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Joined: 28 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
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Singing Tips

by JazzMaverick

30 Aug 2008
Views: 16153

A guy on here recently posted a topic asking for tips on singing. This is pretty important for people to know, even though the voice box is an instrument, it can still break if it's miss used, I feel it's important to know how to use it.

I've been taught by a professional singer and the first thing I learned was Posture (how to stand). It felt weird being mocked on how I was standing, as I've been doing this my whole life (aside from the baby years). Being a guitarist, I tend to slant to one side when I play. I never realised how bad this was until she moved me and said "Now you're standing straight" Posture is so important, it may sound weird, but you need to make sure you're straight (align yourself in the mirror) make sure you're not raising your head too high or too low (this puts a strain on the voice and with time can damage your voice box) It feels weird at first, but make sure you do it!

NOTE: Do this EVERYDAY for at least half an hour. You'll notice the change.

There were some comments from some people saying should I strain my voice or not? Some were saying this is the only way to get better with those notes you can't hold properly... WRONG!! - DO NOT strain your voice. Many people have done this and lose their voice at such a young age.

The first thing people do when starting to sing is singing with the throat instead of their lungs. Here are musical examples to explain the difference...

Throat Singing...




Diaphragm Singing...




As you can hear, there is quite a difference. Singing with your throat puts a huge strain on your vocals and can sometimes cause it to hurt the next morning. To achieve stronger vocals and longer lasting notes - it's extremely important to sing with your lungs.

So to achieve that the next thing to work on is breathing techniques. The key is to use your diaphragm (the bottom of your lungs) and your stomach. When you breathe in, push your stomach out, when you breathe out, push your stomach in. Now, on to the main practice of breathing... Breathe in through your nose for about five seconds, and breathe out for ten. If that's easy for you (or when it becomes easy for you) add five more seconds and five more and so on. The power in singing is your lungs. I can't say how important it is, so just believe me.

Practice this before you start singing.

Then, practice repeated stuff; arpeggios, scales, octaves. This may get boring doing this everyday, but this is exactly what helps get your voice louder, stronger, and you'll be able to reach those difficult notes the more you practice.

(Of course, each human being has a limited vocal range they can sing to, so make sure you know your limits to your vocal range) ...soprano, alto, etc.

Make sure to do a warm up before you go right into singing songs. This really is vital if you plan to sing.

NOTE: While doing this, it's helpful to have an instrument with you- keyboard would be the best. But its up to you.

If you want people to understand you (depending on how you sing, of course), practice pronunciation. Sing things like;

“Fluffy Puppy” - So start saying these two words with let's say the note "C", and each syllable, you sing C. Then, go up and down the keyboard and vocal range saying that. An Octave is how I do it, and then start again by playing the note next to the one you started with and go to that note's octave.

“Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry, Red Lolly, Yellow Lolly” - With this, each syllable you pronounce, jump an octave. Or jump fifths, thirds, whatever. Experiment.

This may get boring and may be embarrassing but it helps strengthen the muscles in the mouth.

Another thing you should all know about is the basic A, E, I, O, U.

So for this, sing arpeggios and wtih each one you pronounce it
A = ahhh e.g. use notes: C, E, G, B, C, (back down) B, G, E, C
E= eeee,
I= (eye)
O= ooohhh
U= oooo

This will also help your mouth pronunciation, ontop of your vocal practice.

Feel free to ask if you're struggling with things.


-------------------------------

Also, check out my music listed on Sound Cloud (link below) if you like it follow me on facebook! :)

JazzMaverick on Sound Cloud
JazzMaverick Music Page



Comments:

01
09.21.2008
  jackal951

I have a question does smoking affect your voice?

02
09.22.2008
  JazzMaverick

Yep. It screws up the throat and also puts that crap in your lungs, which prevents you from having that natural deep breat. It also stops your voice from being as powerful because of that.

03
09.24.2008
  Heather

Thanks for posting this Jazz, I'm silly enough to sing lying down in my bed when I forget to practice! I won't be doing that anymore let me tell you!

I reall especially appreciate the push my stomache out thing, I always struggled with long high pitches so that should make me a lot better in time.

04
09.24.2008
  JazzMaverick

Ah, by all means try it. I've heard singing on your back can be very useful. It opens up your lungs and allows them to get more air in their lings. I've heard that a fair few famous people do it too. Just remember to be straight. :D

Pushing the stomach in and out also helps put less of a strain on your voice, it hurts less when your voice gets tired from being over used, because it's not using as much energy; the wind is pushing out the noise as fast as it can and creates a louder sound.

05
09.24.2008
  Empirism

Very nice technique tips, thanks...even tho I think ive lost my voice long time ago :D.

Do you know, or do you have favorite tips on mixing you vocals, like how to equalize vocal track or effects you use?...

Cher's...I mean Cheers.

06
09.25.2008
  Heather

Thanks alot Jazz! I've improved alot this month, but this really did help, my voice sounds better then ever. THANK YOU!

07
09.25.2008
  soy.el.che

jazz...... hey. thats interesting, i think everyone here would prefer to sing well, than to be in the middle of the crowd...
thanks jazz
u rock

08
09.26.2008
  JazzMaverick

I'm glad it's helped you all. There's never any point in keeping anything to yourself. Everyone deserves a chance.

09
03.26.2009
  shawn7656

"Just remember to be straight. :D" - JazzMaverick


haha, does this mean ** people cant sing??
just kidding
nice lesson

10
03.26.2009
  patleh

if smoking messes up your singing then why does Liam Gallagher have a wonderful voice

11
03.27.2009
  JazzMaverick

Then smoke and you'll find out. But naturally you won't be able to take back what you've done.

12
03.27.2009
  patleh

haha okay. actually i think smoking might even help his kind of style of singing.

13
04.27.2009
  God91125

Question: Do drinks affect your voice? like if one was to drink water or soda for that matter before singing?

14
04.27.2009
  BodomBeachTerror

you should drink when you sing, it keeps your throat from getting dry and sore. theres probably other effects as well

15
04.27.2009
  JazzMaverick

Totally depends on what drink though! I'd always recommend drinking water instead of soda. Besides, fizzy drinks aren't even good for you! (Even though they're amazing.)

16
04.27.2009
  God91125

Haha yeah Root Beer is awesome XD alright thanks for the tip!

17
06.27.2009
  Tobiaspp90

I realy would like to sing better but i don't understand very much of this lesson though.
what do you mean with:
Then, practice repeated stuff; arpeggios, scales, octaves.
i would like to have a good explanation on that then i start practice:)
Thx!

18
06.28.2009
  JazzMaverick

You're going to have to start from scratch if you don't know what arpeggios and scales are. Look at my other lessons, like Music Theory Grade 1, and the Arpeggios lessons I've posted.

Arpeggios are chords, just placed into easier positions for us to play and played one after another instead of all at once. E.G. --> C, E, G, B

An Octave is the same note but played higher or lower. C to C , A# to A#, etc.

And a scale is a group of notes placed together to create a certain mood and feel.

There's only so much I can say briefly, you'll really need to check out other lessons to properly understand it.

19
05.24.2010
  Mici

"When you breathe in, push your stomach out, when you breathe out, push your stomach in."
I'm not sure, but I think I've read the opposite somewhere. I'm not putting your knowledge in question but could this be a typo cause I keep going back to that line every two minutes two check if I might have misread it (in fact I just did that right now).

20
05.24.2010
  JazzMaverick

No, that's how it should be. :) Just do EXACTLY what it says.
Breath in = slowly push stomach out
Breath out = slowly pull stomach in

21
05.24.2010
  Mici

Alright then. Thank you.
After I posted that comment I spent about half an hour experimenting with the breathing and in the end I was feeling kinda dizzy. Obviously, I was doing it wrong.
One more question:
Is this just a exercise or do you have to strictly follow this 'rule' when you're singing? Breath out = SLOWLY pull stomach in while singing?

22
05.24.2010
  JazzMaverick

It seriously helps man... keep it up - it should become second memory soon enough.

You're probably not doing it wrong, when anyone keeps doing that for a while they tend to get dizzy. When that happens just stop and try again when you feel better. :)

It's just breathing; you're just using more of your lungs than you usually do - which is very healthy by the way!

23
06.07.2011
  devilchild

Is it possible for people who can't sing to learn how to sing by practising stuff like this?

24
06.07.2011
  tinyskateboard

You can sing, or speak in a singsongy way. Pretend, pretend pretend. Pretend you're Michael Jackson or John Wayne.

Use a cartoon voice or try to sing in a way that you would not normally think of. That might open your experiences a little.

25
06.10.2011
  luthier

This is a really good lesson Jazz. I wish I'd found it before lol.

26
06.12.2011
  JazzMaverick

Devilchild - yeah dude :)

we're all born with perfect pitch, we just lose it during the years without practice. So all you need to do is practice to get better. :) Record yourself and play it back. Constantly work to become better. :)

@ Tinyskateboard, that was a really weird thing to say! :S

27
06.12.2011
  tinyskateboard

JM: A singing teacher I took a class from used these exercises.

28
06.13.2011
  neomass1

@JazzMaverick

These are great, I use a lot of them myself.

If you can do these everyday for like 30 mins then finish off with some of your favorite song, whole new world opens up for you.

The only problem I have right now is, and I think I have this problem, a raised larynx. If you know anything about this, whys of telling if I have it, and hopefully ways of fixing it let me know.

Thank you.

29
07.29.2011
  Heather

I already commented on this ages ago - but I'm doing it again :) Any lurkers out there who aren't sure about doing these excercises - DO THEM! I gotta admit I've been home alone today, even nervous to sing around family. But as soon as I tried 'Fluffy puppy' in particular there was already great improvment! (I know that's fast but really I was a flat dull singer). And I did that for a while plus kept improving with all the other ones & when my family come home in the morning I think I may even just sing at them cuz I gots new confidence already lol :D Do it people, you'll miss out if you don't :-)

Jazz, I owe you big! I didn't know my voice could sound as good as it is now.

30
07.30.2011
  JazzMaverick

haha Thanks! :D Glad you like it!

Now with more confidence, I think you should try to record yourself! if you don't have the recording equipment, buy a headset for your computer, get audacity, place the mic down in a good place in the room - make a distance and sing. Play it back and decide for yourself what you need to work on. :)

Hope this all helps!

31
07.30.2011
  Heather

Oh yey I have a usb mic and audacity! :-) I shall experiment with that. Thanks again Jazz, I really do feel better about myself for improving so rapidly :D

32
09.09.2011
  gshredder2112

How can I figure out if I'm
tenor
alto
bass
soprano
baritone Etc..?

33
09.09.2011
  JazzMaverick

These are the average ranges :)

Soprano: C4 – C6
Mezzo-soprano: A3 – A5
Contralto: F3 – F5
Tenor: C3 – C5
Baritone: F2 – F4
Bass: E2 – E4

Don't forget: NEVER strain or push your voice - this is BAD!! sing with your stomach, never your neck.

34
09.09.2011
  gshredder2112

Aye,thank you,time to bust out my trusty keyboard...

35
09.10.2011
  nullnaught

good stuff jazzy.

36
03.20.2012
  FiniteZer0

I strongly recommend people who want to learn to song is to articulate the Solfeggio and start off with movable do.



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