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Last Updated: November 2022 | 2725 words (14 – 16 minute read)
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If you’re an aspiring singer, projecting your voice while singing clearly (and without straining your voice) is an essential skill.
In this post, we’ll cover 3 reasons you aren’t able to sing louder, and then give you tips on how to project your singing voice correctly with power, clarity and great pitch.
If you’re completely new to singing, we recommend reading our how to sing better guide first.
Let’s get to it.
Important Notes About Singing Louder:
Before we get to the good stuff, there’s a couple things you need to keep in mind.
For real… pay attention.
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No Magic Bullets
Being able to project your voice is a gradual process that happens over time. There’s no secret technique or shortcut that’s going to get you the results you want.
It’s plain and simple. Do the work, be patient and you’ll see how loud you’re able to sing after some time.
There are no quick fixes here. It’s about technique and training/practice.
Listen to Your Body
The point of all this is to increase your volume/power without hurting or straining yourself.
If you’re practicing and you feel like your voice is straining or hurting, STOP. Take a break and come back to it the next day.
Even if you feel like taking a day off to rest your vocal cords – do it!
Don’t push yourself too hard, or you’ll cause real damage.
Singing loud is important for great live performances and recorded music.
But let’s keep one thing straight…
Dynamic singers – those who can sing both loud and soft equally well – are the best singers. So don’t neglect volume control vocal performance.
So don’t belt everything, just for the sake of belting out notes.
When singing softly makes a better emotional impact, do it. When you need to really belt a line, do it.
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3 Reasons You’re Not Able to Sing Loud
Singing loud is really all about a few things
- Preparation + Practice
- Proper Singing Technique
Let’s go through each one.
You’re Just Not Prepared
One of the biggest reasons aspiring singers aren’t able to really project their voice is because they’re just not ready for it.
And unfortunately, a lot of the time, people just don’t want to put in the work. I get it – I don’t particularly jump for joy at practice sessions either.
But it’s a necessity if you want to be able to sing with power.
So here are some things you need to focus on daily. Think of it like a daily workout – after all, your voice is a muscle.
Always Warm Up Properly
Warming up your voice and body is extremely important before you start singing. But not just for performances. You should be warming up a bit at the beginning of every practice session you do.
We have an article on warming up your vocals if you need some guidance here.
In addition to warming up your voice, your body needs to be relaxed to really sing at it’s full potential.
So do some stretching before you practice, take some deep breaths and loosen the muscles you use when singing. Mostly your chest, diaphragm/stomach, neck/shoulders and jaw.
Use your fingers to massage your jaw muscles, from below your chin and on your cheeks.
Practice Your Breathing
You need to know how to breathe correctly if you want power. Singing is LITERALLY all about airflow.
So focus on these areas when you’re practicing:
You need to learn how to breathe like a singer. It’s not like breathing when you’re talking or just sitting idly.
Diaphragm breathing is when you’re able to fully fill up your lungs with air. Make sure you’re comfortable with diaphragm breathing without having to think about it.
Practice this, and it’ll make a huge difference if your abilities.
Being able to sing loud is all about breath control and the amount of air you’re able to utilize effectively.
There are a lot of different breathing exercises you can do to help improve this. Our favorite singing lessons on the internet have great exercises to improve your breathing technique.
Here’s a quick one you can do each practice session:
- Take a really deep breath in (using diaphragm breathing) slowly.
- Gradually let out the air in a steady/consistent/constant stream through your mouth
- Do this a few times, each time use a different amount/force of air and different mouth/lip positions (ex/ little bit of air, mostly closed lips vs. more forceful airflow with wider jaw/mouth
Your ability to use air and control airflow also has a lot to do with your endurance and cardiovascular health.
Yup, that means it’s a good idea to get in a workout daily – doing cardio.
Whether you run, ride a bike, jump rope or climb stairs, cardiovascular workouts help improve your breathing ability.
Try to do 20-30 minutes of sustained cardio activity a few times a week at least.
Practice Your Vocal Technique
Vocal technique is ESSENTIAL. If you’re not using the right technique, you’ll never be able to sing loud without strain.
Here’s a few you can use specifically for improving your volume when singing:
This is basically doing scales, using a different vowel sound on different notes. It’ll help strengthen your vocal cords and breath control.
Open/Closed Mouth Humming
Again, do your scales, but hum them instead of singing them normally.
First do it with a closed mouth to help improve your vocal resonance.
Then open your mouth wide and hum again to help strengthen your vocal cords.
When you’re humming those notes, try to hold each one for 5-6 seconds before moving to the next one.
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You’re Using Bad Technique
Another reason some find it hard to sing with enough power is because they’re singing with improper technique.
Here are the biggest issues new singers struggle with:
- Diaphragm Singing
- Keeping Hydrated
- Opening Your Mouth/Jaw
- Chin Position
Keeping hydrated is straight forward (drink lots of water, and try some warm tea before singing), and we’ve already talked about diaphragm breathing (learn it and use it).
So let’s talk posture – you need to stand up straight. Your shoulders should be down and you shouldn’t be leaning forward or backwards. You neck and head need to be relaxed as well.
In terms of your mouth/jaw, don’t clinch or have any tension in that area. When you’re singing open your mouth and jaw. But be careful not to breathe out air too quickly, or you won’t have enough power.
And when you’re trying to be loud or sing high notes make sure you don’t start to look upwards. A lot of singers raise their chin, but this can be dangerous as is stretches out and tightens your vocal cords.
You want to consciously keep your chin pointed down when you’re singing, especially when singing higher or louder.
And the last thing that might be stopping you from singing louder is…
You’re Nervous or Self Conscious
This is a huge issue for pretty much everyone. It’s even worse when you’re starting out, because you know your voice isn’t where it needs to be (that’s also why practice and preparation is SO DAMN IMPORTANT).
But you can’t let yourself stay like that. If you’re nervous or not confident in yourself and your ability, you will not be able to sing loud and clearly.
Confidence is key.
So how do you improve your confidence? Here’s a couple suggestions.
The biggest thing you can do is to get actual vocal training (one of the best singing lessons you can take is 30 Day Singer)
And then of course…
Become a better singer by putting in the work. That’s the biggest confidence boost – improve your singing ability.
If you’re confident that you know how to sing correctly you’re more likely to be confident during a performance of those abilities.
Preparation is another key to confidence. If you’re ready, no one or nothing can f&$k with you, because you’re ready.
That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to memorize your musical piece.
You have to practice what you’re trying to sing loudly over and over again until you know it like the back of your hand.
Think of your absolute favorite song. Now think of how well you know that vocal performance – the lyrics, the intonation, the pitches, the runs and adlibs.
That’s how well you need to know what you’re singing.
But beyond that, you need to calm your nerves down when you’re about to perform – whether it’s live or in the vocal booth.
Some ways you can calm down are:
- take 10-30 long, slow and deep breaths (known to help with anxiety)
- meditate to clear you mind beforehand
- workout or do yoga earlier in the day
All those things are known to help you calm your nerves, and that’s the first step in feeling confident.
We also wrote an article on how to overcome stage-fright you might find interesting.
Also, when you are nervous or anxious you tend to constrict your muscles. So do some stretching to loosen up. It can help your mindset too.
And finally, the BEST way to overcome low confidence and nervousness…
Block Everything Out!
When you’re about to sing, the biggest thing that’ll mess with your nerves is the audience or people around you. So you need to learn how to block them out entirely.
Focus on the PERFORMANCE, not on the observers or externals.
Don’t think of what people will think, whether people will like it, how many people there are , etc.
Ignore it all and just focus on singing your heart out for YOURSELF.
Yourself is the only person you need to impress. Get out of your own head.
Even if it’s just in the studio. Block everything out. The producer, the engineer, the other people around. Forget that you’re in front of a microphone. Forget you’re in a studio. Turn the lights low if it helps.
Just get out of your own head.
6 Tips to Help You Out
Ok, so you’re good with all the stuff we talked about above? Good. Now here are some tips that can help you improve the volume of your singing.
Again, these aren’t quick fixes or secret techniques that’ll get you singing louder overnight.
But they definitely will help you belt over time and with practice.
Start With Chest Voice
When you’re practicing on increasing your singing volume, start with your chest voice. A lot of the times, singers will move into head voice when trying to hit loud notes. But that’s not the best thing to do.
Head voice is always less powerful than chest voice. Since chest voice is the register you’ll naturally be most comfortable singing in it makes sense to train your volume control there first.
So stay within your comfortable vocal range, and stick to the chest voice register at first. Once you master singing loudly in chest voice, move to head voice, and if you want your falsetto singing voice as well..
Related Content: How to Increase Your Singing Range
Control Your Air Flow Better
Let me sound like a broken record – singing is ALL ABOUT BREATH CONTROL.
So practice it. But when you are singing and trying to sing loud, don’t force out too much air all at once.
If you breathe out too much when singing you’ll have less power in your voice.
You need a stead, consistent stream of air passing through your vocal chords.
See the breathing exercises above to help with this.
Look Straight Ahead
We touched on this before, but it is worth mentioning again.
The tendency of most when singing louder or higher notes is to look upwards. This tilts your chin up and stretches out your vocal chords. They become tight and more prone to damage this way.
That’s NOT good.
So when you’re singing make sure you’re always keeping your chin pointed down and don’t tilt your head back.
Similarly, don’t look down when you’re trying to hit low notes. Keep looking straight and keep your head placement steady.
Use Your Tongue as a Guide
If you’re trying to sing louder, your tongue can actually help you maintain proper technique.
Sometimes when you’re trying to hit certain notes or sounds you’ll notice your tongue (the back of your tongue) dip down in your mouth.
This will actually make your voice more breathy and less powerful.
So when singing, make sure to keep the back of your tongue raised/neutral to get the most power.
Use Forward Placement
So this is a bit of an abstract concept. It can be hard to wrap your mind around.
But you want to use “forward placement” in your singing technique.
That means when you’re starting to increase your volume while singing, you should feel the power coming from:
- the front of your face
- behind your mouth
- on your cheeks
- along your forehead (sometimes)
What you want to do is “pull your voice up” through your soft palate and out through the front of your face.
This is for both live performances and studio recording. But sometimes you don’t sing with a microphone, so it won’t necessarily apply.
But if you’re using a microphone, placement is important to the type of tone that gets recorded/amplified.
When you’re performing live, make sure your lips are close to the microphone (not touching) when you’re singing, to get proper amplification.
When you’re recording, a good neutral length to be away from the microphone pop filter is about a fist or two away.
But if you want a fuller, richer, sound or want to whisper/singsoft, then move forward. If you really want to belt your heart out, mnove back.
And finally, watch your plosives (the “b” and “p” sounds), they can really mess with a a performance or recording. A quick way to control these is to move back slightly from the microphone or turn your head when hitting these sounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re finding yourself singing loud by straining your voice, then yes it can be bad and even dangerous for you. Singing loudly itself isn’t bad, but most people don’t know how to do it correctly. You should never have to strain your voice and you should never feel pain while singing. If you do, you’re using bad technique and need to practice/learn more.
Overuse of your vocal chords can definitely cause soreness in your throat. So if you’re singing loud for long periods of time, it can lead to a sore throat. But you can minimize the chances of that happening by using proper technique and taking care of your voice. If you ever feel strain or pain while singing (whether that’s loud or soft) you’re doing it wrong and should get some additional training/practice.
Most of the time, it’s probably got to do with your level of training. Singing loudly can be done properly if you’ve trained yourself and your voice correctly. Singing well is mostly about breath control and how you use your body. So if you find yourself sounding better when you sing quietly, it could be that you’re not breathing correctly or you’re using improper singing technique.
It might be easier for you to sing quietly because you have better control over your breath and vocal chords when they don’t need to generate a lot of power. This can be remedied by learning proper technique and breath control and by practicing those skills enough.
And that’s that. I hope it helped shed some light on this elusive subject.
Remember, it’s about putting in the practice work. So that when you need to sing loud, you’re ready to hit those volumes without hurting your voice.
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