Learning how to sing beautifully is a matter of practice, commitment, right approach and talent. While it’s true that you don’t have control over how much talent you were born with, you have control over how you use the talent that you DO have.
It is possible for you to learn how to sing beautifully through training and daily practice. Does it surprise you that you can actually train to sing beautifully? In truth, the majority of beautiful art is created through discipline, not simply raw talent.
1. Establish balance in your voice
You really need an expert coach to learn to balance your voice. Training your voice all on your own is difficult, if not impossible, especially in the early years. Therefore, you want to find yourself a good coach. Get referrals from excellent singers. Learn how to get your voice functioning in a healthy manner. Spend time balancing and developing your technique before you try singing any music. Taking it slowly actually saves time, since you will avoid having to take unwanted detours later.
Depending on their school of singing, your coach will most probably have you singing specialized exercises. These drills allow you to find a healthy balance throughout your singing range. Your teacher may give you some breathing exercises to practice for a while. Most probably, you will be singing various comical sounds reminiscent of cartoon characters for a period of time. These strange sounds are temporary, however, and they actually help you establish balance in your singing faster. Don’t despair during this part of your training; instead, learn to have fun making these odd sounds properly.
2. Practice applying vocal balance musically
Before long, you will find that your teacher is guiding you to making more “normal” sounds. Once you can sing in a somewhat balanced manner, start training immediately as a musician.
If you want to sing beautifully, you must learn to sing musically. Believe it or not, learning to sing musically doesn’t come by singing songs alone. Singing musically comes through the daily practicing of scales, intervals, riffs and runs.
Learn how to sing various scales in all the different modes and keys in your range. Practice singing each of the musical intervals on every vowel and dynamic. Develop the ability to sing many different articulations, trills, rhythms, staccato, legato, leggiero, and so on. This kind of daily work is quite fun, healthy and pleasurable.
3. Learn how to sing melodies
You can learn to sing melodies by singing classical vocalises (etudes), blues runs, folk melodies, traditional gospel tunes, or any other beautiful melodic passages that suit you. Personally, I find that the classical vocalise literature is a most versatile and complete path for training most styles of singers. The point is, however, that you must practice singing beautiful melodies as soon as possible. These melodic patterns must be “in your voice.” Practice these melodies so that you can sing them at the drop of a hat. Singing beautiful melodies is the highlight of many a good singer’s day.
4. Practice your songs silently
Many people are surprised that I advocate practicing singing songs and/or arias silently. Music lives first in the mind, therefore it behooves you to take time each day to silently practice your music. Contemplate the text. Hear the melody in your mind. Feel how the phrasing is meant to be sung. Mentally hear the rhythms and articulations. Do all of the hard daily practice without singing a note. You may be surprised at how mentally exhausting this type of practice can be.
As you work your voice with scales and etudes, your voice will be exercised and conditioned musically and physiologically. By simultaneously practicing your performance repertoire silently, you will grow quickly and deeply as an artist. Through silent practice, you begin to comprehend the music as it is meant to be sung. Rather than wasting precious time trying to make the music sound “right” before you have thoroughly learned it, you can start to master your music.
You can be ready to perform your music much more quickly and beautifully if you dedicate more time to the silent practice of your performance repertoire, and more of your singing practice to scales and etudes.
5. Stay with it for life
There isn’t a day that you are “finished” with your training. This is because singing is for life. You should be vocalizing daily for the rest of the time you are singing. Singing beautifully isn’t a singular goal — it’s a way of life. Try turning your vocal practice up a few notches and learn to be a virtuoso. The days will go by anyway, so you may as well be using that time to learn how to sing beautifully.