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How To Become a Songwriter

Do you love the power of both words and sound? Do you spend long nights up in your room, picking out chords on your brother’s old guitar and writing pages and pages of lyrics about your life?  Have you always imagined hearing your words sung on the radio for the whole world to hear? As a song writer, you can express yourself in some many ways.

Why is it important to be a songwriter as well as a singer?

Although the reverse is not the same, a singer should train to be a songwriter as well as a performer. Some songwriters never perform their own work publicly preferring to stay hidden in the background, and that works fine if they have no desire for the stage.  However, if you are performer, imagine how much more control you would have over your own career, if you could write your own songs.  You can make sure that every song choice speaks to what matters to you and  fits the image you want to present to your fans.  Being able to write your own lyrics and play an instrument will make you stand out in the large crowd of people who all want to be a star.

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What are the key skills for becoming a songwriter?

If you hated English class in school and don’t enjoy creative writing in any form then becoming a songwriter is not for you.  A genre of poetry is referred to as lyrical poems because the earliest of them were set to music.  Words and music go hand in hand, and you need to have the desire to create powerful images with your word choices as well as with your musical arrangement.
As the writer, you are responsible for creating not only the words, but the musicality of the song as well.  It is very important that you have a basic understanding of music theory and that you have at least learned one instrument. The guitar and piano are popular choices. You need to know the parts of a song from the bridge to the chorus and how to read and write notes.
Although you could just work with a musician who will set your words to music, when you can build the words and notes together, the piece will have a stronger sense of harmony. The more you understand how music is made, the better songwriter and performer you will be.

Having a good business sense is also important whether you are a singer or songwriter in the music industry.  Knowing as much as you can about copyright issues and how to pick an agent will keep you from losing money and dealing with legal issues.  Think about having a lawyer on retainer as well to protect your interests in all business dealings and to read over contracts for you before you sign anything.  Having the right knowledge will always be the key to your success.  The music industry is not for the faint of heart.  You  need the drive and passion to succeed.

7 Tips to take care of your singing voice

Is there anything more emotionally powerful than the pure beauty present within a vibrant vibrato, a colorful coloratura, and a singing voice that, with every note, says it all—and then some?  A great singing voice is a precious commodity, and not something you want to lose! If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with such natural talent, or have committed yourself to training and transforming yourself into the next Bernadette Peters or Julie Andrews, you’re going to take the greatest of care when it comes to the element most vital to your overall success—your voice itself.

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Here to help are a few quick tips and tricks for aspiring amateurs and veterans alike when it comes to the all-important topic of how to take care of your singing voice.

Don’t Scream

There are few actions more beautiful than the act of singing, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a strenuous activity or art. As such, one of the most important tips to take to heart when it comes to keeping your singing voice in tip-top shape is to avoid any unnecessary strain, and that includes screaming. There’s an old stereotype about Wagnerian soprano roles that they’re strenuous, screeching and have the potential to burn out fresh young voices early. Whether or not that’s true, one things for certain – offstage, you always want to avoid screaming whenever possible.

Keep Warm

Cold weather means a cold body, a cold body means tense muscles, constricted blood vessels and this in turn can lead to a strained singing voice. As such, you will want to keep warm at all times and this is especially true when it comes to your neck. Your vocal chords are valuable instruments and deserve the absolute best care. If you have ever seen a diva sporting a fine silk scarf, Maria Callas and Renee Fleming come to mind – you now know why; they’re the perfect marriage of form and function.

Drink Up

Keep yourself self-hydrated. That’s sound advice for your vocal chords and simply good advice period.

The pros and cons of milk

We’ve all grown up with the phrase: “Milk, it does a body good” and on the whole, that’s true. However, milk and cheese can lead to a build up of mucus in your throat.

Rest Your Voice

As stated, singing is a beautiful but strenuous activity. Athletes have to rest up between games and, in the same way, you’ll want to rest your voice in between rehearsals and performances. Again, avoid shouting, screaming or unnecessarily straining your voice.

Warm up your voice

Likewise you’ll want to warm-up before each performance. There are a variety of different warm-up exercises that can help you; which ones are right for you will depend on your own personal preference, the nature of your voice, and the role, aria or song you’re preparing to sing.

Don’t sing while sick

One final piece of advice – don’t sing while you’re sick. It will just exasperate matters, you risk doing further damage and you won’t sound your best anyway.

How to hit high notes when singing

hit high notesOne of the most common questions asked by anyone with an interest in getting a better singing voice is – how to hit the high notes when singing? For many budding singers just starting out, when they attempt to move up an octave their voice starts to break and this can sound painful to listen to! Singing higher notes is not as difficult as you might imagine, it will just take an understanding of the steps to take to be able to sing higher and plenty of practice.

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The first thing you want to do before you start is to make sure you warm-up. It is important that you warm up before singing because your vocal chords are muscles and just like an athlete will warm up before a race, you need to warm-up your vocal chords so you don’t strain them. If you want a quick guide to warming up then the bbc have a video here – warm up

When you want to reach the high notes you will need to sing in your “head voice” (it is called the head voice because when you are singing the high notes you can feel the vibrations in your head/skull). When you make the transition from your “chest voice” to your head voice it can lead to you putting strain on your vocal chords. If this is happening then you need to stop because this can cause permanent damage.

The key to singing high notes is to understand that you actually need less air and not more air to sing high. This is because your vocal chords become stretched as you reach the high notes and therefore less air can pass through. Many people think they need more air and try to force their voice but this just leads to your voice starting to break up. It will take some getting used to at first but when you next try to sing higher, try it with less air and see how it feels. With practice you should see a big improvement!

7 singing tips for beginners

If you are new to singing then it is important that you get some good advice so you know what areas to focus on first. Here are some singing tips for beginners to give you a great start….

Vocal warm ups
Before you begin your singing it will be very helpful for you to do a vocal warm-up. This will allow you to sing with more freedom and will help you to sing for longer without fatigue. Just as a professional athlete will do some stretches before starting their training, it is important to warm-up your vocal chords by doing certain exercises such as lip trills so that when it’s time to sing you are in top condition.

Find your singing range

When you start singing you will want to know what your singing range is. This is simply the highest and lowest notes you can sing. Knowing what your range is will help you to find songs that suit your voice. The bbc have a great resource to help you with that here.

Make recordings of yourself singing

What you hear when you are singing is not what other people here. This is because when you sing/or talk, your ear is stimulated by the internal vibrations from the bones in your neck and your head and this will lead your to think your voice is a bit deeper than it actually is. Most people who hear a recording of them talking or singing for the first time are a little shocked because their voice is a couple of notes higher than they thought it was. Listening to yourself sing is a good way to objectively judge your singing so you know what areas you need to improve.

Listen to singers you admire

Not only can you pick-up some great tips from watching some of your favorite singers such as how they present themselves on stage and some of the singing techniques they apply, but you can often get inspired by their music and it make you want to get out there and sing yourself.

Vary the volume as you sing

Singing a song all the way through at the same volume can sometimes be a little boring and robotic. If you emphasize certain words in a song it can help to bring more emotion to the song and make it more interesting to the audience.

Decide on face-to-face lessons or a singing program

The best way to accelerate your singing ability to get some tuition. A singing coach will be able to teach you how to perform the different singing exercises properly and lay-out a clear plan for you to follow so you make progress a lot quicker than if you are learning on your own. The best choice is to get a good private singing teacher as they can offer you immediate feedback and tailor make the lessons for your needs. It is not always cost effective and convenient to hire a coach so the next best choice would be one of the singing programs there are available to download onto your computer. Some of these are taught by world class singing coaches who have taught some of the top singing stars and feature a step-by-step plan to bring beginners up to advanced level singers.

Check out Singorama 2.0 for one of the best courses.

Practice

Perhaps the most important singing tip is the last on the list. The more you practice the quicker you will improve and you will find that the more you put in the more you get out. Making singing practice a habit is what is going to give you the voice you want in the long term!

Can Anyone Learn To Sing?

There are some people out there with the mistaken belief that being able to sing is something that you are born with and that those who cannot sing will never be able to. This couldn’t be further from the truth! So if you are someone who would like to improve their singing voice then read on as I explain how…

If you were to name some of the top singers in the world, there is one thing they each have in common. Whether it’s Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey or Adele, they have all had and continue to have vocal coaching. We think of them as naturally talented and of course this plays a part, but one of the main reasons they sing as well as they do is down to being taught and trained how to use their vocal chords to sing.

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Your vocal chords are a muscle and like any muscle you have to train it regularly  to improve. You wouldn’t go to the gym and on your first day expect to be lifting heavy weights straight away, but many people without any singing training try a half-hearted attempt at singing and give up because they don’t like what they hear and spend the rest of their life saying “i can’t sing”. If they had only had the benefit of working with an experienced vocal coach who could have given them a daily routine of vocal exercises to practice and taught them different vocal techniques, they would have a voice they were proud of and look forward to singing at any opportunity!

You can train your voice through different vocal exercises and these will strengthen your vocal chords. When you have trained your vocal chords you will find that you have control over your singing voice and will have a greater singing range. There are other different tips and techniques that that a good singing coach will be able to pass on to you that will all go towards giving you the voice you want.

In summary the answer to the question: “can anyone learn to sing” is Yes! It is just a matter of learning from a good singing teacher and practice, practice, practice. If you are interested in learning how to sing there are a few courses available online that teach you how to sing in the comfort of your own home. The best one is probably The superior Singing Method which is taught by one of the most indemand singing teachers in the world and is ideal for beginners and intermediates. I have written a Superior Singing Method Review Here which tells all about the course and you can visit the official website here for further information.

Singing Lessons Online

Anyone who has searched for singing lessons online will no doubt have come across some of the singing software courses that can be purchased online and downloaded to your computer. These software courses feature professional singing coaches teaching step-by-step singing techniques, but can these courses really replace a live singing coach and make you a better singer? Here are some of the pros and cons of these singing software courses to help you make up your own mind…

The Pros

Most of the singing software courses are taught by renowned singing coaches who have coached some of the best singers around and are paid highly for their expertise. To hire one of these teachers for one-on-one vocal coaching would be out of the price range for most people so these software courses can be considered great value for money.

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Convenience is another plus point of learning how to sing through software. When you hire a vocal coach there will be a certain day and time that you have to meet to have your lesson. When you learn to sing through software you have the convenience of learning in the comfort of your own home whenever you want and as little and as often as you want.

Price is another advantage that learn to sing software has over hiring a vocal teacher if you want more than a handful of lessons. The software will be a one-off fee and will contain a complete course while the cost of paying a teacher for each lesson will start to add-up the more lessons you take and be more expensive than the software.

The Cons

The major disadvantage of singing software compared to working with a vocal coach one-on-one is the lack of feedback. A singing teacher will be able to identify your weak points and tell you where you are going wrong. A singing teacher can tailor-make a lesson designed specifically for you which will be more beneficial than the software which is designed for the mass-market.

Conclusion

If you are serious about singing then the best option will be to work with a vocal coach one-on-one because they will be able to identify where you need to improve and offer you helpful feedback and push you in the right direction. If you are someone just starting out then one of the learn to sing software course might be the best choice for you. They are designed for beginners and you can learn in your own home.

How To Sing Higher

Often the highlight of some of the most popular songs is when the performer sings a high note. This can add extra emotion to the song and make it more memorable. Being able to reach the high notes is seen as the sign of a great singer and so probably the most often asked question by anyone interested in singing is: “how do I sing higher?”

How to sing high notes when singing

The most common thing to happen when an inexperienced singer attempts to sing an octave or two higher than their normal singing voice is that it sounds cracked. This is when you try pulling your chest voice into the upper range. If you are putting extra strain on your voice to reach the high notes then you are going about it the wrong way!

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Before attempting high notes it is always a good idea to do a proper warm-up beforehand. This will involve practicing different vocal exercises that will prepare your voice for your performance.

Breathing is another part of singing that is absolutely key to being able to hit the high notes. Having control over your breathing is important in all aspects of singing.

Don’t forget your posture either. Your posture can affect the sounds you produce so it is important to stand in the correct position so that your vocals can be easily produced.

There is no quick fix for being able to sing high notes. It will take some guidance and plenty of practice but being able to sing higher is perfectly achievable for everybody. If you are interested in learning how to sing higher then why not check out some of the learn to sing at home software reviews on our site which are perfect for beginners.

How to improve your singing voice

If you want to learn how to improve your singing voice then the first thing you will want to do is to make a recording of yourself singing. Everyones voice sounds different in their head compared to how other people hear their voice so making a recording of your singing voice will enable you to hear your voice as it actually is. When playing back the recording you will be able to judge your singing voice and pick out which areas you are happy with and which need improvement.

Once you have identified which areas to work on then it is a case of finding the appropriate vocal exercise that will strengthen your weak points. It goes without saying but it is only through continuous practice that you will become the singer you want to be.

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Probably the quickest way to improve your singing voice is to find a good singing teacher to coach you. They will be able to give you immediate feedback on where you might be going wrong and what you need to do to improve.

The second quickest way to improve would be to try one of the singing courses that you can download onto your computer. They feature world renowned vocal coaches that will take you through the different vocal exercises you need to practise and give you a road map to becoming a better singer. I will review some of the top singing courses available soon so check back later.