Learning to sing acapella isn’t that different from learning to sing with instrumental accompaniment.
Just as in acapella singing, you’ll need to have some sort of understanding of the singing voice, getting a beautiful singing tone, how to sing on pitch, etc. In fact, being able to sing on pitch is the biggest challenge that acapella singers and groups face because there’s no music supporting them.
Let’s assume that you know nothing about singing and you’d like to learn how to sing and then eventually move into singing acapella, whether it be for solos, choirs, barbershop groups or whatever.
The first step you’ll need to take is to find a fantastic vocal coach. The best place to look for a singing instructor is at the nearest university or college that has a music program in place.
Simply walk in to the music department and ask the secretary to give you the contact info for head of the vocal department and a couple of the best teachers there. Actually, you won’t know if they’re any good until you’ve tested them.
Here’s the thing: there are a lot of really crappy voice teachers out there. True story. And an incompetent voice teacher can do a lot of damage. Not only will they take your precious time and hard earned money, they will stall your progress, create great frustration in your singing efforts and in a worst case scenario, do irreparable damage to your voice.
But don’t worry. There are some very simple ways you can determine if your potential teacher is the real deal or not. First of all, when you go to meet with this person, you shouldn’t be paying anything. They have yet to prove their worth to you and in the music world, you have to prove yourself before people give you money. Actually, that’s how it works everywhere!
Hopefully, you won’t get any resistance when asking for a free consultation and it doesn’t have to take forever. It’s just for you to find out what the teacher is all about and for the vocal coach to see where your level is.
When you start your session, you should ask the vocal instructor to sing for you. Seriously. If they sound anything but spectacular, you should move on and seek another instructor because how can they teach you when they clearly haven’t figured it out yet? They can’t!
Now here’s the really important part. Healthy, free vocal functioning calls for a low, stationary larynx. Your larynx is your voicebox. So that means that when you sing, your voicebox shouldn’t be shooting up in your throat, but should remain relatively low and not move much. Ask this person what their position is on the larynx during singing. If they say anything but what I just told you, avoid them like the plague! I mean it… This is the first and most fundamental of singing rules and teachers who are ignorant or dismissive about it need to be avoided.
Now let’s say you don’t have hundreds of dollars a month to spend on voice lessons (yes, they cost a LOT). Your next best option, and a generally great option even if you ARE taking voice lessons, is to use some Singing Software so that you can learn how to sing better from the comfort of your own home without paying tons of money for it.