When you’re a singer, the right technique is important. In fact, everything from your posture to your articulation of the words will directly affect how you sound when you sing. If you’re working with a voice teacher, you’ll learn about all of the techniques you need to become a better singer so that you can improve your skills and ability.
Still, all singers make mistakes, so once you learn what some of those mistakes are, you can start to correct them and learn to sing even better. Below are seven of the most common techniques that a lot of singers get wrong.
1. Not Breathing Right
As humans, we tend to breathe very shallowly with our chest or shoulders, but that’s not what you’ll need to do if you’re going to be a singer. Instead, you’ll need to take deep breaths and breathe with your diaphragm, which is the area right above your stomach. You should always breathe in through your mouth and extend your stomach as you inhale, and the stomach should relax inwards as you exhale.
If you’re not sure if you’re breathing correctly, stand in front of a mirror and put your hand on your stomach as you inhale and exhale. Your body should be still with the exception of your stomach, which should move outward when you inhale and back inward when you exhale. It usually takes practice to get your breathing just right.
2. Your Voice Cracks When You Sing High Notes
All singers’ voices will crack occasionally, especially on the high notes, but there are things that you can do to suffer voice cracks a lot less often. First, you’ll have to make sure that you warm up properly, which is important no matter how long you’ve been singing. Second, keep in mind that when you sing high notes, the vocal cords stretch and thin out. If this happens too quickly, a voice crack happens.
To avoid this, always sing with a balance of your chest voice and your head voice. This suggestion alone can get rid of a lot of those cracks in your singing voice. It also helps if you reach the high notes gradually instead of going from a low note to a high note quickly.
3. Singing Too Low or Too High for Your Voice Type
One of the first things you’ll learn when starting to sing is what your voice type is. Voices range from bass to soprano, and every voice fits in one of those types. Once you learn what your voice type is, it’s best to stick to music made for that particular type. This can be frustrating for singers who are trying to sound like their idols but their idols have a completely different type of voice; however, it is what it is.
The types of voices include (from low to high) bass, baritone, tenor, counter tenor, contralto, alto, mezzo soprano, and soprano. If you stick to songs that are within the same range as your voice, you won’t strain your voice and therefore it won’t sound as if you’re struggling to sing each note.
4. Singing Too Loud or Too Light
This is common for beginning singers, but it is very easy to remedy. When you sing too loud, your vocal cords become too thick, which makes going from low to high notes a lot more difficult. In order not to sing too loudly, just pretend that you’re in a small auditorium and try to sing so that the people in the back row can hear you. Do this without yelling and you should get a great tone.
On the other hand, if you sing too lightly, the vocal cords become so thin that they cannot resist the air coming from your lungs. This results in a very weak voice that is too light to sound powerful. There are exercises you can do to take care of this problem, but remember that a lot of it comes from lack of self-confidence, which means that you’ll naturally improve the longer you practice and take lessons.
5. Trying to Sound Like Another Singer
It’s only natural to imitate your favorite singer when you first start taking singing lessons, but this is not something that you should keep doing. Remember that each voice is different; therefore, it may simply be impossible for you to sing the same songs as your favorite singer does. Sometimes, you’ll be imitating another singer and you won’t even realize it. You’ll just know that your voice doesn’t sound all that great.
So what can you do about it? The best suggestion for avoiding this situation is to take private voice lessons. A good voice teacher will work closely with you to develop your own style and will be able to help you find the genres that work best for you and your voice.
6. Not Practicing Correctly
All singers are better at some techniques than they are at others. The best thing to do is isolate your problem areas and work mostly on those areas each time you practice. Of course, it’s easy to get home from a lesson and think to yourself, “what did she say I needed to work on?” Lessons can get confusing sometimes, so the best thing to do is to record each lesson so you’ll know what to work on later on.
You might feel a little awkward hearing your own voice for the first time, but having that recording works wonders. You’ll know exactly what the teacher said and what you need to work on, and you can start concentrating on those areas once you start practicing.
7. Not Taking Care of Your Body
When you’re a singer, you have to take excellent care of yourself to get the results you want. This means staying hydrated at all times by drinking lots of water every day so that the vocal cords stay nice and moist. You should also stay away from smoking, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol because all of these things affect your voice.
And believe it or not, what you eat can affect your voice. For instance, some foods cause acid reflux or allergic reactions, which can wreak havoc on your voice. And any food that causes swelling or mucous in the vocal cords should be avoided.