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Vocal Techniques: How to Sing Like a Pro

Interested in live sound and show production?

Female singer smiling behind microphone, preparing to sing.

Vocal techniques are a handy talent that can help both the sound designer and singer. If you have a voice, you can sing. No matter what singing talent you may have, there are tricks and software to help you sing like a pro. There are just a few key components to get you on your way.

Anyone with a Voice Can Sing

The key is to find your vocal range and initially to work within it. Think about songs that you enjoy singing around the house or in the shower. The songs

you enjoy singing the most may be within your natural singing range. You can then work on a keyboard to help determine what key the song is in. When you find the sheet music for the song, the song’s key will be as it was originally recorded in. If you are able to hit the notes within that key, you may be able to sing other songs that are written in this range.

If a few of the notes within a song seem just out of reach, your best bet may be to transpose. To transpose is to shift the key of the performance to a more comfortable singing range. Usually, it is just a matter of shifting things over a half or whole step.

Using Melodyne Software To Sing Like A Pro

If you find yourself off-pitch or slightly off beat, Melodyne can help correct your singing. Melodyne is great for adjusting pitch, vibrato, volume and timing. It is meant to fix small errors, so a vocalist does not have to do multiple takes. With Melodyne, the vocalist can make minor corrections to perfect their vocal tracks.

Sing Better Without Software

Practice makes perfect! If you want to sing better, record yourself and see how close you are to singing on pitch. Sing along with other instruments or people that are on tune and try to match their pitch. Work on your posture so your body can tune your voice properly. Finally, it is important to keep your throat healthy in order to improve your singing.

Record Yourself

The greatest tool to help improve your singing can be found in your pocket! Voice memo apps can be found on most phones and are ideal for sketching out song ideas and to record vocals for review. Hearing yourself for the first time can be surprising and a bit of a traumatic experience. We have to get past this in order to become a great singer. If you have access to a drum machine, keyboard, guitar, or something else to help act as a guide to keep you in tune and in time, all the better.

Sing with other People

Just like with any instrument, one of the fastest ways to get better at singing is to do it with others. It helps build confidence, teaches you how to use your voice in different settings, builds your musical ear, and helps you track your progress. Any chance to sing with others will improve your ability and strengthen your vocal techni ques.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Just like with anything else, you can’t expect yourself to be a great vocalist overnight. It takes work and practice. Doing exercises on a daily or weekly basis can help increase your ability exponentially over time. There are many techniques for accomplishing this and many references on the subject. One text for building your vocal techniques that has stood the test of time is Frank Sinatra’s Tips On Popular Singing, written with his vocal trainer John Quinlan. Regardless of what genre you plan to sing in, these vocal exercises may help get you there.

Posture

One of the most integral techniques available as a vocalist is executing proper posture. Stand or sit up straight when you sing. Point your chin forward, with your tummy firm yet expandable. Your hands should be relaxed at your side, and keep your body loose resisting your knees from being locked. These are all basic posture points that can influence your ability to project and deliver a song.

Keeping Your Throat Healthy

Good vocalists keep their throat well-lubricated. All the techniques in the world won’t help if your throat is dry. You should always drink a lot of water. Another staple is hot tea with lemon and honey. A little phlegm is good for the vocal cords, and the hot liquid/lemon combo loosens up mucus while the honey coats your throat.

Remember anyone can sing, try recording yourself, sing with others to hear the right key, practice, use good posture and keep your throat healthy. With these tips and vocal techniques, you will be well on your way to singing like a pro.

Did learning about singing interest you in live sound and show production? Much of what a singer learns can be applied to sound for live musical theatre, event and corporate production. These vocal techniques can help shape the sound engineering of live shows.

The Associate in Applied Science in Live Sound and Show Production at the Institute of Production and Recording is an occupational degree program designed to present sound and lighting performance enhancement through technology and aesthetics. The live sound and show production program presents the fundamentals of acoustics, signal flow, color and light, basic electronics, audio, lighting and video reproduction devices. Students train to become audiovisual engineers and designers who are proficient in the creation, operation and planning of modern-day musical, theatrical, event and corporate productions.

Contact us today to learn more about the live sound and show production program and starting a rewarding career in the music industry.