First Series – Tip No. 1: Take the first step, teach yourself how to Hum

I’d like to share with you a few tips on how to start singing from scratch. You can also practice it at home and make substantial progress.

When you’re listening to music on your radio or iPod/phone try humming along with the tune. The humming should be projected in full volume, imagining yourself singing along with the singer or the group.  When humming, keep your mouth completely closed, put your hands on both sides of your face and cover both ears. You’ll be able to hear the voice inside of your head amplified very clearly as if you had speakers inside your head. It will help you to control the volume and the notes you’re humming.

And now to the exercise: Alicia Keys stretches her voice beautifully when singing ‘New York Empire State of Mind’. Right from the start ooo…oooo… New…York… she lets her voice flow while holding her breath.

Alicia Keys hummingAlicia Keys opens the song New York Empire State of Mind’ humming ooooooh… New York

Start the exercise, take a short breath, not too deep, and try to imitate the opening notes of the song by humming along with Alicia.  Do not use the words yet, just keep humming and try to match your notes with the same notes she is singing.

If the notes are too high for you, you can drop your voice to a lower pitch (commonly known as the tone of your voice – whichever, high or low).  Keep humming the same jumps of the notes she sings on New…(low note)  York (to high note). These jumps are commonly known as intervals- the distance between one note and another.

Repeat this exercise for a few days until you feel confident in humming the same notes in the same intervals as in New… York… when singing along with Alicia.

Your next step will be to sing those notes (intervals) with the words New York.

Good luck.

Idit Gold
Musical Director & Founder
Singing in London
You can contact me at

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