Singing Tips

by JazzMaverick (Aug 30, 2008)

A guy on here recently posted a topic asking for tips on singing. This is pretty important for people to know, even though the voice box is an instrument, it can still break if it's miss used, I feel it's important to know how to use it.

I've been taught by a professional singer and the first thing I learned was Posture (how to stand). It felt weird being mocked on how I was standing, as I've been doing this my whole life (aside from the baby years). Being a guitarist, I tend to slant to one side when I play. I never realised how bad this was until she moved me and said "Now you're standing straight" Posture is so important, it may sound weird, but you need to make sure you're straight (align yourself in the mirror) make sure you're not raising your head too high or too low (this puts a strain on the voice and with time can damage your voice box) It feels weird at first, but make sure you do it!

NOTE: Do this EVERYDAY for at least half an hour. You'll notice the change.

There were some comments from some people saying should I strain my voice or not? Some were saying this is the only way to get better with those notes you can't hold properly... WRONG!! - DO NOT strain your voice. Many people have done this and lose their voice at such a young age.

The first thing people do when starting to sing is singing with the throat instead of their lungs. Here are musical examples to explain the difference...

Throat Singing...

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Diaphragm Singing...

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As you can hear, there is quite a difference. Singing with your throat puts a huge strain on your vocals and can sometimes cause it to hurt the next morning. To achieve stronger vocals and longer lasting notes - it's extremely important to sing with your lungs.

So to achieve that the next thing to work on is breathing techniques. The key is to use your diaphragm (the bottom of your lungs) and your stomach. When you breathe in, push your stomach out, when you breathe out, push your stomach in. Now, on to the main practice of breathing... Breathe in through your nose for about five seconds, and breathe out for ten. If that's easy for you (or when it becomes easy for you) add five more seconds and five more and so on. The power in singing is your lungs. I can't say how important it is, so just believe me.

Practice this before you start singing.

Then, practice repeated stuff; arpeggios, scales, octaves. This may get boring doing this everyday, but this is exactly what helps get your voice louder, stronger, and you'll be able to reach those difficult notes the more you practice.

(Of course, each human being has a limited vocal range they can sing to, so make sure you know your limits to your vocal range) ...soprano, alto, etc.

Make sure to do a warm up before you go right into singing songs. This really is vital if you plan to sing.

NOTE: While doing this, it's helpful to have an instrument with you- keyboard would be the best. But its up to you.

If you want people to understand you (depending on how you sing, of course), practice pronunciation. Sing things like;

“Fluffy Puppy” - So start saying these two words with let's say the note "C", and each syllable, you sing C. Then, go up and down the keyboard and vocal range saying that. An Octave is how I do it, and then start again by playing the note next to the one you started with and go to that note's octave.

“Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry, Red Lolly, Yellow Lolly” - With this, each syllable you pronounce, jump an octave. Or jump fifths, thirds, whatever. Experiment.

This may get boring and may be embarrassing but it helps strengthen the muscles in the mouth.

Another thing you should all know about is the basic A, E, I, O, U.

So for this, sing arpeggios and wtih each one you pronounce it
A = ahhh e.g. use notes: C, E, G, B, C, (back down) B, G, E, C
E= eeee,
I= (eye)
O= ooohhh
U= oooo

This will also help your mouth pronunciation, ontop of your vocal practice.

Feel free to ask if you're struggling with things.


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