Questions and Answers
Im 13 years old and im starting to get really interested in singing, I just wanted to know if there are any excersizes that will improve my voice or give me more range in my singing. Does it have anything to do with my daily activites, maybe i could change them. I run every night so if i could do something every night when i run to improve that would be nice.:)
Thank you in advance :
Emilia Garcia Altamonti Antonio Mercado.
Here are some tips as to how to sing better:
1. Know thy voice.
Spend quality alone time with your voice. Take your voice out on dates, so to speak, and really get to know it. You might even try recording your singing voice to hear it more objectively. Find out the answers to these questions:
Is my singing voice big or small? Thin or full?
What kind of vibrato do I have? Fast, slow, medium, heavy, thin, non-existent? Am I able to sing both with and without vibrato? When I sing without vibrato, does it feel different in my body than when I do sing with vibrato?
What is my full vocal range? What range am I most comfortable singing in?
Where is my passaggio (the pitch(es) where the voice changes registers)?
How long can I sing without taking a breath? (i.e. How well do I support my breath?) What do I notice in my body and what do I notice about my tone when I start to run out of breath?
How does it feel in my body when I am singing well and when I am not singing well?
What kinds of food and drink affect my voice negatively/positively?
How long does it take for my voice to "warm up"?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions—everybody's voice is different. The more informed you are about your own voice, the better you will be able to care for it and improve it.
2. Take care of yourself.
Your body is your instrument and you only get one. So, stay hydrated. Get enough sleep. Don't smoke.
3. Support your breath.
You've probably heard this before by every choral director and voice teacher you've ever had—and there's a reason for that. Proper breath support is imperative if you want your tone to sound the best it can. Unfortunately, it seems like every pedagogue has a different way of explaining breath support, which leads to a lot of confusion. This is an area where a personal voice teacher will come in handy for you. He or she will work one-on-one with you to help you learn or improve your breath support so that your tone is always supported. [Read: "Choral Cliché: Support the Tone."]
4. Keep your jaw loose.
A tense jaw will cause your tone to sound constricted and may even cause you to sing out of tune. So, reduce your jaw movement to only what is necessary and don't chew on your vowels. For example, if you are singing a major scale on "ah," there is little need to move your jaw while ascending from pitch to pitch. Keep your jaw as stationary and as loose as possible, and think of making the shape of the vowel inside your mouth rather than with the muscles in your lips.
5. Read ahead of the beat.
When reading music, always have your eye at least one or two beats ahead—that way you can anticipate what's coming next and you'll be less likely to be caught off guard when you encounter a curveball interval jump. This can be especially helpful when doing a cold sightread through a new piece of music.
6. Listen louder than you sing.
Aural multi-tasking—the ability to listen to yourself while simultaneously listening to other singers and musicians in your ensemble—is a challenge that every choral singer faces. Please: Do not plug up one earlobe to be able to hear yourself better. Why? If you have to do that to hear yourself, then you aren't training yourself to listen holistically.
If you're having trouble hearing yourself in the group, one trick is to angle your music book or folder in front of you (but without completely burying yourself behind it, of course) so that some of your sound bounces back to you as you sing. Use acoustics to your advantage.
What practice helps one improve singing fast? Not learning to sing faster but singing fast songs. I try it and I can't seem to keep up. Any warm ups or things i can do to improve? Besides memorizing the lyric.
In my case, if I am having problems singing a fast song, it is because I am trying to pronounce every word. The trick is to sing with the least amount of lip movement as possible, but still be understood. Watch yourself in a mirror as you sing the fast song. Are your lips moving wildly? While still looking in the mirror, read the words fast….. Are you lips move as much as when you are singing. I bet they are not. If you can sing the way you read, then you are home free.
You also need to know the music well enough that you can be thinking of the next phrase as you are singing the current one. This will have you mentally in front of what you are singing, not behind. (I have been singing for 30 years, and this can still be a problem for me.)
No quick fixes nor magic wands here, sorry.
The ONLY SAFE way to learn the correct techniques & to improve properly IS to take OFFLINE face-to-face singing lessons with a fully trained vocal teacher (in case you do not have a teacher yet)! The teacher HAS TO BE in the same room with you, so that he/she could give you proper feedback.
Please do NOT rely on any dodgy web tutorials because that way you can misunderstand things VERY EASILY and develop bad habits, hoarseness, vocal nodules and other nasties IN NO TIME, and even though you would sound good! It is always much wiser to invest a little bit of your money/time to face-to-face lessons rather than wasting the same amount of money (or even more!) to frequent ear-nose-throat specialist visits due to aforementioned problems, so please reconsider this. If you can't afford vocal lessons, then joining a choir is the only SAFE alternative option. And believe me, but even MANY of those who have music as their hobby DO take lessons as well!
Always remember to warm up your voice properly, but please know your limits and don't overdo your voice! Remember the diaphragmatic support, do not strain your throat too much! Also, remember good body posture!
Avoid fizzy drinks (burp danger), dairy products (mucus risk), caffeinated products (coffee & tea included, they dry up your throat) and spicy food (irritation risk)! You can consume these things, but NEVER before singing!
Do NOT shout, yell, scream nor otherwise abuse your voice AT ANY TIME! Also, please respect your vocal range; if your teacher says you are, say, more of an alto (baritone if you are male), then you ARE more of an alto (baritone). DO NOT try to imitate anyone famous, that will usually give you just bad habits and even damage your throat. You are YOU and your voice is unique, so please learn to cherish that.
Do NOT sing, whisper, shout, yell nor scream if having a sore throat/cold/flu, Also, do speak as little as you can if you have flu/cold/sore throat!
Remember to drink at least 2 litres of room-temperature still water every day, not just during singing days!
Smoking is a big no-no, as is inhaling secondhand smoke. Also, avoid staying in dusty and/or moldy environment.
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