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. All of them showing their confidence and courage to express themselves publicly.
But let’s be honest, some are less pleasing to the ear than others, and we love them anyways! The point is, that there are also many naturally good singers as well. Even these with proper training could very easily, not only raise their level but also 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:.
Vocal Tip # 1: 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.
Vocal Tip # 2: Breathing
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.
Vocal Tip # 3: 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!
Vocal Tip # 4: 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.
Vocal Tip # 5: 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:
2) Jaw Stretch
3) The Pucker
4) Silly Smile
5) Eye Brow Lift
6) Eye Roll
* Feel free to click on this link for a more detailed description of the above listed.
Here’s The Short On Basic Singing Tips
Vocal Tip # 6: 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.
Vocal Tip # 7: 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!
Vocal Tip # 8: 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?
One such course that comes highly recommended is Singorama for its ease of use and track record of successful students.
Whether you are a budding beginner trying to overcome shyness or a more experienced singer looking to take it to another level, it definitely worth checking out.
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