How do you learn how to sing without a teacher?
Side note for those surprised I would ask and answer this question:
You may asking, why would you want to help people learn how to sing without a teacher...isn't that your business model?
I OF COURSE want you to be able to learn how to sing without a teacher, because between each lesson that you have with me, you ARE learning how to sing without a teacher. The more I can offer things that help you each day between lessons, the better you'll progress, the more fun singing will be, etc. Not only that, but I don't teach so that I can run a business. I run a business so that I can teach.
I also teach lessons to satisfy my curiosity about the human voice and what it means to be fully human. Which means that the more angles I have to help you learn new coordination in your voice, (and let go of ingrained movement patterns that don't help you sing, express your song, your creativity, your sound, etc) the more we both grow...and we learn something new about singing, learning and being human we didn't know before.
Not only that...but I had along period of time where I simply couldn't afford a teacher. I was literally eating rice and beans and getting into debt just trying to pay my basic bills as recently graduated college student having to figure out how to build a business. I began to see, over time, that although 99% of the time it's simply better to work with the right voice teacher (I'll go into a lot of details on that on a whole separate article later) there ARE things you can do on your own to get better as a singer. In fact, there are certain advantages when you are practicing on your own between lessons, or when you are always practicing alone to do lack of a teacher.
To this end, I have worked tirelessly to start offering other ways to learn how to sing, sing confidently, with better control and freedom and creative expression. What I came to realize was that I needed to pick one person and work closely with them to make a custom-fit course that helps them do exactly what they would like to achieve in their singing (like sing the right notes with karaoke, last through their phrases, etc) and do that with someone who is committed fully to the process. Is that something you're interested in? Find out more here.
So now for the question: How to you get better at singing without a teacher?
Oh yes, I’ve been working on this question for…20 years? and I’m glad I have some answers!
But first I would ask yourself: what holds you back from working with a teacher? It will save you tremendous amounts of time on your end and you will skip many pitfalls as a beginning singer. If it’s funding, I actually made a program that works around that at very low cost to you, drop me a line at and let me know if I can help.
THE VERY FIRST THING you need is assess your current skill levels.
If you aren't sure that you can sing in tune you have a couple ways to find out:
You can take a recording of yourself singing with a recording of a slow song from a singer that is the same gender as you, send that off to a trained musician (voice teacher would be even better) and ask them "hey, is this in tune?". Then repeat this process by recording yourself singing with individual notes on the piano. Not sure which notes on the piano? Check out my "Find Your Range"kit which shows you exactly where the most common vocal comfort zone ranges are for men and women and where that is at on the piano.
You can check out the SingTrue app.
If you find that you don't have the skill yet of singing in tune, then go here.
If you already sing in tune and know without a doubt that you can sing in tune with individual notes on the piano, then you’ll need to get a sense of your vocal comfort zone. This means you want to get know where it is the MOST comfortable for you to sing when it comes pitches, vowels and volumes.
Once that is done, then you’re ready for the next stage of the process...and I ain't writing another article until you've done that and you drop me a line saying "done! what's next?" So get to work!
Let's talk about the action of confidence vs the feeling of confidence + my favorite book on confidence in general. I love The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris because this book finally spoke of what it's really