Posts Tagged ‘singing’

More Great Free Singing Tips – Learning New Songs In 6 Simple Steps

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Why is it that some students can easily learn numerous songs in a short amount of time, but others struggle to make improvement on a small number of tunes after many tiring practice sessions? When students seem to be on the slow side of this process we always revisit how they are spending their practice time.

Keep in mind that while it would be great if singing students sang their assignments every day, the real world says that more practice time gets accomplished in the car when singing to the radio and simply singing the songs they love. Let’s face it, when you love a song and you listen to music regularly, you listen to that song over and over again. So we place a lot of concentration on how to apply good singing skills to ANY song they want to sing.

Learning a Song in 6 Easy Steps

1. Listen to the song without making a sound.

If you can anticipate what is coming next (including lyrics) then you are ready to move on to the next step.

This is probably the hardest step for most singers. If a song moves you, you want to wail it not LISTEN to it, right? If you are one of those singers that just has to go for it, be smart about it. Follow good boundaries and recognize those sections that don’t come easily to you. Remember, muscles have memories. If you consistently sing a song with poor vocal skills, the memory of the involved muscles will include those poor skills. Breaking a bad habit in singing is much more difficult than creating a good habit from the get go.

2. Hum the song.

Make sure that you feel the buzzing sensation in the front of your face; moving up and down your face as your pitch changes. Your goal is to make that buzzing very specific with each note — just as if you were playing specific notes on a piano. (If you need more information on Tone Placement, see Singing is Easy, Lesson #6).

If you are new to this process, you may need to repeat this step many times. Be sure to monitor your airflow. TIP: Your notes need to be connected on an airflow river, not resembling someone standing on the shore skipping stones.

When you can hum the song completely with ease, connecting the notes on your airflow and feeling very specific about the buzzing sensations on your face, you are ready to move to the next step.

3. Sing the song with the lyrics at a very natural volume,

don’t push and don’t hold back…find the balance. Your goal is to place the words in exactly the same place that you felt the buzzing sensation when you were humming. Sometimes creating words makes us move the articulation arbitrarily around our mouth and makes singing much harder than it needs to be. Keep the words focused where you felt the buzzing and you will have more success. When you can sing the song easily at a comfortable natural volume with good vocal tone, you are ready to move to the next step.

4. Review the lyrics for performance purposes.

With each stanza assign a one word adjective that best describes how you want the audience to feel during your song delivery. This adjective is the emotion you put on your face, in your vocal tone and in your body language during your performance of that song portion. So if you believe the main adjective for a stanza is “hopeful”, it is much easier to perform hopeful than all the many words included in the lyrics. Try it, it really works. For those students that have never had acting training and feel a bit self conscious, this usually does this trick and helps them perform very moving performances…very quickly.

The only rule is you cannot use the same adjective twice. Remember, how do you want your audience to feel? Perception is everything.

5. Perform the song

Now you are ready to perform your song at a comfortable natural volume using everything you have practiced so far: good tone placement, good airflow, etc., AND add the emotional performance to the mix. I usually recommend sitting down for this step. In fact, to make the most progress I recommend that part of the performance practice be confined to the face. If you can move your audience with just your voice and your facial expressions, that’s an accomplishment. Use your body and movement as an embellishment, not something that your performance relies on for success.

The comfortable, natural volume is very important. If you are using poor vocal mechanics you will be unable to create some notes without “belting them” and that needs to be addressed. Keep in mind that although it is a natural comfortable volume, you should not sacrifice your vocal tone. Think of it like when you turn the radio down. You still hear the peaks and valleys of the song, still crystal clear, just at a lower volume. This is your goal as you perform this step.

6. Perform with full movement and voice, adding stylistic nuances where appropriate.

Be sure to use a mirror to help you make good choices. If you have followed the other steps correctly, by this step you will naturally begin to sing with more power as you become more comfortable with the song, the power properly reflecting the emotional peaks and valleys.

Again, if you are new to this process you might have to repeat each step several times. Singers that use this technique regularly will find that it gets easier and easier, and that songs are learned more completely with great speed.

“I encourage each and every one of you to share yourself through sincere song performance. Don’t settle for just good singing, strive to be a true musician that breathes life into every tone.”

About the Author
Do you want to improve your singing voice quickly with minimal fuss then visit my new blog with free singing tips from singing experts and reviews of the best singing related educational products. Please feel free to visit the blog and leave your comments. Free Singing Tips Blog http://singoramania.blogspot.com/
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(© Yvonne DeBandi) SingSmart.com

What Are Head Voice and Chest Voice? The Singing Voice Explained

Friday, January 29th, 2010

By Andy Follin

It’s possibly the most common question for those studying voice. But it’s also the least answered. Or, to put it better, the worst answered.

The problem with head and chest

The reason is that the answers that most vocal coaches and singing teachers give seem innately wrong. No matter how hard people try to explain it, you really can’t convince anyone that the voice moves from the chest to the head, because you can always feel just where it is – in the throat!

The terms ‘head voice’ and ‘chest voice’ have some merit in that they can describe the location of some of the sensations you feel (muscle effort, for example) when singing higher and lower, but that merit is outweighed by the confusion caused when singers start to imagine that the sound-producing mechanism changes location.

Head and chest resonance

Head and chest ‘resonance’ can cause similar problems. It’s an acoustic principle that there can be no resonance before the sound source so – given that the chest is below the larynx – there can be no chest resonance. Chest vibration, maybe, but not resonance.

Similarly, the only way the voice can resonate in the head (as opposed to the mouth) is if the soft palate (velum) is opened to allow sound into the nasal turbinates. But this would give an excessively nasal sound – which is undesirable at best.

What’s head, and what’s chest?

Anyone struggling for an answer to this question will come up against a number of answers, even among those singing teachers who still insist on using the terms head and chest. Some say there are only two ‘registers’, some three (head, chest, mixed) and some four (add falsetto to the list).

The problem is that they can’t even agree amongst themelves! Are all high notes ‘head’? Are all loud notes ‘Chest’? So what’s loud and high singing? And what do they call very quiet low singing?

There’s no consensus – because there’s no scientific fact to back up any of their opinions. It’s like asking them to describe ‘blue’ (do you mean royal blue, or French blue, or cyan etc..)

So what’s really happening?

All of this needless confusion can be avoided through a better understanding of the voice.

The vocal folds (vocal cords) are complex and able to vibrate in a number of ways, but whatever you call a sound – Head, Chest, Mixed, Apple, Banana – it can be precisely defined in terms of how the vocal folds are vibrating.

The great advantage of Estill Voice Training™ over more traditional singing methods is that it replaces the vague and inexact concepts of Head voice and Chest voice with a precise understanding of the Vocal Folds and how they are vibrating in different parts of the range.

As a Certified Master Teacher of EVT, Andy Follin can explain how to control and allow the voice to move easily throughout your entire range – with or without a change in sound, and without introducing any confusing terminology!

Andy Follin is a Certified Master Teacher of Estill Voice Training, based in the North West of England. As the only CMT in the area, Andy is uniquely placed to help both speakers and singers who wish to understand and control their voice.

His website Vocal Skills, has an FAQ section that tries to answer some of the most common questions about the voice.
It contains a useful article on head voice and chest voice. Check it out to get the Vocal Skills you want and need. Take your voice and your career seriously.

For Good Singing – Effective Tips to Improve Your Powerhouse Vocals

Friday, January 15th, 2010

By Kyle Hoffman

Singing is a great past time that can communicate powerful emotions to large groups of people with music. The best singers however, really know how to control their voice and leave a lasting impression on the audience.

You might think of yourself as a decent singer that can hold their own in the competitive world of music, but wouldn’t you like to be better? Here are 5 fast tips for good singing that can boost your vocal reputation and have you emerge from the crowd.

1. Learn to control your soft palate.

Raising your soft palate is a way of opening up your throat to allow more air to come in, and more sound to let loose. Raise your eyebrows while you sing to feel the immediate affects of this technique.

2. Adjust your daily habits to accommodate your voice.

If you’re very serious about performing vocals, shouldn’t you do everything you can for good singing? Small things like eating less dairy, drinking more water, and getting more sleep can have such a huge impact on the quality of your voice.

3. Take constructive criticism with dignity.

Every now and then you’ll receive some criticism where someone thought you should change an aspect of your voice and you can’t fly off the handle. Make it one of your strong points to take someone else’s opinions and constructive criticism in a positive way for improvement.

4. Add variation with dynamics.

If someone were to sing an entire piece with the exact same tone and level of volume, the performance would be very boring. Mix things up and create variation by raising and lowering your volume in order to accentuate certain emotions in the song.

5. Communicate the song’s meaning.

You might have the best voice in the world, but you won’t be considered the best singer if you can’t express what the song is saying. Learn to appreciate the true intentions of the song you’re performing and showcase its emotions to your fullest.

There are a lot of great singers out there, but you can be one of them too with practice and hard work. Try out these simple but effective tips and be more confident the next time that you take the stage.

Kyle Hoffman has been a lead singer in acclaimed hardcore and rock bands for a number of years and is considered an authority figure on vocals. Learn his FREE valuable tips for vocal singing and other strategies to sing well now!

Tips and Techniques To Learn To Sing Like A Pro

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

by Skyler Jett

Some people still believe that a singing voice is only something that you are born with. While this is true for some lucky people, not everyone was born with the most beautiful singing voice in the world. Because of this, practice, patience and education is needed in order to achieve the level of singing that you have always wanted.

It’s time to stop making everyone’s ears hurt and you can’t afford to replace any more broken glass so follow these key steps and you will surely be a memorable singer before you know it. Remember, you may not become the perfect singer over night so do not give up. You have to keep trying and hang in there and eventually everything will just click and fall into place.

Relax.

Many people find themselves tensing up when they start to sing. This is typically from nerves. While this is a natural reaction, it is not one that is going to help your singing voice. If there is too much tension in your body, your vocal tone will be destroyed. Keep your shoulders back in the correct position and allow the muscles in your neck to relax.

Push The Stomach Out.

Even though it may feel a little odd at first, it is important to push your stomach out when you inhale. When you do this, you allow more air into your lungs. When it is time to exhale, make sure that you are slowly pulling your stomach in by making use of your diaphragm muscles. All of this will help keep your tone under control.

Do Not Fear The High Notes.

The high notes seems to be what people have the most trouble with which means people tend to find themselves afraid of even trying to hit the high notes. Do not let that fear control you. If you want to sing and you want to sing well, you have to learn how to hit the high notes with grace and style.

When you find that you are not hitting the note high enough, try raising your arms slightly and give a small hint of a smile. These actions will help to casually raise your note. For the extremely high notes, close your eyes and turn your face up slightly, really feeling the note.

For those that hit the notes a little too high, move your arms down a little lower than where they are. You might also want to open your mouth just a bit wider by dropping the lower jaw.

Find Your Own Voice. While you may want to be able to sing like Mariah, not everyone can. Instead of trying to match your voice and tone to someone else’s, find your own, especially if you want to make a career out of singing. Music producers want new fresh sounds. You also want to make sure that you are enjoying yourself every step of the way. Otherwise, you will never make it to the level of singing that you want to be at.

About the Author

Skyler Jett is a prolific singer, songwriter and producer, who has worked with many top musicians, such as Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin. He shares his singing tips and techniques, including how to throat sing. You can find more of his tips to learn to sing like a professional singer at http://howtosing.org.

Resources for Vocalist

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Here is a list of resources to help improve vocal performance.  If you have any others you would like to include please contribute a comment to this post.

Singers.com
Primarily A Cappella is the world’s oldest and largest company specializing in all styles of unaccompanied vocal harmony. We are involved in many aspects of the a cappella music scene – from recording the best of the new vocal bands, to making the music more accessible thru our mail order catalog, along with producing a cappella music festivals and events around the country. Our goal is to expand the growing world wide interest in this wonderful art form. By discovering new talent and developing larger audiences, we hope a cappella will find it’s rightful place as a significant contributor to the greater world of music.

I Lead Worship: Singers
FREE referrals provided to individuals, groups, churches, communities needing a worship leader, musician, singer, team or band to minister or perform for an upcoming event, venue or position.

Singing In Worship Part I and Part 3
Singing has a very definite place in worshipping God in spirit and in truth. We glorify God in our singing praises to His name. There are only nine scriptures in the New Testament which specify the kind of music in the worship of the church that God wishes in order for us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. This is an interactive Bible study on the role of singing in the believers life.

Singing Praises
Article by by Tom Gilbert

Singing The Psalms
Article by Dr. Richard Leonard.  Psalmody is the use of the biblical psalms in worship, as distinguished from hymnody, the creation and use of extrabiblical poetic and musical compositions in worship.

Prophetic Songs
WHAT IS A PROPHETIC SONG? This is a excert from the book, “Songs of the Spirit”

Sight Singing
The Mission of this Web Page is to provide help to those wishing information about the various aspects of the art/skill of sight singing. Whether you are looking for general information on the subject, classes to take, choirs or chamber ensembles to sing with, techniques to improve your sight singing skills, ear-training software or interesting websites about matters related to sight singing

Secrets of Singing on Pitch
Ebook reveals 11 innovative steps to help you sing accurately on pitch. If you’ve had tin ears or been called tone-deaf your whole life, this easy method is for you. Say goodbye to singing off key and singing flat.

Voice Training
The Ultimate Voice Training for Singers.  A complete voice training program on CD or high quility cassette by one of southern Califonia’s premier voice technique and performance teacher.

Choir and Organ
Choir & Organ, the classical music magazine for organists and musicians, directors of sacred and secular choirs, singers, organ builders, and everyone who loves choral and organ music. Choir & Organ provides insights into the careers of leading organists and choral conductors, examines important instruments and provides comprehensive news and reviews of new publications, recordings and events.

A Few Good Tips On Improving Singing Techniques

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

For people that sing, learning to sing well is as important as any other part of the singing process. How do we learn what a good singing technique is though? Learning correct singing techniques takes time and patience, but the first thing you must learn has nothing to do with your voice at all. It has to do with breathing.

When you speak or sing, your vocal chords can’t act on their own or they become strained and you can often lose your voice and damage your vocal chords. Therefore, when you speak or sing or do anything else involving your voice, you need to use the air from your diaphragm so as not to damage the chords.

The breath should come up from your diaphragm, glide over your vocal chords carrying with it the sounds you make so that your vocal chords aren’t strained. When speaking or singing, it needs to come from your mouth and teeth rather than your throat again, so as not to strain your throat. If you use your vocal chords correctly, you could speak or sing all day without ever having a sore throat, but if you use your throat improperly, you are sure to lose your voice quickly.

A problem that many people have is that they don’t know how to operate all the parts of the body that are involved with singing at the same time in the same order. You’re dealing with the vocal chords, your breathing, and the acoustic cavities above the vocal chords, but unless you are instructed how to use these three things your singing techniques will be all wrong. Learn how to use these parts of your body and your singing techniques will skyrocket.

Another good idea is to make sure you are relaxed when you are singing. If you are tense, it will show in your voice. When people are tense, it happens a lot in their face between their jaw and their mouth and for your voice to flow well and come out melodiously, your mouth, teeth, jaw and tongue all need to be loose. Keep tension out of your face and it will stay out of your voice.

One final point for having good singing techniques is to make sure you enunciate your words. When singing in particular, it is important to almost go overboard on enunciation to make sure your words are clear. If you follow these singing techniques, you will surely become a better singer.

About the Author

Skyler Jett is a prolific singer, songwriter and producer. He has worked with many top musicians, such as Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin. Skyler started singing in church and fell in love with jazz and R&B at an early age. Find more of tips on improving singing techniques at http://howtosing.org

Vocal Singing Lessons Are Your Ticket To Becoming A Good Vocalist

Friday, October 30th, 2009

l_3cb4d037f3daab60a7e001b2da3672dcMany people dream of becoming professional singers, but the road to riches is not an easy one. In fact, the road to becoming a good vocalist may be even more difficult. It is true that often people are simply blessed with natural talent, but that is often not enough in the pursuit of vocal excellence. Like anything else there is a technique behind great singing, and perfecting that technique is what will set you apart from other singers.

For those singers who really want to elevate their skills vocal singing lessons may be something that you might want to look into. In fact, a top quality vocal lesson might be exactly what you are looking for. There are many different types of vocal lessons that you can look into. in fact, there are even vocal lessons that you can take via the internet.

When you are looking at starting vocal singing lessons you will want to find the right vocal coach for you. A lot of this may depend on what type of vocalist you want to be. Are you looking for someone to help you pursue your dream of country music? If so then you are not going to want to choose a teacher who specializes in rock ‘n roll. Additionally, if you are hoping to hit it big on the Broadway stage a vocal jazz coach is not going to be what you are looking for. Instead, look into a coach who specializes in your chosen area.

Additionally, you will want to meet with your prospective teacher to make sure that your personalities mesh well. This is someone who is going to be working with you on a very personal talent, and you need to be sure that you are comfortable receiving feedback from them. Trust your instincts on this. Chances are that within the first few minutes of your meeting you will have an idea if you like or dislike their personality.

Cost can be a big factor in your vocal lesson decision. Online vocal singing lessons may be a bit more affordable so if your budget is tight this may be an option that you are going to want to look into. However, if you are looking for one on one instruction you will want to budget for anywhere from $30-$60 per lesson depending on the instructor and the length of your lesson.

In a typical vocal singing lesson you can expect to begin by warming up with your instructor. This may consist of tongue twisters, scales, or vocalizes. From there your instructor will give you different pieces of repertoire to begin working on. The will help you to begin learning the pieces and then will send you on your way to do your work. At your next lesson you will warm up again, and then your instructor will assess how you are doing on your pieces, and then they will give you advice and techniques to help you improve. Within a few weeks you will start to hear a significant improvement in your singing!

About the Author

Skyler Jett is a prolific singer, songwriter and producer, who has worked with many top musicians, such as Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin. Vocal singing lessons are important, they are your ticket to becoming a good vocalist. Find more singing tips and techniques at http://howtosing.org.