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Creation and Appreciation of Culture and the Arts

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The most important lesson that you can learn as a singer is that you need to view your voice as your instrument. Just the fact that it’s in your body doesn’t give you automatic mastery over it. You need to train in how to play it just the way you a train on a piano or a saxophone.

Merely singing and practicing doesn’t give you real mastery over your voice. You need a voice training coach to show you the ropes. Even professional singers make plenty of mistakes when they skip their training.

Still not convinced that a voice coach could help you improve your singing? Here’s a quick look at the kind of corrections that a voice coach can help you make.

For a stronger voice, open your mouth

Have you ever noticed that top class singers open their mouths far more than they seem to need to (look at Doris Day singing Que Sera Sera in the movie The Man Who Knew Too Much )? When you speak, you don’t ever feel the need to open your mouth wide. You can get by barely moving your lips. This kind of lip movement doesn’t work when you need to sing. The more you learn to sing with your mouth open, the more powerful your voice will become.

How do you practice for this? Opening your mouth wide isn’t necessary – opening it long, is. Singing coaches offer an effective way to practice opening your mouth long. They give you an object like a cork wine bottle cork that you’re supposed to hold in your between your jaws so that your mouth isn’t able to close. You practice singing this way until it becomes natural to never let your jaws close up too much.

The more you practice this technique, the more natural and powerful your voice will sound.

How to sing powerfully without straining your voice

Professional singers make a subtle movement that helps them sing better with less voice strain – they gently tip their chins down. This usually goes against the intuitive way to sing more powerfully – tipping your chin up. While tipping up does work over the short term, it can gradually begin causing voice problems.

It can be difficult to practice singing with your chin pointed down. Your instincts will often keep trying to get you to point up. The more you practice this, though, the more power you will get with minimal voice strain.

Do you find it hard to sing a vibrato?

Contemporary music requires a touch of vibrato on certain notes. The ability to sing your notes with a restrained vibrato is a great sign of an evolved singing technique. How do you train for this difficult technique?

There’s an easy way. You need to get in front of a mirror and stand up straight. Press down on your chest with both hands while you try to raise your chest up. Next, you need to breathe deeply and then exhale without letting your chest fall. Once you’ve achieved the right position, you need to sing a note and hold it as long as you can. As you sing, you need to imagine the air in your throat bouncing around like a marble. This should help you achieve a decent vibrato.

-George deGeyter

One Comment

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