Looking for quick ways to improve my singing voice


I'm going to try doing some backup vocals with my new band, but I'm not terribly comfortable with singing.

I have a decent voice within a certain range, but have never worked on harmonies in any real way.

Any advice?
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Listen to and try to sing the different parts of Every brothers, Beatles, America, beach boys or Eagles.
Sometimes you can keep a harmony sort of monotone.

For instance listen to walk away Reneee by the four tops and then listen to it by left bank. In the 4 tops version the lead singer makes his voice go up in down with looser phrasing. He exaggerates inflection to bring emotion to his voice and the message. In the Left Bank version the lead singer uses far less inflection so that the multiple voices stacked around his voice have more space. It's easier to harmonize to and the harmonies don't even match the same dips and peaks. They "compliment" the lead vocal by staying on the same same note without the inflection.

I hope I said all that right. Listen to what I telling and ignore what I type.. Lol.

If you can do the doe reh me fa so la tie doe thing on guitar, match the lead melody on one of those, you can think of it as a circle and count 5 above and make that the pitch you sing at. Sometimes three below works.

Or think like this if you in your scale make the main melody "doe" you could probably use "so" to sing with it. On high parts you could stay "so" as a pitch through the phrase even while he's going up and down on the scale through the same phrase. Depends on each song really and what sounds right.
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My first advice is warm up well before gigs. If you don't know how, invest in taking a few lessons from a vocal instructor. And no, I am not a vocal instructor and I don't have anything to sell. It's just that so many people damage their vocal cords.

The second thing is I personally took to singing along with the radio but looking for harmonies for whatever song was playing. Many times I fell way short. But hey, it's just me in the car, who cares, right? Now I sing lead in my band and harmony vocals for this female lead singer in another band.


Dang Twangler
Silver Supporting Member
Check out the book "Secrets of Singing" for a good, quick primer. Most of the information in there supports what my vocal teacher has been telling me for months. It's about breathing, and understanding the physical realities of the way your voice works. Like a lot of things in life, what feels right is exactly wrong, and what feels a little funny is exactly right. You have to practice enough so those funny little feelings start to seem natural and correct.

Tommy Biggs

Silver Supporting Member
You've already nailed it: you have a decent voice within a certain range. Respect that range and you should be at least OK.

+1 to this, I'd add:
Practice Playing AND Singing! especially the timing and notes on YOUR backing parts. you'll get there

Is there any hope for those of us who cannot hit any note accurately?
Practice Practice Practice. A lot of guys never spent any time singing - so it'll take time to learn to control those muscles. Sing without a mic in rehearsals, sing in church if you go.
Find one song that you can sing, and start there. Playing and singing is easy for some - and seems near impossible for others. It's not though, if you try. Good luck:)

I've never seen these before. Very cool.

That guy is a great resource!


This may sound obvious, but, before you practice singing your harmony you need to be absolutely sure what notes you are going to sing! You can't just wing it and be satisfied with whatever happens.

I find it useful to play the part I'm trying to sing on the guitar first. It makes it easier to figure out any potential problem areas, and re-enforces the harmony melody in my head.


Quick way? Why would it be any easier or quicker to improve a singing voice than it is to improve your playing? Answer....IT ISN'T! Practice and listen to and sing along with people like CSN&Y, the Beatles, the Beach Boys., Motown groups... You have to learn to hear harmony and find parts and hold on to them without drifting into other people's parts.


Gold Supporting Member
1) Find a good source to learn actual technique; it's very important

2) Start recording yourself singing (only singing, no accompaniment) and listen back. Critique yourself; listen for bad habits and other things and try to fix them

3) Sing along with EVERYTHING, and never let yourself sing melody


I would suggest practising laugh-singing (ha ha ha ha ha) in basic 3 note arpeggios. Builds diaphragm and prevents you just sliding up or down into a note. keep it going, you'll get a work out and even start to feel it your lower back muscles around the kidney area.

Guitar Josh

Resident Curmudgeon
Gold Supporting Member
Really try NOT to constrict your neck muscles when you sing. It will choke the tone out of your voice. Also, know your range. One of the biggest things I hear with struggling singers is that they try to go higher than they really can. A pleasing lower register voice is much more preferable than a screeching, out of tune higher one.

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