Learn How to Sing – Starting Exercises
Singing isn’t necessarily a natural talent. If it were, then all singing teachers would have to find a new job. In fact, everyone can learn how to sing, as long as there is enough dedication.
Nowadays, with all the available resources we have, it definitely isn’t impossible. You can take singing lessons in a music academy with a private teacher or even at home, aided by beginner home study courses such as ‘Singing Is Easy’ by Yvonne DeBandi or ‘Singorama’ by Emily Mander.
No matter which method you choose, you first need to learn how your “instrument” works and how to use it correctly to have the best singing experience, so here are 3 exercises to get you started.
Develop a Good Posture
The foundational aspects of singing related to a good posture that is essential for healthy vocal production. When you sing, do you stand upright and relaxed? Are your feet hip-width apart? Do you keep a high chest and your shoulders back, but loose? If you always answered ‘yes’, you already have the right posture for singing. You also have one of the keys to a good breathing technique if your ribcage expands equally all around as you inhale, instead of raising your shoulders or having your abdomen bulge out.
If you want to improve your posture, do the following: Stand with your feet parallel and hip-distance apart and your arms hanging comfortably at your sides. Keep the arms straight, raise them above your head in a circular trajectory and stand on your toes while breathing in deeply.
Improve Breath Support
Take a deep breath, and then breathe out in a gentle and steady hiss, like a snake, while keeping your ribcage expanded. As you run out of the air, slowly bring your arms down to the starting position and put your feet flat on the ground again, trying not to move your chest and shoulders from the position they were in at the top of the stretch.
Finish by inhaling deeply once again and then exhaling normally. By repeating this exercise daily, you will strengthen the muscles around your thoracic cavity and they will help you sound better and increase your endurance.
Feel Where Your Vocal Placement
A good vocal placement increases the quality of your voice. Although the sinuses, the mouth, and the nasal cavity are not necessarily the sources of vocal resonance, it can felt in those areas and in the facial area that would be covered by a facemask. Feeling vibrations in these areas associated with excellent vocal placement, translating into a freer and more powerful voice.
The expression “singing in the mask” derives from this sensation, which you can feel by inhaling deeply and sliding from the top of your range down to its bottom using the sounds “woo” or “wee”, as if you were yawning. When done correctly, you will feel vibrations in the roof of your mouth, the nose and behind your teeth.
Some people feel them elsewhere or do not feel them at all, even with good placement. If that is your case, use other means to see whether your voice is resonant and pure, like recording yourself or having someone listen to you.