When I started to learn to play the guitar it was quite simple.
I purchased a cheap classical guitar together with a “How to play guitar?” book and a few weeks later I could play my first songs. I just had to practice putting my fingers the right way on the fret board and shred along.
10 years later, when I decided to work on my vocal skills, it was a different story. Actually, you can’t learn to sing by reading about it. You can’t put your vocal chords together following a script, because you don’t see them.
In this article, I will have an objective look at the best ways to learn to sing and how to choose the right one for yourself.
As everyone is different, has different prerequisites and different needs, there’s no one fits all solution.
This wonderful information age we live in provides a broad variety of possibilities and the choice is up to us.
What’s your situation?
Before we talk about the possibilities, you should think about your current situation.
I recommend, you grab a piece of paper and write it down, so you can make a good decision.
What do you want to achieve? Do you want to be the next Bono, Pavarotti or Whitney? Do you want to make it to the top in your choir or just improve your singing in the shower? Everything is legit. No goal can be either too big or too small. Just ask yourself: What do I want to achieve?
What are your financial resources and how much are you willing to spend for your vocal training? It can range from 20$ to 2.000$ and also depends on your goal. The higher the goal the more money we are willing to invest.
I only advice to spend money you have.
How much time do you have and how much time do you want to invest for your progress? If you are single and still in school or college, you will probably have more time than a full-time working family father.I’ve been in different personal situations over the years and one thing’s for sure: If you really want something, you’ll find a way.Often, you’ll either have abundant time or money.
Now that you know your resources and your goals, you can take a look at the different options.
Personal vocal coach
Without any doubt, I would strongly recommend hooking up with a vocal coach to everyone, who wants to learn to sing effectively. Not only was it the way I did it, but it has a multitude of advantages.
- Mentorship: What I loved about personal coaching was that you’re being guided through the whole process. If you can keep your focus merely on the exercises you get from your teacher, you will improve constantly. Beyond teaching you how to sing, you can profit from a teachers’s professional experience in the business. There’s so much more to singing than only hitting the right notes.
- Personal training: A good vocal coach will spot your weak points and issues instantly and put together an individualized training schedule for you. As a voice expert, he will know your voice and its potential much better than you could ever do.
- Professional feedback: You can’t really make any fast progress, without knowing what you’re doing wrong. Going with a vocal coach will get you priceless feedback on your singing. Even advanced singers can profit from this opportunity. As a singer, the sound in your head will always be different to what the audience hear.
- Cost-intensive: Usually singing lessons start at around 60$. To make progress, you should take at least 1 lesson/week. So, if you take it serious, you are soon spending around 3.000$ per year for your vocal training.
- Time consuming: It’s not only the time you actually stay with your teacher. You also have to get there and back home again. All in all, you have to set aside 3 hours every week.
- Risk of choosing the wrong teacher: Unlike what’s reflected in the internet, the usual way to find a vocal coach in your home town still is via ads. In the end, you just have to try out, if he/she suits fits your needs and expectations.
Only after a couple of weeks, you will be able to judge, if his vocal technique and/or style of teaching show any results in your vocal performance.
Online singing programmes
My second choice, though, would be to subscribe to an established and proven online singing programme.
- Comprehensive learning material: Most of the popular singing programmes have a broad variety of tutorials, where every lesson is explained in detail.
- Social proof: You can be sure, that a renown, online vocal training system helps the majority of subscribers to improve singing. These days, were social proof has become a strong instrument to support or discredit a product, nothing can be of long-term success, if it’s a poor programme.
- Affordable pricing: Compared to private lessons, online singing programmes have manageable costs. Depending on the price structure of each programme, you either pay a monthly rate or a one-time subscription fee, with longtime access to all tutorials.
- Flexibility: In times, where time has become the most precious asset, flexibility is key.Working on your voice with an online programme, you can choose time and lenght of the training session on your own. Your home is your vocal studio and your teacher is always there.
- Lack of feedback: Normally, if you subscribe to an online singing programme you can only consume content, practice on your own and hope, you’re doing it right. Time will tell, if you were right or wrong. Unless you book a private Skype lesson, you don’t get any valuable feedback, of what you are doing is correct or not.
- Shallow commitment: Tired and not in the mood for a singing lesson? No problem, just don’t log-in to the singing platform. Not once have I had the same feelings one hour before an appointment with my vocal coach. Nevertheless, I knocked at his door every time – right on time. Simply because, he was my vocal coach, waiting for me and I would have had to explain my absence
In general, you have two options to learn singing.
If you want to stick to a more traditional and individual way, you definitely have to book a vocal coach. Although more pricey, you will be provided with personal vocal training and valuable feedback.
If you are a more self-taught person and want to receive a very attractive cost-benefit ratio, online singing programmes are the way to go for you.
Every option has its up-, and downsides and in the end, you should make a decision based on your personal circumstances and needs.
What are your experiences?