It’s all about how you practice.

It’s incredibly common to hear the phrase “practice makes perfect,” but did you know there’s a right way to practice? Whether you’ve been singing all your life, or are just starting out, it’s important to approach singing with as much respect as you would approach any form of training. To do that, I recommend the following:

  1. Make a list of just 2–3 songs you want to sing, preferably contrasting styles.
  2. Collect a list of vocal training exercises (see below).
  3. Practice in an organized, focused manner that enables you to retain and build upon your continued improvements.

VOCAL TRAINING EXERCISES

The best way to improve the pitch, diction and tone of your voice is to practice daily vocal exercises. Here are some great videos detailing some of the best exercises that will help you:

Overall warmup & tone production:

Work on the sound your singing voice:

Improve your breathing for singing:

Clarify your vowels:

Intonation:

Vocal range:

The list is endless but if you practice at least 10–25 minutes of vocal exercises per day, with adequate rest in between, you will rapidly progress.

ORGANIZING YOUR PRACTICE SESSION

Did you know you can have drastic effects on your overall practice effectiveness by how you practice? Traditional methods tell us to spend tedious amounts of time working on one thing over and over until we get it right. But in fact, a far more effective way of practicing is to space out and intermix your skills. It’s a concept known as spaced repetition. Here’s a great article by our friends at Bulletproof Musician on how to space out your practice in order to maintain gains.

FOCUS, PROGRESS, & MOTIVATION

On top of how you work through a particular practice session, it’s important to also keep track of what you’ve been working on, and ideally, the progress you’ve been making. A lot of musicians and singers accomplish this by keeping a practice journal. The single biggest reason to keep a journal is to track your progress. Just like a body builder tracks his work out progress, your practice journal will have a record of your accomplishments and trials over the course of each session.

Take your organization a step further by recording yourself and listening to how you sound. Remember, you sound very different in your head than you do to everyone else. Grab your phone or other recording device and capture yourself singing. From there, you’ll have a better idea on exactly where you need to improve. If you keep the recording, you can see just how much you improved when you go back and listen to it later. Keeping track of your progress – both in a journal as well as recordings – will help you stay motivated as you continue to see (and hear) your gains.

But wouldn’t it be nice to have a tool that helps us do all that? Modacity helps you track your music practice time & progress. Allowing you to place all your exercises & songs in a list, budget your time, and even record yourself (and save recordings) so you can make guided improvements and stay motivated.

WORK WITH EXPERTS

Honestly, there’s really no such thing as “on your own”. While there are many free and affordable resources to help you improve, and behind those resources are humans who care about music. Don’t be afraid to look to others for help – whether it’s a from a voice coach, a simple advisor or mentor, or just from finding valuable content online to help you address specific needs. From singing techniques to practice tips, there are a lot of strategies to help you improve.

If you want any help creating and sticking to a practice routine, feel free to get in touch!

Marc Gelfo

Marc Gelfo

Marc has been practicing music for 30+ years. After applying cognitive science & computer science to French horn, Marc became an internationally touring symphony musician. His experience includes teaching and performing with thousands of musicians around the world, including the San Francisco Symphony.