General Question

Steve_A's avatar

How can I improve my voice?

Asked by Steve_A (5125points) February 8th, 2010

This past year now or so I worked on starting to sing and play guitar, I usually tend to do it with acoustic, I find it easier and real chords, versus R5 or power chords easier to find a note and hang on it whether it be, the root 5th 3rd o flat 3rd if its minor ,etc….

Here somethings I have noticed.

1) I need something to sing to otherwise I have a hard time being in key, how can I improve this? is this normal?
2) My voice tends to be low/deep how can I raise it higher, when I do it just never sounds as good as my chest voice
3)How do I alter the tone of my voice more, I have been recording myself a lot and I feel I improved, and helped me TRULY hear myself but when I start to experiment it goes too far out or weird….

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13 Answers

Buttonstc's avatar

Have you considered a professional singing teacher or voice coach?

Due to their experience and specialized training, they can help you figure out ways to smooth out the problem areas with tips and tricks.

Being able to stay on key better with accompaniment is not at all unusual.

Some people are born with perfect pitch. The vast majority of the rest of us don’t. To one degree or another, we have relative pitch.

I’ll never forget the first time I realized that I had encountered someone with perfect pitch and I was astounded.

She was a fellow teacher at the school where I taught and also the Church Organist who was a grad of Oberlin.

I was just starting to use an Autoharp. It was a new one so it needed almost constant re-tuning as the strings had not settled in.

Since there are so many strings, it’s a pretty tedious job and required me to use a multi-note round pitch pipe. Took quite bit of time.

However, she could do it in a matter of several minutes, without a pitch pipe and standing in a yard full of screaming kids playing at recess time.

THAT’S perfect pitch. Don’t beat yoursef up if you don’t have it. Not that many folks do :)

Steve_A's avatar

@Buttonstc No, no I mean I do realize its the best way but I really don’t have the money/time for it. I had to stop taking guitar/music theory lessons and was not happy so its likely to not happen for vocals.

Not to mention I am not a amazing guitar player or singer its something I do for my own enjoyment/hobby.

Buttonstc's avatar

I didn’t necessarily mean on a regular basis but more like a one of two session consultation type of thing just to point you in the right direction.

Jack79's avatar

0. yes, real chords are easier to sing to
1. it is normal to lose key, but the problem is not in your throat, it’s in your ear. People think a good voice is all about singing. It’s not. It’s about listening. If you have the right note in your head, you’ll sing it right most of the time.
2. don’t do that, not worth it. Just transpose the song to your voice range.
3. There are various techniques and exercises which are impossible to explain in this post. You could try looking online, but your best bet is a proper teacher in a proper music school. Otherwise, just keep doing what you’re doing, ie recording yourself and listening to your mistakes later. As with all things, practice makes perfect :)

YARNLADY's avatar

There are several online exercises to exercise your voice. Since this is for your own enjoyment, and not professional, practice and keep on practicing.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

1) Totally normal. If I’m recording I record a piano guide track. If singing live – practice practice practice… and maybe more practice.
2) This is normal too – you have a range – you can bend and stretch it a little – but it’ll always be your range (You also have a falsetto range to learn…) You should try to use your “sweet spot” to your advantage and sing in that range most of the time.
3) Your best tone is sort of in a bell curve… around your sweet spot your voice will sound the best even with little practice or training. The best singers (not me at all) can learn to “flatten” the curve – which is more than just improving overall tone throughout their range – although that’s part of it – but mostly working the “outside” of the bell to improve it and pretty much leave the sweet spot alone… sorta makes sense in that it makes it more uniform and sound good throughout and not like POW when they hit the sweet 3 notes in the middle of their range and then just okayish the rest of the time. I’m not there, that’s for sure – but practice practice… (did I say that already?)

DrC's avatar

Steve…one way to improve both your singing voice and the quality of your voice is to practice by humming. If you hum, it allows you to use your vocal cords properly (as opposed to singing in which you may be using your false cords or pushing on your cords). When you hum, you should feel a slight vibration in your cheeks and lips. Holding a note for a long period of time improves your control of your vocal cords and associated muscles. In this way, you can also improve the tone of your voice by practicing in the direction you want to go – either higher or lower.

Steve_A's avatar

@DrC When I hum it feel like my nose and upper mouth is vibrating…?

My lips feel a litte bit.

DrC's avatar

@Steve_A…good! That means you are resonating which means you are doing it correctly. You may want to have your jaw slightly open so that your upper and lower teeth aren’t touching to decrease the sensation in your teeth. But you can check it out with a web search about humming for your voice. I got the tip a long time ago from an operatic tenor.

Steve_A's avatar

@DrC Ok cool, but I am opening my mouth I notice I lose it a little, so I should feel this sensation when I am singing too then?

I notice I lose it when I begin to speak that means I am doing it wrong or just different?

DrC's avatar

I am not a professional singer, but I think that humming teaches you the correct positioning of your cricoid cartilage – so you will have vibration when you are singing too. But when your mouth is open, the waves go out as your voice and do not produce as much vibration in your lips and cheeks.

Steve_A's avatar

@DrC Ah true that makes sense I would lose it. I have been trying this past couple minutes to hum, get in tune with notes or a chord and then sing something or say something.

DrC's avatar

I think that you have to practice regularly and for a considerable amount of time. Like I mentioned, there seem to be info about this on the internet….good luck man.

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