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5 Best Singing Tips

5 Best Singing Tips

From beginners to professionals, singers understand the importance of improving the quality of their voice. There are no shortcuts or quick fixes; it takes time, effort, dedication and the right knowledge. Here are the 5 best singing tips shown to make those improvements.

Practice Makes Perfect

Seems simple enough, but it’s one of the most overlooked techniques. For starters, you will want to practice every day to improve your breathing techniques. By spending 15 to 20 minutes each day on breathing exercises you will build up the strength and stamina necessary to maintain your vocal quality for longer periods. Read More…


Singing Karaoke

Singing Karaoke

A great way to learn to sing is by singing karaoke. There are karaoke players you can by that are relatively inexpensive or you can attend a ‘karaoke’ party, usually at a legion hall or local pub.  With karaoke, the karaoke jockie or host (also called a “KJ”) will have a book with all the songs you can sing. You look through the book until you find a song you want to sing, then you write it down on a slip of paper and hand it back to the KJ. When he calls you up to sing, the music will play and the lyrics (song words) will show up on a television or computer monitor. You just sing along! Read More…


How to Sing Pop Music

How to Sing Pop Music

Mastering Pop Music 

 

Successful pop music is usually measured in terms of commercial success with little regard to artistic merit although it generally has a good dance beat and hook to the song — performed by charismatic singers who may or may not be technically talented, look attractive, fashionable, and have the ability to dance well. The Image of the performer is often regarded as just important as or more than the music itself in this particular genre.

 

There are different techniques used in pop singing that cross over into many other styles or genres of music as well.  Speech singing, belting, twang, staccato notes, quick phrasing, breathy vocals, vocal runs, using the head voice/falsetto, attitude, and delivery are all key components in pop music. By using a combination of these techniques, you can create your very own unique style.  However, great singing always comes back to the key components of   your pitch (singing in key while hitting the correct notes) and breath control. Read More…

Singing With Emotion Part 2: Rock & Roll

Singing With Emotion Part 2: Rock & Roll

Singing with Emotion Part 2  

In part two of this article we will cover 6 popular Vocal/ Music Styles and some of the techniques used for each style. There are many different styles of singing. Some singers excel at one or two particular styles while others can round the scope on various different styles. This will be a personal choice that you will have to make as a singer.  I always liked versatility so my goal was to become as versatile as my talent would lend.  That meant extensive study in various different genres. You may decide you love Jazz for instance and do more study on techniques and style for that genre, or some of you may decide Rock ‘n Roll is what your voice is suited for and it’s your only interest, or you may decide you want to be able to sing Opera, or Pop with some R&B.  When it comes to your singing style, there is no right or wrong. These articles are designed to help guide you down whatever your musical path is and enjoy the journey while achieving your vocalizing goals. Read More…

Emotions and Singing Part 1: Using Emotion to Capture Your Audience!!!!

The job of a great vocalist is the ability to make the audience feel everything you are singing about. A great vocalist can capture their audience within the first few minutes.

Vocal style, charisma and the ability to capture  your audience quickly (make them feel and believe what you are singing) are all major aspects to becoming a charismatic and versatile vocalist.

In Part 1 of this article we will be covering Capturing your Audience by portraying emotion and creating your own unique charisma on stage. Although one of our Free Lessons states that, for working on the fundamentals of singing you need to clear your mind of any emotional debris so you can focus on specific fundamentals such as breathing, posture, increasing range, reaching those high notes etc., performing live is very different. You need to incorporate all the fundamentals of singing along with creating the MOOD of the song through facial expression, vocal emotion and body language.

Read More…

Proper Microphone Technique for Singers

Discovering proper microphone technique can improve your vocal sound and make you look and sound like a real STAR! 

 KnowiAs a singer, a microphone can really make or break a good vocal performance. If you want to be a good performer, then you’ll need to think about proper microphone (mic) technique at some point in your musical career.

Read More…

Sing Your Way to Good Health

Singing may very well be a skill, a talent and an art form but can it really be a good form of EXERCISE???

Absolutely YES! 

When you sing, your singing works many muscles and muscle groups in your body. When you sing from your diaphragm, your lungs, stomach and abdominal muscles (abs) will all get a good work out. 

Deep, controlled breathing is great for strengthening our lung muscles and increasing our lung capacity (how much air they can hold). That means, the more often you practice deep controlled breathing, the more oxygen (air) you will be able to hold and the longer you will be able to hold your notes before running out of air.  For the same reason Swimmers practice deep controlled breathing exercises, strong lung muscles take in more oxygen, allowing this increase in oxygen to flow through our bloodstream and leaving us feeling more alert with increased energy and stamina.  

There are many ways to work our abdominals, we can do those neck-wrenching crunches, try some sit-ups, or spend a lot of money on an ab roller or some other funky piece of machinery that will most likely end up in next year’s yard sale! Isn’t it great that something as fun as singing can also give your abs a great workout?

Controlled breathing is not only about holding your breath, it is also about letting the air out slowly and in a controlled manner … then squeezing out that last little bit of air before you take your next breath. The squeezing comes from constricting or tightening the diaphragm. 

Even if you have not had any formal voice training, you have probably heard of the diaphragm. Usually, people point to their stomachs when asked where their diaphragm is located. Some even refer to it as their ‘abdomen’ or their ‘belly’ however, you'll notice in the attached diagram that your diaphragm is located directly under the lungs and extends across the bottom of the ribcage.

If you watch a baby or a small child breathing, you’ll notice a rise and fall of the center of their torso. The centre will rise with each inhale and lower with each exhale. As we get older, improper breathing techniques take over, largely due to a lack of cardio aerobic activities, stress, and awareness of our breathing (when we sleep, most people tend to fall back into this natural breathing pattern).  However, breathing properly through the diaphragm causes it to contract, providing more space for our lungs to expand even further and take in more air.

* to Learn more about proper breathing technique, including some practical exercises, Sign-up now to receive instant access to our FREE 5-week Learn to Sing Video mini-series, featuring Lisa Smith of Lisa Smith’s Power Haus.

Learning to activate and work your diaphragm can also improve your posture. Since it’s located in the centre core region of your body, it provides support to both the front of your body attached to your ribs, as well as the back of your body supporting your lumbar (back) vertebrae (spine). This is why the diaphragm is commonly referred to as “nature’s girdle’. Keeping your shoulders down in a relaxed, natural position while going through breathing exercises will also improve your posture, since it properly guides your body to take air into the diaphragm. With proper breathing through the diaphragm, you will notice an improvement in the positioning of your shoulders and your overall posture.

Singing is also known to:

  • increase blood circulation
  • improve mood
  • stimulate and increase the 'feel good' hormones that flow into the body
  • lower cholesterol
  • and build confidence (improving mental health)

These are just some of the many wonderful, positive physical benefits you can experience simply by singing – there are far too many to mention here.  Your tongue is also a muscle that can be strengthened with regular exercise and while we may not think about giving our tongue a good work-out, stretching your tongue can not only improve your singing but it will also improve your speech, diction, annunciation, pronunciation, and the overall health of your tongue and mouth.

So go ahead, sing your way to good health!

Your Personal Vocal Coach

PS: Have you taken advantage of our FREE 5-week Learn-to-Sing Video mini-course, featuring Lisa Smith? It’s Free to sign-up and you can cancel at anytime. Join now for instant access to FREE singing lessons.

PPS: Already loving your FREE singing lessons with Lisa and now you’re ready for more? Click here to get even more FREE Singing Lessons, discounts on music software, cds, and more.

How to Master the 3 Types of Singing Voices

Did you know that you have 3 different voices?

When singing and speaking, there are 3 different types of voices that may be used:

  1. the chest voice
  2. the head voice and
  3. the falsetto voice.

For instance, when talking, people will either use their chest voice or their head voice but it is more common for the head voice to be used, unless someone has had previous vocal or public speaking lessons.

Using the chest/throaty voice repetitively in it's highest range can be very damaging to the vocal chords. Therefore, learning to use the diaphragm to breath properly is crucial for protecting your instrument. There are times while singing that you will use the various vocal styles for effect, and switch between them to create more feel to the song.   This can be done without damage to the throat by being able to switch or transition from one type of voice to the other smoothly. In time, learning to sing in your different voices will all become second nature. 

While practicing the various styles of voice, it is important to pay attention to strain. If you are feeling any strain in the throat, then you should rest your voice as you may be causing damage to either the muscles or the vocal chords themselves.  My teachers always reminded me that when I'm singing, it should feel like there is a hollow pipe running from my diaphragm up to my throat – meaning that my throat should feel open and without constriction.  Your muscles and vocal chords should not feel any strain when singing properly.  If you are feeling strain, then you should stop and rest. Regular practise using propler vocal exercises will improve your vocal ability and reduce strain. 

Practice the relaxation techniques in our free 5 week Singing Lessons Video series. Use the form on the right to sign up Now!

Chest Voice

There are 3 main areas that your voice can emerge from. The voice used by many people everyday to communicate through talking is the Chest Voice.  Unless you have been trained in public speaking you are probably using your chest voice when talking.  This is also the voice that is used naturally when you yawn or are partiallyasleep and is the voice that is used to hold notes, increase range, increase power, and overall protection of the voice. 

Head Voice

The second voice is the Head Voice.  Sound is created in the upper nasal cavity and the sensation will almost feel like the sound or resonance vibration is coming from the top of the nasal cavity (top of the nose) through the center of the forehead. This voice is used in addition to breathing from the diaphragm.   The chest voice can also be expanded and used in higher registers but let's stick with learning to sing properly before we move on to expanding the chest vocal register.  

Falsetto

The third voice we use is called Falsetto. Just like it sounds, this is our false voice because most people do not speak using this method unless they deliberately try to. The falsetto is our highest voice but also our weakest voice. Many R&B and Disco artists, like the Bee Gees, Leo Sayer and Hot Chocolate, sing using their falsetto voice. Yodelling, which is common in country music, is also a more obvious way of stepping back and forth from one voice to the other

Transitions

A transition is moving from one voice to another. You can also learn to use combinations of these voices switching from one to the other with a smooth transition to create a more melodic sound and style. Other artists, like Shakira are well known for stepping from one voice to another in a more obvious way. Shakira uses all 3 of her voices in most of her songs and you can hear the difference in her voices as she steps from chest voice to head voice to falsetto and back again. 

I urge all of you to listen to Sarah Brightman http://www.sarah-brightman.com/. When Sarah hits her higher registers, she is using her Head Voice in conjunction with singing from the diaphragm. The air is coming from her diaphragm and the sound / tone is resonating in her upper nasal cavity. Note the placement of her mouth, tongue and facial movements when singing.  A good example of using the diaphragm on lower registers is to check out Geoff Tate, singer for the Band Queensryche. He does a version of Scarborough Fair where, the beginning and end of this song is a prime example of how the diaphragm is being used in lower registers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcwQlGjNqrs

To hear an example of singing from the chest or throat, check out Janis Joplin.  Axel Rose from Guns and Roses also uses this technique a lot, in addition to using his diaphragm. It is this style of singing that really needs to be used carefully to preserve the voice. While it can be used in vocal styling, it also causes a lot of strain on the vocal chords.

To learn how to master your 3 types of singing voices,  CLICK HERE  to sign-up for our Free, 5-week video mini-course.