If you’re interested in learning how to sing, you might wonder how long it will take for your voice to improve. The thing is, different people progress at different rates and, therefore, it’s difficult to establish an exact time frame when your voice might have improved enough for you to call yourself a singer. That being said, if you practice regularly and do the things you’re supposed to do to improve your voice, you’ll get there sooner rather than later. While it may not be exactly one year until you sound fantastic, it’ll be awfully close.
Five Things You Can Do to Learn Singing in One Year
If you’re anxious to get started on being a good singer, the first step is to learn the basics. Just like any other skill you might wish to learn, you cannot proceed past being a beginner unless you know and practice the basics. Here are five of those basics you might as well start practicing now.
1. Learn the Right Posture
As you can imagine, since you sing with your full body, you have to know what the best posture is for singing. For the most part, it’s a good posture that you should be utilizing anyway. Stand up and spread your feet shoulder-length apart, then bring your shoulders in line with your hips and feet. At this point, your feet, hips, and shoulders should be in a line. Finally, keep your chin and neck straight and make sure your chest is lifted comfortably.
2. Learn How to Breathe Properly
No, breathing as you sing isn’t just regular breathing. Most people breathe in a shallow way from the lower stomach area, but to sing well, you need to breathe from the diaphragm, which is the area above the stomach. You’ll take full breaths and use both the stomach and diaphragm to take those breaths. If you stand in front of a mirror sideways and put your hand at the bottom of your stomach before you inhale and exhale, you should notice your stomach and diaphragm area move in and out as you breathe. No shallow breaths – only nice, full ones.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Belt Out the Notes
Eventually, you’ll have to learn to project those high notes and make them sound full and strong, so why not do it in the beginning? There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this, but this knowledge is a must if you want to be a singer one day. One exercise you can try is called the Bratty Nae exercise, and it goes like this:
- Say the word “nae” as in “nasty,” except say it loudly and in a bratty way.
- Find a note at the bottom of your range and sing that note saying “nae” like a bratty child would.
- Practice singing the same note but one, two, and if possible, three octaves higher.
The higher you can sing these notes, the more comfortable you’ll feel singing this way when you have to sing those high notes later on.
4. Practice Singing Real Songs
When you start applying your skills to real songs, you’ll likely find it harder than you thought. After all, it’s doubtful you’ll sound just like the recording artist who recorded that particular song. But don’t let it discourage you. Choose a song you’re working on and pick just one section of it that’s giving you a rough time. Next, sing all of the notes in that section except use one word instead of the actual lyrics. For instance, you could sing the word “gee” for every note instead of the lyrics to the song. Once you feel comfortable doing that, go back to the section and sing it with the words instead of with “gee.”
5. Learn How to Project Your Voice
This is not the same thing as belting out high notes. It has to do with volume. Many beginning singers are timid about letting people hear their voice, but projecting your voice is a necessary skill when you wish to be a singer. Think about how you sound when you talk. You’re not holding back when you talk because you want people to hear what you’re saying. Practice singing with that same physical and emotional energy. You’re not yelling, but learn to project your voice like you’re on a stage and trying to get the people in the back row to hear your song.
Five Things to Do When Starting Singing Lessons
If you’ve decided to take singing lessons to help you reach your goals a little faster, there are some things you should consider before agreeing to take those lessons. Here are five of those things to keep in mind beforehand:
- Have a specific goal in mind. This will help you have something to aim for and helps your teacher personalize your lessons so that you can achieve your goals. Your goal can be big or small, but you have to have a starting point when taking lessons.
- Decide what your expectations are. While it’s important to have a goal in mind, you have to be realistic about those goals. Talk with your teacher and learn what you can expect from him or her. Ask about recitals, costs, and anything else you need to know to be prepared.
- Make it a priority to practice every day. Ideally, you should practice 30 minutes to two hours each day. Any less than 30 minutes won’t be worth your time, and any more than two hours can strain your vocal cords.
- Decide which type of music you’d like to excel at. A good vocal teacher can teach you choral music, classical music, or musical theater. Even if you choose something rather unique, make sure your teacher knows about it so that you can work on your techniques together.
- Learn all you can about your new craft. Look at YouTube videos, buy books and videos on singing, and do everything else that will help you learn to be a better singer. After your first lesson, you’ll start to get excited about them, so let that excitement translate into learning more about this skill.