At some point during the process of mastering any skill, from learning to ride a bike to learning to drive a car, you might long for a quick fix – that one thing that will improve your ability drastically, and take you from a floundering beginner to, if not an expert, at least reasonably accomplished. Singing is no different, and most aspiring vocalists are always on the lookout for hints and tips on how to sing better instantly.
You may have read books and articles about the physical and emotional processes behind good singing, and perhaps as many biographies and autobiographies of famous singers as you’ve heard theories on whether this technique or that school of singing will show you how to sing better instantly. Try as you might to look for your instant cure-all for every vocal problem you might have, you can’t find it. There’s a good reason for that – there isn’t one.
However, there is one super simple trick for how to sing better instantly which has nothing to do with your technique, or your skill level as a singer; learn how to relax both mind and body, and your singing will improve dramatically without any technical trickery whatsoever. If you learn to relax both before and while you are singing, you can expect the following remarkable changes:
Your voice will double in size – When you’re relaxed, your voice won’t get “stuck” on the way out. In addition, if you’re relaxed when you’re singing, your voice will work naturally and without strain, which can result in injuries.
Your tonal range and vocal colors will multiply – Think back to the last time you sang when you were tense or nervous. You may have sung accurately enough, but you may have noticed a tinny or metallic sound coming through. Now think about the last time you sang when you were relaxed; more than likely, your tone was much richer and stronger than in the other scenario!
You will be able to sing for longer – Tense muscles are tired muscles, and after a while, they’ll start to ache. If you are relaxed, you are less likely to tire yourself out simply through working too hard to achieve half the results.
So all you need to do is relax – easy, right? Wrong. The vast majority of people find that as soon as someone tells them to relax, they’re immediately tense, and the more they try to unwind, the more wound up they become. You may have found your “how to sing better instantly” tool, but if you can’t implement it, it won’t do you much good. Everyone is different, but you can try some of the following and see what works for you:
Take care of yourself – The difference between a singer and an instrumentalist is that we are our instruments. If a violinist has a cold, for example, they can still put on a good performance, whereas a singer will find it harder to do so as their lousy blocked nose or scratchy throat will get in the way. Do your best to take care of yourself to avoid getting sick: get enough rest, drink water throughout the day, and pay attention to the foods you eat.
Warm up your body – You probably already know that it’s harder to sing when you’re feeling lethargic. Start with a few gentle stretches to make sure that you’re physically relaxed and ready to put your best foot forward!
Prepare – There’s nothing guaranteed to make you tense up quicker than not preparing your music properly. Practicing often will help if you’re anxious about forgetting words or notes during pressure situations, like performances and auditions.
Finally, no matter how well your strategies for relaxing when singing might be, there is only so much that you can do by yourself. If you are a self-taught singer, there are all kinds of hidden tensions that can creep into your technique that you might not be aware of, and that will set you up for vocal problems, and possibly even permanent vocal damage. The best way to avoid this is to find a qualified teacher who will be able to both see and hear problems as they occur, and help you to fix them. If you really want to learn how to sing better instantly, nothing can replace a great teacher by your side!
Photo by Ihsan Khairir