There are certain things that will make learning to sing much faster – and that is knowing the basics. Getting the big picture before you get started on every little detail can speed up your singing development a great deal. Don’t assume that this information is too basic for you, as many professional singers have read this little lesson and discovered answers to questions they had always wondered about. Kind of like understanding the basic rules of any sport or game before you step on the field or roll the dice.
This easy-to-read affordable lesson discusses the basic ideas of many topics; from how we create our vocal sounds, how our voice relates to other instruments (and how we can use that information to our advantage), the overall understanding of resonance (very important!), muscle memory as it relates to the voice and singing and more!
By understanding these concepts you can become more effective and productive in your quest to become the best singer you can be…which means you will get there much faster!
I have been asked a lot of questions lately about how the BODY, MIND and SPIRIT is connected to the sound a singer produces on a daily basis (why are some days harder than others) and how STRESS affects the singing voice.
As a performer myself, as well as vocal coach, I understand these questions very well. Every day can be a little different, especially when STRESS is added to the equation.
The best way to deal with anything that stands in your way and makes singing harder than it should be is to apply BETTER CHOICES. Over the next couple of weeks we are going to walk through a method I use personally and have taught to my students for many years: The Ten Steps to Singing Success™.
Understanding the choices involved with each of these singing steps will help you observe your own behavior, identify what is making your singing harder than it should be, and give you the power to make the needed adjustments to become the best singer you can be!
The first thing to understand is that Singers are Vocal Athletes, Artists and Intellecutal Musicians.
(1) SINGERS ARE ATHLETES. (BODY)
Singing well requires a balance of airflow, muscle coordination, strength and stamina.
If you were learning to play a sport you would learn all the rules before you hit the court or field right? The same is true for singing — you may not be able to execute everything from the get go, but understanding your goals will help you get there a lot faster.
(2) SINGERS ARE ARTISTS. (SPIRIT)
Creating and sharing your signature voice requires creative expression and communication. Singer’s do more than just produce vocal tone, the ones that have you jumping to your feet in a standing ovation are actors too! So communicating the song’s message and sharing your emotions is a huge part of the equation.
(3) SingSMART™ SINGERS ARE PERPETUAL STUDENTS. (MIND)
Just like every road you drive down is a little different, so is each song. While there are many constants, learning to identify the SMART choices to make with each song performance will help you reach the level of expertise you long for FASTER. Be a SMART singer and analyze each song for it’s highs and lows, make better choices to ensure the money notes get their power and strength. Think about what you want to accomplish each song before you actually try to do it!
If you aren’t sure how to accomplish these things, stay tuned for the rest of this blog series where we will discuss the Ten Steps to Singing Success! With just a little practice you will be amazed at how easy singing can be — every single day.
TEN STEPS to SINGING SUCCESS™
Step 01 Preparation: Tuning the Mind, Body and Spirit
Step 02 Airflow: Breathing for Singing
Step 03 Tone Creation: Best Tone for Least Effort
Step 04 Support: Diaphragm Strength, Flexibility and Stamina
Step 05 Resonation: Developing your Vocal Fingerprint
Step 06 Tone Placement: Learn to “Steer” the Vocal Machine
Step 07 Be Smart: SMART Choices
Step 08 One Voice: One Timbre throughout Your Vocal Range
Step 09 Vocal Performance (Polishing Your Vocal Fingerprint)
Step 10 Vocal Maintenance
If you don’t want to wait and want to get started right now. Click here for detailed singing lessons and courses you can download and study in the privacy of your home.
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Have you ever been on a long road trip and wished the tank in your car was larger so you didn’t have to stop so often to fill up? How about singing long notes? Is your tank full enough to hold the note to the very end?
In the last couple of tips and lessons we have talked about making better choices for breathing and gaining control over your airflow. Today we are focusing on breathing capacity. Unlike a gas tank in your car, you can build your capacity to bring in more oxygen and more power to your voice with simple breathing capacity exercises.
Remember that all muscles have memories, they act according to what they are used to doing, responding to both conscious and unconscious messages from your brain. By consciously practicing your ability to bring in more air, and stretching the muscles in your abdomen and back, you can begin to increase your ability to hold out long notes.
This is not something you can accomplish just by singing and practicing songs over and over. While you may be able to navigate a certain song and its notes better with practice, that skill will not normally apply to all of the songs you sing. In other words, that method will take you A LOT LONGER to achieve the results you desire. In addition, the practice needs to be isolated so that when you are doing a vocal performance it is a subconscious act.
Most people are unable to accomplish this without a little assistance. Meaning, that while you are perfectly capable of practicing taking in more air and developing those new memories, without a guided exercise the practice seems to be too unorganized: don’t practice long enough or with enough consistency. To help with this plight, there is a new online singing lesson available to you that includes an exercise to help you achieve this goal much faster and with more reliable results.
This singing lessons download includes a detailed lesson about the HOW’s and WHY’s of what you are trying to accomplish and includes an .mp3 audio exercise that will make it easier for you to reach your goals of holding out that money note.
Download now for only $4.99!
We strongly suggest that in order to get the most out of this lesson you also study the previous lessons in this Singing Step Series (Step 02, Ten Steps to Singing Success).
In SingSMART™ Singing Lessons 0201-0203 we learned about the best overal choices for breathing during the act of singing and also concentrated on HOW the diaphragm is supposed to function during inhalation and exhalation.
We recommend these lessons as prerequisites in order to completely understand the concepts and exercises presented in SingSMART™ Singing Lesson #0204.
In this singing lesson we learn how to increase our skill level of breath control.
The act of breathing is a voluntary/involuntary action. Meaning we can choose to hold our breath, but when our body decides it needs oxygen it will “trump” conscious free will and force air intake. And, because breathing is so very near and dear to our survival, it is
an automatic function that most of us don’t think about unless our attention is called in that direction. Consequently, you have a lot
more control over your breathing than you might realize.
While our bodies are programmed for survival, they are not necessarily programmed for 100% efficiency without mental involvement. That means that unless you are already an accomplished athlete, the full potential of your breathing abilities hasn’t even been explored, much less developed. And if you are an athlete, doesn’t necessarily mean you are making the best choices when singing if you haven’t paid attention to that aspect of your performance.
Keep in mind that your current muscle memory and association with breathing will be quite strong. Conscious repetition with better choices for singing is the only way to rewrite the muscle memory and associations.
Breathing with poor choices during singing is one of the MOST COMMON reasons that a singer doesn’t reach their full potential or ability level during performance.
Many students have been asking for videos of how the diaphragm works, so I ventured into YouTube to find a video that showed the internal workings.
One video in particular showed the diaphragm movement better than any other, and also explained the benefits of taking deep and slow breaths. Yes, singing is good for your health – deep breathing being only one of the reasons!
This particular video focuses on BELLY BREATHING which is a technique taught by many vocal teachers. The SingSMART&8482; Vocal Training Method focuses on FULL BODY BREATHING, which includes bringing air into the belly while also expanding your sides and back.
Not sure how that works? In addition to watching this video, try this simple exercise: Sit in a chair and put your elbows on your knees. This will basically cut off easy movement of the belly and force the air into back.
Learning to use full body breaths will not only increase the oxygen in your body, promoting good health, it will also provide you with the airflow you need to create consistent and strong vocal tones.
Learning to control the actions of the diaphragm using these conscious breathing techniques will put you on the path to singing at your very best. To learn more about BREATHING FOR SINGING, click the links below and get started online today.
These SINGING LESSONS ONLINE are a great way to improve your singing voice and learn better breathing techniques that will not only improve your singing, but also improve your health!
I’ve had many singers ask me lately about sinus issues and sore throats. This article is not by any means supposed to replace a doctor’s visit or their instructions, but thought I would share a technique I have used for years to help reduce inflammation and take care of my personal issues with sinus congestion and throat irritations >> Humming.
My favorite and seemingly most effective exercise is humming a pitch in the middle of my comfortable range (feel vibrations in your mouth), or just slightly higher (feel vibrations more in your nose – these sensations will be less intense). Now slide down to a comfortable low pitch and do this repeatedly. It should feel easy and not stressful, so don’t push the sound for volume. You should feel nothing in your throat, only the vibrations you create. The slower the Hum Slide, the better!
While the air will be coming out of your nose, humming traps these sound frequencies in your body…and frequencies affect all matter, including the matter in our bodies. And frequency therapy has been known to kill all kinds of germs, as well as have other healthy positive effects!
Not sure you understand how frequencies affect all matter? Check out this video and you will see what we are talking about… and then get to humming!
As I watched this video I had one other thought I would like to share >> people say we are what we eat, but perhaps we should also say we are what we hear. If you are an individual that gets agitated when listening to certain styles of music, perhaps this video will also shed some light on that topic! ENJOY.
The copyright of this video is owned by it’s creators and used an educational reference only.
The voice is both the most important and misunderstood instrument in popular music. On the local scene the vocals are often an afterthought, barely touched on in rehearsals, under-mixed live and hurried in the studio. On the national scene the singer IS the band. On top of this pressure, many performers are insecure. The prevailing, idiotic, mentality that a REAL singer should be able to make anything work causes people to dwell on their weaknesses rather than their strengths. I call this the impostor syndrome. True, singers are strange animals, but a little less so if you consider there are two distinctly different breeds: The egos and the alter-egos. Expecting one to sing like the other will cause problems every time.
Obviously, a loud-mouth makes a great vocalist. An extroverted, uninhibited person is as natural for the singer slot as a seven-footer is for a basketball team. Performers like Celene Dione pop out of the womb singing. They are encouraged as kids and win talent contests as teenagers. These gifted, 100-watt egos gladly stand up in crowded restaurants and belt out tunes or bust into free style raps at parties. But what about the rest? What if the desire to sing and perform is in spite of the personality? Is there a height requirement for the NBA? No. Just don’t expect much encouragement on your way there.
It’s difficult for some people to understand, but not everyone sings because they love the sound of their voice or think they have talent. Many become singers by default. They sing because their songs require them to, or it fills a void in their heart. Often, they begin their journey as guitarists, drummers or keyboard players and gradually step into the vocal limelight. Most often, they are shy, unassuming people who require the “safety” of the stage before metamorphosing into their alter-ego. That’s the way Clark Brown explains it, a soft-spoken student of mine who becomes a ferocious predator when he sings. He describes his transformation as a cathartic experience — a great high. From the audience, Clark appears to be living the dream; he’s completed an album with Geezer, on TVT, and is now touring across the States and Europe. Yet, he will be the first to tell you he doesn’t consider himself to be a great singer. Like many alter-egos, he struggles with an impostor complex, night after night, just to get his fix.
In the studio, alter-ego singers need more time and space. If you have yet to capture a compelling vocal on tape, but know you have one in you, don’t despair. You simply need to create the proper vibe. Don’t be embarrassed or expect a studio to do this for you. Choking in the studio is nothing more than stage freight, which I will discuss next month. There are steps you can take. First, make sure the song is right for you. Then, find an engineer or producer you trust and clear the room of strangers. It’s useless to pretend that people watching while you’re making love to a song doesn’t bother you — it will show in the tracks. Jimi Hendrix was terribly insecure about his voice. To come out of his shell, he would turn the lights off and hide from view of his producer. What a tragedy it would have been if he had surrendered his delicate poetry over to a loud-mouth vocalist. On the other hand, Steven Tyler, a 110-watt personality, throws everybody out of the studio when he sings, including the producer. The difference is he doesn’t feel like less of a singer for doing so.
LearnIf you are a loud-mouth personality, you don’t need my encouragement to sing. I’d tell you to warm up before hand but I know you won’t listen — not until you lose you voice. If you are an alter-ego type, my advice is to explore many different music styles, vocal ranges and backing instrument combinations until you find your niche. Everybody has one. It will boost your confidence and make you feel more like a singer. Incidentally, if you listen to Aerosmith’s first album, you’ll hear a different vocal sound. Steven told me that, back in those days, he was insecure about his voice and placed it in the back of his throat to sound cool. Millions of albums later, he now knows exactly what works for him. So, keep the faith and don’t let it get you down if your first few projects don’t connect. Experimentation is what the local scene is all about.
One way to test whether your air stream is concentrated is by blowing out candles. A concentrated and supported moving stream (as if through a straw) will blow out a candle fairly easy. A wide stream with no support will make the task much harder.
Welcome to the new and improved Free Singing Lessons from A2Z
…where you will find everything you need to learn how to sing better and improve your singing voice. Whether you are just getting started or wish to win that grammy, we are here to help you on your journey.
The A2Z Smart Music Group and it’s founders have been helping singers reach their goals since 1991 and are happy to present this new website where professional singers, beginning singers and vocal coaches can join together to share input.
This site contains FREE SINGING LESSONS along with information on where to get some of the best detailed and organized singing lessons in the world.
We are currently merging old technology with new in order to bring you this new project so register with this site so you don’t miss a thing.
You might want to also consider joining us on Facebook to receive news from around the A2Z Network and connect with other singers!
Coach Yvonne DeBandi, BME
Creator of the SingSmart, Not Hard TM, Vocal Training Method
and the A2Z Smart Music Group Team
Singing Lessons Daily Motivation
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
"Basically, one does not learn to breathe correctly -- one only relearns the natural breathing that was unconscious in childhood."