You wanna become a better singer? Learn to play an instrument. And by that I mean an instrument with what you can accompany yourself. I noticed in the past few months that playing the guitar while singing helped me. By now I hear the harmonies better. I got more than I bargained for when I finally started playing that guitar. I can’t really say any scientific reason behind it, maybe it is just the fact that you do have to listen to the chords, different notes than what you are singing, while playing them.
I refer here mostly to harmony in singing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_harmony) and occasionally to the harmony that you get from playing chords on an instrument.
For me, my singing is on autopilot and I have to focus on what I play. It could be the other way around, depending with what you started. Or once you are proficient enough, you can do both without thinking too much and just focus on the emotion. I can tell you, I suck in singing harmony. I am not one of those singers who can just wing it, nope. And all this beside the fact that I did spend my fair time in choirs singing harmony…But after I started playing the guitar something changed. By now, it’s easier for me to pick out any harmony in any tune. I mean if I listen to a song on Spotify, I can sing one of the harmony instead of the melody.
If you want to become a better singer, I’d urge you to pick up an instrument, one that you can play harmony on, that is more than one note at a time and learn to play it while you sing. I can hear you now going, but buying an instrument is so expensive. Yes and no. You can get a guitar with 80 euros, no it’s not gonna be very good, but good enough for you to start on. I would also recommend to get one with steel strings but that’s a matter of preference, I guess…And then you go, but I’d need lessons. Yes, that’s right. And yes, they cost you something. But there are other options than private lessons. Zillions of online courses are out there, some for free, some for 10 to 20 euros a month. Or you can join a beginners guitar course in Finland in these Kansalaisopisto things, they cost pretty much next to nothing and you do get the basics. Or just ask your friend who can play to teach you a bit so you can get started.
In the meantime, if you just want to sing harmony, start with this. The easiest way. 😉