A simple Trick to improve your singing (or any other ability for that matter)

If you thought, there is a simple magic word that turns you into a better singer, then you are mistaken.

So, here is the trick:

Take the activity apart, improve the parts and put them together again.

So, let's look at the parts for singing:

Taking the singing skills apart

Taking the singing skill apart

The parts

1) Start with the lyrics

Lyrics part

Learn the lyrics by heart. This step is usually not too hard, since the lyrics are often in rhyme. In addition the melody helps to port the text. Nevertheless, to learn something by heart, is a big achievement for our brain. So, don't underestimate this step.

2) Figure out the dynamics

Dynamics part

Usually the first note of a measure is emphasized. By figuring out the dynamics the words get much livelier. At the same time you prepare yourself for the next two steps.

3) Feel the melody

melody change

The melody is made from the pitch changes. If you know how to read scores, then learn the pitch changes by heart. Knowing when the melody is going up or down lets you prepare for the next note to sing. Knowing the pitch changes by heart helps you tremendously to recognize intervals in general. If for all melodies you know, you also have memorized the pitch changes along the melody, it will be easy to acquire relative pitch. Unfortunately, you have to do this pitch change analysis yourself. However, if you do it for your favorite song, it is well worth the effort. By learning the changes by heart, you will immediately improve your repertoire for interval references. The product listening-singing-teacher has an option to display the pitch changes in half steps, and thus ease the analysis process.

Melody with half step changes

4) Sing in tune

Pich accuracy

Do some exercises that concentrate on pitch accuracy. Try to be spot on. That is, don't be satisfied, if you can hit the note within the 50 cents range. Try to be within the 25 cents range. This will give you the necessary confidence. To get even better results requires a lot of practice and vocal training, and should not be your primary concern, instead improve the next steps: rhythm and tempo. Another helpful way to improve your overall musical skills is: to learn the degrees in relation to the key. That is instead of of learning absolute pitches by heart, learn the degree number (or function) of the notes in relation to the key. It is the same relative learning as proposed in the step above," Feel the melody", but the learning process is centered around the key. The product listening-singing-teacher contains options to display hint-lines for: the note name, the degree or absolute or relative solfege syllable for notes.

Notation with degrees

5) Learn the rhythm / Tempo

Rhythm counting

Learn the rhythm in a separate step. That is, instead of singing, clap only the rhythm. You also should learn the rhythm pattern for each song by heart. This step is often neglected by beginners. First you should figure out the counting pattern. Then start the clapping exercises with a slow tempo. Increase the tempo until you can clap the rhythm without errors at full tempo. Increasing the tempo during the exercises further will also give you reserve and more confidence for the real performance.

6) Sing along with an accompaniment

Accompaniment Option

On one hand, an accompaniment facilitates the task of singing in tune and rhythm, since you can orientate yourself on the accompaniment. On the other hand, you are forced to stay in sync with the accompaniment. So, this step helps you to listen to other while at the same time you have to perform.

7) Chord progression

Chord Progression

If you have access to the chords played along the melody, it is recommended that you also learn the chord changes by heart. This will give you the whole picture of the song. Instead of learning the chord symbols by heart it would be preferable to learn the relative chord progression. A song is often sang in a different key, in this case the absolute chord symbols have to be changed too. Future versions of listening-singing-teacher may contain chord progression symbols instead of absolute chord symbols.

8) Other parts not mentioned

Not mentioned - but not less important parts are: the right posture, correct breathing, stage fright and performance skills. For all these skills special trainings are available. Improve each skill on its own and apply them together with the above skills.

Putting it together again

Putting the parts together

Conclusion

As you can see, for just one song there are many single-things that you can learn and practice until you know the parts by heart. Taking the things apart and doing exercises with appropriate feedback for each part helps you to master the difficulties of a complex task. Therefore, knowing the individual tasks by heart will give you confidence and help you stay on the track with your singing. If you go beyond only the notes for singing and look also at the general relative changes and the accompanying chords, and also start to memorize these patterns, then your music understanding will get much broader.

Learning something by heart can be done by everyone. There is no excuse: you cannot hide behind "I have no talent for a specific skill". However, learning something by heart is a very heavy task for the brain. But, if you want and are willing to improve any skill, start by collecting information about the main concepts of that skill. Learn and exercise the different concepts and learn as much as you can by heart. This will improve your expertise and confidence on the way to mastering a skill.

And No, as with the magic word, there is no warranty that your efforts will put you on the top of the world. But to get on the top, you have to do the first step: Improve your current skill.

Our product Listening-Singing-Teacher lets you do pitch and rhythm exercises with appropriate feedback to improve your skills. Start with a free trial.

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Listening Singing Teacher, Listening Music Teacher, Listening Ear Trainer, The Red Pitch Dot, The Colored Pitch Line, The Counting Hints Line, The Half-Step Brackets, The Precision Listening Method, The Singing Funnel Method, The Octave Anchor Pitches Method,The Interval Overtone Method, The Pitch Keeper Method, Absolute Pitch Point and Same Pitch Please are trademarks of AlgorithmsAndDataStructures, F. Rudin. Macintosh and OS X are trademarks of Apple Computer Inc., IBM PC is trademark of International Business Machines Inc., Windows XP/Vista/7 is trademark of Microsoft Inc. All other company and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners