Learn How to Sing

Have you ever asked the question, “Can I learn how to sing?”  Let me help you find an answer to your question.Learn how to sing

Learning how to sing

The answer is very simple, “Yes, you can learn how to sing.”  In fact, it is almost a natural thing for human beings to sing.  If you can speak, you can probably already sing. Speaking and singing are very similar.  The same mechanisms and muscles are involved in each process. It is a matter of manipulating them so as to produce a creative presentation.

Tools for speaking and singing

When I say that speaking and singing are similar I refer to the processes involved.  To speak you must have an actuator, which is the breath. This is provided by the lungs and the muscles involved to inhale and to exhale.

Then you must have a vibrator.  This comes in the form of the larynx which we commonly call “the voice box”.  

Above the “voice box” we must have resonators, or “amplifiers”.  These are provided by the pharynx(upper throat), the mouth, and the nasal passages.  These can be more finely defined, but there is no need for that now.

In speaking and singing, we use words, so we need tools for that, too.

The main tools for forming words are: the jaw, the tongue, the teeth, and the lips.  There is also the soft palate which is used to produce certain nasal enhanced sounds.

If you have these tools, you have everything you need for speaking.  Therefore, you have everything you need for singing.

How is singing different from speaking

learn how to sing
Singing vs Speaking

When speaking we usually are thinking of producing single words.  Though we are expressing thoughts, which include all the words, we speak one word at a time.  When we sing, we must consider the beginning and the end of our thought.  

When speaking, our voice produces sounds in bursts.  To contrast, when singing the sound flows from the beginning of the phrase to the end.  Because of this, the actuator must provide a sustained supply of air instead of bursts of air.  This necessitates the coordinating of the actuator muscles to operate in a way that is not totally natural. This is where the learning comes in “learn how to sing”.

Some exercises for developing breath control

There are some simple exercises that can help us to begin to develop our actuator.

The first begins by dropping our jaw and inhaling through an open mouth.  You should inhale over a time of about 3 seconds. (Just count in your mind to 3).  Then exhale through a “hiss” for a count(think) of about ten seconds. Do this for about five repetitions.  If at first you cannot “hiss” for 10 seconds, start with 5 seconds and work your way up. Click on the MP3 for a demonstration.

      Inhale-Exhale warmup - Thomas Harvey

After you have done this exercise with the “hiss”, relax.  After relaxing a little, do it again. This time substitute vowels for the “hiss”.  Use “Ah”, as in father: “Oh”, as in no: “oo” as in sooth: “a” as in say: and “ee” as in see.

      Inhale-exhale warmup2 - Thomas Harvey

Another difference

Another difference between normal speech and singing is the range of pitches in the voice.  You may think that you do not employ pitch in your speaking, but you do. If you did not use pitch in your speaking you would sound monotone.  Here is an example of what a monotone voice would sound like. Then it is followed by a normal speaking voice. See if you hear the difference?  I am sure you will.


      Monotone - Thomas Harvey

(Normal speech)

      Non-monotone - Thomas Harvey

(Normal speech)

That should answer any questions you may have as to your ability to sing.  If you talk like the first example, you may have problems developing a singing voice.  But, I doubt that you speak as the first voice did.

With that said, just about everyone can learn how to sing.  It is just a matter of finding the right exercises that will help you develop your singing.

Some exercises to help develop your singing voice range

Just as in any job or trade you learn you must work at areas you wish to develop.  So, if singing on pitch is something you need to work at, we have an exercise for you.  If expanding your vocal range is something you need help with, these exercises will be good beginning points.

For this exercise, we shall use the vowel, “Ah”.  Begin by dropping your jaw, inhale a good breath and say “Aaaaaaaah”.  Hold that for about 3 or 4 seconds. Take a breath again and this time as you say “Aaaaaah”, let the pitch slide down. (Here is an example-MP3).  Let it go as low as you can. Do that several times.

After a minute or two of rest, set up to do this previous exercise.  This time, though, let the pitch slide up. (Here is an example-MP3). Do this several times.


Do a variation on the previous exercise. Begin on the first pitch and slide up and then slide down. (Example-MP3)  After several times change it around. Begin on the first pitch and slide down then up. (Example-MP3)

If at first it seems a little rough, don’t give up.  It is “practice that makes perfect” not thinking. Just as babies do not learn to walk in a day, nor do singers learn to sing in a day.  Learning how to sing is an ongoing progress. I have been learning how to sing for almost 60 years. And I am still learning and growing in many areas of my singing.

Voice training exercises

These few voice training exercises that I have shared with you are just the beginning for beginners.  You can begin this wonderful adventure and learn how to sing better every day. 

The benefits of vocal training go far beyond just the singing that you will enjoy.  You will find yourself assuming better posture which benefits your overall physical well being.  There is also the benefit of breathing deeply which aids in the expulsion of toxins from the body.  In addition to the physical benefits are the mental and emotional benefits. People who engage in artistic endeavors tend to excel in other areas as well.  

Musicians, which include vocalists, consistently rank in the top 25% of their field of study, even if non-music fields.  So, by learning to sing, you are giving yourself an advantage, no matter what field you are in.

When to begin to learn how to sing

There is no better time to begin that RIGHT NOW!  You have the exercises you need to begin. Then you have exercises that will help you grow in your singing.

We provide the accompaniment for your exercise so you do not have to be distracted.  If you need additional help, we will have that for you, too.

We are ready to listen and help in any way that we can.  Contact us a tomharveybaritone@gmail.com or leave a comment in the “Comment” box below.

Maybe you have a favorite song you would like to sing, but do not have the accompaniment.  If you can tell us where to get a copy of the music we can record an accompaniment for you and email it as an MP3.

We want to help you learn how to sing

We want to help you learn how to sing and sing better.  Let us know how we can encourage you and help you grow as a musician.

Learn more about singing by checking these blogs:

HERE     and   HERE   and    HERE

God bless you!



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