Some may say that singing comes easily to all, as we each have been gifted with vocal cords and voice boxes built into our automatic makeup, however things are not always what they seem. If we have all been granted this ability, then why do some voices sound more pleasing to the ear than others? Why is it that some people are tone deaf? Are they just unpracticed or is there a greater work at hand?
Some have discussed that world famous singers have been gifted with thicker vocal folds and a range that appears to be otherworldly - is this truly the case? It is hard to say. However, one thing that we can't argue - is that practice will always add layers of depth to any skill, it just depends on how far that range can stretch.
An interesting thing to note - is that professional singers, much like Mariah Carey, still has a vocal coach on the road with her and still takes vocal lessons. She has never stopped learning even while being at the very top of the charts. It's important to not get discouraged when you're still learning - and to accept that you'll forever be a student of life!
Let's dig in. For the beginning singer - say that you're a drummer and you would like to be able to do background vocals for your friend's newest album or that you'd like to be able to make the melodies come to life that have been swirling around in your head for some time now - we have some methods to get you started.
Warm up. Do your research and test out warming techniques. YouTube is incredible for free lessons and skills when it comes to anything. Find a teacher you gel with and see what works!
Take note of the fact that your body is now your instrument. Take into account the food, caffeine, alcohol and sleep or lack there of, that is effecting your sound. Drink that water and tea!
Sing along to songs that you love. Match their pitch as much as you can. Let it go and don't be afraid to have your voice crack. In this method, you'll find what style works with your sound. Step outside your comfort zone - you'll be amazed at how adaptive our body is and how muscle memory kicks in rather quickly.
Trust your own tone. Don't attempt to sound like anyone else. Give your own gift some room to be itself. A little tip that we love that can help you become more comfortable with the sound of your voice is to record yourself, even in your "Voice Memos" App - listen back and see where improvements can be made.
Have some fun with effects. If you have the ability to record yourself or have someone do it for you and you're still shy about the sound of your voice - layer on some effects to your voice - this acts much like a aural Instagram filter. Once you're comfortable with the sound, strip away the layers and you may realize that you don't sound as bad as you thought.
We must also take into account - the number of vocalists whose technique was "technically poor" - as they had uneducated breath support and many other bad habits. (Checkout this article for all of the juicy details: https://takelessons.com/blog/famous-singers-vocal-habits-z02) Despite all of that, many of those singers rose to the top and still became shining beacons of light within the league of legends - as their special sound spoke to the listener in a different way, aside from technique. It was more about soul and the message of the song. Much like Bob Dylan, the story overpowered the theory and technique.
So, in the end, we suggest that although you practice healthy vocal habits, you also take into account the style that really speaks to you the most and let it move through you. The song will cut through in the clearest fashion, when you really feel it and it comes from the heart.