Questions and Answers
Alright, so here's the story. We are in choir, and mind you; I haven't had choir for 3 years now (I'm a junior in High School). Also, I'm a guy. So we were auditioning for a solo, and 3 other guys and myself tried out. One was pretty young, and he blew it. The other is my age, and he switched parts in the middle, again, blew it. The third one sang pretty well. Then when the girls were auditioning, there was one girl, a sophomore, who I already knew sang super well, but when she did her audition, it was amazing! She even got a standing ovation from the rest of the class! I ended up not getting the solo, because the one other guy sings tenor, and I sing bass. It was a Josh Groban song, and she wanted to keep it as close to the original as possible.
Alright, now for my question. What can I do to my singing to give it that "standing ovation" quality? I'm willing to put forth the effort, but I also live in a small town, so I can't really take singing lessons. I sing from an E2 to an E4.
Here are some tips about 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.
7. Get over your mental blocks.
We all have at least one. Maybe you had a Simon Cowell-esque choral director in high school who told you had a dreadful voice and ever since you've had low self-esteem. This is another area that a personal voice teacher can help you with. A good voice teacher will help you to sound the best that you can using the voice that you've got. Because remember: No matter the raw materials you've been given, your singing voice can always be improved upon. So, be proud of your unique voice.
I am a 13 year old girl. Sometimes when i sing, i find it harder to get out high notes. And when i do, they are always soft and quiet. And i also have a great deal of trouble suddenly switching from a high to low or low to high. Any one have any tips on how i could make my singing better?
1) This is the most important thing: SING ALL THE TIME. In the shower, in your room, for your friends, on youtube, everywhere.
2) Find a musical role model. One from both genders, and preferably one with a different range than you. I'm a low alto, so I choose Gavin Degraw for comfortable songs for my range, and Ellie Goulding for a challenge.
3) Work on belting (singing really loudly and forcefully). If you perfect projection, then the softer high notes will come.
4) Tilt your chin up slightly, raise your eyebrows, and smile while reaching for the highs, Like, REALLY smile. Your cheeks should hurt by the end of a really high song.
5) Stop eating fatty dairy. No whole milk. Maybe try a spoonful of honey before you sing. All recording artists do it. It lubes up your tubes.
6) Do NOT try to scream those notes!!!!! If the highs make your throat hurt, you are doing it wrong. High screaming damages your vocal chords. Also, do NOT try to hit them on inhale! Many a rock star has ruined his/her singing voice using inhale.
7) Invest in a vocal coach. Even only one or two lessons helps.
8) Practice, practice, practice!
Hope that helps!
How do i sing with a bblocked up nose and a slight sore throat cuz i have a singing concert tomorrow and i can't let the band down.
What should i do ??
Please help me ..xx
xX.. Thanx ..Xx.
Hi!! I'm a 15 year old girl and I've been singing for many years in choirs, shows, stuff like that. Here are some tips to help with colds and sore throats.
Take some time to look through this answer, I spent a lot of time putting it together and I'm sure it will help
1) Know the difference between chest voice and head voice. Here are some tips to differentiate the two:
Singing in head voice is the only way to sing when you have a cold.
This allows you to sing "over" the cold.
2) When it comes to clearing hoarseness or sinuses, the only thing you should drink for this is WATER. This is the only thing that helps. Dairy products especially clog your vocal chords and your throat, so avoid dairy products for at least an hour before you sing.
Gargling with salt water (warm), can help calm the vocal chords. I would do this a little while before you start to sing.
If you have a sore throat, are rusty, or hoarse, do not try to clear your throat. This only irritates it more. One tip to help rid the rustiness is this really funny but effective exercise. Close your mouth, and using the back of your throat and your vocal chords, make "mouse squeaks". OK, I know it sounds ridiculous but this is a proven technique to help. If this doesn't work or you don't understand exactly what I'm saying, here is a link to an article with proven home remedies for hoarseness. This will also help with the pain as well. The only one you want to avoid right before singing is the remedy with milk and honey Here is the link:
You can also take Tylenol or any other general medication for a sore throat; ask your doctor about that one, though.
If you have a cold, look again at the article that includes differentiating between chest and head voice. The tip when you have a cold is to use only head voice. I also found this other awesome article that can help: (The most helpful information starts at the sixth paragraph).
3) You want to have good breath control. That is the key towards keeping your voice in check and always flowing. Here are some tips on breath control: (Scroll down on the page to get to the Breathing Exercises section:
These are the best tips I have for you. Again, don't try to clear your throat if its sore; that will only irritate it more. And remember that the home remedies can be for a soar throat too, not just rustiness.
Good Luck, you'll be fine, and keep singing =] =].
PS. If you have a singing teacher, ask him/her for some advice too.
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