Poll: Can anyone learn to sing??
Poll Options
View poll results: Can anyone learn to sing??
Yes
22 65%
No
4 12%
Only with vocal lessons
5 15%
lol u dumb
3 9%
Voters: 34.
#1
I was just wondering, because there seem to be mixed opinions on this one. And obviously I don't mean suddenly develop an incredible voice which blows everyone away by just practicing, it's more a question of can you learn to sing in tune and for you to sound good when accompanying yourself or singing covers of songs. And would vocal lessons be absolutely necessary? Learning to sing is something I've been wanting to do for a long time now, so I can make full songs just by myself.

If it is possible, please show me where to start so I can get on it ASAP.
Last edited by mickel_w at Nov 10, 2013,
#2
There is a tiny subset of people who are totally incapable of distinguishing between different pitches, they are medically tone deaf.

For everyone else it is at least possible to learn to sing in tune with an 'acceptable' tone. If you can tell whether or not one pitch is higher than another then you can learn.

Unless you're a natural talent, vocal lessons are pretty much mandatory though.
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#3
Hmm..

I only started taking guitar lesson after about a year of playing, so I'm self-taught to quite a large extent. Is this possible with singing, to at least learn the basics with help of youtube videos/the internet or is it different to guitar?
#4
In short: Yes, anyone can learn to sing. Vocal Lessons help a lot, since you have guidance and someone leading you and correcting you errors, and teaching correct technique.

However, if your objective is to sing like your vocal idols (whoever they might be, if you have one), you're not gonna reach that objective. Every person has a different voice, and while everyone is able to learn to sing in tune, some people just have a great voice. I don't believe it's natural talent, but they were born with vocal chords that gave them a "good voice" - However, they wouldn't be able to sound good if they didn't learn proper technique and practice a lot. Singing in tune takes some time, and to have control of your voice takes much more.
#5
Quote by mickel_w
I only started taking guitar lesson after about a year of playing, so I'm self-taught to quite a large extent. Is this possible with singing, to at least learn the basics with help of youtube videos/the internet or is it different to guitar?


The problem with learning vocals that way is that your vocal cords aren't something that you can see and manipulate mechanically, your control of them based on subjective sensations. The only way to really know which sensation is the one you want to feel to get the best result is to have a professional who knows what they're doing there in the room with you, giving you feedback so you know right away whether you're doing it right or wrong.
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#6
Hmm yeah, that makes a lot of sense. How long do you think it takes to be able to sing in tune and have control of your voice if you take vocal lessons once a week and practice about 4 hours a week?
#7
In six months I was able to sing fine, but I didn't practice nearly as much as 4 hours (maybe 1 hour per day with a few days off lol) and I have a respiratory içlness that makes harder for me to sing properly. I say if you keep up and practice correctly, within maybe 2 or 3 months you'll be able to sing. (If you play guitar already, and know to differentiate pitches it'll help a lot in the begginning).

EDIT: I'm kinda sleepy, if you notice english errors that's the reason

Also, complete control of your voice takes time. Don't rush, focus on be able to sing in tune first, then start giving your twist to songs and stuff.
Last edited by Lersch at Nov 10, 2013,
#8
Keep in mind that singing is a physical activity. As such, there are definitely groups of muscles that need to be worked into "condition". So, in the case of vocal training, you could at least partially consider practice, "a workout".

Singing on pitch requires a great deal of concentration. People that "can't sing", are sometimes "lazy", (not putting out the effort to bring the higher part of their range up to full pitch).

There there's the tonality of a persons voice. They could sing dead on key, and still not earn a "gold record", as the timbre of one's voice, my simply be unpleasant to a majority of listeners.

I don't have a great ear for absolute pitch or even interval for melody, and I have my best luck, (attempting) songs I've seen written down. Then I determine if the melody is in my vocal range, and if I could "cheat" the melody notes into the chordal structure of the song.

In the case of young screaming, falsetto, rockers, it may also involve singing the song a full octave down.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 10, 2013,
#9
Quote by Lersch
In six months I was able to sing fine, but I didn't practice nearly as much as 4 hours (maybe 1 hour per day with a few days off lol) and I have a respiratory içlness that makes harder for me to sing properly. I say if you keep up and practice correctly, within maybe 2 or 3 months you'll be able to sing. (If you play guitar already, and know to differentiate pitches it'll help a lot in the begginning).

EDIT: I'm kinda sleepy, if you notice english errors that's the reason

Also, complete control of your voice takes time. Don't rush, focus on be able to sing in tune first, then start giving your twist to songs and stuff.


Did you have vocal lessons?
#10
music isn't a series of time frames and test scores. just take lessons, or at least a couple to point out any errors you might be having and learn some bad habits you might develop. just singing with proper posture and breathing techniques will make your voice significantly easier to control and understand.

if money's an issue (you're probably still in high school) i'd go to the school choir teacher and explain your situation and see if they can help you out with the basics after school at some point. it's very important to avoid bad habits as a vocalist; with guitar, you can get away with it to some extent, but if you screw the pooch on your singing voice, it'll carry with you your entire life.
modes are a social construct
#11
Yeah, if you want to sing, you will need singing lessons, but the upside is, anyone can learn to sing. When I was 16 I couldn't sing at all, now I'm 19, studying Musical Theatre, and my current showpiece is Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar, one of the more challenging pieces of Musical Theatre, and many, many people compliment my voice every day. It sounds like a really bad inspirational story, but it shows that anyone can sing, at the end of the day, singing is different to singing in tune, even singers who are naturally able to sing can benefit from lessons.
#12
hmm, ok. Thanks a lot everyone. Your advice has been really helpful
I think I'll take one vocal lesson for now and figure out how bad I am and maybe sign up for more, I'll see how it goes. The good thing is that many teachers offer the first lesson free as a try out, which is really cool.

I'm just curious, what kinds of exercises are there that your teacher might give you to work on in between lessons or on your first lesson?
#13
A teacher is not necessary, but it really depends on how much you want it, and how much you already know.
Youtube can function like a teacher in some cases, the downside is that you do not really have the ability to ask questions, so you have to understand it the way they are describing it. I never took lessons, and I've come a long way, but over the course of years.
Whether you have a teacher or not, since you can't see your vocal cords and neither can your teacher, you have to listen to them (your vocal cords). NEVER continue an exercise if it hurts or irritates your throat. I can't find a single example where that statements is not the case. I can't stress this enough, no matter what you do don't continue with an exercise or a song if it hurts your throat.
If you have a teacher, don't be afraid to tell him/her if it hurts or even irritates. To them it might sound "right", but you're the only person who can actually feel it.
It's the most important vocal-rule you'll ever hear.
This does not mean you can't get a sore-throat from simply singing too much, that can happen even with decent technique, simply because the muscles tire like after a day of work.
Last edited by KrisHQ at Nov 11, 2013,
#14
Quote by KrisHQ
A teacher is not necessary, but it really depends on how much you want it, and how much you already know.
Youtube can function like a teacher in some cases, the downside is that you do not really have the ability to ask questions, so you have to understand it the way they are describing it. I never took lessons, and I've come a long way, but over the course of years.
Whether you have a teacher or not, since you can't see your vocal cords and neither can your teacher, you have to listen to them (your vocal cords). NEVER continue an exercise if it hurts or irritates your throat. I can't find a single example where that statements is not the case. I can't stress this enough, no matter what you do don't continue with an exercise or a song if it hurts your throat.
If you have a teacher, don't be afraid to tell him/her if it hurts or even irritates. To them it might sound "right", but you're the only person who can actually feel it.
It's the most important vocal-rule you'll ever hear.
This does not mean you can't get a sore-throat from simply singing too much, that can happen even with decent technique, simply because the muscles tire like after a day of work.


Could you please tell me how you started, what videos you found most helpful, what exercises you did etc? It's just I really want to learn but I have no idea where to start I would really appreciate it if you could point me to some material/learning techniques/exercises so I have at least some sort of idea of how I should be learning and progressing.
#15
I think that everyone is capable of.
If they learn by themselves probably they'll not have the best technique and they'll have more chance of doing something wrong.
Lessons would help a lot cause you will learn the techniques about how to breathe, open your mouth and stuff.
BUT not everyone would have a voice that the people would die to hear, some voices are not for singing.
#16
Quote by SrThompson
I think that everyone is capable of.
If they learn by themselves probably they'll not have the best technique and they'll have more chance of doing something wrong.
Lessons would help a lot cause you will learn the techniques about how to breathe, open your mouth and stuff.
BUT not everyone would have a voice that the people would die to hear, some voices are not for singing.


Well I'm going to give it a go even if my voice is the last thing the world needs right now..

Do you think singing along to scales or single notes on the guitar (like an easy melody) will help to develop a sense of pitch/controlled voice? From what I've tried, I can hit notes in lower octaves dead on, but only when I play the exact same note on the guitar.. I think this is to do with having played guitar for quite a long time and having a somewhat good sense of pitch though. So basically, when I think of a simple melody on the guitar, I can sing 'la-la' (or something along those lines) in the same pitch as the guitar, at the same time as the guitar.. but otherwise i cant sing at all
#17
Practice intervales.
Start with P5, M3, octave (you can start with anyone you want it, this it's just how I did it)
Then jump to P4 and M2 and then start adding the rest like m3, m2, M7, etc
Sing scales, major, minor, pentatonic.
Sing notes in chords (play an A minor chord and sing La - Do - Mi - La) and change the order of the notes.
First you will need to have a reference (guitar, piano, etc) to know which is C, D... but then it's better if before playing the note, think the note, sing it and then check with the guitar. If it's wrong, do it right.
If you play the guitar first and then sing it, you will know how to repeat but without a reference maybe it will be harder to produce the sound.

Doing these you are exercising your pitch rather than your sing but you will recognize the notes quite easy.

To the sing, sing songs, go to a professor, check youtube lessons, or tips on the internet.
#18
Quote by mickel_w
Could you please tell me how you started, what videos you found most helpful, what exercises you did etc? It's just I really want to learn but I have no idea where to start I would really appreciate it if you could point me to some material/learning techniques/exercises so I have at least some sort of idea of how I should be learning and progressing.

It depends a lot on how good you are.
I never really followed any specific tutorial, but check out "Eric Arceneaux", "New York Vocal Coaching" and "Ultimate Vocalist (more advanced)" all on youtube, there should be a decent amount of information there.
If you read about something that you do not understand, then try to do a standard youtube/google search. Another idea would be to get the book "Complete Vocal Technique" by Cathrine Sadolin.
It's very in depth with a lot of techniques and exercises.

A few things that work are, like someone else mentioned, to be singing intervals with a piano. Either sing a scale or a triad (chord. root, major 3rd and perfect fifth)
Another great exercise to help your pitching and support, is to take a note in a comfortable register, and then hold it along with the piano as long as you can.
Make sure you're pitching correctly (you should be able to hear that playing with a piano). Try to do this while thinking about supporting with your diaphram, description follows:

As for breathing/support, I follow the technique that originated from an italian opera technique called Bel Canto. A lot of people think that supporting means tigheting and or pushing with the stomach, but that is not really the case.
Breath in a lot of air (down into the stomach, make sure your shoulders/chest do not raise), and each time you sing a note, try to keep the air from getting out. Your stomach should be holding the air back.
It should be natural, and you should not try to push or tighten either your stomach or your throat.
#19
Quote by KrisHQ
It depends a lot on how good you are.
I never really followed any specific tutorial, but check out "Eric Arceneaux", "New York Vocal Coaching" and "Ultimate Vocalist (more advanced)" all on youtube, there should be a decent amount of information there.
If you read about something that you do not understand, then try to do a standard youtube/google search. Another idea would be to get the book "Complete Vocal Technique" by Cathrine Sadolin.
It's very in depth with a lot of techniques and exercises.

A few things that work are, like someone else mentioned, to be singing intervals with a piano. Either sing a scale or a triad (chord. root, major 3rd and perfect fifth)
Another great exercise to help your pitching and support, is to take a note in a comfortable register, and then hold it along with the piano as long as you can.
Make sure you're pitching correctly (you should be able to hear that playing with a piano). Try to do this while thinking about supporting with your diaphram, description follows:

As for breathing/support, I follow the technique that originated from an italian opera technique called Bel Canto. A lot of people think that supporting means tigheting and or pushing with the stomach, but that is not really the case.
Breath in a lot of air (down into the stomach, make sure your shoulders/chest do not raise), and each time you sing a note, try to keep the air from getting out. Your stomach should be holding the air back.
It should be natural, and you should not try to push or tighten either your stomach or your throat.


Well I'm a complete beginner at singing. As I said, using a guitar for reference is really useful and i can hold the same note after playing it on guitar first (but I'm completely clueless when it comes to just singing the same melody as a singer in a proper song).

Is this technique that you use suitable for all types of music?

Also, if you could list any sites/particular videos/teachers which you found really helpful that would be awesome :P

So if I'm a complete beginner, I'll just start with basic youtube lessons? The ones which I've found before were rip offs which only told you 'anyone can sing if they sign up to our programme'... Or something along those lines, without giving actual advice/tips/techniques. It's just I'm such a noob that I don't know where to start, and I don't want to develop any bad habits

thanks a lot for all the advice
Last edited by mickel_w at Nov 12, 2013,
#20
Just practice everyday, I wouldn't say I was ever a bad singer, but definatley after doing it everyday I'm alot better now. Just find some songs that you really like with vocals and sing along, then take it to the guitar. Playing and singing at the same time can be difficult at first but eventually you get used to it. I never had leassons or read any books because you don't need them, listen to other artists and learn from the way they sing and play, sometimes you might sing badly trying to replicate other songs but in time you'll learn what your voice is capable of, in singing all people definatley have there limits.

Don't worry about leassons or anything like that, as for them being nessacery nah no way. All it takes is practice, with singing everyday you won't need to worry about notes or anything if you just keep practicing it will all come naturally.

I'd say the hardest part is knowing your limits and using them, you will not be able to produce the same scale as everything else, e.g some people can sing higher, some lower, finding your comfortable position for singing is important as its the parts you want to refine and control. Most of all put feeling into it, singing must have some emotional content to it, it can really change the vibe or feel of a song. Good Luck.
#21
Quote by Geezagobbo
Just practice everyday, I wouldn't say I was ever a bad singer, but definatley after doing it everyday I'm alot better now. Just find some songs that you really like with vocals and sing along, then take it to the guitar. Playing and singing at the same time can be difficult at first but eventually you get used to it. I never had leassons or read any books because you don't need them, listen to other artists and learn from the way they sing and play, sometimes you might sing badly trying to replicate other songs but in time you'll learn what your voice is capable of, in singing all people definatley have there limits.

Don't worry about leassons or anything like that, as for them being nessacery nah no way. All it takes is practice, with singing everyday you won't need to worry about notes or anything if you just keep practicing it will all come naturally.

I'd say the hardest part is knowing your limits and using them, you will not be able to produce the same scale as everything else, e.g some people can sing higher, some lower, finding your comfortable position for singing is important as its the parts you want to refine and control. Most of all put feeling into it, singing must have some emotional content to it, it can really change the vibe or feel of a song. Good Luck.


thanks a lot man, useful info