Vocal Singing Tips

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Questions and Answers

How to sing?

I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how to sing such as vocal exercises etc.

Posted by Sera
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Dear Sera,

Singing is cumulative–all parts affect all other parts. In other words you resonance can be thrown off if you aren't using proper posture or breath support, or vocal instrument placement.

Before singing one should make it habit to stretch all of the body to release tension and to warm up the vocal instrument. Any tension can and will cause vocal strain and eventually damage.

Nothing should be stiff. Loosen up. Do some light stretching and rub out tight muscles especially the ones around your neck, face, and jaw. It might seem strange, but yes, you should massage your face.

Posture: the foundation of great singing.

(Standing) from the top:
Your head should be level with the floor and you are looking ahead, not up or down. No tension, just placed as so.

When singing everything should be loose with no stiff tension. Tension causes things to be incorrect even when you know the right way and use it.

Next, Roll your shoulders back. Rolling your shoulders back elongates the spine and thorax or chest cavity and lifts the sternum, the bone in the middle of your chest. This allows space for proper breathing.

Keep your knees loose, so that they can bend. Don't lock them.

Keep your feet shoulder width apart. One foot can be a little farther forward than the other if that is more comfortable for you.

Imagine yourself as royalty. This is all perfectly natural and normal. It is simply the way you present yourself–with poise and self-confidence.

(Sitting) additional information:
When sitting it is important to keep all the same posture techniques used for standing.

Make sure you sit as far forward on the seat as possible and keep your feet flat on the floor.

When you have proper posture you can learn to breath properly. Correct breath support and control is the gateway to good singing.

To learn the proper way, you've got to know which ways are wrong.

Improper ways to breath when singing:
1) Clavicular breathing ~ shallow breathing–the shoulders lift
2) Costal breathing ~ heaving like when you are sick
3) Abdominal breathing ~ from just the stomach excluding use of the top of the lungs

To understand diaphragmatic-intercostal breathing, the proper breathing for singing, it is import to understand basic breathing for life. Breathing for life is nearly the same with only a few slight alterations.

How we breathe for living:
1) Involuntary impulse of the brain
2) The diaphragm contracts and flattens to enlarge the thorax or chest cavity
3) The costal or rib muscles expand causing the air pressure to drop within the lungs. The air pressure inside the lungs then equals to the air pressure outside the lungs.
4) Exhale.

Modifications used when singing:
1) More air is required
2) Quicker inhalation
3) Longer periods of exhalation requiring control
4) Voluntary–you determine how and when

**It is impossible to breath correctly if you are not using proper singers' posture.**

Ways to make sure you are breathing correctly when singing:
1) Make sure your shoulders and upper chest doesn’t rise when you inhale.
2) Make sure you are expanding all around. The stomach, sides, and even the back

The laying down exercise is great for practicing proper breathing. You should practice it every night before you go to sleep. When practicing, pay attention to the appoggio, or the moment of balance between inhaling and exhaling just like breathing for yoga.

Before bed breathing exercises:
Lie on your back and wait until your breathing deepens and evens. You will feel expansion around your stomach, sides, and even back. This type of breathing is the ideal form of healthy breathing and the breathing we use for singing.

1. Practice inhaling over a count of 10 and gradually grow to a count of 15 and as high as your lung capacity will allow.
2. Use inhalation explained in (1). Exhale with a hiss of air. It will sound like "tissss…". Work your exhale from a 10 count to a 15 count and so on.
3. Use inhalation explained in (1). Exhale with a hiss of air and pulse using the abdominal muscles. ("tisss, tisss, tisss,…) Work your pulsed-exhale from a 10 count to a 15 count and so on.

Remember: When people refer to singing from your diaphragm it is meant to be a locational reference. The activities of the diaphragm are completely involuntary. You don't control it–your brain does.

Proper breathing takes time to develop. You have to keep practicing to build strength and endurance.

Vocal instrument placement:

We'll start with the voice box or larynx. You can feel it in the center front of your neck. Swallow while touching it. Feel how it lowers? That's the position it should be in when you sing. You can't really mentally control it, but if you've gotten rid of your tension it should be just right.

Your mouth/teeth/lips… It should be opened wide enough to fit two fingers in vertically between your teeth, for some people, even wider for higher notes. Sometimes people just don't open their mouths wide enough for high notes to come out properly.

Your hard and soft pallet… Feel the top of your mouth with your tongue. Upfront, behind your teeth it's hard–that's your hard pallet. Farther back, there is a soft fleshy part. That's your soft pallet. When singing you have to make sure your soft pallet is raised. This allows the air to resonate for a fuller sound. This kind of resonation is especially important for high notes.

To find this position you can yawn. Feel how your soft pallet raises? You could also imagine you have one of those really cool little paper party drink umbrella things. Imagine putting it in your mouth and open it up in there. Now sing like that.

Good luck and happy singing! Just shoot me some email if something isn’t clear or you have another question.

~ moss

Checkout this new group—it’s still just a baby, but one day it will be something beautiful.

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Tips about singing vocals or warm ups?

I sing alot and im hoping to make a career out of it someday. Do you know any tips you could give me and warm ups or how to stay strong on more difficult notea etc. Just anything usefull would be great. Thanks:)

Posted by elle
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Please discuss these things with your vocal teacher, and in case you don't have a teacher, please get yourself a GOOD one NOW!

THE ONLY SAFE way to learn the correct singing 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. The world does NOT need copycats.

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.

Singing Tips?

Has anybody got any tips to help you sing better? Thanks!

Posted by PARAMORE<3
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A2Z Singing Tips
By Vocal Coach Yvonne DeBandi

A = Airflow. Never hold your breath while singing. The airflow is what creates and carries your vocal tone, so keep it flowing. Avoid Clavicular Breathing and Belly Breathing — instead, learn the proper way to breathe for singing, called diaphragmatic breathing. Fill the lower portion of your lungs as if you had an inner tube around your waist that you were evenly filling.Free Singing Tip A.

B = Breathing properly for singing requires the shoulders to remain down and relaxed, not rise with the breath intake. A singer will gain power to their voice by strengthening the muscles in their ribcage and back. Free Singing Tip B

C = Communicate the music's message. During performance it is very important to communicate the message of the song. If you make a "mistake" don't point it out to your audience. It is most likely they did not even notice. Free Singing Tip C

D = Diaphragmatic Support. Develop the strength and coordination of the diaphragm and become a pro at controlling the speed of the airflow released, the quantity of the airflow released and the consistency of the airflow released.

E = Elasticity of the Vocal Folds. The vocal tone is created as airflow bursts through the cleft of the vocal cords causing them to vibrate/oscillate. The vocal folds can lose elasticity due to misuse, lack of use and/or increase of age. Be sure to train your voice with vocal exercises on a regular basis to keep your voice in shape. Free S.

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