Saturday, May 12, 2012

Singing Tips: Are You Singing On Empty?

If you're struggling to sing, let's say your voice is strained, and you're finding it really difficult to hold a note, the likelihood is that you are singing on empty. When you sing, you shouldn't feel any kind of strain around the throat; you shouldn't be puffing and panting for breath with every note; your throat should be free of strain, your vocals should be clear and smooth and above all, you ought to be enjoying the experience. So how then do you fix this VERY common problem? How do you stop singing on empty? The solution is rather simple.

Simply make sure that you map out a song properly, in that you have a visual understanding or picture of where everything is. The quickest way to find a balance is to have a lyric sheet in front of you as you sing. Make note of ALL the breath-intake spots and USE them. In every well written song there are always the breaks that allow for breathing. How then are you supposed to breathe to sing?

In some cases it takes me 5 to 10 hours to help my students break away from the bad breathing habits that are holding them back. There's only one way to explain this. If you can yawn, you can breathe properly because it is that exact same action of dropping the jaw and sucking in breath that enables you to breathe to sing. It really is that simple. So practice the yawning, while looking in the mirror to see how your mouth opens out wide. Once you've got the hang of it, do the same again, only this time for the purpose of breathing to sing. Drop the jaw, suck that breath into your abdominal area and hit the note. So the next time you're struggling to sing, you could be singing on empty. Learn a new habit! Breathe properly. You'll be glad you did.

I hope that helps.

Vocal Coach

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