How to Sing Better: Strategies Your Vocal Coach Won’t Teach You

The truth is though…that singing is a skill-set, just like any other. And it CAN be learned.And while certain rare individuals might naturally sound amazing on their own…And certain other rare individuals might always sound awful no matter what…The vast majority of us will sing terribly when we first try…but then get better by practicing.At least, that’s how it should work in theory.Unfortunately, the reality is that many singers practice for years and years without ever improving. What’s worse…many of them can’t even see it.And this happens, not because those people just aren’t meant to sing. It happens because they don’t know HOW TO PRACTICE.
So for today’s post, my goal is to help you avoid this fate by sharing 16 simple strategies to build an effective practice routine that will vastly improve your singing in a very short time.

Part I: Finding Your Style

The first reason mediocre singers stay mediocre is.They never really develop their own sense of identity and style.For example…think of the contestants on singing shows like American Idol or The Voice…Towards the end of those competitions…It’s fair to say that all finalists meet the standard minimum qualifications of “good singers”, right?They hit their notes with power, precision, and finesse, and seem reasonably confident in themselves while doing so.

1. Develop a Badass Attitude

Unlike drummers, bassists, and guitarists.When you as a singer…stand up on stage…and open your mouth.There’s literally nothing for you to hide behind.The audience will know exactly who you are, and how you are feeling at any given moment.Because they will see it in your eyes, on your face, and in your body language…and most importantly, they will feel it in your voice.

Well, while there are many ways to trick yourself into being delusionally self-confident.As we all know from the first few episodes of every American Idol season…delusional self-confidence is even worse than uncertainty.So the MUCH better option is to simply become objectively self-confident, by actually getting good at what you’re doing.So for the remainder of this article, competence is what we will focus on.Just remember to keep in mind though, that without confidence as well, everything else is worthless.

2. Copy Your Favorite SINGERS, not SONGS

While it might seem strange to say you can develop your own unique style by copying others.It’s absolutely true.Almost every great singer or any other kind of artist for that matter, found their style in same way:By copying their heroes.
Too often though, people misinterpret this advice, and aspiring singers practice any and all of their favorite SONGS…rather than restricting themselves to the songs of their favorite SINGERS.

A huge portion of the best songs in music history are performed by one-hit-wonders with a level of talent that is not-at-all worth imitating.Sure the songs might be catchy, but we’re not learning about songwriting, are we? We’re learning about singing.And if you want to learn to sing, you need to copy good SINGERS, not good SONGS.So here’s what you do:Make a list of around 4-6 of your favorite singers of all-time. Not necessarily the ones you respect most. Choose the ones you wish to sound like.

3. Recognize Who Can Be Copied, And Who CAN’T

While I’d like to tell you that you’ll eventually be able to imitate all the singers on your list.Chances are that your vocal tendencies will only align with maybe half of them.If you’re lucky.But that’s to be expected, as certain voices are so unique that NOBODY can copy them.Among male singers…the first name that comes to mind is Robert Plant. Every guy wants to sing Led Zeppelin covers, but they almost always end up sounding terrible.Among female singers…Mariah Carey is great example. Every girl tries to hit those absurdly high notes…but none of them ever actually do.So every few months take a step back and evaluate which voices you resonate with, and which you don’t.If one singer’s style doesn’t seem to align with your own, cross off that name and replace it with a new one.After doing this a few times, you will eventually settle on a list with a good mix of voices that suit you well.