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Want to learn - How to proceed?

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I'm pretty much the guy that just sings along with songs anytime I'm listening to music, but really would like to try and become decent at singing.

More than anything I should probably get a teacher, and will definitely be looking into it, but as a poor college student it's just a matter of finding the best deals and rounding up some moneies.

My biggest question would be what are some good reference materials I can get in the meantime and some things to focus on to actually start practicing as opposed to just listening to myself and trying to sound not terrible?

Some song clips of my singing if they are of use:

https://www.box.com/s/czk1a0488f1i7461w9du - more of a rock song

https://www.box.com/s/udmhualhpdpawlonujuv - high notes (probably shouldn't really be singing with this)

https://www.box.com/s/zrtypzwcwkgoaa9qm2t3 - more in a classical vein

Stuff I hear when I sing:

- often times it doesn't seem like I am smooth, there are breaks in the singing

- the "sound"/resonance isn't always there at the onset of a note, so it sounds uglier and start and better towards the finish

- sometimes get quieter during a note

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Hi Lucidity, welcome to the forum.

Good first post since most newbees come here by first going to the critique section posting a song and then disappear. You first come and ask how to get started and you came to the right place...the "techniques" section. Which is for learning. I admit, that I don't spend enough time here myself...but although I don't post I do read a lot. :) I suggest you read through here also and use the search function.

I was the same as you. I spent my life singing to other songs. I was copying vocals and learning/training myself by copying sounds. But about a year and a half ago I decided to get serious. The first book I started with was Roger Love's "Set Your Voice Free." It came with a cd and I did the exercises every day for six months till I grew out of them. Then I found this forum and I also purchased Anne Peckhams "Contemporary Singer" also with CD and stepped up my learning. All the while reading through the forums. And of course singing!! Allot.

Now, I'm not suggesting you run out and get these books or that they contain any magic. It is only what I did. I learned a few things. This may sound like a joke, but I have heard quite a few times that "Singing for Dummies" is excellent. I am going to get that one myself. I would suggest that right now, the first thing you should do is research breathing and breath control for singing. "Support" or breath support. Very important and it is what will help you carry those notes as well as aid in your onset problem you mentioned. There are many many threads here on that. One step at a time. Start with the foundation. Breathing and breath support.

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I love Anne Peckham's book.

I suggest you do the workout on her CD.

I do them 6 days a week.

Mon-Wed-Fri: Vocal Warmup + Level 1 Workout for High Voices + Advanced Workout for High Voices

Tue-Thur-Say: Vocal Warmup + Level 1 Workout for Low Voices + Advanced Workout for Low Voices

It is 30 minutes long.

Even if you don't do anything else, this will definitely improve your voice.

I've been doing it for over a year and my voice is still improving month-after-month.

You start to feel a lot more things going on inside of you as your vocal strength and coordination builds.

It's only 25 bucks. And you can use it every day.

It would solve all your vocal problems (for that you need a vocal coach).

But it will build and strengthen your voice day-after-day.

Good luck.

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i agree with tommy....(more than ever).....

i'm a staunch proponent of proper breathing and breath support...(appoggio).

dynamic opposition of the diaphragm......being comitted to conditioning and strenghening your breathing, and improving your breath capacity.

there are just so many benefits that come from this.

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If you live in the NYC area, you can try taking classes with vocal coach Craig Derry.

You pay $200/month for unlimited group vocal classes.

Classes are held 6 days a week and you can go to as many as you'd like.

Literally, you could take the group lesson every day.

So instead of meeting a vocal teacher once a week, you can meet

your vocal coach almost every day and do all your exercises/drills/lessons/songs in class.

It's an interesting concept that I would like to see more often.

Here are some videos (you can hear him sing in the first video):


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(Craig Derry)

Geez, wish I lived in NYC :P That idea is genius. Probably best for a more intermediate singer however who already knows the basics and doesn't need step-by-step instruction. Once you can sing okay enough, simply getting to sing with real singers in a practical learning environment that often would be a real privilege and a boon to your singing.

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