The Best (and Only) Way to Practice Singing
If I had a dollar for every time one of my students comes into a lesson as if it were a confession (tail between their legs, apologising for their lack of practice), I would be a very rich woman!
I would also be rich if I was compensated for every time a student came in grinning telling me that they'd practiced a lot this week. I always follow that up with a question - "Where and what were you practicing?"
Often people think that opening your mouth and singing in the shower or in the car is counted as practice. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that is not going to improve your vocal technique or help your muscular memory. The only way to practice is to set an intention, focus and repeat.
SET AN INTENTION
What exactly are you wanting to work on? What part of your technique are you wanting to set to auto-pilot?
Perhaps your breathing is feeling shallow and laboured, so you want to get that under control.
Maybe your high notes are lacking support and that's what needs your attention.
Maybe it is to get everything working together in harmony in the chorus of a particular song. Go into a practice session with a specific intention.
The reason you can't support those long phrases when singing in the car is that your focus is elsewhere. You are concentrating on driving (I hope) which doesn't allow any room for attention to what your diaphragm and surrounding muscles are doing.
Practice without any distractions so that you are able to concentrate on your body and your technique fully.
This is where many singers fall off the wagon a little. It's okay, we've all been there - scheduling daily practice sessions and then getting to the end of the week without so much as a vocal warm up.
Don't beat yourself up about it, just aim for more consistency next week.
Take a good look at your schedule. How many practice sessions can you realistically fit in?
Don't squeeze in an hour-long singalong between meetings if you know it will be too difficult (read: it will never happen). You are better off making time for two or three good, focused sessions a week that you will stick to than getting overwhelmed by daily times you can't keep.
Alternatively, schedule shorter practices. 15 minutes a day doesn't seem like much, but if you set an intention and give it your full focus - you can achieve quite a bit!