Seen a few discussions on singing happening on here, so I thought I'd put my twopenn'orth down on one thread. I'm an ex-choral scholar (though I was sacked from my school choir aged 11 because the choirmaster didn't like my voice!) and lead vocalist for two rock covers bands.
I'll edit this post to add pearls of wisdom as they occur to me and build up a hopefully useful list over time.
Big Jon's Top Tips for Singing
1 - Stance. Stand up straight with feet a shoulder width apart, imagine there's a piece of string pulling you up from the top of your head
2 - Breathe in. Take a breath like you've just stepped out of the door to savour the fresh air on a fine spring morning and you're filling up your lungs.
3 - Breath out. Let your mouth hang loose like a 'slack-jawed goon' and imagine you are blowing up a very big balloon as slowly as possible. Direct the stream of air between your two front teeth.
4 - Sing a note. With your slack-jawed goon face, sing an 'AH' quietly for a long-ish time (10 secs, increasing to 60 secs) at your lowest comfortable pitch (mine's the A on the open 5th string). Try doing the same up and down a scale - five notes to start with. Try increasing the volume to max WITHOUT straining in the middle of the note, then reducing back to as quiet as possible by the end.
5 - Sing the vowels - there are only 7; 'ah' as in cart, 'a' as in cat, 'e' as in care, 'i' as in kiss, 'o' as in cot, 'u' as in cuddle, 'oo' as in coot. Still with slack-jawed goon face, sing each of these vowels in place of the 'AH' in the exerecise above. Also use 'mm' and 'zz'. Take a line of lyric and sing it V-E-R-Y slowly with no consonants! Watch out for compound vowels like 'peace' - it's really p-ii-y-s, so make sure the vowel sound is ii and not yy. EVERY extended note you sing should be on one of these 7 vowel sounds.
6... More to follow!