How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad


If you think you’re a bad singer, don’t worry, there’s still hope. In fact, you probably sound better than you think! Believe in yourself and don't dwell over how bad you think you are. Instead think about the good things in your singing voice. With the help of a few singing tricks and exercises, you can improve your singing voice, develop your inner ear, and build your confidence.

Part 1
Mastering the Basics

Mastering the Basics on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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To sing properly, make sure you have good posture. You should be standing or sitting up with a straight back. Your body should not be tilted to one side or the other. Make sure your head isn't tipped back or forwards.[1] To get an idea of the proper alignment, try singing while laying flat on your back. Or, stand against a wall so that your shoulders and the back of your head are in contact with the wall.[2]

Mastering the Basics on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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Correct breathing is one of the most important things when singing. When you breathe, make sure you are taking air from your diaphragm instead of your chest. This means when you breathe in, your abdomen will expand instead of your chest. When you sing, you will push down on the diaphragm when you ascend a scale and release when you come back down the scale.[3] Supporting your voice with the diaphragm is one of the keys to singing. To practice, place a hand on your stomach and inhale through your nose. Your abdomen should expand and jut out when you breathe in. Your chest should not move out or up. As you exhale, push down and contract the abdominal muscles. It should feel like doing a sit up. Repeat until this is natural when you are singing. An alternative way to practice is to lay on the floor and put a book on your abdomen. Ensure the book rises when you inhale and lowers when you exhale.

Mastering the Basics on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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One quick way to improve your singing is to open your vowels. This is called open throat technique. To achieve this, start by saying "ah" or "uh." Elongate your mouth without widening it. You want to separate your tongue from your soft palette and keep them separated while you sing. Your tongue should be against your bottom jaw. This gives you better quality.[4] Try saying A-E-I-O-U (pronounced ah, eh, ee, oh, oo). Your jaw should not close on any of those. If you can't keep your jaw down, use your fingers to encourage your jaw to move down. Keep repeating the vowels until you can say them with your mouth open. Sing the vowels. Keep the jaw open while you sing them like you did while saying them. Then sing a phrase and open the jaw when you sing each vowel. This will probably take some practice to achieve, but it will help improve the quality of your singing.[5] By doing this you can start to grow your voice.[6]

Mastering the Basics on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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When you are singing higher notes and trying to get power, avoid lifting or dropping your chin. Your head has a tendency to move up as you sing higher notes, which can cause problems with your vocal chords. Singing while focusing on keeping the chin parallel with the floor helps give your voice more power and control.[7]

Mastering the Basics on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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First, you must find your vocal range. After you have done that, you can begin to increase your vocal range. To do this, you must have proper technique. You must have non-airy vowels and proper resonance in your voice before you try to extend your vocal range.[8] To extend your vocal range, do it a half-step or full step at a time. Practice with short scales and get comfortable singing that new note properly before trying to push your voice any higher or lower. Taking lessons from a vocal coach is the safest, most effective way of increasing your range.

Mastering the Basics on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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Your voice is made up of 3 areas. Moving between these areas changes the resonance of your voice. Learning how to control this change can help improve your singing. The male voice has 2 areas: middle voice and falsetto. Falsetto notes are high, while notes from the middle voice are lower. The female voice has 3 different areas: the chest register, the head register, and the middle register. Each of these areas refers to the range of notes sung from that section of the body. Head voice is the higher area. When you sing high notes, they will resonate in your head. Place your hand on the top of your head as you sing high notes to feel the vibrations. Chest voice is the lower area of your singing voice. When you sing lower notes, they will resonate in your chest. Middle voice - or mixed voice - is the middle area between your chest voice and head voice. This area is where your voice will shift from the chest to the head to properly sing the notes.[9] As you transition from high notes to low notes, you need go from head to chest voice. You should feel the notes moving up towards your head or down to your chest as you sing. Don't keep the notes in the same place as you ascend or descend. This will limit the quality of your voice.[10]

Mastering the Basics on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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Water helps keep the vocal cords moist and fluid so they can easily open and close. You can also drink any other unsweetened, decaffeinated, non-alcoholic beverage for the same effect. Aim to have at least 2 cups (470 mL) of water a day.[11] Lukewarm drinks are the best for your throat. Drink something warm such as warm water or warm tea with honey. Try to avoid cold things, like ice creams or cold fizzy drinks, because they can cause your muscles to tense.[12]

Part 2
Exercising Your Voice

Exercising Your Voice on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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If you want to sing better, you have to train your voice. This takes commitment. Doing vocal exercises a few times a week or month is not going to make a significant difference. Exercise your voice every single day. You want to train it and develop the muscles so you can enhance your voice.[13] Remember, before doing any vocal exercises, make sure you warm up. You can use tools, like the Vanido app, to help you practice.

Exercising Your Voice on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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Say, "Hmm?" Or say, "hmm" like you aren't sure you believe someone. Both of those noises should change in pitch. When practicing scales while humming, you want to feel a buzzing around your nose, eyes, and head, or down into your chest. Hum Do-Mi-Sol on an ascending scale, then back down to Mi-Do. While you are humming, work on the accuracy of your pitch.[14]

Exercising Your Voice on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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A lip trill is when you blow air through your lips, causing them to flap and vibrate. It sounds like a br, like you are cold. If your lips are tense when you exhale air through them, they will not vibrate. Try to relax your lips, and if that doesn't work, push the corners of your mouth towards your nose while you do the exercise.[15] Try doing tongue trills. This helps you relax your swallowing muscles so you keep them relaxed while you're singing.[16]

Exercising Your Voice on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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When you are trying to hit high notes, you want to keep your larynx, or voice box, steady instead of lifting it. This gives you better vocal control and helps avoid strain. To practice keeping the larynx steady, say "mum" over and over. Do this until you feel relaxed saying the word.[17] Lightly hold your thumbs under your chin. Swallow. You should feel your swallowing/throat muscles engaging. When you sing, you want these muscles to be relaxed. Sing scales while making the "mmm" sound with your mouth closed. Your throat muscles should remain relaxed. You may end up making a funny face as you try to keep the sound in the top part of your face. That's okay. Exaggerate the facial movement and the sound if you have to. The important thing is to train your swallowing muscles to stay relaxed while going through the scales.[18]

Part 3
Building Confidence

Building Confidence on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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One way to help you break through your nerves is to practice at home. When you practice, you need to take it even farther than usual. For example, sing louder and bolder, try different moves, or act crazy. Gain confidence in yourself before trying to gain confidence in front of others.[19] Find a space where you feel comfortable practicing. You should be able to sing loudly and make funny faces or noises without feeling self-conscious. As you practice in the mirror or on video, learn how to show your emotion and passion on stage. It may feel uncomfortable at first to be that honest and vulnerable on stage, but some of the best professional singers have the confidence to sing honestly and emotionally.[20]

Building Confidence on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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One of the ways you can build your confidence is to continuously step out of your comfort level. This can be many things. You may try singing in front of an audience. It may mean learning how to extend your range, or even singing in another genre. Developing your voice, trying new things, and learning everything you can will help build your confidence.[21]

Building Confidence on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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After practicing and learning new singing skills, you need to start singing in front of people. Start by singing in front of trusted friends and family members. Start with one person, then build slowly. This can help you get used to singing in front of people.[22] Ask them to critique you when you sing. This can help you get better if you are making mistakes.

Building Confidence on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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Another way to build your confidence is to sing in your community. This may not be as difficult or nerve-wracking as a concert or more formal event. Look for opportunities at nursing homes or children's hospitals. Try auditioning for local theater or sign up for acting classes. This might help you gain the confidence to be on stage in front of people without having to sing. Then you apply that to singing.

Building Confidence on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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Though karaoke with your friends is not a formal concert setting, singing in this environment can help you gain confidence. Though it's not helping your vocal technique, you can start to lose the anxiety you feel singing in front of a crowd.[23]

Building Confidence on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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The first time or two you sing on stage, sing a familiar song. This helps your confidence from the start. Choose a song in your range that flatters your voice. Don't try to do anything fancy with it; instead, sing it like the original. The key at this point is just to get you comfortable on stage singing in front of people. As you build your confidence, you can make the song your own, adapt your own style, and change it.[24]

Building Confidence on How to Sing Better if You Think You Are Bad

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If you are shaking, move around to help disguise the nerves. You can move your hips or walk around a little to help you appear confident and focus your nervous energy in another way. Try looking at a point above the audience if you are really nervous. Don't look at them. Find a spot on the back wall to focus all your attention to as you ignore the audience.[25]