16 Jun 10 Singing Tips – Guaranteed to Make You a Better Singer!
Director of Song Performance at the Australian Performing Arts Conservatory Helen Rae Glindemann shares her top singing tips for singers!
As a singing coach with over 25 years of experience teaching singing to both beginner and advanced students of all ages, I have developed a teaching methodology that incorporates a range of singing exercises and singing skills in my teaching practice. Whether you are accessing singing lessons or not, these singing tips are appropriate for singers across all genres and if adhered to, are guaranteed to set you on the path to success!
In addition to that walk around the block or visit to the gym, make sure your daily exercise routine includes 5 to 15 minutes of vocal exercises. Your body (and your voice) will thank you for it! N.B., Singing songs randomly in the shower or car does not count as practice! My 3 top singing exercises are:
This is where you get to “make like a firetruck!” This exercise can be performed using an “n” or “m” nasalized consonant. Start on a low (speech-range) pitch and slowly move up through your range and back down again. Remember to breathe in gently before you start and keep your lips relaxed. Don’t rush…try to cover every microtone from the bottom to the top and back down again. Don’t be concerned if you feel a buzz behind your teeth and nose – that’s just nasal resonance and it’s a useful sensation to feel and lock into your memory!
Some refer to this as raspberries…I don’t know why….I have never heard raspberries make a noise!? This is where you get to “make like a horse!” You know that noise they make when they let out all their air at once? The only difference is that you need to engage your larger breathing muscles to sustain the sound. Breathe out through pursed lips, feeling the resistance as you gently squeeze your larger abdominal muscles simultaneously in an outward direction. Start with short “puffs” and then try to sustain the sound. Try to blip on a single pitch and then progress to a 5 note ascending and descending note pattern.
“Ng” Yawn Sigh
You may have heard of the yawn sigh. This is where you breathe in with an open throat feeling a “yawny stretch” and then sigh out starting on a high pitch and sliding slowly down to a low pitch. By doing this on an “ng” sound you stretch the soft palate and add both depth and resonance to the tone.
2. Warm up your voice
Always warm up safely for at least 5 minutes before you sing. This singing tip is something you should do every time!
3. Breathe low and slow
Imagine that your torso is a coke bottle that needs to be filled from the bottom up! Just before you breathe in, release your abdominal muscles and let the air flow into your lungs. Take your time…don’t rush. As you sing, imagine you are wearing a wide belt and your torso is gently squeezing out against it. When you get to the end of your air, let the breath fill your lungs again naturally and spontaneously.
4. Smile on the inside, not on the outside!
Smiling when you sing creates jaw and neck tension and lowers the soft palate. This has a negative impact on the tone. When you are singing think like a fish and keep your lips in more of a relaxed forward position. A good way to practice this is to silently imagine something funny whilst keeping your lips gently closed and your top and bottom teeth apart – don’t clench!
5. Speak before you sing
Say your lyrics out loud rhythmically before you sing them. If you can project your voice and articulate clearly using speech tone, it will be easier to sing your lyrics afterwards!
6. Don’t smoke
Smoking dries out and irritates your vocal cords and decreases lung capacity.
7. Drink water
Drink small amounts of room temperature water frequently. This will keep your vocal cords lubricated.
8. Stand tall
Hunching your shoulders compresses your lungs and stifles the free movement of the diaphragm. Try to keep your shoulders back and down.
9. Don’t yell
Yelling over loud music, noise or other people puts strain on the vocal cords, which eventually weakens and damages them. If you have to project your voice keep your throat open and use your deeper abdominal muscles to support your breath.
10. Get plenty of sleep
To maintain good vocal health get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
For more information about these singing tips or to enquire about singing lessons and performing arts programs at APAC, click here contact firstname.lastname@example.org