How to Become a Professional Singer 🥇 (Sep 2023)
In this article, we’re going to be discussing the ways you can become a professional singer.
Becoming an experienced, seasoned singer takes time, dedication, and regular practice.
We’ll be providing specific tips, instructions, and some specific exercises that you can include in your daily regime, to help you make that leap from amateur to professional.
Therefore, without further ado, let’s talk about how you can go about becoming a professional singer.
How to become a professional singer
We’ve included several tips and areas which you will need to focus on, to learn to sing like a professional singer.
- Learn the basics of singing
- Practice regularly
- Study & take influence from well-known singers
- Create a good basis of breath support
- Relax your facial muscles
- Light is right – The dopey sounding technique
- Learn the correct singing posture
- Vocal exercises to learn
- Lip trills
Learn the basics of singing
As with anything in life, learning the fundamentals in the right way creates an optimal foundation of knowledge for further, more comprehensive improvement.
In this case, learning the foundational elements of singing is the number 1 tip!
To do this properly, you will need to have tuition, there’s no way around this. However, we won’t be talking about taking conventional 1-on-1 singing lessons.
Instead, we highly advise an online singing program, suitable for those who are beginner/intermediate singers, so that they can learn the basics of singing, including posture, techniques, and exercises.
After talking about the best online singing courses within this article, we highly recommend those wanting to find a high quality, reputable program, look at 30-Day Singer, who offer a 14-Day Free Trial of their program and even provide a 30-day money-back guarantee for those who decide to buy it after the trial is over.
Because of this, there’s no risk for you as the trial user or the buyer.
Just as an athlete will practice regularly, so must a professional singer. And whilst being enjoyable, singing whilst in the shower does not count as practice.
What we mean by practice, is using a structured approach to stimulating and developing the voice, either using instrument/track accompaniment to direct your vocal warmups, exercises, and warm-downs. For those singers who do not play an instrument, singing programs like 30-Day Singer provides all of the exercises with video and audio accompaniment, so you can simply follow along.
Study & take influence from well-known singers
It’s natural to have singers that you aspire to sound like, and we recommend choosing a handful of these singers so that you can study them in detail.
This doesn’t just mean looking at performances of them, but to really grasp everything, it would be useful to start at the beginning
- Look into their background – Did they have formal singing lessons, who were they taught by, how long have they been singing. Answering these questions will provide you with a good indication as to how they have achieved what they have, in terms of singing experience and general musical aptitude.
- Check out behind the scenes videos of the artist in the studio – Behind the scenes videos offer organic insight into the artist, and if you can find these videos showing the artist singing in the studio, you can see glimpses of how good their vocal takes are, what their pre-studio vocal exercises/rituals are, who else is in the studio (vocal teachers/producers), and you may even see concerns/worries that the artist has about their vocals, with them often showing this both directly or indirectly with the communication with the producer/engineers.
- Look at all of the artist’s performances – To get a good representation of the artist’s vocal consistency, you’ll want to look at all of the artist’s performances, we mean everything from festival performances, TV performances, live concerts, acoustic sessions, etc. This will provide even more insight into the difference between the studio-polished album version against live performances.
- Take note of the specialists who work with the artist – As we hinted at above, it’s useful to know what industry specialists the artist has had contact with, both on a frequent and infrequent basis. This can help you in being able to answer questions that only they would know about the artist. For example (without naming the artist), I was adamant that one of my favorite artists was using pitch correction in his live performances, and yet it sounded so natural and fantastic, I wanted to know exactly what program/technology was behind it. So I found out who the Front of House engineer was for that particular tour that the artist was doing at that time, and I messaged him on Facebook… He then told me that my observations were correct, and the singer was indeed using Antares Autotune for his live performances, which was working to keep the singer in tune. I hope that you can now see how valuable these contacts are.
Create a good basis of breath support
Breath support and control is another fundamental aspect of singing, and without it, it can cause you to strain your voice and potentially injure your vocal cords.
In essence, good breath support relies on being able to sing from the diaphragm instead of the throat, which means using the abdominal muscles to help engage the diaphragm when breathing, which helps maximize airflow, helping to eliminate throat and neck tension, especially when trying to hit those high notes.
Here’s a workout that you can try, to help engage your stomach muscles and begin building muscle-memory:
- First, you want to lay down on your back whilst keeping your knees bent. Then place one hand on your stomach and inhale through your nose as deeply as you can, letting your stomach expand. As you breathe out you’ll begin to feel the abdominal muscles contract.
- You can then practice singing whilst lay on the floor, and you may notice it’s quite difficult at first, but as you train and develop your abdominal muscles, this will get easier over time.
Relax your facial muscles
Tension is something we want to stay away from, and tension in the face can lead to tension in the jaw and neck muscles, which will cause vocal strain.
With that being said, it’s important to stretch your facial muscles to help eliminate any tension that they are experiencing.
It’s extremely useful to incorporate this into your daily singing practice, in a stretching workout. One of which we’ve described below, and also we’ve included a video demonstration:
- Using your thumb, gently massage your chin to loosen the muscles surrounding it.
- Next, yawn as big and wide as you can to stretch your face and jaws.
- Stretch your shoulders and neck to get rid of the tension that is building up in those areas.
Light is right – The dopey sounding technique
Most beginners will try singing with intensity, right off the bat, and this can be particularly damaging to the voice when it comes to singing more demanding songs, with plenty of high notes.
With this being said, how exactly can you avoid damaging your voice, whilst working out your vocal cords?
It’s all about singing lighter, and using a technique to lower the larynx, despite how ‘dopey’ it makes you sound.
How do you do this? Choose a song that you want to sing along with, and allow your throat to completely relax, don’t worry about pitch, what we’re doing is helping lower the larynx.
You can then begin to slowly wean off the dopey-sounding character of your voice, whilst ensuring that your larynx is still low, until it’s capable of staying low whilst singing normally.
Learn the correct singing posture
In addition to singing posture, you should focus on assuming the right singing position too.
The first step is to open your mouth wider. When your mouth is wide open, there will be less tension in your jaw and tongue, which is the most common culprit of vocal strain. Aside from that, it will be a lot easier for your sound to flow from your vocal cords. Most singers make the mistake of turning their heads up to hit high notes. The lifting of the chin will make it harder for the sound to flow through your throat.
Third, press your tongue down. When you are singing high notes, you may notice that you tend to produce thinner sounds. This is because our throat tends to close when we are singing higher. One way to avoid this is to press your tongue down on the back of your throat to prevent it from closing.
As mentioned, hitting high notes can only be made possible through dedicated practice. This means that you should invest your time and effort to train your voice to hit high notes without straining.
We know you already have the time and the dedication needed, but what should you do with it?
Vocal Exercises to Learn
As we’ve briefly talked about, exercises are key in helping you train your voice to sing higher with ease.
Here are a few of such exercises that will help:
1) Lip Trills (Lip Bubbles)
In order to do this:
- Place your two fingers on the sides of your cheeks, near to your mouth. Purse your lip together and blow your lips and let them vibrate, sounding similar to a horse
- Sound the vowel “uh” while your lips are vibrating
- You can then add pitch to the sound, sounding the note at a comfortable pitch within the middle of your vocal range
- Perform a scale with the vowel sound starting from the lower notes to the higher ones then work your way back lower.
- Repeat this process, but instead starting at the lowest possible note, leading to the highest. You’ll begin to get comfortable with this and notice that your range begins to expand and notes that you once strained to hit will be much easier to attain.
2) ” Ooh” and “Eee” Vocal Siren
In order to do this:
- Sound “ooh”, as though you are saying “oops”
- Again, try to do this at a pitch within the middle of your vocal range
- Sing the “Eee” sound (in the same manner as before)
- Then begin alternating between these sounds, like a siren, starting from the lowest pitch leading to the highest note in your vocal range, and vice versa.
- You can do this until you feel minimal strain when transitioning between your low and high vocal range
3) Hissing Exercise
In order to do this:
- Either take a lay-down, sitting or standing position
- Begin to breathe in slowly through your nose and allow your lungs to fill with air
- Exhale whilst closing your teeth together and using your tongue to control the release of air.
We hope that this article has been exceptionally useful to all of you beginner/intermediate singers who are looking to become professional singers.
All of the outlined steps that we’ve provided are actionable, however, we do recommend taking an online singing program as it will help guide you through the best exercises and techniques to strengthen and increase your vocal range, improve vocal stamina, and tonality.