In recent years, more and more boys and men have been interested in honing their vocal chops. Some of these guys want to impress the ladies while others want to follow in the footsteps of American Idol winners like David Archuleta, David Cook and Adam Lambert. They go a long way to impress them that they even wanted to play the guitar by learning a handful of easy songs.
There are even some who do know how to sing, but would like to improve their voice. This is where singing tips for guys come in.
Singing tips – and, more importantly, singing lessons and exercises – can do miracles for male singers who want to see their voices improve by leaps and bounds. Many of these tips address certain basic skills that need to be inculcated in one’s voice training regimen.
First and foremost is determining vocal range, namely the lowest and highest musical notes that you are capable of singing without having to put strain on your vocal chords. This is also known as your “true voice” (or your “speech level voice”). At this range, your voice comes across as smooth and natural, and not the strained, rough or shrieking voice that occurs when attempting to reach much higher registers. Straining your voice to reach registers that is beyond its capabilities can ultimately damage your vocal chords.
Secondly, once you have determined your vocal range, you will need to go through singing lessons and vocal exercises to keep your vocal chords limber and also so that you will be able to utilize all your respiratory muscles to achieve greater voice projection. These exercises include singing ascending and descending scales, octaves, staccato and rhythm. During the first few weeks of lessons, you will not be taught how to sing outside of your range. You need to be trained in your vocal range before you could even attempt to reach the higher registers (or “falsetto”). This will prevent you from causing your vocal chords undue strain. Thankfully, most “in-person” lessons are customized to meet the capabilities of the individual singer. After considerable training and practice in your range, you can level up to lessons and exercises that will increase your vocal range.
Thirdly, much like an athlete, every singer must take the necessary steps to safeguard the health of his or her voice. Breathing exercises need to become a part of one’s daily vocal regimen as these will help you improve voice projection as well as expand your lung capacity. Part and parcel of breathing exercises is learning good posture – with back straight, shoulders back, chest thrust forward and abdomen pressed in. Practicing those high notes while standing will make you more conscious of your diaphragm so that you are able to control this and other abdominal muscles in support of your lungs. You have probably heard some well-meaning folks saying that you should not eat or drink foods that are too hot or too cold. There is truth actually in this advice. Eating or drinking foods at these extreme temperatures can cause your vocal chords to stiffen and your throat to dry up, making singing difficult. If you are a smoker, it is time to get rid of that bad habit now, especially if you want to sing. Smoking deprives your vocal chords of much needed oxygen. Plus, it also puts you at risk of developing throat and other types of cancers.
Finally, to become a great singer, you should not limit yourself to the style of music that you like. Instead, listen to singers from other musical genres. This will enable you to develop an appreciation of other musical styles and it can encourage you to explore them. Good examples include Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Sting, Ronan Keating, Bono, Paul McCartney, Phil Collins and Darren Hayes (for Pop), John Denver and Kenny Rogers (Country), Bob Marley (Reggae), James Brown (Soul), Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Qawwali, Ghazal music), and Sonu Nigam (Indian Pop).
By practicing all these singing tips for guys, you are on your way to becoming a great singer.