Some people are just naturally talented great singers, and some are not. You thought that, didn’t you? Well, it’s partly true – some people have a better ear for music than others – but that certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to sing! I could tell you here about all the pros of being able to sing, but I guess you know them yourself: other people think you’re amazing, and you yourself can make beautiful music! Before you start reading these tips & tricks and exercises though, you need to know that singing is something you’re continually improving: it’s not like after reading this you suddenly became Freddy Mercury overnight. No, it takes time and practice and patience to achieve the singing ability. Therefore, this guide will focus on the following:
- What IS singing? Basic theory, definitions, vocal range, etc.
- The correct posture and principles
- Vocal warm-ups
- Strengthening your vocal chords
- Achieving your fullest sound and range
So basically, I’ll first tell you how the voice works, then I’ll make sure the basic foundation for singing is okay (no tension, standing up straight, etc.), and from that point we can start really working on your strength and volume and range.
What IS singing?
Singing is, as we all know, the act of creating melodious sounds with your voice. So how does that voice work? Somewhere in the middle of your neck is your larynx. This larynx controls your breathing, swallowing, but also your talking/singing. You can easily see the position of your larynx, as this is where you’re ‘adam’s apple’ is. Within your larynx is a so-called ‘voice box’, which is where your vocal chords are placed. You have 2 vocal chords, one to the left side of your voice box and on the the right side. When these 2 are not connected, you hear no sound (this is the case when just breathing). When these 2 are connected, you can blow air through them to make them vibrate, and then depending on the amount of air and the length of your vocal chords, sound will be created. Therefore, you should know your vocal chords are muscles – just as any other muscle, it needs to be trained to be able to reach and sustain notes. The only problem is: because you’re using your voice all day everyday to talk, you can easily overburden your voice. Now, we all know that when you put more stress on a muscle than it can handle, it grows stronger, so whats the problem!? Well, a muscle grows stronger when it’s resting, and when you’ve for example cycled very much and feel pain in your legs, you usually give them some rest, but you often forget your voice. And if you have a wound in your voice for too long, it becomes a scar, which we call a ‘vocal nodule’. And with proper training, these scars aren’t that much of a problem, but if not these nodules will cause your voice to crack and become uncontrollable. Then there’s only one question left to answer: why does everybody’s voice sound different and why is everybody’s range different? Continue reading