Can You REALLY Learn To Sing Using Singing Software?
You love singing along with your favorite singers and bands, but sometimes you find yourself straining to hit a high note or singing out of tune and think “whoa” that sounded like crap!” You chuckle at yourself for a minute but then realize that you actually genuinely love to sing and you’d like to learn to do it better.
Usually, what you’d do is go find yourself a singing teacher and take a few voice lessons. The problem is, that vocal coaching is really expensive (Like $40+ an hour). Plus, it can be hard to find quality instruction from a competent teacher, which is a big deal because bad vocal habits get engrained in muscle memory and are very hard to unlearn.
You see, like pretty much all of the major arts, singing is an extremely technical study. There can be a thousand ways to do something wrong and only 3 ways to do it right and only the eyes and ears of a highly skilled and experienced vocal coach can give you the immediate, actionable feedback you need to correct you AS you’re actually performing the act.
But, if for whatever reason you can’t or don’t want to take singing lessons – which, many people don’t, and yes, they’re very expensive! – then there are still A LOT of resources you can learn from and apply to your singing on your own.
Even just the act of sitting down in a room with some music playing and mindfully singing along to your favorite songs can help you gain awareness of your body, voice tone, range limitations, etc.
On top of that, there are TONS of books on singing. Many of them have really great advice, although some of them can get a little technical with information about anatomy, acoustics, etc. I’d say that Richard Miller’s “Art of Singing” and most books about SLS (speech level singing) are great places to start to begin understanding the fundamentals of healthy vocalism, although chances are good you already have a somewhat intuitive understanding of what good singing is and bad singing is; what sounds brilliant and what sounds god-awful.
As you’re learning, remember the part about singing being a very technical subject because you WILL find yourself frustrated often by this challenging yet ultimately rewarding and beautiful art/skill.
A step up from books about singing are all the various video courses and tutorials about singing that you can find both in stores and online. Some of these are really excellent and fairly comprehensive; others are total garbage; and others still are good but only cover specific things while leaving something else out. For instance, if one singing tutorial doesn’t teach you much about breathing, then a second tutorial DOES, but neglects to discuss how to sing high notes.
There’s no cure-all product or solution. Singing is a huge subject with a lot to cover, so no ONE course could possibly teach you everything you need to know!
It’s easy to get dogmatic about what constitutes correct singing and I definitely have some strong opinions on the topic, myself, but everybody has their own musical ambitions and who am I to impose my preferences on you? That’s why I say that these learning tools are complementary pieces of your overall singing education. Just like Bruce Lee said: “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” If you think of singing sort of like a martial art, then that’s great advice.
While most of the items I talk about are online vocal training courses proper, there are a few that can be legitimately called “singing software”. Some software, for example, visualizes your voice on-screen on your computer or iPhone/iPad and let you see whether or not you’re singing in tune, how steady your vibrato is, and other parameters.
In my opinion, these are extremely useful tools, especially for people who are visual learners, as I am, and as many singers I know are. In fact, more and more vocal coaches are using them in their studios now because actually SEEING a visual representation of your singing on screen helps you adjust what you’re doing when you sing more quickly and accurately. It’s immediate feedback and cuts the learning curve big time.
Even though I studied classical operatic voice in University, performed in local opera and musical theatre productions, sang in high-level choirs and taught students of all ages in my private studio, I left that profession to do internet marketing. I don’t want to bore you with my personal story (that’s what the about page is for ) but I have an important point to make. When you study classical singing, there’s a definite RIGHT way to sing and definite WRONG way to sing.
I remember my somewhat progressive choir director (she was hot, too) telling me that “singing is singing” and I was like “pfft, not it isn’t. There’s right singing and wrong singing, my opera singing books told me so!” Man, what a jackass I was! Pardon the language, but it illustrates how easy it is to drink the “my way is better than your way” kool aid.
The point is, she was right. Singing IS singing. But with that said, every singer needs to learn how to sing in tune, how to sing high notes with ease, how to keep their body relaxed, how to listen, etc., regardless of your favorite style of singing. These are just fundamentals.