Updated: Sep 2
It probably won't come as a surprise that practice is one of the key things that will help you grow your voice and become an amazing singer. Setting up a practice routine - even if it's just for a few minutes some days - will absolutely help you reach your singing goals faster.
What you might not realise is that the space you practice in can make a difference, too! Having just a few objects on hand can make your practice a whole lot easier - and more effective. So, if you're ready to set up your practice area and start getting to work, then read on.
Here's What You'll Need
A Room to Practice In
First of all, decide where your practice is going to happen. I like to choose a room that I'm comfortable making a lot of noise in - if you share a bedroom wall with your neighbour, that might not be the best place for you. (Unless you have a supportive neighbour!) I've known people to set up practice spaces in their garage, a spare room that no one uses, or even the bathroom - it's up to you.
Something to Play Music With
This can be as simple as your phone! All you need is some kind of device that's going to be able to play your warm up tracks and the song you're working on. It really doesn't matter what it is. If you can't hear the music clearly while you sing, get yourself a speaker as well. Even a cheap bluetooth speaker will do the job - you don't need to go crazy with a state of the art sound system. (Unless you really want a state of the art sound system. In that case, go for it.)
A mirror is by far one of the most underrated practice tools out there for singers. The ability to see what you're doing when you sing will help you implement techniques faster and get a better idea of how you can improve. Is it necessary? No. But I highly recommend it.
A Music Stand (Or Something Similar)
If you're reading lyrics or sheet music while you sing, having something to hold the music for you can be helpful for your posture. (I hate to be the one to tell you, but looking down at your phone while you sing may not be the best option out there.) The question is, do you invest in a music stand, or come up with a more creative alternative?
If you have the funds, I generally do recommend an actual music stand, purely because the height is adjustable and it will hold your music (that's what it's designed for, after all.) But if you'd prefer to save your money, there are a few items you can use instead.
If you're lucky enough to have a piano or keyboard, they'll often have a music stand built in, so you can just use that. (It probably won't be adjustable, though.) More common household items that will work are chairs, tables, desks (especially if they're pushed up against a wall, so that you can balance your music on it) or the combination of a blank wall and blue tack.
Note: If you keep your sheet music on your iPad, you probably shouldn't try and blue-tack it to your wall. That one is best used for paper.
Optional Extra: A Microphone
If you're practicing using a microphone, then yes, you can get a microphone. If you want the full set up, you can use a microphone and a small amp, but even just holding a microphone will help you get used to singing with it.
But you can also come up with some microphone alternatives! Deodorant cans, hairbrushes and TV remotes have all been used as fake microphones at some point - the idea is just to get used to holding something and singing into it.
Optional Extra: A Microphone Stand
If you play an instrument while you sing, you'll quite possibly want a stand to help you practice with the microphone. If this is the case, you probably want to just invest in a proper stand that's actually designed for holding microphones. I have come up with creative alternatives in the past, but I don't recommend any of them if you value your microphone.
And That's It!
If you can, I recommend leaving your practice space set up and ready to go - that way you're more likely to jump in and get some practice done, even if you only have ten minutes. If that's not possible for you, that's okay! Just make sure you set aside an extra few minutes for setting up & packing up.
I hope this helps you get the most out of your practice time. And if you think I missed something, let me know!