“I’ve never found musicians capable of keeping up with my fanatical work-rate. Music is an obsession that doesn’t give me a break.”
If you're learning to sing on your own and need to inspire yourself, you should take this quote from Prince! Make it your mantra and you’ll make really fast progress on improving your singing voice!
But where should you start if you want to learn how to sing for free?
Superprof has the answers that you’re looking for!
Work Out Your Vocal Range and then Choose Songs Accordingly
Is it possible to find your natural vocal range, your tessitura, all without the help of a voice teacher?
Of course! Generally speaking, it’s easy to find what your vocal range is without the assistance of another person!
So what is tessitura?
According to Wikipedia: “Tessitura is the most esthetically acceptable and comfortable vocal range for a given singer or, less frequently, musical instrument; the range in which a given type of voice presents its best-sounding (or characteristic) timbre.”
When we talk about voices, we tend to discuss them in terms of male voices and female voices.
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There are three main categories when referring to male voices: tenor, baritone, and bass (from the highest to the lowest ranges).
Baritone is the voice range most men have. While baritones won’t be able to reach the highest or lowest notes, they’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to songs they can sing in their range: The Beatles, Oasis, Ray Charles, etc.
The bass range is the vocal range that reaches the lowest notes produced by men. This is the kind of voice that’s instantly recognisable as a bass. These are the kinds of singers who would be comfortable singing Joe Cocker or Leonard Cohen.
Tenors, like Pavarotti, are quite rare. You need a lot of patience and you’ll need to put a lot of work into being a tenor. However, you can’t choose your vocal range regardless of whether you’ve got a high voice or a low voice. You should listen to artists like U2, Maroon 5, Coldplay, or Muse if your voice is in this range.
Of course, there are plenty of subdivisions to all these vocal ranges. Have you heard of a sopranist, haute-contre, or a countertenor? These are vocal ranges and specialisations within each vocal range.
Some men have a relaxed tessitura which means they can produce some very high and some very low notes.
Freddy Mercury, for example, had a vocal range that covered 3 and a half octaves! Axl Rose of Guns ‘n’ Roses had a vocal range that covered 5 octaves!
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While the vocal ranges of women are different, they’re divided into three ranges like male voices: soprano, mezzo-soprano, and alto (from the highest to the lowest). It’s also unlikely that any given woman fits perfectly into a vocal range.
To make things simpler, let’s start with the lowest range. These are the kinds of singers who would be comfortable singing Toni Braxton or Cher. Try to replicate the lowest notes possible to see where the lower range of your voice is.
If you’re not sure, try the high notes without forcing yourself. If you’ve got a higher range, try singing songs by The Cranberries, Adele, Christina Aguilera, or Céline Dion.
Finally, don’t panic if you can’t hit high notes or low notes. You can work on expanding your range.
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How Can You Improve Your Singing without Music Tutorials?
There are plenty of useful singing tips for beginners when they first start their vocal training. Here are a few of them:
Relax your face. It’s often tense and a relaxed face will help you sing better. Start by relaxing your jaw, then your cheeks, then the top of your face.
Pay attention to your breathing. Usually it’s an automatic process! However, when it comes to singing, you have to focus on your breathing, where it comes from, and how you control it.
Relax your neck and contract your abdominal muscles. When you stretch your neck, pull your jaw back, without overdoing it since you don’t want to hurt yourself. Make sure you stand up straight and contract your abdominal muscles.
Work on your look and stage presence! Make sure you look at your audience. Look left and right and up and down.
Work on your voice. Just like any muscle, you need to work on your voice, too. Don’t forget to take a break, too!
Take care of yourself. sleep, eat, and drink a lot of water if you want to avoid losing your voice! A reckless lifestyle will have a negative effect on your vocal cords and you’ll lose your voice.
With these tips and tricks, you can see all the effort you have to make in order to work on your voice. Let’s have a look at some of the exercises you can do online.
Singing Lessons Online for Free
There are several free tools online for those who want to sing in key. Here are a few of the options.
Voice Training - Learn to Sing
Increase their vocal range with exercises
Increase the volume and quality of the notes they sing
Hit high notes
Improve their self-confidence and improvise
You can also record as you sing. The app can show you which notes you need to produce as well as auto-correct you as you record.
This app is simple: choose a song you want to learn. You can load a MIDI file into the app and you’re ready to go. Canta will show the notes and the melody that you have to sing.
The programme then analyses your voice, measures the frequency, and indicated the pitch of the note sung so that you can correct your voice.
Practice will help you to train your ear and avoid singing out of key.
Unfortunately, if you’ve got a Mac, you can’t download this app. Windows only!
This site has put together a list of resources for singers that you may find useful. There are links to so many different sites that include:
Articles for singers on vocal techniques and how to sing better
Warm up exercises for singers
Vocal exercises with audio
Video lessons and singing lessons
You should also look for forums for singers so that you can ask other singers for advice.
Learn to Sing on YouTube
YouTube is full of videos for those wanting to sing.
The Songbird Tree
On Kerry Ho’s channel, you can find out plenty of things about how to improve your singing.
Her advice for singers includes things like:
How to improve your self-confidence
How to sing with vibrato
How to warm up your voice
How to sing with a strong chest voice
How to look after your voice
How to sing high notes
How to sing whistle tones
This works a bit like getting your own private tutor but it won’t cost you a penny.
Eric Arceneaux is a YouTuber who gives advice to singers. His YouTube videos cover a variety of different aspects of singing from how to protect your vocal cords, vocal workouts, warm up exercises, ways to sing in key, how to stand correctly, etc. Eric has plenty of great advice for those who’ve just started learning to sing!
Felicia Ricci has plenty of videos on how to improve your singing. She has tutorials on plenty of different aspects of singing: how to sing with emotion, how to sing without tension, how to sing into a mic, how to fix your singing using breath, how to sing high notes, as well as videos on how to memorise songs and lyrics and how to relax your tongue while singing. There are plenty of videos on her channel that you’ll find useful.
With these resources, if you don’t make any progress with you’re singing, we’ll be really shocked!
Practice Makes Perfect when it Comes to Singing
There’s no secret to getting good at singing! A beginner can have all the best equipment but if they don’t work, they’ll never get any better!
You need to work on your voice every day that you can! Just like yoga, for example, if you do half an hour of singing practise every day, it’s far more effective than two hours every week.
It’s also far less dangerous! In fact, singing for over 90 minutes can be physically damaging just in the same way that overdoing it at the gym can be.
Depending on your schedule, try to stick to just 30 minutes per day (or two 15-minute sessions). We don’t mean singing in the shower, either! You have to do proper exercises.
And if you get bored of singing on your own, there are choirs and music groups all over the country which can offer a solution.
Can you learn to sing for free? Of course! There are so many tools and resources for beginners.
You have to start by working out what your vocal range is by trying to sing both high and low notes.
Choose songs that work with your tessitura when you start and don’t strain your voice.
Once you’ve done that, use all the tools at your disposal: websites and YouTube videos are full of good tips and tricks for begininers.
Finally, work hard! This is the key to success! If all of this isn’t working, don’t worry! Why not check out out some of the private singing tutors on Superprof?