Do’s and Dont’s for aspiring singers

do's and Dont's

As an aspiring singer, there are certain things you need to get right to be in the right direction. If you follow all or even most of these steps, you will certainly make huge strides in your singing and presentation abilities. Just read all the do’s carefully and follow them sincerely.

Do’s for aspiring singers

1. Listen:

Listen to as much music you can as possible. Try listening to various genres in everything from regional to international music. As an aspiring singer, focus more on the vocalist’s part in the song. If possible, try looking up all the songs being performed by the singer in live performances and observe him or her carefully.

2. Warm up:

Warming up is very important before beginning every time. While there are many warming up techniques, you can easily find some of them online and download them for free. Warming up is easy to pick up for aspiring singers. Just listen to the instructor and follow accordingly.

3. Practice is very important:

Practicing on a daily basis is essential for aspiring singers. Quality time spent on singing is really important – which can be anywhere between 20 minutes to 90 minutes. However, do not burn yourself out by practicing for continuous hours. Make ‘Riyaz’ a part of your daily Routine.

4. Find your own voice:

Improvise with different techniques. Plus, there is something special in your voice, find it.  Many different singers use different techniques such as falsetto, riffing, belting and yodelling to their own voice to make it sound unique. You can even develop your own distinct technique, but before any of that, get the basics right.

5. Work on your breath:

By controlling your breath, you can have complete command over how you want to sing a particular song. There are plenty of advanced breathing techniques. Begin by talking deep, relaxed breaths. Make it a part of your lifestyle. It will also help you stay calm in critical life situations – whether you are in the middle of a problem or on a stage facing a huge crowd.

6. Work on your voice clarity:

Rehearse and listen to yourself regularly. Emphasize the vowels, rather than eating them up. Make sure that your voice is clear all the time, and there are not unnecessary sounds like breath coming in between. Also make sure you are at an appropriate distance from your mic while singing.

7. Work on word clarity:

Begin by singing in the language you are most comfortable in. Then move to non-native languages. Every word should be crystal clear. If you are not 100% sure, try a dictionary and look up the pronunciation of the word online. The best way to excel in this exercise is perform hundreds of songs in the exact same way the original singer has. Match them for every word. A common mistake most Hindi-language singers make is pronouncing ‘phir’ as ‘fir’. Figure out your mistakes and eliminate them.

8. Pay emphasis on emotions:

Remember, a singer can do things many people cannot. Singers over the years have inspired and aroused the emotions of millions and millions of people. Remember how Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition of the patriotic song ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’ brought tears to the eyes of every Indian? Remember, that as a singer you are interacting. You are a storyteller, not a newsreader. Work on getting the personal touch that will arouse the emotions of the listener to justify the lyrics of the song.

9. Confidence:

While you are working on your singing – whether it is practice, extra preparation or performance, be in it. Don’t think about fallback career options and other distractions. You are never perfect as a singer, but your potential for improvement is tremendous. The musical world is full of stars, but you are your own king, unique in your own way and not less than anyone.

10. Improvise from try to time:

Try singing one song in different ways. Popular singers like Sukhwinder Singh and Sonu Nigam improvise a lot, especially during live performances. Once you are good with the basics, you can play around. It is a fun exercise for you as well as your listeners.

11. Maintain a healthy lifestyle:

As an artist, you are a creative and emotional being and are more likely to explore the most intense emotions, more than people in most other careers. Meditation will really help you stay in a positive and energetic state which is utmost essential for you. Gargling would help your throat stay clear, moist and warm. Try maintaining a healthy lifestyle which incorporates fresh and healthy fruits, vegetables and foods rich in vitamin C. Try being early to bed and wake up early naturally without an alarm. Also keep yourself hydrated by having enough water.

12. A singer’s essentials:

Keep equipment such as mic, laptop, karaoke, speakers, tablet, tablet holder, earphones, earplugs, instruments and high-level recording software such as GarageBand and Audacity at home if possible. Try to have equipment which is portable, and can be easily carried in your bike or car. If you have a car, keep the larger and less sophisticated instruments in the car. Keep audio track of all songs in your phone, because internet might not work everywhere and all the time. Carry a chapstick and some lozenges to avoid dryness in the lips and throat.

13. Market yourself:

Keep a visiting card and have your personal website. Have your social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A YouTube is a great platform to upload your performances and rehearsals of all your songs. If there are other websites or apps such as Musically, Smule, etc. where you have a profile, keep track of it. Have an exclusive email id only for your singing purposes.

14. Do as many shows as possible:

Assist singers, even if you do not get the chance to sing. The more you will learn through live shows, you can never learn while sitting at home. Try collaborating with local bands working in events and in the hospitality sector. You will get a chance of singing the one odd song, which could be your golden ticket. Before performing yourself, study as many live performances of other singers as possible. It’s essential to have a music-friendly environment to progress as a singer.

Dont’s for aspiring singers

1. Don’t indulge in an unhealthy lifestyle:

Too much fried, oily or cold foods should be avoided. Also avoid full cream dairy products as they can cause acid reflux. Avoid having too much of caffeine (which is found in tea, coffee and many cold drinks) and carbonated beverages. Consumption of tobacco or alcohol should also be avoided as such habits can cost not only your career, but your life as well. And at any cost, don’t indulge in non constructive habits such as drugs or cocaine.

2. Don’t waste your vocal energy:

Don’t touch notes that are uncomfortable for you. You will eventually get there, but do not overstrain  initially. Don’t overpractice or waste your energy in talking or speaking very loudly, especially on days when you have to perform or record songs. Don’t scream or raise your voice unnecessarily.

3. Don’t get into conflicts or emotional strains:

Avoid getting into conflicts or stressful situations as they are likely to affect you in a negative manner. Maintain a composed personality and focus on your work and having a peaceful personal life.

4. Don’t sing or practice if unwell:

If you are not well, do not spoil your health further by singing. It will affect your throat as well and work as a double-edged throat in foiling your attempts. Just rest, take the proper medication and do less strenuous activities.

5. Don’t mimic other singers:

While you will begin by adapting styles of other singers, do not copy their voices. Every individual has his or her vocal chords wired in a different way, so do not hurt them by trying to copy another individual. Eventually, you should develop not only a unique voice, but a unique style as well – a double-package which will make you more desirable than most others in the business.

6. Don’t keep singing other’s songs all the time

In the initial days, you will and should sing songs that have already been composed and written. You should first perfect singing other’s songs before trying to sing your own. Once you are there, try doing original songs, whether you compose and write them on your own – or get others on board to do the job. This way, you will not finish as a cover-version singer and you will be able to establish your own identity.

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