Very often I am asked via email or through Instagram what is the first exercise to practice when learning to sing or what are the most important exercises for those beginning to sing for the first time.
Before telling you what the two most important exercises are, it is essential to do a preliminary statement that I invite you to read, but more importantly to understand. Singing is something natural. It is not anything secret, you do not need to know any magical thing, and most importantly, everyone can do it without any problems. So if you are a beginner and approaching singing for the first time, it is important to understand why you feel that you need an exercise and why you are looking for it on the Internet, where it is essential to have some basic knowledge to be able to recognize those who teach meaningful things and those who teach nonsense (and don’t think that those who get a lot of views on their videos are good teachers, often quite the opposite is true!).
So why do you think you need an exercise to learn to sing? Do you feel that you are not skilled, you don’t like your voice, or you can’t reach the highest notes? Very often when the underlying reasons are investigated, it turns out that people lack the basic knowledge to understand their vocal difficulties and problems. Those who think they are not skilled are actually just shy, those who do not like their voice actually lack a deep connection with their emotions, and those who cannot reach the highest notes simply want to sing songs that are not suited to their voice.
Yet many of you have relied on teachers, video lessons or actual courses, and all of you have started ” learning singing” with vocalizations, karaoke-style session or strange guttural noises, as that was something necessary. In fact, many write to me after years of “lessons” in which their voices do not improve and are surprised when I tell them that everything they have learned is harmful and of little use for their expressiveness.
So paradoxically it is better to avoid learning something that is not suited to your voice and avoid having to spend as much time solving vocal problems that you will have developed while hoping to learn to sing and that will inevitably be reflected in your speaking as well. I invite you to watch my Vocal Coaching Youtube channel to see the substantial difference between my work and that of others.
I gained fame because I teach singing in very few lessons (less than 10!) and often with silent exercises. As a matter of fact, very often voice-related problems do not reside in the voice itself.
The first exercise, the most important one of all, does not require any sound. All that is required is to relax and learn to relax. Clearly without the use of extraneous substances, especially alcohol or “smoking” because as I have already explained, they are harmful to the vocal cords. Of course, each of us is different and needs a different kind of exercise, even if only to relax. Forget about those who call you to meditation likely do not even know what they are talking about. Relaxing is something deep, inner, related to one’s Inborn Voice. Whatever relaxes me might upset another. Luckily, we are all different. The skill of the Vocal Coach is precisely in detecting these nuances. A recorded video is the same for everyone, so completely useless.
The second exercise is equally important. You must begin to develop breathing that is appropriate for the sound emission of the song you want to train. Every song, or rather, every singer, has its own breathing, its own vital rhythm. It is not only a matter of musical genre, but again of emotions to be expressed. And even then everyone will have developed different bad habits related to breathing; it is not possible that there is one exercise that is the same for everyone. Because diaphragmatic breathing is not just something you use when you are singing; you use it every day, when you are breathing and when you are talking. It is not something that exists only if you sing. The Vocal Coach’s skill lies precisely in identifying breathing and grasping its most obvious problems.
Now you can see why it only takes a few lessons, 10, 20, 30 at most, to become a good singer. You don’t need years of study. It’s years lost doing karaoke, singing other people’s emotions without getting into your own, and thousands of euros thrown away believing that there is no danger, that this is all just fun. After 10 to 15 years you will be presented with an even bigger bill when you will have developed vocal problems that will prevent you from enjoying your voice and when you will not only no longer like your voice, but you will not even be able to recognize it as your own.
I recommend that everyone start with an initial voice assessment session, which you can book directly online below. It will be the deal of your life, whether you are a beginner or a professional.