Some people seem like they were just born to belt it out.
And you’re probably wondering:
Is it even possible for me to sing as loudly as these ‘naturals’ do?
Well, I’ll let you in on a secret: No one is a naturally perfect singer.
Even the people who seem like they were born for loud perfect singing, they’ve had to train and practice a lot.
So if your voice isn’t hitting the volume that you want it to, there’s hope!
You can increase the volume of your singing voice, and you don’t have to damage or strain it to do so.
Today, we’re going to discuss 3 reasons why we don’t always sing as loudly as we want to, and 15 ways to combat these voice softeners.
Follow these tips, and soon you’ll be belting it out like a pro!
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Why Do We Struggle to Sing Loudly?
Lack of Practice
Sometimes a soft voice can come from as simple a problem as lack of practice.
The vocal cords are muscles, just like anything else. Just like a runner needs consistent practice in order to finish a marathon, singers need consistent practice in order to improve their voices.
This is true for volume, but also for the quality of your voice itself.
We’re going to discuss 5 ways to combat a lack of practice, but the simplest way to solve this problem is the most obvious: Practice singing more!
If possible, practice for a certain length of time every day.
Improper Singing Techniques
There are many different techniques that can help you to sing louder, and better.
However, be careful:
Some of these techniques are only quick fixes that will lead to vocal damage down the road.
When you use the proper techniques, you will be able to gradually build up your vocal volume, without putting unnecessary strain on your vocal cords. In this way, you’ll be able to keep singing at a higher volume without pain or risk of permanent damage.
Below, we’ll see 5 different techniques that are great for singing louder without hurting your voice.
But remember, with professional singing lessons, you’ll learn even more tricks to sing louder and better.
Our last obstacle to louder singing is nerves.
We all know how it feels to get in front of a bunch of people and sing:
It feels terrible.
Your stomach is in knots, your hands are shaking, and your voice…
Well, let’s just say it’s not the same voice you had when you were practicing alone in your room.
When we’re nervous, our voice turns into something almost unrecognizable, and it’s hard to reach the same power that we normally can.
That’s why we’re going to discuss 5 different ways to combat nerves and sing louder in front of an audience.
15 Ways to Sing Louder and Eliminate Your Soft Voice
For Singers Who Lack Practice
1. Do Vocal Exercises
Warming up before you start to sing is always a good idea.
Try doing arpeggios with different vowel sounds, going up and down the length of your vocal range in order to stretch out the muscles of your voice.
Going back to our example of the runner, how far do you think he’ll get if he doesn’t stretch out and warm up his muscles before starting that marathon?
Even if he makes it to the end, he’ll be extremely sore afterward, and might even do permanent damage.
The same is true for you and your voice. Always start your practice sessions with a vocal warm up.
Consider using this Daily Vocal Workout Plan.
2. Focus on Using Your Chest Voice at First
Your chest voice is the lower- to middle-range where you feel most comfortable singing.
If you’re trying to sing louder, practice first with your chest range and work on building your volume there.
With your head voice, or the higher part of your voice, it will always be more difficult to sing loudly.
For that reason, it’s better to start by focusing on the chest voice, and work up to the head voice.
3. Stay Hydrated
Ever notice how professional singers will always have water on stage with them?
There’s a good reason for that:
Water is absolutely essential to life in general, but it’s also necessary for when you’re singing.
Before and after you practice singing, drink a few sips of water.
Also, have it available during your practice sessions, so that you never get dehydrated. This will help protect your vocal cords from damage.
4. Expect Gradual Progress
Increasing your vocal volume is not an overnight process. So don’t push yourself.
If you are trying to practice singing louder gradually, you’ll be less likely to do damage to your voice.
Again, this is similar to a runner:
A runner doesn’t expect to be able to run a marathon without proper training and time to practice.
In the same way, you can’t expect to sing loudly without practice.
With proper training and time, you’ll be able to have the power you want to have, without hurting yourself.
5. Stop When it Hurts
If you feel pain in your throat when you’re singing, don’t push yourself.
After an hour or so of practice, it’s probably time to take a break.
However, in the moment that you feel that you’re straining your voice, it’s better to stop completely. In this way, you’ll avoid doing permanent damage to your vocal cords.
For Singers Who Lack Proper Techniques
6. Stand Straight
Good posture is very important for singing in general. However, it will also help you sing louder.
Your entire body is involved in singing, so you have to make sure you’re using it in the right way to improve your voice and volume.
Stand straight, with your shoulders back and you head facing forward.
If you’re not sure how good your posture is, trying standing with your back to a wall, allowing your butt, shoulders, and head to touch the wall.
Practice singing in this position, and compare it to how you normally stand when singing.
7. Sing From Your Diaphragm
The diaphragm is a muscle that’s attached to your lungs, and it helps your lungs expand when you take deep breaths.
When you’re breathing from your diaphragm, you’ll feel the air come more into your stomach area.
If you’re not sure how to do this, try lying on your back with your hands or another object resting at the base of your lungs (near your stomach).
When you breath, trying to use deep breaths to move the object on your stomach upwards.
By practicing this breathing technique, you’ll be able to sing from your diaphragm, giving more power to your voice.
8. Control the Air You Use
Time for a short anatomy lesson:
The vocal folds are what produce your voice, and they open and close depending on what you’re doing.
If you’re breathing, the vocal folds are open, and if you’re not breathing, they close to the point of touching each other.
However, when you’re talking or singing, those vocal folds open just enough to let some air through, and the vibration of slapping against each other is what creates the sound.
We want to use your breath to the best advantage, letting out just enough air to create a good sound through your vocal folds.
Breathe out too much when singing, and you’ll lose quality. You’ll also run out of air, which will automatically lower the power of your voice.
Air is to your voice what electricity is to a light bulb.
A light bulb without electricity can’t shine brightly. In the same way, if your voice doesn’t have enough air, you won’t have power.
So, take deep breaths from your diaphragm, as we said above, and control the amount of breath that you use for each phrase.
Then, you’ll have maximum power through the entire phrase.
9. Chin Down, Jaw Open
Contrary to popular belief, your chin does not need to be up in order to increase your volume!
While this temporary fix may work in the short term, it will eventually lead to vocal cord damage if used as a constant crutch.
So, practice singing with your head facing forward, and chin slight down. This will give you more control and higher volume.
When singing, you also want your jaw to be sufficiently open so as to sing clearly.
With your mouth open, you’ll be able to pronounce with clarity each word, and will have better control over your voice.
10. Use Your Tongue As a Tool for Head Volume
We mentioned that nearly all of your body is involved when you sing, and even small parts of the anatomy like the tongue can make a big difference in the volume and quality of your voice.
Usually, we have a harder time hitting powerful notes in the head (or high) voice. If you find this to be your problem, try taking note of what the back of your tongue is doing when you sing.
You see, when the back of your tongue dips down, it makes your head voice sound very breathy, and not powerful.
To change this, concentrate on lifting the back of your tongue. This will help you to project your head voice better.
For Singers Who Are Nervous
11. Practice Your Set Until You Know it By Heart
If you’re nervous about singing, it’s a very good idea to practice repeatedly the songs that you are going to sing.
If you have a set already decided, practice singing each of those songs until you know each note, each lyric, each dip and high point by heart.
When you have those songs completely memorized, this will help you sing with confidence (i.e. louder).
12. Choose Songs In Your Vocal Range
Finding your own unique vocal range will ultimately help you in choosing the right songs for your voice.
Once you know what your vocal range is, find singers or songs that fit in to that particular vocal range.
That way, you won’t be trying to stretch your voice when hitting certain notes.
You’ll feel confident enough to sing loud and clear, knowing that the songs you’ve chosen are all in your perfect range.
13. Do Breathing Exercises
Certain types of breathing exercises will help you to improve your voice and sing louder.
Others will help you to calm your nerves before singing in front of others.
We’ve already discussed one type of breathing exercise above.
Another exercise that will help you maintain the power in your voice involves practicing the song you’ll sing.
Try taking one phrase and read the words out loud with a strong voice, using only one breath.
After doing this a few times, try practicing the same phrase at the same volume, this time singing instead of speaking. Again, use only one breath. This will help you to become accustomed to controlling your breathing, allowing you to do it naturally on stage.
If you’re feeling nervous before singing, use breathing exercises to calm down.
Try breathing in for 5 seconds, holding your breath for 4, and then letting the air out for 7 seconds.
This method has been proven to reduce anxiety and will help you relax before going out on stage.
14. Focus on What You’re Doing, Not Who You’re Doing it For
Why are you going to sing?
What has brought you to this moment?
Surely, it’s your love of music and singing in general!
Focusing on the reasons why you want to sing in front of others will also help you calm your nerves and sing with more confidence.
The people watching you don’t matter: What does is that you are reaching out for your dreams.
15. Get Proper Training
With proper training and singing lessons, you can learn to be more confident in your singing.
You’ll learn how to sing better, how to control your voice, and ultimately how to sing out without fear and nerves.
We’ve discussed only a few of the many techniques that professional singers use to combat soft voices and truly sing out.
However, there are plenty more ways to increase, not only your volume, but also the quality of your voice.
If you want to truly become a successful and proficient singer, I highly recommend looking into online singing lessons.
These can be done in the comfort of your own home, and will guide you towards being the singer that you’ve always wanted to be!
Of course, we all know that practice makes perfect.
So stop reading and start practicing to be the best singer that you can be today!