Welcome! We hope you’re here because you’re someone like us.
Someone who loves music, but doesn’t know how to actually sing! Isn’t it only fair that everyone gets to sing their favorite song without ruining it? What’s the use of a favorite song if you’re not able to sing it without a flaw!
The reason why people like us aren’t able to match standards is obvious. They are:
We haven’t taken the time to understand the science of singing.
We don’t pay attention to the grammar rules of singing and
We never take the time to practice.
But never mind all that. Even though none of us here at the Inc are professional singers, we’re all set to help you.
Keep reading and you’ll find important pointers to keep in mind while singing. We’re sure at the end of this article you’ll be chiming along!
Alright, choose your song and let’s get started right away!
Understand how the human body produces sound:
That’s right! While trying to sing it actually helps to know more about how the human body produces voice and sound. The knowledge helps you in being more aware of what makes singers, singers!
You do know that sound is produced when a medium vibrates and the vibrations carry the sound. (Our sincere apologies for bringing back that High School Physics!)
In the case of the human body, it is air from the lungs that is being made to vibrate. There are folds within the larynx called the vocal cords. They project inwards to form a slit across the throat.
Now, it is the vocal cord that vibrates and forms compressions over the air. These compressions travel out through the mouth as sound waves.
The muscles in the larynx adjusts the vocal cords to produce various frequencies. Think of it like a guitarist placing his finger to adjust the vibratory length of the string.
When you’re trying to catch up a higher note, your cords would expand and vice versa. You can see it in this video.
Now that’s how your vocal cord looks:
A person wishing to sing must know how to enrich the basic sound waves produced by the vocal cords. Scientifically this is known as vocal resonation.
There is four voice resonating chambers that work together to produce sound quality.
The Head resonance
The Mouth resonance
The Chest resonance and
The Nasal resonance.
Now, this how the vocal tube looks inside our body. yes, it is actually a tube ending up in caves or cavities if you can imagine it that way:
Now to make different sounds of quality, one would have to pummel air into the vocal tract. Starting from the larynx and up through the pharynx and into the oral cavity or nasal cavity.
The trick is to treat your body as a vibrator. And finally, let the resulting sound waves to vibrate naturally through these resonators.
The tongue and the pharynx act as articulators. They keep adjusting themselves to produce optimal resonance.
There are many exercises to help you understand how to make full use of your resonating chambers. Here’s a great article by the Voice Council that will give you a great head start. Discover the power of resonance you’ve been unaware of!Understand the aspects of the song:
Understand the aspects of the song:
The more obvious step in the path to singing a particular song. Isn’t it also the step we choose to ignore every time?
What aspects of the song does one have to look out for? In other words, what are the important aspects that make for a good singing experience? Here’s a wonderful article that has a list of all the important ones.
There are 6 important parameters in a song that you need to grasp. Then you’ll be able to replicate the song correctly:
1. Identify the pitch of the song:
Every song is composed in a particular pitch or note. You might have seen guitarists trying to catch the right key to a song by listening to it.
If you are not singing in the right pitch, you will end up sounding flat! Imagine how your friends might choose to describe that!
WikiHow defines a lot of steps you might want to look into. But then it gets too technical, and it doesn’t help us much. But I’ll tell you what I’ve seen a lot of my singing friends do. They actually listen to the song and hum to it.
The trick is to hum and match the pitch of the song. You can feel your humming kind of reverberating with the music of the song. That’s when you realize you’ve got the right pitch.
Tip: This is where Karaoke versions of a song come into play. Try humming to a karaoke version to hit the right note.
Warning: If the song you’ve chosen is a one with high notes, it’s going to take time.
Here’s a video you can check out to find out more on how to hit the right key of a song.
Phrasing refers to the dynamics of a song. How you modulate your tone and voice and breathing to sync with the music.
It is the variations you can find the singer making while singing. He is trying to provide unique detailing to his voice. That way he differentiates it from a mere speech of the lyrics.
You might want to listen to the song as many times as you may want. Keep your earphones on so the modulations get registered in your mind.
Phrasing involves identifying the pauses and continuations. It’s about preparing to draw required breaths for the same. As you would find in this video.
Here’s why I told you earlier on that it is very important to know how your body produces sounds. If you remember, it is the air from your lungs that is made to vibrate and produce sounds.
That makes breathing correctly, vital to perfection in singing a song. Any singer or vocal training coach would insist that you master breathing techniques. It’s like learning to release the clutch while driving.
You can easily identify the breathing technique for a particular song. Listen the song intently. You will hear the singer taking his breaths in particular intervals. That’s how he is able to master his phrasing.
It’s almost always easier said than done. The trick is to learn how to inhale ample amount of air at the pauses. It’s also about controlling the amount of air you expel while singing.
Watch the timing of the beats and keep your count for the particular song. You wouldn’t want to play Mr.Bean and end too soon when the song is reaching its crescendo.
It is comparatively easy to match the tempo of the song while you are singing along with it. It’s only by singing to yourself that you’ll spot the areas where you deviate.
Keep a subconscious count by snapping your fingers to a beat, or tapping your feet to the rhythm. At least until you know confidently that there’s no chance of you going off course.
Thanks to this video by Anna Demme, you can get more insights on how you can achieve this.
5. Match the mood of the song:
Identifying the mood of the song is pretty easy. The lyrics and sequence of the song will easily point it out to you.
It is very essential that you emote with your singing. It is one of the key factors that’s going to help you with the other aspects of the singing.
You’ve got to keep in mind the emotions of which the song is being sung. This makes you sound impressive to others around you. That’s when they get attracted to your singing.
Look at this video (move to 3:50) behind the making of the song “Kaise Mujhe” By A.R.Rahman. Look how Benny Dayal is asked to emote melancholy for the song.
Now that we’ve covered the understanding part, we step into the actual practicing of the song.
Practicing the song:
Practicing the song until perfection. No amount of stress on this point would meet its importance level.
What you and I fail to realize is that it took hours and hours of practice for the singer to grasp the composer’s clues. And more so to reproduce the song.
The recorder, an empty room with a mirror and a music player are the instruments you’ll need. Sit by yourself and song. Give respect to the creation that it is. Get into the groove of the song and feel yourself giving in to the ups and downs of the song.
Here’s an important part of singing. Something which many vocal trainers and professional singers will insist. It is to not stress yourself in any way while singing. Learn to keep your intentions straight! That you are going to play with the sounds produced by your body to deliver music.
There are a lot of content on the internet on how to practice for a song like this one here. Well, most of them are stuff you’d already know such as choose the right time for practice, keep a schedule etc.
But here’s a list of things that can help you learn a song:
Divide the song into bits:
Divide the song into parts and practice them one by one. Usually the song has stanzas and chorus parts. So by just practicing one stanza and the chorus part you are ready to sing the whole song.
Hum to the bits:
Start by humming to the bits you’ve made. This way you can master the pitch, phrasing, tempo and breathe for that particular bit.
Record the humming:
Next, start humming by yourself while you record it on your phone. Find out where you’re going wrong and work on that. Keep working till you get the small bit right. Repeat this for the next bit that you’ve segregated by joining the previous bit along with it. This way, you’ll be humming the whole song in the right pitch, in the right tempo with the right breathing and phrasing sooner than you know.
Sing with the lyrics:
It is then time to make use of the song’s lyrics and sing as loud as you can. Make use of the karaoke versions available on the net. Don’t ignore trying the song without music. That’s how you’ll find out if the song has got registered in your head.
Useful tips on delivering the song:
Look how professional singers are singing. They use the song and lyrics to emote the tunes or the message of the song. There is almost always some sort of gesticulations.
What we need to understand from them is that they’ve lost themselves to the song. Only when you’re able to do this will you be able to sway those listening to you to like it.
Don’t let your nerves get in the way. Focus on the impression you are going to create with those around you with your singing. Good luck.