CAN YOU TEACH ME TO SING?

Every few weeks I get asked that question so I thought I’d respond to it here. 

Singing is one of the most fulfilling ways to express yourself, and most people have some or all of the necessary starting tools.  But, can anyone be taught to sing?   To help you get in the right mindset, ask yourself this question:  “Can anyone be an outstanding cook, songwriter or athlete?”  Let’s consider those first, then singing.

Can anyone be a great cook?  Not if you have problems with your sense of smell or taste.  Knowledge of how foods go together can be learned, but the “smell” and “taste” also need to be present in great cooks.
What about songwriting? Can it be taught?  Yes, but there are some foundations that can make the difference between a casual writer and one who develops and creates amazing songs. I’m a great example.  I know music theory, love to use words and have a very musical ear, so I have a lot going for me. One of my songs is on dozens of CD’s and several more are published. However, I don’t do what serious songwriters do: Spend hours writing and co-writing songs.  It’s not priority for me, and until it is I won’t be a good, consistent songwriter.
Playing sports is a whole other subject.  To play any kind of ball well, you have to be in reasonably good shape, practice regularly (not once a month) and actually know and understand the rules of the game. Being a fan and being a player are completely different.

NOW, WHAT ABOUT SINGING?  Here are the elements that need to be working well and working together in order for you to sing with good quality, accuracy and consistency.

  • THE DESIRE AND WILLINGNESS to open your mouth in front of others and sing.  Seem obvious?  I  work with some singers who have enormous desire and passion but are literally terrified to sing in public, which is rather limiting.  Why this fear?  They don’t know what will come out under real-life  pressure.
  • THE MECHANICS of posture, breathing, tone and expression are all part of what makes a singer effective.  If any of those areas are weak, you will lose quality and consistency.
  • A MUSICAL EAR (ear, brain, larynx connection) is a must.  Without it you won’t have good pitch center (be on the right note), dynamics (loud, soft) and phrasing (what you “do” with the phrase). With decent training, someone with reasonable pitch accuracy can usually develop a good musical ear, but it takes time.
  • THE DESIRE TO COMMUNICATE A MESSAGE is what separates those who just “sing” from those who “CONNECT” with the audience, which is the ultimate goal.  That means analyzing the message (lyrics and musical style) and coming up with a game plan that includes expression, gestures, meaningful dynamics, phrasing and more.  It’s a real effort, that when done well comes off as easy and natural. That’s what allows the listener to relax and take it in, rather than nervously wondering if you will hit the high notes.

Now, it’s time to list your strengths as well as the areas that need some work.    Then, make the time to get the tools necessary to turn those weaknesses into strengths.  It may be one of the most satisfying things you ever do.

If you need guidance regarding which tools will serve you best explore the vocalcoach.com web site or email me at chris@vocalcoach.com We are here to help you be your best and get the most enjoyment out of singing possible.

21 comments

  1. Ameerah says:

    Hi there my names ameerah and honestly I really want to sing …but my parents won’t pay for my classes…I come from a singing back ground most of dads family sings but I want to learn on my own I want to teach myself so that I could show them I’m better …please help me what do I do ????

    • chrisbeatty says:

      As I’m sure you know, singing, just like sports takes a bit of time understanding how things work (the voice is physical, mechanical and acoustical) and then applying the principles until you do them naturally. Most things worth doing take some investment, but at least you can download the Vocal Coach materials and have them on your mp3 player and use them anywhere. After working with the materials for a bit you may be able to ask for a live, Online coaching session as a gift from your parents. Just a thought. In the mean time get all you can from the Vocal Coach free blogs.

  2. prince says:

    Sir i need your help,i really desire to sing well before people but each time i came on stage i will be in tensed and fear will bit me down so help me what do i do to over come my stay fear,
    thanks from me Prince

    • chrisbeatty says:

      Performance fear is very, very common. The only sure way to start overcoming stage fright is to be more confident and secure than you are afraid. The ONLY way to accomplish this is to master the foundations singing like posture, breathing, tone quality, diction and expression. The voice is a physical, mechanical and acoustical instrument. As you develop good muscle memory with right skills you will begin to own them. Then, you will be more secure than afraid when in public. It’s a process, but very doable, and the Vocal Coach Training CD’s can help you get there. You can download foundations CD’s like Complete Breathing, Tone, Warm-Up, Expanding Your Range and Performance from or site at vocalcoach.com .

  3. Spike says:

    Hi Folks! Am really drawing the long straw here…. Have been a singer in a Rock band many years ago. Had an accident where I hit my head VERY severely and forced a permanent “ringing” in my right ear. I absolutely LOVE country music, and believe I have half (1/2) a chance to be able to live my dream of singing the songs that change people’s lives without them even knowing? My confidence is gone, but my heart lives on…. Can you help please? Thank you, Spike.

    • chrisbeatty says:

      Hey Spike. I’m assuming you’ve been seen by an Ear-Nose-Throat Doctor and doing everything medically possible. The ringing in your right ear from the trauma certainly can be distracting. This may also require you to have to seriously focus to stay accurate with pitch and rhythm. The key for you will be to work on the foundations like breathing, tone and warm-up routines to make sure that is all in order. You can do that with a local vocal coach or get some downloads of Vocal Coach training materials. Hope this helps.

  4. ozioma says:

    i sing in my church but not realy satisfy with my voice.i didn’t go for any voice lessons but am always on the right key,please help me improve more.i have problems with high keys

    • chrisbeatty says:

      First, I suggest you read the Vocal Coach Blogs on Breathing, Tone and Expanding Your Range. Singing in the higher register is a challenge for many singers until they learn the truth about connecting all registers into one, well-connected voice. The Vocal Coach Blogs and CD’s can help you accomplish this systematically and with technique that will serve you for years.

  5. Yiesha says:

    Hi, I really wanna learn how to sing I THiNK Im Tone Death Btw. It feels like everybody can sing except me can you please help me. Im 14 years old BTW.

    • chrisbeatty says:

      Hi Yieshai. Here is where I think you should start: Find a trained/qualified choir director or voice teacher who would be willing to spend a few minutes with you testing your voice. You want to find out if you can do accurate pitch matching and basic rhythm patterns. If these are not natural skills for you they may be able to help you achieve them. If they say you have normal skill levels you could learn a lot from our Vocal Coach Breathing, Warm-Up and Tone CD’s. Remember that the voice is a physical, mechanical, acoustical instrument. With the right training most people can really improve. But the real key is that you are comfortable with your own voice and can have fun with it. Hope this helps.

  6. Angelica says:

    Hi i really have a desire to sing and everytime i see or hear somebody else sing i get jealous and sad because they doing what i always wanted to do i can sing i just want to go on stage and just sing my heart out but i can’t hit the high notes perfectly so any tips to fix that? How do i deal with negative coments from my haters ? And where can i get the platform to show case my talent … HELP ! !

  7. Judy says:

    I love to sing but i can’t carry a tune. People make fun at me when I sing so now I’m embarressed to sing in front of people even my family. I don’t have to become great I just want to not embarrassed in front of people. If you can help me one of my greatest things in life would be fullfilled I am a senior. Please help

  8. Kathie says:

    I just want to learn to sing out loud in front of my family & friends. I don’t want to sing on stage or perform. Just sing out loud without being embarrassed. This is something I’ve put off for years & years, which I know hurts me now but I’m so ready to change that. I’m 50. Where would I start?

  9. Nicola Simms says:

    Learning to become a great singer was always a life goal of mine as becoming a pop star was what I wanted as a child. I had tried singing lessons at various different stages of my life but I just felt the prices of lessons so I gave up on 5 different teachers. However, about a year ago I came across a program online that taught me how to sing through online lessons which not only was much cheaper but it has allowed me to become a very excellent vocalist. I highly recommended you to check out the full learn to sing guide at the following link: http://solutionwax.com/learntosing – just take some time to watch the video on that website and then go ahead with the full lesson guide where I can assure you that it will completely transform your singing voice.

    Even just a week of following the lessons I could see a massive improvement and now a year later, my voice has been completely transformed to the point that I have joined an alt rock band called ‘Sleeping Souls’(shameless plug lol) and perform at gigs all the time!

    These lessons aren’t just for beginners learning to sing either, they work amazing for all sorts of singing ability levels and apply to every different genre of music (classical, jazz, rock, pop etc). Anyway if you are interested in learning to sing or just generally improve your voice with professional advice, check out that website. Sorry if I have rambled with my comment here but just wanted to share some advice to fellow musicians out there!!

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