Step 1: Broadly Consume Free Content From Many Sources
Beginning singers who want to learn how to sing better faster without spending a lot of money have never had it better than they do today. The advent of the internet and online video streaming dramatically changes the way we can learn how to sing. No longer must we begin by entering into weekly and expensive private singing lessons or by enrolling in an expensive music college.
However, new problems emerge for the online student in that there is not only an infinite supply of free singing videos, but the advice and methods of these voice coaches often contradict each other, leaving the beginning singing student confused as to what’s correct and what’s not.
Still, in the beginning I think it’s a useful process to view instruction videos, tips, webinars, free mini-courses, etc. from a wide variety of coaches with the idea that you are screening them so that you can later choose from those you best connect with.
Step 2: Buy a Keyboard
For about the price of a single voice lesson you can pick up a simple MIDI keyboard that you will use in your vocal training for decades. Though many of our vocal exercises are done to mp3 files of vocal scales, some of our most important work is done by doing vocal sirens and other exercises using a keyboard.
Further, a keyboard is great for beginners who are learning to find their vocal range and voice type, as well as the divisions between vocal registers, called bridges or passaggi.
Step 3: Choose One or More Online Singing Courses
Quality online singing courses are still hard to come by. There aren’t many out there and what’s out there isn’t all that great. Further, regardless of the claims that these coaches make about how their method is perfect for all singers of all music genres, from folk to opera and all styles in between, this is simply not true.
It’s important to spend time in “step 1” to understand which coach and which method is right for you. A great way to do this is to hear samples of the coach’s singing before you buy. You will be best off studying from someone who can demonstrate that they are able to sing well in the same manner and style that you want to learn. If they don’t offer samples of their singing and vocalizing, then consider a different coach.
Over time, more courses will come to market and those created by the coaches who sing well and post samples of their singing will rise to the top.
Even still, because some courses are so affordable, a purchase mistake will not cost you so much money as you would waste taking private lessons for weeks, months or years from a coach who isn’t able to teach you well. Further, even an incomplete course may offer a few priceless nuggets of instruction that justify the expense.
Step 4: Consider Private Voice Lessons
What we’re seeing now is a big shift in how people learn how to sing. I believe that the value of in-home training and one or more quality online vocal training courses is much more important than private singing lessons. However, once you have your workout routines in place there can be great value in a series of private lessons since an extra set of eyes and ears can help you discover errors in your technique that you simply can’t discover on your own.
As an example, I took weekly private lessons during my first year of studies, about 50 lessons in total. They were well worth the expense and yet I received almost no guidance or instruction on what to do at home in between lessons. Fortunately, I also purchased a few online courses and was able to create my own exercises, too.
Now, I train at home with great discipline and I’ve had one more private lesson over the past 2.5 years. I improve every day and my rate of improvement is actually accelerating, even in the absence of private lessons. It’s all about the home workout, it truly is.
That should be enough to get you started. I’m in the process of creating a series of in-home vocal training courses and if you sign up for our mailing list or download our collection of free scales, you will be notified when the courses are ready.