In order to master a proper and solid technique of singing, you should practice several things daily. The more you train yourself, the better your singing will be. Straining and tension will all fade away, and only the beautiful sound will remain! Ok so, in this post, I am revealing to you some of the exercises the masters have used or use to get to their amazing supported powerful free voice.
Breathing and Support exercises
Think of your diaphragm as a balloon, that whenever gets filled with air, it expands in a 3D outwards, so basically your stomach, your sides and your back will expand when you inhale air.
This is what you should start focusing on. Without a proper way of breathing, you won’t be able to sing everything you want fantastically.
Breathing exercises will help you inhale air correctly, so instead of putting all the air in your chest and raising your shoulders every time you take in air, your diaphragm will expand, tension will fade away and your voice, body and mind, will thank you.
When you think of support, it means holding this breath you just inhaled, so that it doesn’t go to waste, you need to support your voice by keeping the air in your diaphragm for as long as you can.
For example, take a deep breath from your diaphragm and hold it out for as long as you can, imagine someone is trying to hit you in your stomach so that all the breath goes out, and just use your reflex (by forcing your diaphragm to keep its expansion) to forbid them of emptying you from air, this way you’ll understand how you can hold your breath.
Every time you’re breathing, hold it by pushing your diaphragm forward.
- Straw with bottle: get a bottle half filled with water and add a straw to it, take a deep breath from your stomach, expand your diaphragm from all sides as much as you can, then start emptying this air in the bottle using the straw, make bubbles as much as you can, and while doing that, try focusing on what’s happening with your abs and memorize the feeling, because this is what you should be doing to support your breath while singing.
N.B: you can also add your voice to this exercise while singing a song, this way you would be getting used to sing with this kind of support. But first do it without singing.
This exercise is for good breath support.
2. 7 in – 20 out: take a deep breath for 7 seconds (if it is hard to get to 7 seconds, inhale air for 5 seconds at first, then start adding the seconds progressively and you’ll eventually get there), then exhale slowly with a “Tssss…” sound for 20 seconds. Then do it again, and if 20 gets very easy, add more time to exhale, always challenge yourself, but of course pay attention not to hurt yourself, when you can’t do any more “Tssss” or “Phewww”, it means you emptied enough.
This exercise helps you to hold your breath longer and to take deeper breaths.
3. Sleep on your back and do these exercises: elevate your legs (45º) while taking a deep breath from your diaphragm and hold your breath as much as you can, focus on how your diaphragm is doing its best to keep its expansion so the air stays in there as you’re holding your breath. You shouldn’t feel it’s an easy exercise.
After this, elevate your legs again and do lip buzz with your voice, this way you’ll get used to supporting while singing.
4. FF/SS/SHHH: imagine someone or something is annoying you and you want it to be quiet, then using your diaphragm and abs start producing these “fffff, ssss, shhhh” sounds energetically. Your shoulders shouldn’t move. Repeat it for as long as you can. You might get dizzy first, but you’ll learn how to focus on your abdominal muscles and how to use them to support your singing instead of moving your shoulders and straining your voice, then it’ll get so much easier with practice.
Do all these exercises every day, especially the 1st exercise, many times per day.
Exercises to expand your vocal range
– Sigh and feel the space: in this exercise, what you should do is sigh (like when you’re sleepy), and focus on where the sound of your voice is resonating, feel the space in there and memorize it so you can use all of that space when singing. This exercise helps you also find the resonant part, where your voice should be.
– Practice scales.
– Lip buzz: remember when we were kids and used to do the “brrrr” with our lips? this is what the lip buzz is about! How fun is that?! HAHA! Anyway, start by doing it without any sound coming out, while fixing your eyes on a far point in front of you. Don’t forget to take a breath before you do it and support that breath while doing it. After you do that, add sound to it so that it becomes a vocalized lip buzz.
– Humming: start out by humming using the “ng” sound (from “sing“) then open up with an “Ah” sound after humming the same high note for a few seconds. This helps you reach this note without complicating it in your mind, and it gives you the right position of the note.
Exercises for singing vowels
Use your mouth in a roundish (oval) shape, especially on high notes. Let your jaw drop, as if you were saying “bye” and keep it relaxed down there, don’t put pressure on your jaw.
– Dee Dé Dè Da Dee:
Note: the “é” and “è” sounds are french accents.
Start out by “speaking” these words, while focusing on the vowels; think that all these vowels are in the same place, so try not to change the round motion of your mouth and do not let the vowels go backwards. In fact, here’s a tip for you to do that: after you say “dee”, say “dè” and think about it as if it’s even more in front than the “ee” in “dee”, same thing goes for the rest, so by the time you reach the last “Dee”, you shouldn’t feel that your mouth changed its form or that the resonating sound in your mouth has moved forward to reach the “ee” again. After you understand this, sing these words using the same kind of thinking.
– i è a o oo:
It’s also the same concept as the above exercise. Pay attention to the “oo” sound, think of it as an “oo”, don’t close your mouth to make the “oo”, just think about the “oo” sound and speak it then sing it with the same roundish shape of the mouth.
These exercises will help you use your vowels the right way especially when it comes to high notes and to expanding your vocal range.
In the end, what matters the most is how much you practice! So practice whenever you can! A lot of these exercises can be done while you’re watching TV for example, I am doing a lip buzz while writing this post for you guys now!
Hope you enjoy this post, and most importantly, ENJOY YOUR SINGING!