1) OPEN YOUR MOUTH! Many people neglect how big their mouths need to be to produce a clear and free sound. Having a open mouth means that you drop your jaw to ensure that there is sufficient space at the back of the mouth for vocal production. When singing, think of your body as an instrument such as a trumpet. Your mouth acts as the opening where sound is released. The bigger you open mouth, the clearer and louder you will be. To gauge how big your mouth should be, you should be able to fit two fingers stacked vertically.
Opening your mouth beyond two fingers is counter productive as it creates tension in your throat and only leads to uncomfortable singing. When opening your mouth during breathing, it is also helpful to visualize as if you are yawning or drinking in the air you take in to open your throat. This visualization should open your mouth wide enough more naturally instead of worrying about how big or small it has to be.
2) ARTICULATE YOUR WORDS! Mumbling your lyrics will leave audience confused and uninterested in your voice. Try to sing the words as if you're saying them. A great way to practice articulation is by focusing on the consonants of the words. Here are a few vocal exercise I recommend:
Say: Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma
Ta Ta Ta Ta Ta Ta
Ka Ka Ka Ka Ka Ka
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked
Denise sees the fleece
Denise sees the fleas
At least Denise could sneeze
and feed and freeze the fleas
3) CHECK YOUR PITCHING! One problem many singers face is staying in tune. This is especially applicable to those who are tone-deaf(unable to differentiate between different notes they are singing). Fortunately, everyone can be trained howto identify the differences in pitch using our ears. The reason why some people appear tone deaf longer than others is simply because they take longer to differentiate between the different pitches. Start by singing a note that is comfortable in your range. Once you have identified that particular note on the piano, play the next note on the piano and try to match it. Track your progress each day by recording yourself and listening how accurately you have reached that note.
4) IDENTIFY YOUR VOCAL RANGE! Finding your vocal range is important so that you can choose songs where you can sing comfortably without straining. To find your vocal range, start by singing to "ah" at a note which you are comfortable at. Slowly work your way down as you match your voice to the the notes on your piano. You should still be able to sustain your lowest note comfortably. Similarly, work your way up the scale until you have found your highest note. Finally, choose songs which fit in between your lowest and highest note. For those without a piano, play this video should suffice.
Approximate Vocal Range of different voice types from highest to lowest :
Soprano - C4 to C6
Mezzo-Soprano - A3 to A5
Alto - G3 to F5
Countertenor - G3 to C6
Tenor - C3 to C5
Baritone - A2 to A4
Bass - E2 to E4
An average singer has a vocal range between 2 to 2.5 octaves, whereas some singers such as Mariah Carey have extended up to 4 octaves . Your vocal range may seem limited at first due to improper technique. However, you range will increase as your voice gets seasoned to reach more notes.
Like more of such tips or looking for a online vocal coach? Check out my review of the online singing programme that I'm using right now.