Voice Lesson: Three Important Tips for Building a Bigger and Better Singing Voice
Singing Is Your Birthright
Singing Will Always Be in Style
Singing is something that most everyone likes to do. We sing to celebrate, praise, soothe, entertain, and sometimes, to say goodbye. While some sing for a living, others sing to relax after a long day at work, or just because it's fun. Whatever the reason might be, singing will always and forever be in style. If you want to sound better when you sing, just follow these three easy tips to building a better singing voice.
Tip #1 Sing With Confidence
Lack of confidence in your singing voice, smothers and traps the sound, and restricts the tones freedom. Not only does this weaken the confidence in your voice by others, but the lyrics also are not believable. We rob ourselves of the most natural way toward self-expression.
A confident sound is a strong sound, unleashing desires and emotions. Give your singing voice freedom. Unleash your power and let it soar. After all, you've done this before. It happened the minute you were born in the form of a cry. This time you're going to do it in the form of a word.
Keep reading to learn how to give your confidence a boost.
Steps to Project Your Voice For a Confident Sound
Now, grab a bottle of room temperature water, (ice cold will restrict the vocal chords), take a few sips and begin the following exercise:
Using your imagination.
- Pretend that you are on a mountain top and miles away from the listening ear. Speak the word "hello" as though you were calling out to see if anyone is near. Think of the " riccola" television commercial, only substitute the word hello for the word "riccola."
- Take a nice full breath, starting from the belly, and up through the lungs.
- Expand the rib cage as you inhale. Then speak the beginning of the word, hello, making the sound of "heh" as you let out a small amount of air. Finish with "lo", holding onto this final syllable until you are almost out of air. Heh...looooooooooooooooo!
- Repeat this about 6 times using your speaking voice. Let your voice slowly slide and fall downward in sound on the "loooooooooooooo" . Hang onto the sound letting it fall or slide to a stop. Keep your body as relaxed as possible throughout this process. Keep the neck and shoulders tension free. Unlock the knees.
- Now repeat the entire exercise. But this time instead of speaking hello, sing hello. Sing any tone or pitch you like as long as you do not strain your voice Choose a comfortable tone. Carefully follow the same rules. You will be setting your singing voice free, allowing it to soar. You are building vocal confidence.
- Keep your voice well hydrated by taking sips of water throughout the exercises.
Singing Mouth position for "Ah" Vowels
Tip #2 - Open Your Mouth Wide, Especially When Singing Words With The 'Ah' Sound
Why is it so important for a singer to "open wide" when singing words with an "Ah" sound?
For one thing, the mouth is the biggest resonator of sound and if we vocalize with the mouth barely open the sound will not project. Even with correct breath control and proper posture, unless the jaw is dropped when singing the vowel "Ah", the sound will be weak and the tone, confined.
To find the correct mouth opening, place two fingers in your mouth vertically and sing "hah" or "ah" on an easy tone. This opening is just about right for singing any word containing the "ah" vowel, such as fall, ball, tall, all and call.
Don't overdo when trying to open your mouth wider usual. You can actually close off the backspace of the throat when singing if it's open too wide.
And remember to keep the tongue flat and relaxed on all primary vowels, (Ah Eh Ee Oh Oo ). If there's tension in the tongue there will be tension in the tone and you don't want that.
Practicing in front of a mirror will speed up your mouth memory.
How To Position the Mouth to Sing the Vowel "Ah"
- When taking a deep, full breath (inhalation). refrain from moving/lifting your shoulders up. Keep the chest area high and quiet. There should be no visible sign of taking a breath. The only parts of your body that move are the belly and ribcage. These areas expand but are not noticeable when singing.
- Your breathing should not be audible (heard.) If upon inhalation, one can hear you taking in air, and your chest moves as well, you ARE NOT using your diaphragm to breathe. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
- Always, always, drink plenty of room temperature water to keep the throat hydrated and in good vocal health.
- Avoid all screaming, shouting and continuous talking to avoid vocal abuse. Never strain your vocal cords by singing higher notes than are perfectly compfortable.
The Belly Breath or Low Breathing
Tip #3 Breathe From Your Belly and Not From Your Chest
Breathing is different for singing than it is for speaking. When we breathe normally, we automatically make a shallow inhalation. We don't even have to think about it. But when we sing we do the following:
- Inhale quickly. When taking a breath, be sure that breath comes from the belly and not the chest. Inhale through the nose.
- Exhale slowly as you sing each phrase of a song. This will keep you from running out of breath before finishing the phrase. Exhale through the mouth.
This manner of breathing doesn't come naturally so we must train our body to breath for singing. Singing is sustained speech and requires a different way of breathing than speaking.
Inhalation refers to air moving into our body - breathing in. Exhalation occurs when we exhale or blow out the air. When we exhale to sing, we must control our exhalation. If we fail to do this, we run out of air to soon. As this happens, we have to take a quick breath (inhale) in the middle of the phrase which breaks up our singing. We also find that we can't hold a note as long as we should, especially at the end of the song.
Our goal as singers is to have a sustained, smooth sound known as legato. To achieve this, learning how to release just the right amount of air is necessary.
Tanking up with enough air, executed by using the diaphragmatic muscle, helps us to sing those demanding high notes and long slow phrases.
Make it a priority to learn Diaphragmatic Breathing.
Will you use these 3 tips when singing?
Watch this video for learning belly breath
Devote Yourself To Learning New Singing Concepts
By learning these 3 easy tips to better singing, you are guaranteed to build and improve your present singing.
Because you will be correcting bad habits that have been ingrained and feel right to you, the only way to replace these habits is to teach yourself new concepts. This can only be done by consistent practice. Consistence is the key word here. Just set aside a few minutes each day preferably at about the same time, and just watch what happens. You may even be the next singing star.
Thank you for being here and Sing With Joy!
Questions & Answers
How can I sing softly in the full range, especially on higher notes?
Soft singing (pianissimo) requires complete control over the amount of air you take in. Try practicing "the siren" exercise using a very light tone which will use your full range. Be absolutely sure you are breathing from the diaphragm (belly breath.) This is crucial for soft singing.
© 2012 Audrey Hunt