I’ve seen pupils tense up when they breathe to do the scales; I’ve seen them squeeze their tone instead of simply releasing it; I’ve seen them withholding their tone; I’ve experienced the shouting instead of them working up the scales… I’ve witnessed the lot!
When I’m with a pupil in my studio, no-matter what they throw at me, I’ll know how to rein them in so that I find them a clearer path to performing their exercises with good form. I am constantly tuned in to the inner workings of their voice while I’m training them. And so I will detect immediately when something isn’t right.
I’ve said this before. Everybody is different. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for the next individual trying to perform the vocal exercises. So here’s the quickest way to figure a way out of a vocal conundrum, as it were. First and foremost, you need to release your tone so you’re using your fuller voice. Inadvertently, getting this right will help you loosen up. If your tone is squeezed, withheld, breaking up and causing you any kind of discomfort, stop and change your exercise. Something as simple as replacing an open vowel like ‘AA’ with a narrow vowel like ‘EE’; OR opening your mouth a little wider for a narrow vowel, can make a world of difference. So, if it isn’t happening for you, try working with ONLY the exercises that deliver that fuller sound, and stick with them until your vocals are developed enough to revisit the exercises that were previously challenging.