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Voice 101
learning to sing better

written by Kylyra

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So you want to become a better singer. Congratulations! I grew up musically and received professional vocal tutoring at an early age. Years of scholastic singing, live performance, and over 10 years in the recording industry have convinced me that just about anyone can improve their singing with practice. In my opinion, if you can hear the difference between two notes you can learn to sing - even if your friends and relatives wince every time you open your mouth!

Finding a vocal instructor to help you along the way is not absolutely necessary, especially for those fortunate few who seem to be born with a lot of raw talent, but most singers find working with an instructor at some point in their careers to be a valuable investment of their time and money. Vocal instructors can drastically improve a vocalist's performance in a relatively short period of time. Of course, vocal improvement is always dependent on the work you put into it and your relationship with your instructor. Your instructor should work to communicate directly to you in the easiest way possible, and it almost goes without saying that you should feel comfortable and at ease with anyone you work with.

If you are working alone you can accomplish your goal of becoming a better singer, but it will be tougher than working with an instructor. Without immediate correction of bad singing practices you might pick up some nasty vocal habits without even knowing it. It will also be harder to surmount any obstacles you encounter; fine tuning your pitch accuracy is often difficult without someone correcting you. However, hard work and enthusiasm can take you a very long way on your own. So sing, sing, sing!


A lot of people seem to have a funny attitude about vocalists. They understand that musicians need to spend time practising to play their instruments and learning how to move their fingers and/or body, but they seem to think good vocalists are just born. This could not be further from the truth. As a vocalist, you are a musician, and need to spend just as much time practising your instrument as any guitar or keyboard player. What is your instrument as a vocalist? Why, yourself!

Notice I didn't say a vocalist's instrument was his or her voice - that would be like saying a guitar player's instrument was only guitar strums or notes. Your voice is only the sound of your instrument, and the sound of your instrument comes from your body.

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