“I wish I could sing like that, but I can’t carry a tune to save my life.”

We’ve all heard comments lượt thích these a million times…

From those who want more than anything khổng lồ become great singers themselves…

But are trapped by the all-too-common belief that:

It’s something you’re born with.

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And you either have it, or you don’t.

The truth is though…that singing is a skill-set, just like any other. & it CAN be learned.

And while certain rare individuals might naturally sound amazing on their own…

And certain other rare individuals might always sound awful no matter what…

The vast majority of us will sing terribly when we first try…but then get better by practicing.

At least, that’s how it should work in theory.

Unfortunately, the reality is that many singers practice for years and years without ever improving. What’s worse…many of them can’t even see it.

And this happens, not because those people just aren’t meant to lớn sing. It happens because they don’t know HOW khổng lồ PRACTICE.

So for today’s post, my goal is khổng lồ help you avoid this fate by sharing 16 simple strategies to build an effective practice routine that will vastly improve your singing in a very short time.

Now let’s begin…

Part I: Finding Your Style

The #1 reason mediocre singers stay mediocre is…

They never really develop their own sense of identity và style.

For example…think of the contestants on singing shows lượt thích American Idol or The Voice

Towards the end of those competitions…

It’s fair khổng lồ say that all finalists meet the standard minimum qualifications of “good singers”, right?

They hit their notes with power, precision, và finesse, and seem reasonably confident in themselves while doing so.

But let me ask you this…

How many of those names vày you still remember…years after the show?

Perhaps one or two. Perhaps none.

Because the vast majority were easily forgettable, despite all the cheers of the crowd, và all the praise of the judges.

So what were they missing?

Well khổng lồ find out, let’s compare them lớn the opposite extreme: Those musicians you’ve listened to & loved all your life, many of whom were quite terrible singers by all “technical” standards.

The reason we remember those select few names among the sea of others that have come và gone over the decades…is simply because they had their own quality style…

that no one ever really had beforeand possibly no one will ever have again

…while all those cliche American Idol singers sounded more like clones produced in a factory.

So the REAL question here is…

How does one cultivate style?

And in this section of the post, that’s exactly what we’ll discuss.

Starting first with…

1. Develop a Badass Attitude


Unlike drummers, bassists, and guitarists…

When you as a singer…stand up on stage…and xuất hiện your mouth…

There’s literally nothing for you lớn hide behind.

The audience will know exactly who you are, và how you are feeling at any given moment…

Because they will see it in your eyes, on your face, and in your body language…and most importantly, they will feel it in your voice.

So if you don’t honestly feel with 100% certainty (at least while you’re on-stage) that you are the baddest motherfucker on the planet…

It won’t matter how “technically perfect” your performance has been up to that point, because all they will remember is the smell of your fear and self-doubt.

And it will repel them.

So the next question then becomes:

How bởi you develop that confidence?

Well, while there are many ways to lớn trick yourself into being delusionally self-confident…

As we all know from the first few episodes of every American Idol season…delusional self-confidence is even worse than uncertainty.

So the MUCH better option is lớn simply become objectively self-confident, by actually getting good at what you’re doing.

So for the remainder of this article, competence is what we will focus on.

Just remember to lớn keep in mind though, that without confidence as well, everything else is worthless.

Got it? Up next…

2. Copy Your Favorite SINGERS, not SONGS

While it might seem strange to lớn say you can develop your own quality style by copying others….

It’s absolutely true.

Almost every great singer (or any other kind of artist for that matter), found their style in same way:

By copying their heroes.

Too often though, people misinterpret this advice, & aspiring singers practice any and all of their favorite SONGS…rather than restricting themselves to the songs of their favorite SINGERS.

And here’s why this is a mistake:

A huge portion of the best songs in music history are performed by one-hit-wonders with a cấp độ of talent that is not-at-all worth imitating.

Sure the songs might be catchy, but we’re not learning about songwriting, are we? We’re learning about singing.

And if you want to learn lớn sing, you need khổng lồ copy good SINGERS, not good SONGS.

So here’s what you do:

Make a các mục of around 4-6 of your favorite singers of all-time. Not necessarily the ones you respect most. Choose the ones you wish khổng lồ sound like.

So if you’re a man, the singers on your các mục should ideally be all male. Makes sense?

Up next…

3. Recognize Who Can Be Copied, và Who CAN’T

While I’d lượt thích to tell you that you’ll eventually be able lớn imitate all the singers on your list…

Chances are that your vocal tendencies will only align with maybe half of them.

If you’re lucky.

But that’s khổng lồ be expected, as certain voices are so quality that NOBODY can copy them.

Among male singers…the first name that comes to lớn mind is Robert Plant. Every guy wants lớn sing Led Zeppelin covers, but they almost always kết thúc up sounding terrible.

Among female singers…Mariah Carey is great example. Every girl tries to lớn hit those absurdly high notes…but none of them ever actually do.

So every few months take a step back & evaluate which voices you resonate with, and which you don’t.

If one singer’s style doesn’t seem khổng lồ align with your own, cross off that name và replace it with a new one.

After doing this a few times, you will eventually settle on a menu with a good set of voices that suit you well.

Up next…

4. Develop Your Own Voices

Once you’ve built a solid các mục of legendary singers…

It’s time to start borrowing from each of them with the ultimate goal of eventually finding your OWN style.

Assuming you chose some truly legendary singers to learn from…

What you’ll notice after studying their tendencies is…

They’ll typically have a mix of about 5-6 different “voices” that they selectively use in different musical contexts (most singers have only 1-2).

Examples of such voices might include:

a screaming metal voicea soft angelic voicea breathy “pillow-talk” voicea smokey sexy voice

…and the danh sách goes on and on.

Once you’ve identified the various voices used by each of your favorite singers…

The next step is experimenting with each of those voices to find out which ones you identify with most.

And with 5-6 voices from 5-6 singers…that’s around 30 different voices in total you have khổng lồ play around with.

Over time, you will notice yourself favoring some of those voices over others, & gradually you will start to lớn amass more và more go-to weapons in your “singing arsenal”.

Up next…

Part II: Daily Practice Techniques

So now that we’ve covered the “big picture”…

And you understand both the planning phase…

And the long-term strategy of copying others khổng lồ find your own style…

For this next section of this post…

We will discuss various short-term strategies in your daily singing to lớn make your practice sessions 10x more effective.

Now let’s begin…

1. Find a Practice Spot Where No One Can Hear You

One of the biggest mental roadblocks for a singer attempting to sound GOOD…

Is an unwillingness lớn sound BAD.

Whenever you’re learning a new tuy vậy or technique…

You’re going to vì it wrong many times long before you figure out how to bởi it right. That’s just how it works.

The problem is…

When you practice in a place where roommates or neighbors can hear you…and you’re even the slightest bit self-conscious about them listening…

You’ll never be able lớn give 100% of your energy & focus khổng lồ practicing, because you will be scared of sounding bad.

This is ESPECIALLY true when learning khổng lồ develop power in your voice. And is probably the main reason why so few of us ever attain that awe-inspiring, wall-shaking volume we all wish for.

The mere thought of others laughing while you scream your head off in the next room is too embarrassing for most people to handle.

One possible way khổng lồ handle this problem would be lớn spend months or years working on your confidence until you no longer care what others think of you…

But it’s SO MUCH EASIER khổng lồ just find yourself an isolated spot where you can practice without being heard.

So if it’s at all possible…do that instead.

And when others finally vì chưng hear you scream your head off, you definitely won’t care anymore because you’ll know you sound amazing.

Up next…

2. Don’t Bother With Silly Warm-Up Exercises

Just lượt thích any other muscle in your body…

Vocal cords vì require a certain “warm-up” time before they’re ready to run at full capacity.

Which is why I’m sure you’ve seen vocal coaches on TV leading their singers through various warm-up exercises such as…

reciting silly sentencesor making exaggerated tongue and mouth movements

Perhaps you’ve even done some of these exercises yourself in the past.

And while they might have some value to lớn certain people…they aren’t nearly as effective as just singing one of your songs.

Because as we’ve already discussed…every singer has their own chất lượng set of voices…each one requiring its own chất lượng combination of muscle movements.

And what better way khổng lồ warm-up for those movements, than khổng lồ simply sing something you normally would, but in a relaxed manner, in a way that minimal vocal strain?

So be sure lớn have 3 or 4 songs such as these in your repertoire và sing 1 or 2 of them at the start of each practice session.

Then once you’re feeling good, move on lớn some of your more challenging songs.

Up next…

3. Don’t Sing Over Other Voices

A HUGE mistake that wannabe singers always make…

Is lớn practice by singing along with the original voice they’re trying lớn copy.

The problem with this method is that you never really hear YOURSELF…

Because your voice is always masked by the other singer’s amazing performance.

And it’s very easy to fool your brain into believing that the awesome sound you’re hearing is coming from your own mouth…rather than someone else’s.

So instead, always make sure that there are no other competing voices when you practice singing.

The first time you try it, it will feel horribly uncomfortable, because you will finally hear yourself as you actually sound…

And you will most likely discover that you aren’t nearly as good as you thought.

But it’s necessary khổng lồ GET good, because it will allow you khổng lồ hear what you’re doing wrong, so you can fix it. Makes sense?

Up next…

4. Don’t Sing Acapella Either

On the opposite end, the OTHER common mistake that singers make…

Is to practice “acapella”, with no accompaniment at all.

While it does offer the advantage of exposing every little flaw in your singing…

People mistakenly believe that just because it’s “harder”, it will make them better singers.

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The problem is…without a reference pitch to follow…

Your notes could drift all over the place và you would never know…unless you already have advanced pitch perception (which almost no one actually has).

If you actually want to be an acapella singer, then of course practice that way. However, if you’re lượt thích 99% of singers who’d rather sing with music…then PRACTICE WITH MUSIC.

Makes sense? Moving on…

5. Play Your Own Accompaniments

So the next obvious question becomes…

If I shouldn’t sing along with other voices…

And I shouldn’t sing by acapella…

Then how should I practice?

Now here’s the answer:

In a perfect world…you would have a custom mix created for every song you want to lớn practice, with the vocals removed.


You would have an entire live band ready to lớn accompany you…24/7.

In either scenario, you get the best of both worlds because:

You also get lớn hear your voice in isolation so you can fix your weak points.But you also get an accompaniment khổng lồ follow so you can work on pitch control

However, since neither of these two scenarios are realistic for almost anyone…

The next best solution is lớn simply learn to play your OWN accompaniments…ideally on either:

acoustic guitarpiano

…as they are the two most versatile instruments for this purpose.

While it will definitely require some extra work early-on…it will vastly improve both your singing & general musicianship in the long run.

And as a nice side benefit, it will earn you much added respect from your fellow musicians as well.

Up next…

6. Memorize Lyrics ALWAYS. Read NEVER.

While it might sound absurd to lớn you personally…

There are some singers out there who think it’s okay khổng lồ read lyrics off a sheet as they sing.

And they could not be more wrong.

If you don’t dedicate specific time towards memorizing the lyrics without the sheet…

You won’t EVER memorize them as well as you really need to.

So before you even begin practicing a new song, you should already have the lyrics and the entire tuy nhiên structure memorized by heart.

The entire thing should just naturally flow from your mouth, without you having lớn think about the actual words.

Because once that happens, you can dedicate 100% of your mental energy to the delivery, rather than being distracted by trying to lớn remember what line comes next.

So as a good rule of thumb:

Learn lyrics first. Sing lyrics second.

Up next…

7. Practice A Little Bit, Everyday.

Unlike other musical instruments…

Which can be practiced 12 hours a day or more if need be…

You can really only sing for so long each day before your vocal cords have had enough.

For most people that happens anywhere between 30 minutes & 2 hours…with 1 hour being about average.

And when you love singing…that hour goes by quick, doesn’t it?

So…if you really want to lớn get good, the ONLY way to bởi vì it is to lớn practice every single day, no matter what…

AND…you must continue to bởi so for the next few years or so…to have any chance of ever being the singer you dream of becoming.AND…you must do this, not only lớn GET good, but to lớn STAY good as well.

Because even after you’ve mastered a song, if you don’t continue lớn sing it on a regular basis, your “muscle memory” will tend to lớn forget things over time.

Up next…

Part III: Advanced Strategies

So let’s vì a quick review, shall we?

In Part I we covered the long-term strategy of developing your own style.In Part II we covered the short-term strategy of revamping your daily practice routine.

And now, in Part III

We’ll discuss some advanced mid-term strategies & goals…

That you can selectively focus on for months-at-a-time in your daily practice sessions…

To get you incrementally closer khổng lồ reaching your ultimate goal of becoming an all-around great singer.

First up…

1. Learn to lớn Control Your Breath

One of the most obvious tell-tale signs of weak singers…

Is their inability khổng lồ control their breathing.

Typical examples of this might include:

Huffing and puffing in between phrasesRunning out of air towards the kết thúc of longer phrasesTaking quick “catch-up” breaths in the middle of a phrase

And unless they’re singers themselves, most listeners won’t even notice these problems…at least not consciously.

But they still feel it emotionally. Và even if every other aspect of your performance is on-point, their overall impression of you will be mediocre at best.

The good news is…you can improve your breath control simply by being conscious of it as you practice, and always attempting to extract the maximum amount of sound from the minimum amount of air in your lungs.

And you can even test your abilities with the following exercise:

Sing a single steady cảnh báo at a relatively high volume.Time yourself to see how long you can hold it.Periodically retest and try khổng lồ improve.

And if you REALLY take your singing seriously, and want every advantage you can get…it also can’t hurt khổng lồ start (or continue) going to lớn the thể hình to improve both your lung capacity and general health.

Up next…

2. Sing Into a Microphone Sometimes

The first time people hear a recording of their own voice, either singing or talking…

They all cringe, thinking the exact same thing:

Is that what I sound like?

Because in that one moment…

They finally realize that the way their voice sounds khổng lồ them in their own head…is entirely different from how it sounds to the rest of the world.

So here’s why this happens:

Normally when you speak, your voice travels in a straight line, from your mouth lớn the listener’s ears, with minimal sound distortion.

However…to reach YOUR ears, the sound must travel around & through your head, causing certain shifts in the frequency balance, resulting in a quality sound that ONLY YOU will ever hear.

And the reason people initially hate hearing the sound of their own recorded voice is that it conflicts with their perception of themselves.

It’s not a worse sound, it’s just different. & that’s why it bothers us.

And if you don’t sing, then it’s not worth worrying about. However…if you vị sing, then it’s a HUGE giảm giá khuyến mãi if you’ve never even heard yourself the way others do. Right?

Luckily, you can solve this problem quite simply by building a mini trang chủ studio for yourself, and spending at least HALF of your practice time singing into a microphone…

So you can hear yourself as everyone else does, and adjust things accordingly.

If you don’t know how to vày this yet, check out the following post where I explain it all:

As a HUGE side benefit of singing into a microphone, you will also learn microphone technique

Which many amateur singers don’t even realize, is an entirely different skill-set from singing “acoustically”.

And if you want lots of people khổng lồ hear you sing one day (as I assume you do)…it makes sense khổng lồ dedicate most of your time toward learning the skill that will help you accomplish that goal.

So if you want lớn learn more about microphone technique, check out the following post:

Up next…

3. Learn to Hear và Match Notes

Unlike guitarists, khổng lồ have frets lớn help him find the “right notes”…

And keyboardists, who have keys…

Singers are one of the few musicians who have nothing to rely on but their own ears.

So you would assume then, that on average, singers would have the best pitch perception of anyone in the band.


Ironically though, the truth is quite the opposite.

Typically (next lớn maybe the drummer), singers often have worse pitch perception of anyone in the band.

Play a chú ý on a guitar, ask the singer to lớn sing it, and many of them CAN’T!!! Which is quite embarrassing when you stop and think about it.

So how vì chưng we solve this problem?

Well FIRST (as I already recommended earlier for a different reason)…learn lớn play either acoustic guitar or piano.

For whatever reason, singers who play instruments typically have much better ears than those who don’t.

The NEXT thing you can vì is dedicate 10-15 minutes of your daily practice time specifically toward ear training.

Here’s what you do:

Grab an instrumentPlay a noteTry to match it with your voice

And that’s basically it.

The more musical instruments you do this with, the better you will get at mentally separating the fundamental cảnh báo from the instrument’s tone.

Which is why you ideally want to lớn perform this exercise on a digital piano, as you will have a virtually unlimited number of instruments to choose from.

Early on, you may be unsure of whether you’re hitting the right cảnh báo or not, but the more you practice, the easier it becomes…

Until eventually you can sing back entire phrases of notes without even thinking.

Up next…

4. Know When to địa chỉ More Songs to lớn Your List

One of the first questions singers have when building a practice routine is…

How many songs should I sing?

And unfortunately, the answer to lớn this question is actually quite complicated.

On one hand, you don’t want to work on too many songs at once…

Because you’ll never learn the finer nuances of each song, that separate the good performances from the great ones.

On the other hand, you don’t want to work on too few songs at once, because you will naturally get sick of them…

Which will make you sick of singing in general, & most likely lead you lớn stop practicing altogether.

So here’s what you do:

Start with one song, & sing it over và over until you get sick of it.Choose a 2nd song, & sing it until you get sick of that one.Go back to song #1, and cycle through the process again.When you get sick of all your current songs (or you’ve mastered them all), add a new one to lớn the list.

Over time, your các mục will continue to lớn grow until you reach a total of around 30-40. At that point, most people find that if they continue to showroom more songs lớn their repertoire…

They begin to đại bại their grasp on the các mục as a whole, because it simply isn’t possible to rehearse that many songs often enough khổng lồ maintain them all.

So when you reach that point, & you start getting bored of your list…you need to lớn begin crossing off some of the old ones, in order khổng lồ make room for the new ones.

And from there, the process basically repeats itself until the day you die, or quit singing.

Up next…

5. Sing Different Variations of the Same Old Songs

Whenever you start lớn get bored with a song…

Rather than just crossing it off your list…

Another (and perhaps better) option is khổng lồ create new variations of the tuy vậy instead.

The main advantage here is that it gives you a chance to lớn practice not only your singing, but your composition, and improvisation as well…

Which in turn, makes you a more well-rounded singer và musician overall, và helps you further refine your own unique style.

Rather than being a parrot that just copies, copies, copies…

You can work towards becoming one of the true “artists”, who naturally finds their own quality interpretation of piece of music they touch.

More specifically, this could potentially mean experimenting with different:


To take things one step further…once you have a few good “voices” at your disposal (as we discussed earlier in this post)…

You want to eventually learn to lớn switch back và forth between these voices from moment to lớn moment, as your mood suits you, stringing together an entire tapestry of emotions in just a single performance.

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Practice this enough, and you might one day reach a cấp độ of virtuosity that probably less than 1 in 1000 singers ever reach:

A cấp độ where you never sing a song the exact same way twice, you never quite know where your voice will go from one moment lớn the next…and every performance you put on is one that will never be heard again.