How To Improve Your Singing Voice: 10 Tips

Healthy singing Voice

As a singer, your voice is your instrument. Whether you enjoy singing for personal pleasure or are interested in pursuing a singing career, learning how to improve your singing voice and care for your vocal health can be helpful.

Just as you would care for guitar strings and piano keys, your vocal folds need care and attention. Your vocal folds sit over the top of your windpipe within the larynx or voice box (behind the Adam’s Apple or where the Adam’s Apple would be). The glottis (the opening between the vocal folds) opens when you breathe and closes when you speak or sing.

Your high notes are caused by your vocal folds vibrating quickly. Lower notes result from slower vibrations because of looser tension on the vocal folds. Caring for your voice is essential whether you’re singing high or low notes.

In This Article: 

Tips for Maintaining and Strengthening a Healthy Singing Voice 

To keep your voice clear and in tune, your vocal folds must be healthy and flexible. Try the following 10 tips for singing and maintaining a healthy voice.

1. Warm Up Before You Sing 

Warming up before you sing is one of the most important singing tips. Just as you want to warm up and cool down before any exercise, the singing voice needs to be eased into and cooled down. You should warm up your facial muscles, lips and jaw, and make noises and hum. Warm-ups should take about 10 to 20 minutes.

2. Stay Hydrated 

To keep your vocal folds healthy, you need to be adequately hydrated. Water and warm (not hot) herbal teas are helpful for your voice. Remember to drink water and tea throughout the day, not just before, during, and after practice and performance. 

If your body becomes dehydrated, your vocal folds can become irritated, harming your voice. Always keep a water bottle or mug of tea with you so your body produces adequate mucus levels to keep the vocal folds lubricated.

3. Rest Your Vocal Cords 

The vocal folds you use for your singing voice are also used daily for communicating with others, which may sometimes affect your singing voice. Limit how often you are in noisy environments, as these settings force you to talk louder or shout.

Additionally, reduce the demand for your voice when you have a cold or allergies and your throat is sore or raw. Try to be quieter than usual for a few days. Avoid whispering, which can create vocal habits that are “worse” than the vocal injury from which you are recovering.

Maintaining complete silence when your vocal folds are stressed is unnecessary, but taking care and paying attention to your body’s cues is essential. Reducing your voice use may allow your singing voice to return strong when feeling healthy again.

4. Use Vocal Techniques Like Singing From Your Diaphragm 

Located beneath the lungs, the diaphragm is a muscle that manages airflow into and out of the lungs. When you sing from the diaphragm, you use slow, shallow breaths rather than the fast, shallow breaths characteristic of breathing from the throat. Singing from the diaphragm allows for greater control and voice projection, reducing the strain on the vocal folds.1

Singing from the diaphragm requires a proper singing posture (see below). When you exhale, you should feel your stomach contract. When you inhale from the diaphragm, you should feel your stomach expand.

5. Maintain Proper Singing Posture 

Good posture is essential for learning how to improve your singing voice. Stand up straight and keep your head at a level position. Keep your hands relaxed and avoid locking the knees. Your posture should feel comfortable and natural.

6. Release Tension From Your Body 

Essential singing tips include avoiding physical tension in your body. If you’re the type of person who is often stressed out, consider doing yoga before a singing practice or performance. You can also try progressive muscle relaxation, which involves intentionally contracting one muscle group at a time for five to 10 seconds, then releasing the tension and moving on to the next muscle group.

7. Learn to Recognize Pitch 

Serious singers need to learn to recognize pitch, a precursor to reproducing a pitch. Scales can be used as an ear-training exercise. You might also consider using pitch-matching apps to help you improve pitch recognition and control.

8. Vocal Techniques: Find Your Appropriate Volume 

Not every singer can sing at the same volume. If you sing louder than you can, you risk cracking your voice. Singing too softly may mean your voice won’t carry or resonate with the audience. Through practice, you can find the right volume for you.

9. Express Emotion in Your Voice and Body 

An accomplished and talented singer can make the audience feel the emotion of the music, sometimes to the point of giving the audience goosebumps. In order for your audience to feel the emotion of the song, you'll need to feel it yourself. Think about what the song means and try to convey that in your voice.

10. Singing Should Always Include a Cool-Down 

Cooling down after a singing session is as important as warming up and using proper techniques. To cool your voice down after a performance or practice, continue speaking typically and do some gentle scales to get your voice back into the normal speaking range.

How To Improve Your Singing Voice at GCU 

If you are ready to begin your career as a singer and want to help ensure longevity as a performer, consider earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an Emphasis in Voice Performance degree at Grand Canyon University. You will be taught essential singing tips and how to care for your voice so that it remains a precision instrument throughout your life. Complete the form on this page to get started.

Woltmann, S. (2023, May 9). How to sing from your diaphragm. Backstage. Retrieved April 9, 2024.

Approved by the assistant dean of the College of Arts and Media on June 18, 2024.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.