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— Singing Techniques – How To Strengthen Your Singing Voice.
Singing technique has long been considered as the foundation on which new vocalists are built. It is also a valuable learning tool by which both amateur and professional singers assess the progress they have made in training their voices. Singing technique encompasses several topics, including how to increase one’s vocal range, eliminating vocal tension so that there is better fluidity in vocalization, and developing professional timbre.
Another important aspect of singing technique is style development. Included in this topic are vocal warm-ups, vibrato, and harmony. Singing technique has the added goal of correcting voice problems during the course of singing study, such as eliminating nasal tones, preventing the voice from cracking at high notes, fine tuning, and resolving rhythm problems.
When you study singing technique for the first time, you will be required to follow a few simple rules. One of them is simple enunciation. For example, when doing exercises to increase pitch, you start by using closed vowels (like “duck”) because they are much easier to sing. As you go through the scales, such as C major, you can switch your intonation from a closed vowel (“duck”) to an open vowel (“day”). By widening the vowels during vocal exercises, you will be able to expand your range.
One fallacy that you will hear, even from professional tutors, is that you need to be a natural-born vibrato to be able to sing correctly. Nothing could be further than the truth. Vibrato is a skill that any singer can develop. In fact, vibrato is to be used as a gauge of proper singing technique (meaning that you should be using your diaphragm). To be able to learn how to sing vibrato, you need to do exercises wherein you exaggerate notes along a particular scale.
Vibrato is a technique wherein you shake or quiver your voice around a pivot note through the manipulation of air flow. In the beginning, it will seem to be uncontrolled, rough and raw. But as you achieve greater control through regular practice, you will be able to fine tune this technique.
To have a better idea of what vibrato is, stand up. As you sing a sustained note in a range that is comfortable for you, pump your chest gently at the base of your sternum at a rate of 3 to 4 cycles per second. The quivering that you hear is vibrato.
Vital to improving singing technique is warming up the muscles needed to sing. When the singing muscles are warmed up, they become more limber and flexible. It also creates a balance in the air pressure that is delivered to the vocal cords, so that a bridge is built between vocal registers, enabling you to sing with little tension imposed upon your voice.
There are many warm-up exercises. One example is the “lip roll”. Place you hand on either side of your mouth, with your fingertips holding up the weight of your cheeks. If your cheeks feel loose and floppy, sing an “mmmmmm” sound and then change to “ahhhhhhhh”. Check out the Internet for other variations of the “lip roll”.
Learning singing technique can be a cause of frustration for amateur singers who endeavor to attain the level of skill of professional vocalists. This is because there are specific voice exercises that are included in professional vocal training that causes the voice to automatically react to achieve a particular skill level, such as higher pitch. Professional training can help beginners to reach high notes in just a few lessons.
Many amateur vocalists are in such a hurry to develop their voice, so that they end up exercising and practicing too much and too hard, which could prove detrimental to the voice. Some tutors even teach bad vocal exercises, so that no progress is seen. While the proper vocal exercises can help you to develop technique, excessive practice so that there is considerable stress on the voice is counterproductive.
An honest assessment of the evolution of your singing technique will give you an idea of the kind of singer that you will be in the future. While it is important to master the basic skills of range and vibrato as well as developing interpretation and expression, the finer aspects of your singing talent will largely be dependent upon the vocal style that you will develop for yourself.
Imagine walking out on stage as a hushed anticipation falls over the crowd. You mesmerize your audience by the raw power and beauty of your voice the moment you open your mouth. Singers who can belt out with power and control can draw enormous crowds and often command hefty fees. Developing this type of vocal strength takes more than just time and practice. It takes a careful application of proper technique and demanding exercise. If you try to force it prematurely, then you’ll never experience the thrill of an effortless belt.
How do you know if you’re ready for more advanced strengthening exercises?