Starting something new is always both exciting and daunting. You get the thrill of learning, but it can also feel like there is a long road ahead before you start to see results. What if we told you that even professional singers are constantly improving? The trick is to embrace and fall in love with the process of learning, rather than comparing yourself to others or feeling anxious about reaching your goals quickly. Having said that, if you have just started singing lessons for adults, there are steps you can take to help you reach them faster and ensure you stick to singing in the long run. Here are 6 tips to help beginner singing students succeed!
1. Keep it simple
When we start learning, we are so eager to dive in and aim for complex and dexterous songs, but this can lead to feeling overwhelmed very quickly. When it comes to music, it’s actually a valuable skill to take something simple and make it sound unique and complex. Focus on that when you’re starting out – you will get to the big, complicated songs soon, we promise! Finding a song that you’re more comfortable with to begin with, and learning to sing it as well as you can, will give you the confidence to persevere and improve your voice one song at a time.
Once you know your range and get to know your natural tone, pick a song that suits those well. Now, instead of worrying that it’s too simple, try to pay attention to the little details. Your breathing, for example, is very important to give you that powerful tone, but also learning where to take breaths is key for a good performance. Your pitching is another important aspect to get right, as poor pitch will certainly be noticeable to your audience. Try to play individual notes of the song and sing along with them, ensuring you land on each note with absolute confidence. Your projection and enunciation are also key to convey the right emotion through the song. You will see that, by keeping it simple, and focusing instead on your performance, you will gain so much confidence in your voice early on.
2. Look after yourself
Every musician knows the importance of a well-maintained instrument. As a vocalist, your body is your instrument, so one of the most important tips to help beginner singing students is learning to look after your physical wellbeing. This includes getting plenty of good quality sleep, drinking lots of water throughout the day and eating well. You may find that certain lifestyle choices even affect your voice. Some notice that spicy and salty foods make their throat dry and irritated. Others avoid dairy before singing. Your voice will always sound its best when you are well-rested, relaxed and hydrated. So, don’t dismiss these simple habits as they are important to help you succeed in your singing lessons for adults.
3. Warm up
Athletes and dancers are prime examples of how crucial a good warm-up can be. It helps to perform at your best, prevent injury and discomfort. The same goes for your vocals. When you practice at home, you may feel tempted to dive straight in with singing, but just make sure to take a few minutes to warm up first. You can use this time to focus on your breathing, warming up your range and even work on exercises to help with expanding it. Once you’ve warmed up, you’ll see how much better you sound! This will make for a much more productive practice and you’ll be able to achieve so much more than when you simply start to sing. Plus, a warmed-up vocal is less susceptible to straining and damage.
4. Listen to other singers
Developing a musical ear is a huge part of your career as a vocalist. We suggest listening to other singers – don’t copy them, instead, try to apply what you hear to your own voice. Listening intently will help you pick up on things like dynamics, enunciation, pitching and more. For example, you could play around with different volumes in a song, emphasising certain phrases and see how much better you are able to convey emotion.
Dynamics are part of the elements that make music so engaging and exciting to listen to. The way we enunciate also contributes to the musical piece and creates interesting rhythms and accents throughout the song.
The way you pronounce your vowels when singing can also be different to when you talk, and this can allow you to tap into that extra power in your voice. No doubt, you have probably noticed that vocalists sometimes avoid overpronouncing words, especially during more powerful, belting passages (Ariana Grande does this very noticeably).
Listening to the vocalists’ pitch and trying to emulate it can also help you improve your musical hearing and help with your own pitch. Again, it’s important that you stay true to your sound without trying to mimic anyone. Critical listening will help you identify elements of a performance that make it sound so engaging and moreish to the listener.
5. Record yourself
One of the key tips to help beginner singing students succeed is to record yourself. Others are able to pick up on things in our voice we may be unaware of. While listening back to your recordings won’t make you completely objective, it’s important to be able to analyse your voice. Don’t use this just to focus on the negatives! Try to look out for the positive qualities in your vocals when you listen back to them, as those are the ones you want to emphasise and highlight in your performance. Those are the things that make your voice so unique!
Of course, you will also pick up on mistakes and things to improve on. Approach it with the mindset of ‘ok, how can I learn to improve this?’ instead of getting discouraged. Being able to critically assess yourself with a positive attitude will help you achieve so much more through singing lessons for adults.
Recording yourself is also important for tracking your progress! Sometimes we can be a bit blind to our own success, so comparing your recordings from weeks or months ago to now will help you put things into perspective and see just how far you’ve come. Acknowledging your achievements will give you the confidence boost you need to keep growing and improving.
Your voice will flow much more freely and confidently when you feel relaxed. Easier said than done, right? When you embark on singing lessons for adults, you will likely have to sing in front of your coach and, later on, maybe even an audience. All of this can be new and daunting to beginner singers, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel!
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – even professional singers make them, sometimes even on stage! Often you see them either laugh it off or keep going anyway and, chances are, the audience might not even notice. Next time you make a mistake, take it in your stride and have a light-hearted chuckle about it. Then, think of how you can improve and go over that part again. Giving yourself the space to make mistakes and learn from them without judgment or self-deprecation is the quickest road to success. Plus, it will take that anxiety and tension away when you sing, allowing your voice to sound its best!
Bonus tip to help beginner students succeed: Learn with us!
There is no shortage of tips to help beginner singing students, but, sometimes, that simply isn’t enough. When you’re a complete beginner, having some guidance will speed up your progress, as the advice will be tailored to your voice, specifically. Plus, you will be certain to avoid bad habits and injury. At London Singing Institute, we are passionate about helping adult singers find confidence in their voice! We will show you expert tricks to extend your range, improve your breath control and make the most out of your unique tone. Whether you’ve always wanted to sing rock, jazz, classical, pop, musical theatre or blues, we can match you with the right teacher! You can learn within our beautiful central London premises or online, from the comfort of your own home. Contact us today!
Tags: Singing Tips
, Singing lessons for beginners
, Singing lessons for adults