Tips On Improving Your Singing Technique

If you’re longing to have a beautiful singing voice, then you’re certainly not alone.

Singer.Whether you’re a keen fan of your local karaoke night, or even if harbor greater ambitions for becoming an internationally acclaimed singing superstar, there’s no denying that singing is a skill that can be nurtured – so if you’re willing to work hard and progress your skills, there’s nothing stopping you from improving your singing voice.

While there’s something to be said for innate talent – the person who’s most committed to improving their raw potential is the person who’s most likely to succeed.

With this in mind, we have several tips to share with you for improving your voice, so let’s begin.

Take formal singing lessons

Even though many of the best singers were initially self-taught, virtually any skilled singer has benefited from vocal coaching at some point – and the sooner you get started, the faster you’ll see the improvements you’re looking for.

These days, there’s a diverse range of singing coaches available, so you don’t need to settle for a traditional ‘classical’ singing coach if you don’t want to.

In fact, if you’re interested in singing rock or pop styles, then seeking out a coach who specializes in these areas is a wise step to take.

Commit to regular practice

While it can seem like a chore to practice your vocal exercises every day, there’s no hiding from the fact that regular practice is the key to success when it comes to singing.

Keep in mind that regular practice every day is often more beneficial than marathon sessions at the weekend, so try to find some time every day to practice your vocal exercises.

This small commitment will reap huge rewards later on down the line.

Listen to great singers

One of the best ways to improve your technique is to simply learn to recognize the talents of others.

Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to find video clips of skilled singers, so learning how people execute their singing technique on stage is a fantastic way to improve your skill set.

What’s more, watching skilled singers is the ultimate way to fuel your motivation and inspire yourself to continue your journey of self-improvement.

 Make regular recordings

Listening to yourself sing isn’t always easy, and you may think you know what you sound like simply by listening through your own ears as you sing.

However, the sound you hear inside your own head is not the same as what others hear – and it’s all too easy to fall into damaging mistakes that you can’t detect yourself.

But one of the best ways to overcome this hurdle is to make regular recordings of yourself, which gives you realistic feedback on your singing technique.

Getting into the habit of recording and listening to yourself is an excellent way to notice where you may be going wrong, and it will also give you a better sense of what your performance sounds like to other people.

The Tenor Who Gave 2,928 Metropolitan Opera Performances


The Metropolitan Opera in New York City keeps records of its performances in the Metropolitan Opera Archives.

Every performer, whether a singer, conductor or dancer, who has appeared in more than 100 performances with the opera is listed in the archives. The list is extensive, and many famous stars are listed there.

Among the immediately recognized are conductor James Levine (2531 appearances), tenor Enrico Caruso (863 appearances), tenor Placido Domingo (673 appearances), tenor Luciano Pavarotti (378 appearances), conductor Arturo Toscanini (480 appearances), soprano Renata Scotto (314 appearances), mezzo soprano Frederica von Stade (300 appearances), mezzo soprano Marilyn Horne (252 appearances) and soprano Renee Fleming (247 appearances).

These are just a few of the hundred or so who have earned a spot in the archives of one of the most important performing organization in the world. It is fascinating to contemplate the vast amount of fame necessary to appear and the subsequent popularity resulting from having done so.

But, what of the many who have appeared, and for a myriad of reasons may be less well known?

Who was the performer who was talented and skilled, and produced a lifetime of appearances totaling the most with the organization? This man, as of September 25, 2015, was tenor Charles Anthony. His first performance was on March 6, 1954 and his last on January 28, 2010.

http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/frame.htm

Charles Anthony was born Charles Anthony Caruso of Sicilian parents. He studied music in New Orleans, where he was a Loyola University student, and he made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in Boris Godunov in 1954 playing the role of the Simpleton.

He did such an excellent job as a character singer, that he became a distinguished comprimario singer.

A comprimario singer is one who takes on the important smaller, supporting roles. The Italian words “con primario” are translated into English meaning “with the primary”.

Anthony was featured in the popular telecasts of the Metropolitan Opera. He appeared with famous singers and conductors throughout his career.

These included the 1979 Otello, the 1981 Il trittico, the 1982 Der Rosenkavalier with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the 1983 Don Carlos opposite Placido Domingo, the 1983 Ermani with Luciani Pavarotti, the 1988 Ariadne auf Naxos and many, many more.

His numerous performances are testimony to his talents as a supporting actor and singer.

Anthony also made several notable studio recordings for the Metropolitan Opera Record Club. These included excerpts from Les contes d’Hoffmann, Don Pasquale, Pagliacci, La traviata, and Aida with Levine as conductor.

Some reprised roles he had previous sung on stage opposite Maria Callas and Placido Domingo.

During his lifetime he was awarded when he broke the record number of performances previously held by George Cehanosky.

Anthony had performed for over 56 seasons of the opera. He was an honorary member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. He celebrated 50 years with the opera company in 2004.

His farewell performance with the opera was in Turandot. He played the role of Emperor Altoum. He was born on July 15, 1929 and died on February 15, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. He was 82 years old.

Singers understand the dedication to the musical craft which distinguishes a musician such as Charles Anthony Caruso.

Though he shortened his name to avoid comparisons with the legendary Enrico Caruso, and though his career was perhaps less front and center, he nevertheless contributed to the opera in the way that consummate professional musicians do.

He performed at the highest levels; singing for a lifetime. Bravo!

The Curious Musical Technique of Throat Singing

Every now and then, a singer who can sing two notes at the same time is reported in the news.

Musicians are always in awe of this particular event, because the majority of singing is thought to be done with just one note at a time. The ability to sing two seems strange, unnatural, or simply bizarre.

Avi Kaplan, the superb bass from Pentatonix used throat singing in The Lion Sleeps Tonight, bringing this lesser known technique to fans at the group’s 2014 concert at the Los Angeles Orpheum Theater.

As a result of his ability, numerous YouTube videos are now available with his performances of this art.

Another singer who has emerged into the public eye is Austrian Anna-Maria Hefele. She has created a demonstration video of her ability that has gone viral. Many critics refer to her sound as “otherworldly” or even “alien”. As a classically trained singer, she has been training in overtone singing since 2005.

Iconic singers of the past, including Janis Joplin and Karen Carpenter, were known for their varied abilities to use throat singing or overtone singing as part of their heightened musical expressiveness.

In the case of Joplin, her rendition of the popular standard Summertime is mentioned in many historical commentaries about her unique vocal style.

Carpenter is mentioned for her pure pitch, which resulted in natural overtones heard above her purely in-tune singing of the melodic line.

The practice of singing two notes at the same time is often attributed to the Mongolian art known as Khoomei.

The Mongolians call it Hooliin Chor, which means throat harmony. It is considered to be an art reflective of traditional culture and respected as a song form reserved for ritual ceremonies.

The singers who practice it are capable of singing a deep tone which drones low in the voice range while other higher tones are expressed in melodies above.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, inscribed it on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.

http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/mongolian-art-of-singing-khoomei-00210

The fascination with overtone singing in all of its variations includes true appreciation for the technical abilities that each singer has developed in order to be able to sing this way.

The fascination continues as many attribute healing qualities to the sounds and the practice. Monks around the world are known to sing in this way for religious activities.

The sense of mystery often surrounding their lifestyle has extended into the musical considerations of their chanting.

The Smithsonian identifies throat singing as “unique vocalization” and describes this chant form as being one of the oldest kinds of music in the world.

Three cultures, the Tuva from rural Russia, the Inuit from Northern Canada, and the Xhosa of Bantu origin from South Africa each have their own version the throat singing.

The music students and scholars ask the question “How is throat singing done?”. The technical answer is that throat singing is produced when a singer uses vocalization and resonance in the throat to produce two or more notes at the same time.

They are able to produce an array of harmonies by combining movements of their larynx, lips, velum, jaw and tongue.

These are precise combinations, often requiring decidedly non-precise relaxation throughout their bodies.

For this reason, some singers view the technique as a form of meditation. But, regardless of how and when it is sung, throat singing almost always creates dismay, curiosity and respect.