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Old 30-01-10, 01:14 PM   #1
 
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Default Singing Career - The Good Singing Guide

I don’t know if any of you on the forums sing or are interested in singing, but I thought this would be of use for some of you. I’m not claiming that this can be used as a substitute for a singing teacher, or will teach you to hold a tune. And please bear in mind, I am writing this from a more Musical Theatre/Classical point of view, but this will probably help with any style.

The Basic Singing Stance
To ensure that you sing to your full potential, there is a basic stance that you will need to use.
·Shoulders back, but not to fair back. Make sure that they are relax.
·Stand up straight.
·Have your feet in line with your elbows
·Arms should be hanging loosely at your sides
·You should feel RELAXED. Before I sing, I wave my arms around.
·Keep your head at a normal level. Never ever ever EVER sing with your neck strained out and your head/chin up. It will only damage your vocal chords in the end. Only do this if it is part of your act.

Breathing
Believe it or not, this is probably the most important element of singing. If you practise your breathing (this sounds so silly!), then you will produce a better sound – ALL the time. You should breathe as though you are sucking through a straw. Ensure that your torso is relaxed. Make sure that you take large breaths when you need to. Sometimes you are unable to take a breath before doing a big, belty note, so you need to make sure that you have enough breath left in you! A problem I used to have was, that I would breathe in, start singing and on the first word let all my air out! You don’t need to do this. Simply take in a breath, and sing. Don’t push all of the air out of you. As it comes to the last few words, push your stomach in gently.

Warm Ups
The warm-ups I have written here are ones which I used to gain a higher vocal range. If you practise them EVERY DAY (and I mean EVERY DAY), your range will get better! These are hard to explain without voice recording them so bear with me. If you don’t understand, let me know. Make sure that you don’t strain yourself! This will do you no good. Also, never move your neck up the higher you sing. It wont help.

Some basics before warming up
·Seeing as these warm-ups were for producing a higher range, you will need to know a few things so that you don’t damage your voice.
·You will need to be in your head voice when you reach the high notes. Read about head and chest voices below. You WILL need this.
·As you reach the high notes, push your stomach in. Raise your eyebrows high and open your mouth wide.

Yoohoo!
·You should know the basic “Yoohoo!” You know, in cartoons where someone will shout “Yoohoo!” to their friend. The ‘yoo’ is quite high and the ‘hoo’ is a little lower. Do this, but as you do, bring your chin/down a little, raise your eyebrows and open your mouth wide! The wider your mouth is, the better the sound will be.
·Do this going up and down the scale.
Bella Senora!
·(Pronounced Bell-a Sen-your-ah) This one is quite simple. Sing the “Bella Seno” going up a scale, “o” (pronounced ‘your’) being the highest note. Drag the “o” out and begin to go back down the scale with the “ora!” Do this little arpeggio up and down the scale.
Bella Sen-Yoohoo!
·I think you know what is coming! Simply combine the Bella Senora’s with the Yoohoo’s.
One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one
·This is the easiest. Sing “one, two, three, four, one, three four, one” going up the scale, the last “one” being the highest note. Then go back down the scale for the rest.
Pronunciation
This is a very important aspect of singing. Pronouncing things correctly will make singing things easier. Because of where I’m from, I used to say things incorrectly.
·Things – I would say this as “fings”. The “th” needs to be said with your tongue underneath your top teeth.
·All “th”’s should be said this way.
·Don’t confuse your “th”’s and “f”’s!
Vibrato
Vibrato is that wobbly sound at the end of a note when someone is singing. This makes the notes sound a lot prettier. Also, singing without vibrato (straight tone) is potentially damaging to your vocal cords. If you have no vibrato, you really need to work on it.
I’m in no place to say how to produce vibrato (it just happens very naturally for me), but here are some tips. Vibrato doesn’t come from your jaw wobbling up and down. Yes, some famous singers do it, but it’s from bad habits. Nor does it come from you pushing your stomach in and out. This damages your diaphragm.

Head and Chest Voices
To understand your head and chest voice, you need to understand your larynx and vocal cords.
The higher you sing, the further forward your larynx leans. There is a point where it cannot go anymore, and so you can’t sing any higher. This is called your break. If you want to go any higher, you need to change into your head voice. When I started my singing lessons, I had virtually no high/head voice, but with hard work, I have a very, very high range.
Your chest voice or chest register is what you use when speaking. Air flows over your vocal folds as you sing or speak. You should be singing the lower notes in your range in this voice.
As you sing in your head voice, the vibrations are felt in an area called your “mask”, which is your lips, teeth and cheekbones.

Head voice is commonly known as “falsetto”, but it is only really used by men. Freddie Mercury used falsetto, and many Musical Theatre singers use it, such as Colm Wilkinson.

To practise singing in your head voice, look at the warm ups above. I generally sing with my chin lower down, my eyebrows raised, mouth very wide open, and push my stomach in (not hard) to reach very high notes.

Performance

Stage Fright

Ouch. This is a tough one. It’s also hard for me to write about, because as odd as it seems, I have never had stage fright. On the opening night of a performance, I will be a bit nervous, but I do not get stage fright. I have never, ever, experienced it.

About half an hour before the performance, look at the audience. See how many people there are there so you don’t get a shock when you go on stage. Find a place to look at whilst you sing, so you’re not looking in the audience. I always find a pole at the back of the hall and concentrate on it. This sounds stupid, but I name it. I think of it as a friend. A friend that will comfort me and won’t let me go wrong at all. I also pretend that I’m singing only to them. Before you get on stage, take your mind off it. Concentrate on the performance before.

Stage Presence

It’s very boring for the audience if you just stand in the middle of the stage, scratching your bum and singing without feeling!
Put emotion into every word that you say. If you are in a musical/pantomime etc. BE the character. Think about every word that they say. A musical is just a show where the character has feelings SO passionate, that the only way to describe them is to burst into song.
Move around the stage. It’s silly, but the audience gets excited if you go to their side of the stage.


So, I hope that this helps. If you want to know anything else, leave a comment, or need anything explaining, feel free to ask!




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Old 31-01-10, 11:47 AM   #2
 
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Default Re: Singing Career - The Good Singing Guide

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Old 31-01-10, 11:47 AM   #3
 
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Default Re: Singing Career - The Good Singing Guide

Yes




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