We’ve all heard our share of terrible vocalists, but can anyone learn to sing? It’s a legitimate question, especially for beginners and those who can’t seem to get it right.
Many of us believe that people are simply blessed with incredible talent. That may be true, but it’s also possible for virtually anyone to learn how to carry a tune.
So, in case you’re in a rush, here’s our short and sweet answer to the question, can anyone learn to sing?
Yes, anyone can learn to sing. However, the quality of their voice depends on various factors such as natural ability, physical vocal disability, and the amount of training they’ve had. Still, most people in the world can learn how to sing in some capacity.
So, without further ado, join us as we walk you through several steps to improve your singing voice.
Can Anyone Learn To Sing?
As mentioned above, anyone can learn to sing with practice and determination.
If you want to be able to sing one of the countless songs in the world and do it well, you most certainly can.
That being said, there are a couple of caveats, like natural talent and being tone-deaf, which we’ll walk you through below.
Is Singing A Talent Or A Skill?
Most people make assumptions about singing, but just because someone can sing well doesn’t necessarily mean they were born with a gift.
In fact, studies have shown that singing is more of a skill than a talent and that they’re interconnected with one another.
However, it’s also important to point out that many singers were born with talent and worked to develop their craft. So, although talent isn’t everything, it does play a role.
Those who cultivate their voice by maintaining good vocal technique and getting enough practice will likely have a better singing voice at the end of the day.
Natural Talent vs. Hard Work
Whether or not you were born with a singing gift, everyone is on the same playing field when it comes to developing their voice.
The truth is you can’t become one of the best female singers of all time, like Whitney Houston or the next American Idol superstar, if you don’t have a good work ethic.
You won’t even be able to know how to hit high notes or sing basic songs if you don’t put in the work to achieve those goals.
When you listen to professional singers, chances are, countless hours of practice went into developing their angelic voices behind the scenes.
One example is Ed Sheeran, who started out with rough vocals but put in his share of hard work to improve.
Now, he’s so good he even made our list of singers who don’t use autotune, which is a high honor.
As with any skill in life, you have to practice it to get good at it.
Can People Be Tone-Deaf?
Can anyone learn how to sing? Yes. However, it’s also possible for people to be tone-deaf.
The medical term for this condition is congenital amusia, affecting approximately 1.5% of the population at birth.
Individuals can also experience another form of this condition called acquired amusia, which occurs when a person suffers brain damage.
People with either of these disorders cannot distinguish between different pitches, read musical notation, or recognize melodies, which impacts their ability to sing.
How To Improve Your Singing Voice (Step-By-Step)
No matter if you’re an accomplished vocalist or you just started singing, you have the power to become a better singer.
You don’t have to end up like the singers who use auto-tune! Instead, let’s look at a few practical things you can do to maintain your vocal health and make your voice sound good.
We’ll walk you through it step-by-step!
1. Take Singing Lessons From A Professional Voice Teacher
You can benefit significantly from the technical expertise offered by a vocal coach. Expert training can make a massive difference in the quality of your voice while teaching you the mechanics of singing correctly.
With a bit of help from a pro, you can learn to sing songs from the most popular music genres with ease.
Investing in professional vocal lessons can help you become a better singer by helping you:
- Improve Breathing – Singing can enlarge your lung capacity and reduce shortness of breath, enabling you to sing more powerfully and hold notes longer.
- Stay On Pitch – Voice lessons can help train your ears to recognize and match different pitches, which will help you sing the notes in a song more effectively.
- Widen Vocal Range – Learning from a professional vocal teacher is one of the best ways to reach lower and higher notes, as you’ll discover how to stretch your vocal folds properly.
- Improve Diction – Singing lessons will also teach you how to better articulate your words through different exercises like tongue twisters and singing vowel sounds.
- Increase Confidence – Overall, working with a vocal teacher will give you a sense of accomplishment as you continue to see improvements in your singing and speaking voice. Once you start taking lessons, you’ll be shocked at the differences in your vocal strength, tone, and breathing.
2. Warm Up Your Vocal Cords
People often forget that singing is a physical activity that requires warm-ups. Like playing a sport, failing to warm up the vocal cords could result in an injury.
So, it’s essential for any singer to prepare with the most effective techniques.
Some of the best exercises for vocalists include:
- Solfège Ladders – You can advance your ear training with this exercise, which requires you to sing the following words up and down the scale starting from middle C (Do, Re, Mi, E, F, G, A, B, C).
- Lip Buzzes (also called lip trills) – One of the easiest vocal warm-ups, the lip buzz can relieve tension in the vocal cords while expanding your range and improving breath control. All you have to do is pucker your lips and blow air out of your mouth to make a motorboat sound.
- Humming – This gentle exercise can be done anywhere as an efficient way to warm up your voice. Simply close your mouth and sing, “hmm.”
- Sirens – This technique will help you smooth out the transition from your chest voice to your head voice and gain greater vocal control. Make an “ooh” sound (like a police car), sing up the scale to the highest note you can reach, then head back down.
Practicing these exercises daily can improve your voice and protect you from injuring your vocal cords. If you’d like some more exercises to help you warm up, check out our list of the best vocal exercises for singers, as it’ll give you everything you need.
3. Practice Breathing Exercises
Singing requires breathing, so it’s important that you learn how to sing from your diaphragm correctly.
Vocalists are supposed to breathe using their diaphragms, as it’s where vocal power should come from. However, very few singers understand how to do this when they’re just starting to sing.
Your diaphragm sits between your heart and lungs, contracting as you inhale and exhale. If you’re using diaphragmatic breathing, your abdomen will expand as you inhale.
If your shoulders or chest rise as you breathe in, you’re not engaging your diaphragm correctly.
A few of the most effective breathing exercises include:
- Hiss Exhale – You can develop breath control with this method by inhaling deeply and exhaling as you bring your teeth together to form an “sss” sound.
- Snatched Breaths – This technique allows you to release tension in your throat while helping you harness more air to sustain longer notes. To perform this exercise, gradually inhale in small breaths. Count to four as you breathe in, and slowly release your breath as you count from five to twelve. Try to increase the time you hold your breath each time after that.
- The Straw Technique (also known as straw phonation) – This exercise will help you reduce vocal strain and increase breath support, as you’ll concentrate entirely on your breathing. Take a straw and place it into your mouth. Then, practice breathing in and out or start humming a song.
- Laying On Your Back – When you sing on your back, you’re not only improving your posture but also relieving tension in your throat and forcing yourself to use your diaphragm for breath support.
As you learn to breathe better, you’ll notice that you can sustain notes longer and with more power. And not only that, but you’ll also be giving your lungs a nice workout, which will help your overall health!
4. Learn Basic Music Theory
Another way to become a better singer is through solid musical training.
When you discover how music works, you’ll better understand the songs you’re singing, which can result in better technique and performance.
Learning music theory can help vocalists improvise to put their own spin on a song or even compose a new song from scratch.
Beginner singers should have a basic understanding of music theory that covers the following:
- Sound – This includes pitch, dynamics, timbre, articulation, and duration.
- Reading Music – Sometimes referred to as musical notation, this is how to recognize the relationships between pitches.
- Scales – This is essentially a pattern of notes. Beginners should understand major, minor, chromatic, and whole-tone scales.
- Keys – This is the main group of notes that form a piece of music. Singers should be able to identify which key they are singing in and how to change (transpose) to another key to fit their range.
- Rhythms – Rhythm is a repeated pattern of sound movement in music, including when notes are played, how they are emphasized, and their duration. Singers should understand how to sing at a certain tempo.
Knowledge of basic music theory can do wonders for your musicality, from helping you switch up your singing dynamics to transitioning to other keys.
5. Daily Practice
It’s true what they say: practice makes perfect! Most vocalists don’t become good singers overnight, and even child prodigies do their fair share of practicing.
Schedule some time every day to do vocal or breathing exercises, or sing songs.
Whether you’re enrolled in vocal lessons or you spend time on your own singing your favorite songs that everyone knows, a little practice will go a long way if you keep at it.
Don’t give up even when it seems like you’re not improving at the rate you’d like to. As we said earlier, learning to sing takes a lot of work. But if you stay committed, you’ll undoubtedly see the results.
Being a great singer requires extraordinary commitment in both time and effort, but it’s certainly an achievable goal for most people.
Whether you were born with an incredible singing talent or have always been a lousy singer, you can improve and learn to sing well if you do the work.
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