I want to share with you some tips on how to learn a song.
Learning a song is more than just singing it again and again. Very often I see students coming to class with a song and they don’t even know what the song is about. It is said that there are 3 interpreters in every song: the composer, the interpreter and the listener. That’s why you will never hear a song sung in the same way by two different singers. When you sing a song, you have to make it yours, and therefore have an intense knowledge of it.
Here are some suggestions:
- When you pick a song, the first thing is to listen to it carefully, with an open heart and relaxed breathing, and identify what is the main emotion and message that you are receiving from the music.
- Listen to as many versions as possible of the same tune, Youtube and Spotify are your friends here.
- Learn the lyrics! Memorize them, you shouldn’t spend more than one week singing with the lyrics in the lesson. If you have to read the lyrics, you can’t focus on other important things like your vocal technique and interpretation, so save your time and learn the lyrics as soon as possible.
- Learn the melody. Go through all the song and learn the entire melody. If you can read music and you can find the sheet music of the song it will be really helpful at this stage. Make sure that you learn the correct pitch and rhythm. Once you master the melody, you can make changes to it to make your own version that suits your style.
- Work on technique. Identify which parts of the song need work from you, and work on that separately with your teacher.
- Work on interpretation. This is a whole topic itself. I definitely consider it the most important part of singing. You have to engage with the song first: if you are clear with your message, then the audience will connect with it too.
Image by Richard Leeming