Five Important Things You Need to Know When Singing


Courtesy of Unsplash

Veronica Merchelski, Staff Writer

Singing is a very hard thing to learn how to do so well and there are many factors that need to be taken into account when singing or learning how to sing. Here are some of the most common and valuable factors that you need to know when wanting to improve your singing skills.

Breath Control

One of the most important things to do when singing is breath control. In order to keep a clean sound and to help you stay on pitch, you need to be able to take a deep breath from your diaphragm and slowly use it up as you are singing. Even how you exhale affects your singing as your dynamics and tone can be more easy to manipulate when you have some air left over. As Lis Lewis states in The Singers Workshop, “Breathing is the single most important element in singing. In order to control your voice you have to put out exactly the amount of breath you need for the sound you want.” 


Having the audience be able to understand what you are singing is very crucial. The audience will not feel the emotions you want them to feel if they can’t even know what you’re singing about. The importance of pronunciation increases ten folds when in a choir. Singing different vowels or pronunciation for a word or two, could result in a disaster making the choir sound less unified. This is why many conductors are very strict about where to place your vowels and how to say each word. In addition, singing in your natural accent could result in some difficulties in being able to control the tone of your voice and may be the difference between making your voice angelic and having a country undertone. It is mostly advised that when holding a note or wanting to emphasize a note, you would usually hold out the vowel and not the consonants. That is unless holding out the consonants would be considered as your individualistic style.


Blending is when you match the volume to the rest of the people around you. Being able to blend is important when in a choir since standing out is not a good thing when in a group. You want the choir to sound like one voice, all unified and perfectly blended. Having one voice stand out or sing louder than the rest takes away from the togetherness that a choir is trying to reach. As Jenny Green perfectly explains, “Blending in a choir is key to getting a unified sound. It’s all very well when individuals can sing confidently, but if certain voices are sticking out, it’s not a choir anymore – it’s just a group of soloists!” Not only is blending a necessary part of a choir, but it is also necessary when singing solo and having accompaniment on an instrument or track. You have to make sure that you are not too quiet or not too loud. You don’t want to overtake the accompaniment but you also want to be heard.

Reading Sheet Music

The one thing that many singers struggle with, compared to regular instrument players, is the ability to read music. Unless you would have perfect pitch, the notes names and the sheet music itself aren’t really that useful and are mostly only there to tell singers an estimate of what the note might sound like. These problems can be solved with the use of solfege. If you don’t know solfege, it is highly recommended that you learn it since it can come in handy in many ways. Lots of singers use solfege as a means of warming up by going up and down the scale in many different and creative ways. Solfege is the equivalent of a scale in instruments but instead of using note names, singers substitute them for sounds. This is why people use solfege to figure out the notes of a song because unless you would have sharps or flats in the song, it mostly consists of notes from the scale of the key signature. You would look at the key signature, find which note is “do” (the starting sound of the solfege scale) and then continue reading the notes as solfege.


As much as breath control, pronunciation, blending and reading sheet music is necessary to get better at singing, one thing that tops them all is passion. Being passionate about singing and being able to improve on your faults is the best way to grow. Good singing doesn’t come overnight and it takes a lot of practice for one to even get the basics. One thing that is amazing about singing is that no one person sounds the same. Everyone has their own individualistic voice and their own way of adding feelings, almost like telling a story. There is no such thing as mastering singing so you may never stop learning new ideas and techniques to use when singing to make it sound better than before. As long as you keep the enthusiasm of singing then that’s the most important part.