Top 10 tips for singing vocals:
Everyone barks on about it, but without proper warm-up techniques your voice will almost definitely not hold out for a long set, or those long and higher notes! You’ll feel the wrath, unlike other instruments our voice is ‘our’ instrument, so if you’re in discomfort the next day, you will certainly know why people. It should be added that tiring out your voice before you’ve even belted out a tune can be damaging also, the aim is to get those vocal chords nice and toasty, scales are always a trusty go to, not overdoing it and pushing yourself too far, we’re easing ourselves in with a warm up, not giving away the whole shebang.
Get to grips with your sound
Experimenting with different styles and genres is exciting and rewarding. Student’s initial thoughts are usually ‘I can’t reach that note’ or ‘I don’t really think that style suits me’, but it’s fair to say, unless we are exploring and seeing the true extent of our instrument we will never know. In the industry you could get thrown in to any creative situation; be ready to take on the challenge, don’t underestimate yourself, that’s what tutors and training are here for! Understanding your head and chest voice, and your voice in general to a greater level will of course help this and further your knowledge to ensure you know where your boundaries are.
Listen, nerves can be a great thing! However we tend to have all eyes on us during a performance, so the pressure can get to us. Relax your jaw and have that clear open mouth onset. Find your focus point, whether it be a one on one performance, with an audience of 100+ people or Wembley Stadium! Baring in mind, nerves can affect our breath control and technique, every singer will have different methods of how they find their zone on stage, find yours; we’re creative people! Meditation can really help those who suffer from ‘stage fright’ which is a very real thing!
Of course working on our singing voice is the main goal here, but leading on from the last tip, all eyes are on us at the front (don’t let that scare you please, it’s a great thing). Here at the Academy, we want to get elements of what it can be like within the real industry too, so singers need to understand how we are as an artiste and performer. The way we carry ourselves whilst performing can be the difference between people hearing us as background music or being drawn in to enjoy the performance on a much more engaged level.
You should feel your lungs filling up when you inhale, singing with correct breathing technique will give you so much more control over your voice and you’ll execute your song with much more ease. Fill those lungs with air so you have plenty to work with.
Drink that H20
There’s so much less friction on the vocal cords when you drink plenty of water, we need to lubricate those bad boys up! If your voice isn’t tensed up, there won’t be any need for straining. Your voice can get tense from the subtle clearing of the throat we do before singing. If done enough, this can cause trauma to your vocal cords, be good to them, and they’ll surely be good to you too. If you need to clear your throat, just be sure to do this with your vocal cords in mind!
Get comfortable with your new best friend… A MICROPHONE!
Getting used to using a microphone is essential, it will prevent straining and good microphone technique is another aspect of being a performer. Let the microphone enhance your volume, always remember The sound guy engineer is best friend! Ensure you invest in some good signing lessons using a microphone, in order to ensure that you’re using it properly. A common cause of feedback is due to signing too far away from the microphone or not positioning it correctly, why? The sound engineer has to increase the gain and signal strength to cater for your lack of volume, and this usually results in feedback, plus makes your engineer look bad, all of which is preventable! Understanding a stage layout and keeping your microphone away from the stage monitors will also help reduce any chance of unwanted sounds.
Record yourself regularly
Listen to what other people can hear, distinguish the good habits from the bad. We will always be our own worst critics, however we need to get used to the sound of our instrument. It may be uncomfortable to start but keep going, it can be the best way to section out our weaker parts.
Listen to your voice
Recognise the signs, when your voice is feeling tired or run down. Change it up, give yourself vocal rest. If you’re straining, switch up your choice of songs. Don’t overdo it!
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