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What is the best way to make your voice sound good when your singing? Answered



If you mean ways of blending with them better, then there are many.  All of them go back to what your mother used to say, "God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason".

98% of music is listening.  Everything you do in creating music should be aimed at supporting everything else, not overpowering or stealing the spotlight.  Even solo artists must listen carefully to what's happening, comparing themselves to the ensemble and adjusting their voice to fit it.

If you're singing backup for someone else, sing just loud enough so you can hear them equally as well as yourself.  Match their voice as carefully as you can; listen for their dynamics, their timbre, and the shapes of their vowels.  You can practice this by singing along with albums, but instead of doing it how most do (where they belt out with reckless abandon over the vocalist, adding their own flourishes) study the vocalist intently, matching everything (even the subtle nuances of their accent, but through listening to theirs rather than singing it how you think their accent should sound).  The idea is to sound like one voice.

If you want to know how to sing harmony, learn music theory and train your ear (again, listening is the key).  Pick apart your favorite songs note for note, listening to the chord changes and the way the parts flow smoothly from one to the next.  Usually your favorite vocal harmonies will follow choral-style arrangement (which dates back to the 16th century), which has fairly strict rules that create easy-to-sing harmonies that stack nicely together.

This all takes a lot of practice, as well as changing the methods by which you practice - and it all assumes you have a good enough voice and ear to perform it properly.  If you're willing to put forth the effort, the hardest thing for you to do will be training yourself to really listen - but it will pay off more than anything else.

I could sing but  need to sound extra good for my performance. I sing good, but I can;t sing high notes, thats my fear cuase the sing i was asked to sing has very high notes =/

Extending vocal range is a whole other story; this requires a great deal of work with a skilled coach that has specifically trained in vocal mechanics and anatomy.  I wouldn't trust anyone to this task unless they are a licensed speech rehabilitation therapist - as I'm sure you've witnessed from the numerous auditions on American Idol, there are tons of charlatans who claim to be voice teachers and have the vocal quality of a rhinoceros during mating season.

Ork is right.  In an audition or performance, it is particularly crucial to find a key that fits comfortably so that, no matter what day you're having, you can hit each note without straining.  Transpose the song, or work with your accompanist to find a key that is good for you.

The problem most people have these days is that they buy into the myth that only singers that can hit high notes are any good.  You were born to have a certain range, and while with practice and coaching you can extend it a bit, I wouldn't expect more than a fourth or fifth above your top note (and even that's a bit much to expect).  So what if you're not a mezzo-soprano?  I gladly prefer listening to someone with better quality at a lower register than someone shrieking paper-thin high notes any day.

Professional accompanists are quite used to transposing a song to meet the needs of a vocalist.  They won't mind, it's their job to make sure you sound your best.  It's commonplace even to change keys from one performance to the next because the vocalist is having an off-day (try not to be that person, as you will strain yourself and force your voice to have more off-days than on).

The key is to know your voice, know your limits, and strive for perfection with the instrument you have.  Skill, not range, will win every time.

Ok one more question (since you seem to know alot about music) How can I make sure the sound of the instruments wont overpower my voice? (I think i worte that right)

In a strictly acoustic setting (with no mics or PA, which is exceedingly rare these days) it will be both up to you and the accompanists to listen to each other to find the right balance.  However, the cardinal rule of any singer (or musician playing a wind instrument) is to breathe through the diaphragm - always!

To explain this, watch a baby sleep.  Look at what expands when they breathe - it's their tummy.  This is actually the correct way to breathe, for several reasons.

First, if you breathe by expanding the chest (as most adults do) you'll notice that you aren't able to inhale nearly as deeply as you do if you let your stomach expand.  The reason for this is simple - your lungs are confined by the ribcage.  Your stomach, on the other hand, can stretch out and allow for the expansion of your lungs.

Second, your stomach muscles are the core support for every motion in your body - and breathing is no exception.  Look at how few muscles span your ribs, then contrast that with how many muscles girdle your stomach.  If you breathe with your chest, you are relying on some of the weakest, least-toned muscles in your body for breath support.  Breathe with your stomach instead, and you will soon find you have a solid foundation for your voice.

As you exhale, firm your tummy as if though you are preparing to get kicked in the gut (although perhaps not quite as tightly).  Use the pressure created by this tension to push a steady stream of air.  This will greatly enhance the stability of your voice, improve overall tonal quality, and maximize the length of your phrasing.  Flutists, tubists, and oboists, who inarguably require the most breath support of anyone in an orchestra, practice this by dangling a piece of string or a strip of paper at arms length, pursing their lips, and blowing a steady stream of air to keep it at a constant height - you can do this by blowing forcefully or softly, but the point of the exercise is to keep it steady.

Obviously, ab workouts are crucial to improve muscle tone and lessen fatigue during performance.  And, if you've ever wondered how a soloist can be heard singing over a Wagnerian opera backed by a 230-piece orchestra, now you know.

If you are singing with a sound system, it is up to the sound engineer to set everything appropriately.  You will want to do a sound check prior to the performance; this is not only so he can set the mix for the venue, but also to give you the appropriate balance in the monitors.  You can tell him you need more or less vocals, piano, or whatever else you use as a pitch reference.

But - don't do as many do and get lazy with listening for balance and using your stomach.  The PA is there as "sound reinforcement"; in other words, it makes sure the balance is correct for the audience.  However, it is up to you to listen to the dynamics on-stage and match them using your phenomenal breath support to keep you firmly rooted.

If you can't safely sing the high notes, sing harmony. Or transpose the song. Or drop out on those notes. Or tell them "Sorry, I can't do that; what can we do instead."

You shouldn't ask me :)

Practice makes better.
Guided practice makes better faster.

Be born with a naturally perfect voice.

Take singing lessons.

Join a choir.

Glee club?