In this post, I want you to know the basics of learning how to sing. You will learn how to improve your singing by doing some really important exercises that will significantly make your voice change to the better.
So, what do you say? Are you ready to start singing better? Let’s start!
Oh, one little thing before we start: record yourself now (you could use your phone to record your voice just on a normal voice recording application), and in like one month singing the same song. But only do so if you’re practicing every day.
Warm-up before singing
1- Start with a bit of Stretching (for the neck, the shoulders, your back) just so you can relax and let all the negativity out. 3 to 5 minutes should be enough every day before starting.
2- Correct Posture! It’s important so you can breathe better and eventually sing better.
3- Breathe correctly! I have a few exercises you could use for that matter.
Posture and Breathing
- You should keep an Open Chest; “Titties out” is one expression that illustrates the situation.
- Your Shoulders should be aligned with your Hips, so basically try not to pull them forward.
- Your Earlobe should be aligned with the middle of your deltoid (triangular muscle located on the uppermost part of your arm and on top of your shoulders).
- You should maintain your Chin kind of parallel to the floor.
- You should keep your Arms relaxed to the sides of your core, palms facing your body.
- To know if you’re breathing correctly: -Lie down or sit on a chair while being comfortable, relaxed and maintaining a good posture. -Now close your eyes and analyze the way you are taking air in; breathe and put your hand on the part that is going up every time you inhale (or if you’re lying down, put a book on your abdomen and see how it rises): if this part is your chest, then you are not breathing properly (your abdomen should be the one rising).
- As a child: we use the proper way to breathe. But as we grow up, we develop most of the time a wrong breathing habit, which leads to all sorts of problems (actually, for children that are 10 years old, a development of bad dysfunctional breathing that leads to anxiety, sleep disorder, neck and shoulder pain, digestive problems, etc…, is found).
- Correct way of breathing: Inhale and expand your body.
In fact, when you take air in, you should expand in a 3D motion, which means that your stomach, your back and your sides should grow as your lungs are inhaling air, then when you exhale, everything should get back to its initial position (imagine a balloon: fill it with air, it expands in a 3D motion, then when you let all the air out, it just gets back to the way it was before having extra air in).
- Exercises to correct your breathing habits:
Here are some exercises I did to correct my breathing habits.
Try exercising on a daily basis, like 2 to 3 times a day.
- Inhale air progressively in a way that your diaphragm expands in a 3D motion, as if you were taking air in through a straw. Then exhale the air from your mouth, and keep doing it as much as you can, and finish your exhaling with a “Tssss…” so you get rid of all the air left in. (NB: The “Tssss…” is a sound you make with the “ssss” getting out through your teeth, also keep your mouth relaxed, don’t force the “Tssss…” sound).
- Grab a bottle and fill half of it with water, then get a straw, and exhale as much as you can through your straw, try making bubbles for as long as you can. Then do it again and again.
- Inhale air for like 7 seconds, then exhale with a “Tssss…” for 20 seconds, and in the end of the 20 seconds, push all the air out with a strong “fwww”.
So, the first thing to do before singing is: breathe, support your breath without any tension, then start singing.
What you should feel is that you’re pushing everything down towards your diaphragm as if your stomach is hurting or something, or as if you are in the bathroom and trying to poop. This is the feeling. This is how you should practice doing it.
Exercises for practicing your support:
- You can try sleeping on the floor, on your back, and pull your legs upwards every time you take a breath, then start singing, this way you’ll understand how you need to support.
- Here’s another exercise: Imagine there’s a cat being really aggressive in front of you, and you want it to go away. Or you can also imagine that you’re trying to shut that annoying person on the other side of the room up. Use your lips in a round way, and start doing with your mouth: “fff” “sss” “shh”, but pay attention, do it in a way that these sounds go to the outside, so that this cat goes away, or that that person hears you and stops annoying everyone. Also, while doing this exercise, you should focus your energy in your diaphragm, this is the thing that should be moving (like it moves when you laugh); your shoulders shouldn’t really move.
- Don’t swallow your voice nor your vowels. Let your singing position be always forward and not backwards, sing as if you’re singing to that person standing far from you and who wants to hear you, but don’t force your voice to come out through your nose.
- Your vowels should be vertical, kind of round and all of them should appear to be in the same place. To make this work, do this exercise: Say “dee dé dè da dee” without singing them first. What you should be doing is think you’re pushing them forward, so: think that dé should be more in front than dee, dè more than dé, da more than dè so that when you reach dee, you don’t feel that you had to come forward again to reach “dee” (because when you pronounce “dee”, the “ee” is the most forward vowel). After this, sing them using the same way of thinking.
Last but not least, while singing
– Lower your Larynx. To understand this: swallow while touching your Adam’s apple, this is basically where you can find your larynx. It goes up as you swallow, right? This is normal, but when it comes to singing, it shouldn’t go up, it should stay at its normal position. So try keeping it there.
– You shouldn’t sound breathy. So while singing, think that you’re talking snobbily, and you won’t sound airy. But of course, I repeat, always think “FORWARD”.
– When you’re hitting high notes, don’t think that you’re going up, instead think that you’re going forward, as if you’re opening a carpet (folded cylindrically of course, not in squares).
– Always practice while looking at a specific point in front but far from you, and try not to move a lot, so that when you sing in front of people or in front of a public, this would already be natural for you.
In conclusion, to sing better, you need to be in a good posture, using diaphragm breathing, supporting your breath, not swallowing your vowels, always singing forward, and practicing as much as you can.
And most importantly, ENJOY YOUR SINGING!