Jul 24

Five Things Every Singer Needs!

What IS it, exactly, that you need to know about if you've got what it takes to be...well...."good"? 

Tone can’t be changed! It’s your unique “vocal thumbprint”. It is primarily determined by the shape of your head, throat, and sinuses. You are an instrument, and will sound different than someone with another shape!  As to whether or not your tone is "beautiful"? Well, THAT part is subjective! One person's idea of a pleasing tone could be another person's " yeah...don't like it!". That's what makes art so interesting, no? As a singer, you won't please everyone, so keep that in mind. 

Pitch is another matter. This is our ability to correctly match sound with our voices. Pitch matching can be strengthened in a few ways. One is to do simple aural drills online or with your teacher (by playing simple patterns). This involves more listening and processing. The other is more physical ! To improve overall pitch accuracy in singing, try this fun activity: silently mime your lyrics as big as you can with your entire jaw dropping and face moving dramatically . I love using this particular exercise with my singers often. Want to see it in action, as well as other fun ones? My online school is where it's at! 

Diction is how well we pronounce our words while singing. It’s also known as articulation. 
A good way to practice agility is to actually RAP your song lyrics! Not only will your words be more clear- you’ll be singing nice and rhythmically, too! If you’re a classical singer, make sure you invest in a good book or two about foreign language diction, such as Diction for Singers by Joan Wall. In classical singing, the VOWEL sounds are key and these books help with that! It's a little different when it comes to rock or pop, sometimes you don't want to sound too effected and polished to convey a certain 'tude, or more casual quality. I say there is a balance! 

You simply cannot expect to improve without regular practice. You’ll want to practice every day, if possible! This does not mean you have to practice for long periods of time. You need to feel inspired and motivated, and feeling like you “have to” is detrimental to a singer’s progress! Make your practice sessions FUN. Create your own silly warmups- try singing in “nonsense”! Make a simple song a warmup. And always,always spend part of your session practicing performing. By pretending you’ve got an audience, you’ll be ready for when you actually DO have one. Regular voice lessons are also key. Aim for at least bi weekly lessons if you want to build a voice! 

One of the most important qualities a singer can have is not necessarily a gorgeous voice but CONFIDENCE! If you are firmly planted on stage with a relaxed presence- you’re inviting your audience in and opening up your voice . Nerves tighten a body, and a voice! If you struggle with stage fright (and so many do!), there are many things to help you: try visualization techniques, meditation, or even a yoga for singers class.

Putting it all together can indeed seem intimidating at first, that's why I am here to help, whether you prefer learning on your own or by trying live private lessons.

Let's get this voice movin'!

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