Tips for Better Singing
1.Think about breath. Without proper breathing, you aren't using your voice to its full potential. To find out if you're breathing correctly for singing, place your hand on your stomach and inhale. Your hand should move out--your stomach should be expanding, not your ribcage and chest. That's because you need to support your breath with your diaphragm--the muscle underneath the lungs that inflates them. The diaphragm is activated by abdominal muscles, and it's much stronger than the muscles between your ribs--the muscles you're using if your chest, not your stomach, expands with your breath.You'll need to have strong breath to give your voice adequate support for singing. To do this, you'll need to use your stomach and lower abdominal muscles to support your breath.
2. Focus on posture. Your breath travels from your lungs straight up through your mouth. If its passage is twisted, kinked, or blocked in any way, it won't be able to get out efficiently. How you stand has a big effect on how you sound. You should be standing with your legs about shoulder-width apart. Your chest should be lifted to give your lungs plenty of room to expand. Your shoulders should be back and relaxed.
3. Relax. If there's tension anywhere from your abdomen to your head, it'll affect your sound. Your facial muscles, tongue and throat muscles, vocal cords, jaw and shoulders should all be as relaxed as possible.
4. Know where to put your tongue and soft palate. The soft palate should be raised--this will give more space for your voice to resonate. The tip of your tongue should be placed at the back of your teeth. This will keep it from blocking your throat if it's positioned too far back.
5. Drink plenty of water. Your vocal cords need to be hydrated to work properly. Avoid dairy, alcohol, and caffeine if you will be singing.
6. Warm up before singing. Don't go straight into a song without a good warm-up first. A good warm-up routine should concentrate on relaxing your body and getting your breath ready, and should start with simple deep breaths. It should progress to light humming from there, and then some scale work once you feel ready. It's important not to strain too hard during the warm-up process--don't reach for notes that aren't comfortable, and don't sing at the top of your volume.
Some Simple Warm Up Exercises
1. Yawn, stretch up and touch the ceiling, roll you head right 3 times, left 3 times, and stretch toward the ceiling again. Stand straight but relaxed. Make sure your face and jaw are relaxed. Take a few deep breaths and exhale as if your were keeping a feather in the air.
2. Motor-boat, lip-trilling: start on C and go down the scale making a Brbrbrbr sound.
3. Sing staccato “ha” (start on G) 5555-5555-5432-1. Make sure you let the sound come the diaphragm, not the throat.
4. Sing “yah” beginning on F up scale to C and back down again to F. Let your tongue and jaw be loose and open your mouth. Take it up a half-step 4 times up, 4 times down.
5. Beginning on G sing “wine is fine”. Now sing the phrase twice starting on G and then down to D. Make sure you support the sound all the way through.
Spending about 15 minutes on these exercises will go a long way in helping you warm up and strengthen your voice.
Okay, let’s Sing to the Lord!