The Mystery Of How To Sing Properly Finally Explained

With all the information that is out there it can be difficult to know how to sing properly, if the way you are singing is based on correct technique or not and whether you will find yourself with vocal troubles down the line.

In this article, I want to explore what correct singing technique is and answer the question of how to sing properly, to help you eliminate the confusion that can surround this subject.

So, let’s get started…..

How To Sing Properly – The Foundations Of Correct Singing

So what is correct singing technique? This is a good question that can have many answers depending on who you talk to.

Fundamentally though, correct singing technique hinges on the concept of support or “singing from the diaphragm” as it is also known.

Many other singing techniques teach that support is not needed at all. Still other singing techniques teach that support is something that it is not e.g. pushing outwards.

Support, in a nutshell is the act of lifting the abdominal muscles upwards (pulling up), against the diaphragm as you start to sing, then sustaining the lift until you stop singing.

Support really is the “ignition system” for singing, and the reason why is that this collision causes the vocal cords to close by reflex action. It also facilitates keeping the vocal cords closed consistently while singing.

How to sing properly image 2So, what happens if you don’t sing from the diaphragm?

Basically, the swallowing muscles take over and close the vocal cords instead of the support mechanism.

As mentioned above, the swallowing muscles can also close the vocal cords in order to make sound, but they were not designed to keep them closed in a consistent manner to support singing.

In fact, most of us use our swallowing muscles for talking, but due to the comfortable pitch and lack of sustained notes needed for talking, this doesn’t really cause a problem.

One warning I will give though, talking a lot through the day or talking for a while in a loud venue such as a pub/club does tire the vocal cords.

If I do this on a Friday night for an hour or more, I can’t sing properly the whole weekend.

So, there you have it. To sing properly, you need to learn how to sing from the diaphragm and properly support the voice. This is the foundation of correct technique.

Of course there are other things a singer must do to sing correctly on top of support.  The main ones are keeping the resonance chambers open and relaxing all potential interfering muscles like the jaw etc.

What I wanted to do in this article is cover the most foundational element which is correct support.

How to sing properly image 5How To Sing Properly – Other Singing Techniques

There are singing techniques out there that have different ideas about correct singing technique, and I want to quickly touch on them.

By the way, I am not here to bad mouth them in anyway, only to examine them in the light of what correct singing technique is:

Speech Level Singing

The proponents of speech level singing are basically trying to solve the issues that many singers have, such as learning how to mix the voice in order to achieve a consistent vocal line etc.

I find the basic flaw with speech level singing is that it completely ignores the concept of support.

Its basic premise is that this technique makes singing as natural and easy as speaking, but as most of us use our swallowing muscles to talk, and talking is nowhere near as rigorous as singing to the vocal cords.

Basically, singing requires a different tension than talking does due to the fact that the range is greater and we are sustaining notes.

As mentioned previously, without the proper use of support, the swallowing muscles will kick in to close the vocal cords and keep them closed.

There are other techniques out there that teach that support is not needed as well, although speech level singing is the most popular.

Techniques That Teach Support Is Pushing Out

Some singing techniques, like the technique my first singing teacher taught me, define support as pushing out (like going to the toilet).

The problem here is that the support mechanism is disconnected and the swallowing muscles take over to close the vocal cords and keep them closed.

How to sing properly image 3


Well, I hope this article has been informative and has helped to answer the question of how to sing properly, as well as clear up any confusion.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and you have found it informative. Pleas feel free to leave any comments, as I am always interested in what people have to say.

I wish you success in all your singing endeavors.

Andy Barnes

Opt In Image
Get A FREE Singing Lesson
Give Me 15 Minutes a Day And I Will Have You Singing Better, Higher and Stronger Than Ever Before

Enter your name and email address to get instant online access to the FREE vocal training.


Tell us where to send your free vocal training by completing the form below.

We respect your email privacy. View our privacy policy.

1 Comment

  • Tony Newton

    Reply Reply November 21, 2015

    Could you explain further “lifting the abdominal muscles upwards (pulling up)” and how it is done. Thank You.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field