Watching the summer olympics this year, i was decidedly MORE enthralled than any other year of watching the games, and of course seeing AMERICA CRUSH IT!
A very heartfelt “not so sorry” to my international friends!
But the games our awesome. It’s truly incredible and inspiring, and this year i was just in awe of the level of discipline and commitment that our men and women dedicate to make themselves the very best at what they do.
I was comparing my musical talents, in particular my voice, and realized that as vocalists we are similar to athletes in many respects and that especially because of the WAY we are using our voice, it’s very much important that we continually train or voices.
Both the roles of physiology-keeping our body in tune, and dynamic flexibility with our vocals are key factors for how well we perform.
I have made it my goal to train my voice over the course of this next year, even more intensely than i have over the last year and a half. (30-60 minutes every day almost without exception)
I realize that my voice is probably my greatest asset in terms of talents i came equipped with, and that it is something intend to master, both in terms of expressive capability and style, as well as my ability to CONNECT to lyrics to deliver the message and convey the emotion.
I have made quite a few sacrifices, which i am proud to say have been for the best in terms of my vocal and physical health, and has served me well. Yet, i think that in order to take my voice to the next level, i’ve got to step up BOTH my physical training and vocal training regiment.
There aren’t all that many “vocal tips” when it comes down to it, and most of us who are singers already know about many of them.
Anyway, right here on this page or in this category, i intend to update and log all the important and highly effective singing tips and vocal techniques as i “Up My Game,” and reach for that next level of excellence.
Top Vocal Tips and Techniques
Water – Ya dude… Water man…. Water is so vital to our bodies in terms of keeping it functioning properly, but ALSO for lubricating the vocal chords. One thing that most people don’t know is that when you take a sip of water when your throat “gets dry, ” it doesn’t really do anything in the moment.
There’s an immediate refresh for your mouth, but then it’ll quickly come back. You need to get water in your system hours before. In other words, you’ve got to prepare ahead of time, and not rely on a quick fix in the moment. You should drink a LOT of water, 1 gallon or more a day is what i try to stick to.
Warm up – Another one that goes without saying… Don’t be lazy. I find myself sometimes wanting to do this, and i almost always get better performances that DON’T strain my voice, when i properly warm up. Just like an athlete, you should stretch the muscle you intend to work out, so it can effectively handle the stress you are about to place on it.
Your body is part of the instrument – Your physical fitness, meaning your cardiovascular health as well as your physiology, all play an important role in fully “unlocking” the voice. Running, situps and abdominal exercises, as well as lower back exercises are great and have immediate effects on your core strength and vocal power.
Practice Regularly – This self-explanatory but should be noted that consistency really is a key to reliably excellent performance.
Don’t Strain Your Voice – You should never feel pain when you sing. If you do, stop singing.
Physiology – Posture and physiology help with singing and breathing technique. Maintain a comfortable posture with your back straight and feet flat on the floor, you should feel in balance and in tune with your body, you should feel in balance and you should feel your voice resonating all throughout your body. It really is about STATE. From that state of total congruence you can effortlessly deliver powerful performances.
Dairy Products – While i still enjoy my dairy, it’s best to not consume dairy products prior to singing, which can cause mucus buildup and should be avoided before performance.
Sing Like You Speak – I’ve had multiple teachers explain the concept of speech level singing, and it’s a really game changing concept. Basically, by strengthening the voice and increasing your dynamic range through “connected” yet soft and effortless singing, you begin to feel what POWER is really about, and it’s NOT about FORCE or STRAINING. But rather flexibility and technique. The technique allows you to reach notes you could never be able to by simply “singing louder” or pushing your voice unnaturally.
It takes practice, but it’s really an amazing thing. If you are looking into developing your voice, or often lose your voice do to pushing too hard, i highly recommend you look into it.
Work on Vowels – All singing is really the unique expression of vowels… You cannot sing Tttttttttttt, or Ppppppppp… All the singing happens on the vowels. Ey, Ee, Eye, Oh, Oo, Ah, Ihh, etc. Figure out where the natural and full placement for each vowel is within your throat, and for your style.
Practice Scales to Help Increase Range – Should again go without saying, but one thing to remember is that you are singing scales to help you sing SONGS better by strengthening your chords and increasing your range. You are not practicing scales to get better at scales. So work on songs to develop your style, and work on scales to develop your chops and keep growing your strength and dynamic capability. Use BOTH.
Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing – This is still something i’m trying to develop into an unconscious habit. It’s important because most of us have developed bad habits that have formed over a very long time, and most people in general are not breathing effectively or “properly.” When you breathe from your diaphragm you are simply breathing deeper and allowing more oxygen to flow through your brain and your body.
This is a very good thing. Proper breathing is generally the opposite way that most people naturally breathe.
Instead of filling your chest on the inhale, and then deflating on the exhale… You want to EXPAND your stomach on the inhale, and retract your stomach on the exhale.
Breathe More – Don’t worry about breathing too loud! This is something I unconsciously have noticed myself doing before for some retarded reason… If anyone says, “HEY, you’re breathing too loud!” Tell em to mind their own business! Breathe confident, and air is free.. Lol
Do you have any vocal tips to add to this list?
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