“Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice, and augments regular speech by the use of both tonality and rhythm.” Wikipedia.org

Everybody can learn to sing

Reading the lines above, you might be thinking that, often singing is rather “the act of producing awful sounds” and that the person exalting this noise would never be able to sing a clear tone. However, I assure you that with the correct practice, over time, anyone and everyone can learn to sing.
First things first, you have to want to sing and you should probably like to sing. If you don’t like to sing because you sound terrible, that is ok as long as you are willing to learn. Second, remember that while I recommend that you use every chance you have to sing, like in the shower, in the car, while you clean the house, this should not substitute your daily, or every other day, practice.
Note: The goal of this article is how to learn to sing as cheap as possible. If you can afford regular singing lessons, that would probably be the best path to go. Be sure to read the advice on singing teachers at the bottom of this article though.

Getting started

Getting started is easy, and you probably already have if you like to sing. Get out your favorite cd and sing along. If you are not used to singing at all and find it embarrassing, wait until you are home alone and put on the cd loud so you, or at least your neighbours, can’t hear you sing.
Try to get in at least 30 minutes of practice every other day. Do not practice every day when starting out, you might strain your voice and cause you problems from the get-go.
Now, as the weeks pass by, decrease the volume on the stereo so that your voice gets louder in comparison to the cd. This way you will hear more of your mistakes and be able to adjust, as you get used to hearing it.

After 1 month

This could easily be the first thing you do, and if you have sung for some time and are used to your voice, be free to skip the Getting Started advice. Now it is time to practice more effectively, and what I recommend for this stage is to open the yellow pages, search for singing teachers and schedule one lesson. Ask that you be able to record the session. If the teacher says no call a different teacher.
Remember, this article has been to those that do not want or can afford, regular song lessons by a teacher.
Now, when you have this practice session with the singing teacher, bring along a tape recorder, or another recording device. Set it up so that it records best records the song teachers piano and the instructions he or she calls out.
If the recording is a success you will be able to practice to this tape every day if you like, and it is free. Remember, what you don’t get when you follow this route is correcting instructions, so pay extra attention to your own voice while practicing.

Singing like a superstar Every month, or every other month

Book a session with a singing teacher so that you can pin down your weak spots. Do this once per month, or every other, if you can afford it. Bring your tape recorder and tape these sessions so that your warm up practices reflects your increasing reach.

Things to look out for when choosing a singing teacher

Just like in any other profession, there are good teachers and bad teachers. I want to give you two main advice that you should look out for when reviewing your first lesson.
  1. Chemistry: Do you feel comfortable with this person? There is always a bit discomfort in the first session, after all, you are singing to someone that is judging your voice, it can be scary. But, is this a person that gives you constructive feedback or hard, cold, criticism? Are you a person that perhaps prefers the cold reality? Find someone that matches you, but can still push you to do better!
  2. Pedagogy skills: Too many good vocalists/singers turn bad singing teachers because their pedagogy skills are weak. Look for a teacher that is specific in their instructions and feedback. Look out for teachers that try to teach you through vague phrases like “think big” to get a larger volume in your voice, or “let your lunges guide you” (I made that one up) to better your performance. If the teacher can’t explain the mechanics of the voice, lungs, neck, and how they work together (or against each other), this might be a weak teacher. Since the vocal cords aren’t visible to you, it can be frustrating sometimes to figure out what you are doing wrong. Choose a teacher that is able to “force” you to do it right through specific practice lessons for that particular weakness.
That’s about it for now. Remember, sing to have fun!