How to improve your voice in 8 steps

3-minute read. Last updated on December 5th, 2016.

Singers are a very special kind of musicians. While guitar players, drummers, and pianists rely on their physical instruments, singers have their tool inside them. Maintaining its quality is a special task.

You can learn how to care for your voice and get the best out of it. We’ve gathered the 8 best tips on how to improve your voice. Some vocal tips may seem obvious, some might be new for you. Let’s get started.

Who are these vocal tips intended for?

Of course, it makes a difference if you’re a classical singer or a pop singer or no singer at all. The following tips are suitable for all kind of musicians and non-musicians. These are the basics of singing. The basics which will teach you how to use the instrument inside your body.

How to improve your voice

The 8 tips on how to improve your voice & more

1. Take care of your health
2. Warm up before singing
3. Sing at least 30 minutes a day
4. Record your voice to listen to yourself
5. Sing songs you are comfortable with!
6. Express emotions while singing
7. Sing quietly
8. Use your body & breath

How to train your voice to sound better? – a quick exercise
Resources for further reading

These are our tips in a nutshell. Let’s talk about each of these points in detail. How to use these steps to become a better singer?

1. Take care of your health to improve your voice

  1. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. The membranes which produce the sound function best when hydrated.
  2. Whenever the throat feels scratchy, stay silent and let your voice rest.
  3. When having a cold, try not to sing. Drink some tea, eat cough candy and be quiet instead.
  4. Quit smoking if you want your voice to be better. Smoke damages your lungs and throat. You don’t need it for the smoky voice either – learn how to sing with smoky voice without cigarettes.
  5. There are also some foods that might affect your voice. Those are spicy food, coffee, alcohol, milk products, and nuts. Try out if they harm your voice.

2. Warm up before singing

Are you having cracks in your voice when singing? Does the throat hurt after singing? That’s a sign you need to warm up (more) next time. Your vocal cords need a warm up, just like your body muscles before doing sports.

What is a vocal warm-up? A set of exercises which prepare the voice and body for singing or speaking. It includes the following:

No worries if you haven’t done it before: It’s not difficult and many people have recorded tutorials showing warm up exercises.

How deep or high you start, depends on the type of your voice. Make sure to warm up both, the chest and head voices. This video brings it to a point and shows a set of exercises. Here’s another nice video so warm up to:

3. Sing at least 30 minutes a day

How to improve your voice? By practicing! Just like every other workout, you need to train your voice daily. A short daily practice will make your vocal cords stronger. Day by day, your voice will become better. If you can afford, try to sing for a couple of hours daily.

Take care before important gigs and auditions: Don’t overdo the night before. You need your voice smooth and rested when performing. Better sing just a little the day before.

4. Record your voice to listen to yourself

In order to know how you really sound when singing, you need to record yourself.

  • Use the computer or smartphone or even an online free song recorder.
  • Sing a song you know well – so you can concentrate on HOW to sing it instead of what to sing.
  • Listen to the recording you made. At first, you probably won’t like it. Get over it and listen to your mistakes to learn from them. Notice what you did well, too.
  • Compare the way you’re singing to the original recording. What does the singer do better? What can you change to sound more unique?
  • Practice some ear training exercises – the better your ear, the better you’ll be singing

Alternatively, you can use this famous trick. Grab behind your ears or close one ear to listen to your voice the way others hear it.

How to improve your voice? Practice in an online jam session
Improve your voice by joining the weekly online jam session with great musicians. Join for free here.

5. Sing songs you are comfortable with

Respect your limits and choose songs you are capable of singing. When exercising, choose something a little challenging but manageable. For performances and auditions, it’s even more important to stick to pieces you’ll manage.

Choose also songs you really enjoy singing. That way it’s more fun. Find out how to use the backing track library of 1000+ songs.

6. Express emotions while singing

This is one of the dullest tips I ever got from my vocal teachers (get yourself a teacher, by the way!): You have to feel the song. And she was right! You can totally hear the difference if somebody is singing from the heart or simply repeating the words and the melody. So singing with emotions is a huge factor to improve your voice.

Try those steps:

  • Choose songs you can relate to.
  • Use your facial expression to stress what you’re singing about.
  • Sing in front of the mirror and look for eye-contact of your audience.
  • Try out different stressing, record your voice and check which one you like most.

How to improve your voice and become a better singer?
The 8 most important tips how to become a better singer. Source: Julia A on Flickr.

7. Sing quietly

Singing quietly is probably the most challenging part of the singing process. Many amateur singers try to sing very loud to make up for wrong notes. Try to avoid this. It will damage your cords. Additionally, too loud singing sounds cranky instead of powerful.

In any case, avoid screaming and don’t strain your voice. A soft voice is achieved by correct body language and breath (point 8).

8. Use your body & breath to improve your voice

  1. The body is the most important instrument for a performer. The best tips are to avoid tensions in neck and shoulders. Unlock your knees and control your breath.
  2. It’s best to breath into your belly instead of your chest. Don’t move your shoulders when breathing in. Ken Taylor explains how it works in a pretty nice way: 
  3. Think down when you are singing high notes. There is the tendency to lift the chin at high notes. Resist the urge and also think of adding some weight to the notes to support your voice.
  4. Keep your chin down to sound better. You can practice in front of a mirror and record yourself to hear a difference.

How to train your voice to sound better? – a quick exercise

Improve your voice in an online jamsession on sofasession
Join 10k musicians here.
  1. Stand in front of the mirror.
  2. Stand upright, without tension in your knees or neck.
  3. Start slowly breathing in and out through your belly.
  4. Start singing some scales in a comfortable pitch to slowly warm up your body. First, sing them with a closed mouth and the letter “m”. Then move on to “na”. And then to a “la”.
  5. After you warmed up, choose a song you can comfortably sing. Sing it in front of the mirror and watch your body language and mimics. Try to sing the text of the song to yourself, as if you would talk to a lovely friend. Do you notice any difference in your voice?
  6. Watching or recording yourself might be odd in the beginning, but it will truly help you. Especially, if you are not taking vocal classes with a teacher.

Those tips were collected for you by Natalia, Yalda and the rest of the sofasession team. We hope you find them a useful summary which will help to improve your voice the way you want. Here is an infographic about what to take care of. Feel free to download it for free. HOW To Improve your singing voice


Very useful pages with further tips on how to improve your voice:

Meet other musicians and learn how to improve your voice together
Do you want to practice singing now? Join us to sing and record online with musicians.


More readings on the blog

  • Peter

    Not bad the tips! I’d like to hear more unique tips I haven’t heard of before. Like which song should I sing every day to really become better?

    • Morgan Azhari

      As far as I know you should sing the song that you think are challenging, I mean everybody is different and they can’t suggest one song for you if they don’t know your song color or your current technique. For example you can read at if you are struggling in singing high notes song.

  • Jack Ryan

    So many people used to tell me that they could hear a great voice inside of me but even though they knew it, I never really believed it.

    Now, thanks to some simple exercises, my range has increased, I hit higher notes, and I feel less strain in my voice and notes that were once impossible to reach are now easy to sing.

    If anyone’s interested, this is what helped me:

  • Oliver Yenom

    Singing nowadays is for everyone whether you do it professionally or not. learning how to sing well can be a challenge but, i got help thanks to how to sing