. Check out my How to sing 101 Course (FREE on my website)
I’ve created a a 4 part video course for singers that covers all the ESSENTIALS that singers need to know for great singing. Watch the videos in your own time and once you seen them all, use my practice video to practice every day – it will only take you 15 minutes per day!
Tip: Watch the video series NOW:
Video 1: How to prepare your body and throat for great singing
Video 2: How great posture and effective breathing help you sing great
Video 3: How to effectively warm up
Video 4: How to strengthen your chest and head voice
Video 5: How to effectively warm up – Practice Video
And here’s a Bonus Action – just because I’m generous and to really help you take these tips further:
If you haven’t already, subscribe to my email list and get FREE 3 Part How to Sing Course emailed to you. It covers the topics below:
1. How to sing high notes
2. How to sing without breaking
3. How to sing with power
By the way, if you like Jessie J, you really should subscribe because I throw in another 7 videos that cover how to sing Jessie J’s ‘Nobody’s Perfect’.
Well that brings me to the end of my 10 quick actions you can do today to become a great singer.