HOW TO START A SINGER: THE BEGINNER'S JOURNEY
Everything begins basic and you wouldn't even imagine how it all starts.. many young artists are shy singers. One thing that we do to help them to learn to sing louder is to have them pretend to blow out candles. - and then to blow out many candles in one quick blow. When they are good at this, I ask them to make a big blow and then to sing Aaaah at the end (before their breath is finished). This usually results in a very loud voice and lots of giggles!
Also, tell them to try and hit the back wall with their voice. To aim at a dot on the wall and project their voice to that dot. They can pretend they are at a soccer game and yelling to their friends to get the feeling of their loud voice.
Always compliment every small success of your young artist. It really fires up young artist to continue reaching those small milestones then try over the next few lessons to incorporate that strong feeling into their exercises and tell them to "cover up" the recording of the song which they are practicing, this would boost their confidence knowing that they are supported and admired for their efforts and have fun while doing it.
We should always aim to have confidence and guidance when we start to sing. As we learn the technique it would be best to have the proper learnings so that muscles can also start to remember a new way of doing things and/or undoing our own bad habits.
As we begin to notice that our voice is becoming more reliable and our confidence grows, we can start to really let go where the flow, emotion and real joy of singing comes from. You want to have control without controlling. Know what is working and enhance as you develop professionally.
Simple signs that your technique isn't quite working for you below:
- You have a sore or swollen throat after a performance or practice session.
- Your voice constantly sounds breathy and you can't seem to get clarity in the tone.
- You find yourself pushing from your throat to "belt out" high notes or when attempting to navigate through your vocal break.
- Your jaw or shoulders start to ache when singing.
- You struggle to get any volume despite working your efforts.
- You find it hard to breathe or sustain notes while singing (especially when adding movement).
- You often have a sore abdomen from trying to push the sound out.
- You start to lose your voice after an hour or so of singing.
Very Common Singing Mistake
Most singers and voice guides know that taking the lower register too high, or “pulling chest” is wrong. It limits range and can cause a host of vocal issues.
It was found that changing vowels from wide to more narrow stopped the chest pulling process and enabled a singer to get into their mix or blend area more easily.
This led to the idea of vowel narrowing – the higher you sing the more you should close down the vowel.
To detail: When we pronounce "AH" and "OO". "AH" is considered a wide vowel and OO is narrow. The mix area is a resonance strategy that allows the singer to smoothly go from their lower to upper registers (chest and head voice). This mix is sometimes called “middle voice.”
The AH of “cat” will more fully engage chest resonance, while the OO of “boot” will bring in more head resonance.
This vowel narrowing had the effect of stopping chest pulling, but created an unintended side-effect. While the mix area got better, the head voice was weakened.
Singers certainly got more upper range on these narrowed vowels, but the resulting sound was overly heady and weak. These singers were often told to keep working these sounds and they would build strength over time.
it would sometimes be acoustically challenging to strengthen these overly narrowed sounds beyond a certain point without proper guidance. Most vowels need to OPEN rather than close, especially if you want to sing with strength and intensity.
Think of your voice as having a bass resonator and a treble resonator. You control these resonators with your throat (larynx), jaw, lips and tongue. Moving these around changes the degree of treble and bass you are using.
Adjusting vowels is the easiest and most natural way to make changes in these resonators.
When you hit the initial transition area, you want to dial down the bass resonator and start slowly cranking up the treble. Narrowing the vowel does this. It dials down the bass and brings the treble in gently – not too much yet.
as you continue to sing higher you need to keep the bass dialed back, but bring the treble up. Continuing to narrow the vowel does a great job of pulling back the bass, but it pulls back the treble as well.
The result is an over-light, heady sound, or, if the singer tries to belt into this coordination, a pinched, squeezed sound.
The key is to keep a stable larynx (which controls the bass) and to bring up the treble by spreading the lips of the mouth more open and even moving the tongue forward.
Note: this requires precision and a level of skill to do correctly. Overdoing this can cause both the treble and bass to shoot up too quickly, causing cracking, straining, etc.
If you are a beginning singer, the over-narrowed vowel can be useful for a time as you need to break the body’s natural habit of yelling (pulling chest).
However, to realize the full measure of your voice you are going to need to learn to open vowels in the upper register. This is the only way to have full power at higher pitches.
Learn to open vowels correctly and you will soon be thrilling your listeners with intense, stunning high notes.
We are here to help you sing better every day or better yet be discovered as the next singing sensation!
For more information on how to be your best and to guide you to truly realize your vocal potential here's an instant access to a FREE vocal training video with 3 tips to improve your singing voice. This video lesson contains a 10-minute vocal exercise routine you can use once per day (6 days a week) Click below to access the FREE Video.