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12 Vocal Techniques To A Better Singing Voice

  • September 18, 2017


All of us have a singing voice, but not everyone has developed proper vocal techniques in order to be sure where to find or how to use that voice.  Not convinced? Head out to a Karaoke Bar one evening. Chances are you'll witness a variety of passionate singers out there. Most of them don't sing professionally and for some it is more apparent. Not everyone was born with instant singing ability.

For those who really enjoy singing, and let's face it, there are many naturally good singers as well. Imagine how much one could improve by even learning a few strategies that can make noticable differences to approach to singing while helping to reduce the amount of effort involved in sounding great.

By the way, if you've ever considered yourself a "less talented" singer than some, have no fear! Continue reading and you will be guaranteed to greatly benefit from what you're about to learn. Are you interested in improving your singing voice? If so, consider the following.

12 Vocal techniques that will help you improve your singing voice:

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    Proper Posture: Perhaps there's another secret as to why your mother constantly reminded you to stand up straight.The truth is..it makes you a better singer. How? It's vitally important to align your body parts and prepare them to support your sound while eliminating tension. Tension not only makes you feel uncomfortable and affects your mood, but can greatly restrict air flow, making singing a chore rather than pure enjoyment.                                                                                                                                                                   Exercise: Find a wall and stand with your back to it. Place your head on the wall so that your chin is parallel to the floor. Open your shoulders and roll them back to the wall. Without allowing your spine to touch, slowly move your back towards the wall to straighten. Arms to your sides. Feet shoulder width apart, find your balance. Try to relax. The only tension you create should be in your abdominal muscles that are supporting your singing. It is more effective if you do this in front of a mirror. This can especially help you to visualize your stance after you see and feel proper posture.
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    Breathe control. Try holding your breath and singing or even speaking. You get the point. Clearly, air is a major component to singing. When singing a melody, the words are expressed quite differently than if you were to simply recite the sentences aloud. The volume, the pitch, the tone, and the tempo can have you gasping for air before you know it. Learning and mastering proper breathing is one of the keys to instantly improve your ability to sing. Unless we are exercising, normally our breathing is quite shallow. As we begin training our body to sing, we need to take deeper breaths in order to sustain our sound loud and clear for our listening audience. At first, you may even feel a rush of dizziness as the deeper you breathe, the more oxygen that gets to your brain. But don't stress it! Your body just needs to get used to proper and more efficient breathing.                                                                                                                                                        
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    Tighten That Drum It is absolutely essential to practicing good proper singing techniques that you understand how the importance of your diaphragm, lungs, and chest cavity affect your singing. Think of these 3 combined as forming a drum. A drum that is tuned loosely sounds flat and boring, as it lacks resonance. So the idea is to expand your rib cage by flexing the muscles that pull your ribs in and out. Effectively tightening that “drum”. This will result in better tones in your voice as well as increase your lung capacity, allowing you to take less breathes between verses, resulting in better control. If you a serious about improving this area, it is suggested that you begin exercising these muscles.Whether you join a gym or workout at home. Always consult a physician before starting such a program. The main muscles to focus on are your chest, arms, back, and obliques. Keep in mind that building endurance will allow you to develop a stronger voice as well as last for longer periods of time. Believe me, after singing 20-30 songs in a night, when performing, you need to be in good physical condition. Do not overlook the importance of cardiovascular exercise to increase lung efficiency. You don't need to become a bodybuilder or a marathon runner. Just try and keep in shape. Good singing health to you!.
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    Water...Drink Tons Of It! It doesn't matter if you meet a heavy metal singer, pop singer, or an opera singer. You can bet any one of these true professionals can appreciate the abundance of good ole H2O. It'll always be within arms reach whether they are in the studio, rehearsal, or on stage. Some prefer drinking warm water, claiming that it better refreshes your throat. Others swear that ice cold water can aid in keeping swelling down, especially after a killer belting performance. Regardless of your preference. Just drink lots of it! Some think that gargling water can hydrate the vocal cords. The truth is that the no food or water comes in contact with them as they are located in your windpipe. When liquid goes down, the automatic flap called the epiglottis closes to protect your lungs from being filled with water. This also covers the vocal cord every time you take a drink.What happens when you get water in your windpipe? It causes a choking gag reflex. So really, the only way to hydrate your vocal cords is to drink water. Why lots? It is because the water has to enter your stomach, and is first supplied to all your major organs, like your heart, kidneys, etc.. Eventually, smaller organs like your vocal cords are supplied. And supply you must! Note: avoid smoking and foods or liquids that dehydrate the body.
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     Exercise & conditioning. If you a serious about improving this area, it is suggested that you begin exercising these muscles.Whether you join a gym or workout at home. Always consult a physician before starting such a program. The main muscles to focus on are your chest, arms, back, and obliques. Keep in mind that building endurance will allow you to develop a stronger voice as well as last for longer periods of time. Believe me, after singing 20-30 songs in a night, when performing, you need to be in good physical condition. Do not overlook the importance of cardiovascular exercise to increase lung efficiency. You don't need to become a bodybuilder or a marathon runner. Just try and keep in shape. Good singing health to you!
  6. 6
     Flex Those Facial Muscles. As with other vital muscles that support great singing. The neck and facial muscles play an obvious role. Really the goal is to minimize the effort required to sing so that you may effectively control your tone and your pitch. Warming up cannot be avoided. There are mainly 10 groups of muscles in the neck, head, and face. Each consisting of numerous tinier muscles all working in harmony to create the beautiful sound making up your voice. Here is a list in order of the types of movements you can perform on various parts to prepare yourself to sing.
  7. 7
     Find Appropriate Singing Material. Finding the balance between your preferred taste in music and your voice type can prove to be a challenge. You may love the high-pitched screams of hard rock, but your voice may actually be better suited to pop or country. What do you do? It is highly recommended that you NEVER strain your voice to sound like someone else. Within your favorite genre, you need to find artists that have a similar range or try singing their song in a different key. The other option is to explore the other side. If you are a laboring to sing that power ballad in the car, then why would you want to butcher it while you're on stage. Explore all your options. But the rule is..you MUST enjoy what you're doing or it will never be worth the effort.
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     Dry Mouth Hack. If you happen to have a bit of dry mouth right before a performance it can cause some concern for some. The best solution is to drink lots of fluids of course. But there is another techniqies you can use. Gently place your fingertips on the fleashy part of your neck just below your jawbone. Squeeze inward and it will release saliva into your mouth. Especially if a drink isn't nearby.
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     Take Sips of Air. From time to time we come across a song that requires you to spill out a tons of words while you are trying to maintain good pitch and volume. This causes some to literally run out of air. The secret is to learn how to take small sips of air in between phrases using the spacing between the notes to replenish your air support without sounding weak or gasping.
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     Practice...Practice...Practice. As you move from the casual singer in the car to progressing toward live performances, you need to appreciate the importance of practice. Not only your chosen songs repetitively but your strengthening skills that lead you to master your art. You need to know: where, when, and how long to practice. Where is an easy one.  Somewhere that you will not be disturbed and will not disturb others. You should be able to move around in a comfortable space. Preferably where there's a mirror. When to practice is based on your own availability and circumstances.Have a set schedule. If you write it down on the calendar, you're more likely to do it. What time of day again is personal. But keep in mind that you need to remove any and all distractions like the T.V., the internet, computer, or cell phone in order to maximize concentration. Also, have your materials organized and ready for each session. How long depends on your skill level. If you are new, it is recommended to limit your time to 20-30 minutes per day. As those muscles strengthen, you can gradually move up to 30-60 minutes per day. Be patient. Remember that anything worth achieving takes persistence and can never be rushed. But it's so worth it!
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     Find Quality Vocal Instruction. Learning how to do something right the first time is so important. Reading books on singing can definitely expand your knowledge of techniques and practice skills, but can feel a little lifeless and A bore at times. Hiring a vocal trainer can also prove beneficial. But expect to pay anywhere from $25.00 to $75.00 per hour. Enrolling in online courses offered by various schools offers another possibility. However, some of these can cost upwards of $1400.00 per course.Another option that many have had success with is a complete step by step instruction. You only pay a one-time cost and you get to keep and review your materials, over and over until you've perfected those skills. It's not quite as personal as hiring a vocal trainer, but if you're on more of a budget, this is a great alternative. Like any musician, you need to invest in your 'instrument'. Guitar players spend hundreds, sometimes thousands on their equipment. Do you think it is reasonable to invest a little on your own voice?
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     Take Time For Rest. When you sing you are giving the musles and lungs an intese workout. Particularily if you are playing gigs on a fairly consistent basis. With all the training and warm up exercises, its just as important to give your voice a break. One habit to develop is to whisper between sets if you plan to mingle with others. Save your voice for the show.

Conclusion


These are just a few ways you can improve your singing voice by learning and practicing variuos techniques and stratgeies. Make sure to enjoy the process and continue to take in as much instruction as you set new singing goals and hit them one by one!

12 Ways to Increase Your Vocal Range

  • September 15, 2017


What Is My Vocal Range?

Your vocal range refers to all of the notes from lowest to highest pitches a singer can reach including all the notes in between. Also, known as tessitura, a singer should be able to comfortably move through the various vocal registers as the pitch increases or decreases. Never overextending by trying to force the notes thru, but allowing a natural flow.

Most people can sing up to 2 octaves. Those who can sing 3 octaves and above are considered having a good to great vocal range. This means that depending on the lowest note you can start with, you should be able to work up the scale of 8 notes at least a couple of times.  There are a rare group of professionally trained singers with amazing gifts like Freddy Mercury, who is said to have a vocal range of 4 and above.

The good news is that by practicing as you would with any other instrument, you begin to think of your voice apparatus as being flexible, capable of being trained and developed to a greater capacity.  This is where patience comes in. Allow yourself the time to strengthen and gain greater control your chest and head voice.

This, of course, involves a proper warm-up, practice sessions involving stretching, breathing & mouth exercises, as well as other singing techniques. Remember that before you want to increase your vocal range,  you'll want to focus on learing to sing through the registers in a smooth transition in both directions in a clear and confident manner.



Singing Registers


What are singing registers? Our vocal folds have the ability to produce a range of pitches into several different vibratory patterns by means of opening and closing the air passage in your chest, head, and throat. Understanding your vocal range has a lot to do with your ability to move between your registers.

There are 4 common registers to the human voice:

Vocal Fry: It begins at the bottom vocal register. It's basically the lowest sound you can make with your voice.  Also known as croaking, popcorning. Conway Twitty used this register in many of his songs.

Modal Voice: This is the voice you use when you talk normally and also when you sing. A shift in pitch normal in this register, as we have been using it to communicate through speech or song.

Falsetto: The falsetto is the extra bit of "higher voice" we produce in the head and throat. However, this vocal register generally lacks power and sounds more breathy and weak. Male singers will switch into falsetto to hit the higher notes in some songs rather than attempting to belt.

Whistle Voice:  The highest register of the human voice, normally produced by soprano singers who have been trained. This vocal register is created by using only the back of the vocal folds, thus creating the smallest gap possible between the folds, creating a whistle type of sound.


How to find your vocal range? There are are a few factors that determine a person's vocal range.  Things like age, gender, as well the size of your vocal folds can affect your sound. The larger your folds, the lower your voice; likewise, the smaller your folds, the higher your range.

Are you male or female? Do you feel more comfortable singing higher notes, lower notes, or are you somewhere in the middle? What types of music do you prefer singing? Have you found your vocal breaking point? How well can you transition between each register currently?

Answering the above questions will help us locate your general singing voice type according to classification. Females consist of Contralto to Mezzo-Soprano, to Soprano. Males will run from Bass to Baritone, to Tenor (see chart above for quick reference).

What does all of this mean? Basically, the groups of notes on a scale that you can comfortably sing from the very lowest note to the very highest will reveal your singing range. Note that voice types are a generalization. You may not start or end on exactly the same notes as outlined for each voice classification. However, you will be within the boundaries.


What is a vocal break? Also known to professional singers as Passaggio.  These are the actual transitions you make as you utilize vocal support system to sing higher and lower notes, moving from chest voice to head voice or vice versa. Some people confuse this with a vocal crack which occurs when a person's voice enters a higher register suddenly and unintentionally. This is generally caused by trying to force notes beyond your range, stress, emotional tension, and puberty.


Find your vocal range in one minute using the video below

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Were you able to find your range and thus locate your singing voice type? If so, Congratulations! Knowing your vocal range will help you to not only choose an appropriate singing style and singing material, but it can be used as a starting point in order for you to extend it.

A common misconception is that we are all born with a specific vocal range. The truth is, you actually can change your vocal range by practicing different techniques and strategies. By now you should have a good idea what your personal range is. When you are ready, try using some of the suggestions below to improve your singing range.


12 Tips On How To Sing Higher


If you would like to learn a few basic tips on how to sing higher, then make sure to check out the list below before you begin working on increasing your vocal range and essentially learning to sing higher pitched notes through the use of common sense practices.



  1. 1
    Never push yourself.  You will eventually end up straining your voice, and create the opposite effect: hurting your vocal range. Allow yourself for sufficient time in order to progress to your new vocal range.
  2. 2
     Practice scales using staccato notes. This will make it easier for you to hit notes outside of your range. Once you get used to hitting those notes, you will be able to make them last longer.
  3. 3
     Blending your voice. Blending your head and chest voices together will definitely improve your vocal range. A very easy technique is to learn is to make a sound like a siren as you move up and down the register.
  4. 4
    Bending at the waist. When you bend at the waist while you are singing, it will eliminate tension from your body, which allows the air to flow past your vocal cords with greater ease. Try bending at the waist if you are struggling to hit higher notes, as you continue progressing, you will eventually be able to hit them without bending.
  5. 5
    Try hitting higher notes by acting as though you were crying. This causes your thyroid to tilt, which makes it a lot easier for you to hit those higher notes. In time you won’t need to act as if you are crying any longer, as you will eventually get used to hitting those notes… naturally.
  6. 6
    Practice tongue trills. Place your tongue between your top front teeth and the roof of your mouth, from there you just push air through your mouth. This will activate the muscles in your throat and aid you in reaching notes you didn't think were even possible for you. For a tutorial on voice exercises. Just click the link! 
  7. 7
    Keep your head up. This will constrict the air from flowing through your body properly, which will not allow you to hit the note you are trying to reach. Always remember to keep your head straight, allowing the air to flow, regardless of the note you are trying to hit.
  8. 8
     Breathing through your diaphragm. Proper breathing will definitely help in hitting higher notes that are outside of your present range. Practice breathing in a way that will only allow your stomach to move.
  9. 9
    Learn speech-level singing. The way it works is that you only sing at the volume that you speak. It allows your larynx to remain relaxed so you can hit new notes, which in turn will help you develop proper muscle memory.
  10. 10
    Work on a song that’s in the highest register you can manage comfortably. Make sure to sing that song several times daily. Once it is no longer a challenge, try tackling a song that’s a range beyond this.
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    Practice singing in the lowest register you feel comfortable with. In no time at all, you will begin feeling more comfortable with your lower range. Now, this time, choose a song that’s in a lower range and practice it until you master it.
  12. 12
    A steady flow of air is key. Many singers will change the speed at which they exhale as they move up or down within their high and low range. It’s imperative that you remain constant when exhaling, regardless of which note you are singing.

Stuck In Transition

Something else that can happen when you are attempting to increase your singing range is when you are unable to make the transition between registers. Particularly when moving from middle or mixed voice to head voice.

Our middle voice is the voice we commonly speak with. The problem is that there is a limit or ceiling to the highness of pitch you can attain.Learning to move from mixed voice into head voice will open you up to another level. You will also find it much easier on your vocal cords.

Start with mastering your mid-range. Work on an even and coordinated sound. Training your vocal cords through this kind of practice will unlock higher overtones. This will eventually lead to a higher and more stable range.

In Conclusion


Hopefully, by now you understand what vocal range is, how to find your range, and how to increase it. You have probably also located your singing voice type. Being able to decipher whether you are a Bass, Baritone, Tenor, Soprano, etc.. Remember the importance of proper breathing, good posture, and avoiding putting too much pressure on yourself to advance. Keep developing and strengthening your mid-range.

There are many more techniques you can use to improve your range. We hope you've enjoyed these techniques as our aim is to help you become a better singer, so you can tackle more songs with freedom. Again, if you want a free singing tip sent to you weekly, don't forget to sign up to our singing community newsletter.