Singing lessons on CD or DVD?
February 20, 2011 12:18 AM   Subscribe

Are there singing lesson courses on DVD, CD or mp3 that are any good? They don't have to be perfect. I'm not going to be a professional singer; I'm just a guy who would like to learn a few basics about breathing, etc so that it's more fun singing in my car and shower. Thanks!
posted by surenoproblem to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
There are lots of DVDs that purport to teach singing, and I doubt that any of them are "perfect," even for shower singers, at a beginner level. A big problem with trying to learn to sing by yourself, without a trained instructor, is that you have to fight your own anatomy and physiology, to learn new more effective habits. To get a better chest register, you have to learn to control your breath and volume almost entirely with your diaphragm, while relaxing your throat more than you ever thought possible; a lot of people become quite faint when first working on this, and other actually hyper-ventilate! To get head resonance and projection, you have to fight your sense of hearing, as it gets "overloaded" with new resonances you've never heard yourself make from sinus cavities, etc.

In the early stages of voice training, many experienced teachers guide you, as much by touch (on your chest, larynx, and head), as by example. Moreover, they stop you immediately, if they see you making a mistake that can physically hurt your voice, or quickly become a bad habit. They recommend specific exercises for your unique needs. They encourage you, and they protect you, until you are far enough along to have a sense of what your voice can reasonably do, and what it cannot do.

If cost is your major concern, I'd suggest you look for vocal instruction by joining a choir, or singing club, and asking the musical director and more accomplished singers for help. You might also look around for local colleges offering singing classes. If you have any talent, and a decent basic voice/ vocal anatomy, you can probably find many such opportunities to join and sing regularly with others, at little or no out of pocket cost to you. You may even find professional voice teachers in your area, willing to give you a price break on beginning lessons, until you've decided together whether to pursue further serious studies with them.
posted by paulsc at 10:06 AM on February 20, 2011

This kind of thing needs to be taught in person and 1-1. It will pay off very quickly.
posted by tel3path at 11:58 AM on February 20, 2011

A couple of suggestions are in a previous thread.

But I do agree with others -- in-person lessons are best if possible.
posted by hansbrough at 1:03 PM on February 20, 2011

Even if you don't want to learn classical singing, the techniques that Caruso and Tetrazzini discuss in The Art of Singing may be useful.

In general, if you do anything that hurts when you're singing, stop it: if you don't know how, find a voice coach in your area and invest in an hour of one on one training. You'd be surprised how much an hour of instruction can help an amateur singer.
posted by thatdawnperson at 1:55 PM on February 21, 2011

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