Really needing to improve my voice. Please recommend any links online regarding warm up techniques that are good and what you use to open up and relax your throat. Please know that I've already googled stuff but would like to hear from those who have used things online to see if there is stuff that actually works. Has anyone used Audacity?
audacity is recording software. It will do nothing to your voice that is useful for improving technique other than replaying your voice for objective listening.
Singing Success is a world renowned singing technique program, It is pretty good, some very useful stuff, but quite pricey (though not in comparison to lessons)
Your best bet is always to get a vocal teacher to help you. It is important that someone give you feedback and guide you in to improving technique as you learn if you want to improve steadily, swiftly and safely.
Any warmup techniques online will probably work, but you should probably do the first few minutes of warm-ups doing lip rolls over any scales you are doing.
Eat healthy, drink healthy and get plenty of sleep are the 3 main lifestyle things to remember,
Warm up, Breathe properly, Warm Down are the 3 main performance tips.
Improving your voice takes time, determination and investment. There are no shortcuts. (though in the studio we use fishermans friends, lockets, vocalzone and whiskey to open up the throat) but they are not substitutes for proper technique, healthy lifestyle and rest.
I will strongly "agree and amen" with everything Paul has told you. If you want to fix your car, you'll probably take it to someone who knows about cars. If you want to fix a trombone or an amp, you'll take it to someone who knows trombones or amps. Your Voice is way more special than cars, trombones or amps. It's the only one you'll ever have. It's is the only instrument made by God (I didn't make that up; it's on a mug somebody gave me -- but it's absolutely true).
You don't need to commit to a long series of lessons to get good vocal counsel from a teacher; and if a professional voice teacher is unavailable or way too expensive, school choral directors, church choir directors and other folks of that nature typically understand what makes for good vocal production, and they have something the Internet does not have: two ears to carefully listen to the sounds you are making.
You may find that voice teachers will have a classical orientation. But even if the style of your band is "pop", don't let that hinder you. Basic production, diction and other musical concepts are transferrable to almost any style.
If your church has a choir (separate traditional service), try singing with them for a while... or find a church near you with a worship band that would let you sit in and just sing with them, not have to worry about all the other leader stuff that goes on, just work on your own voice. A church that meets at a different time than yours, or one that would let you come to rehearsals on a night when you're free and just work on your singing.
Also, not knowing exactly what your singing problems are, do you know what your own good vocal range is and how to figure out what key to put a song in so it works for your voice? A lot of published worship music is not singable by normal humans without being transposed down a few steps :-)
I am a vocal coach and work with choirs, praise teams and soloist where requested. I am based in the UK and i am a memebr of the British Voice Association. I have trained with some of the best coaches in the UK and about to embark on a Estill teachers course.
Where exactly are you having problems when singing. For example is it your breathing or are you getting a sore throat etc.
Rather than give your general statements, i could help you better by understanding what you are physically experiencing. :-)
Let me know. I can help (and if i can't i know others who can!)
There are a few things that I've done to improve my voice that have had some success. First, find a good spot to practice. Sounds pretty obvious, but think about acoustics; I mean, if the room doesn't respond like I want it doesn't matter what I try I feel like I sound like trash. Also, a structured, challenging, and fun practice routine can be invaluable. Lastly, I suggest using a tuner (any chromatic tuner will do...I downloaded an app on my phone). I like to sing intervals and try to nail the pitch spot on without any scoops or glisses. Very practical if pitch is an issue at all.
So, just realize that this thread has been dormant for five years...Here's my two cents any way! :-)
Pitch is so important. Though the human voice can produce any pitch, so theoretically you could use in-between tones, the customs of style dictate that we use a scale, with various inflections, slides and turns, but always returning to the scale for the bulk of the tones we produce. And when we do, those should be right on the money (if not, the music will feel like it's drifting away from somewhere; or just plain sour).
Aside, from pitch, I've been hearing a lot of tight, tense production over the radio these days. Either super-sweet and breathy beyond reality, or so tight and tongue-heavy the singer sings "you" but it comes out sounding like "chew." What can we do to raise the bar?