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Have you ever wondered just how long it takes to learn to sing? Because, same. While different people are born with different vocal equipment and tendencies toward music (or not), anyone who’s willing to put in the work to learn can make a lot of headway in the songbird department.
We did a bit of research on the how’s and why’s of learning vocal technique to become proficient and beyond. (And have a suggestion for how to get started!)
So just how long does it take to learn to sing?
Short answer: it depends, of course. But there is a generally agreed upon length of time that it takes if you’re starting from scratch. If you want to learn how to carry a nice tune without pulling flat or sharp, you can accomplish that within three months. If you’re trying to go pro and want a compelling command of your voice, that can take about three years.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start your career before the three-year mark. It also doesn’t mean it’s going to take three months to be able to carry a tune.
Many people can start to change their singing voice pretty quickly. For real.
How can I develop my singing voice?
For some people, just a single round of vocal exercises can start opening things up in an entirely new way. Strengthening and expanding the voice involves quite literally developing different muscles…and learning how to use them.
If you already have some vocal range, learning what to do with the tools available to you in your body will open things up quickly and significantly. If you need to expand your range or change your tone (etc) there are specific exercises that can be done to address your own vocal needs.
There is something very freeing about just understanding the mechanics behind why a certain sound is coming out of you. (Or why it’s not yet.) It’s a complex process, but not a complete mystery. Anyone can learn it, and anyone can significantly improve their voice.
Do I need to take vocal lessons to be able to sing?
Learning how to sing usually involves some kind of vocal lessons plus doing warm-ups and exercises on your own time. (Ideally every day.)
If you take lessons in person, that might look like going in once a week, and then continuing your studies on your own. (Unless you’re in school at a music-based program, in which case you’ll probably be much more immersed than the rest of us! Lucky you!)
If you are adding in your vocal training outside of a traditional school environment, then you’ll want to choose something that you’ll be able to keep up. There is most certainly commitment involved in learning how to sing (or do anything really), but don’t make it impossible and psych yourself out. If you can’t get to in-person lessons every week, go once a month and practice more on your own time. Or do it over Skype, or take one of the really cool online courses that are available out there.
One program that we love for both vocal lessons and exercises, is 30-Day Singer. The program is set up to teach you a lesson each day, although it can be taken at your pace. (We have doubled down and taken a couple of lessons in a day.) The course can be used as a supplement or in lieu of other in-person lessons, which makes it an affordable option at any stage in your vocal training.