Become a better singer today!
Improve your singing by following 4 simple steps
Breathing is the single most important factor in singing. You will never become a good singer if you fail to breathe correctly. A beginner singer tends to breathe in through his/her nose or mouth only. Because singing requires rapid intakes of air in between phrases, you need to breathe in through your nose and mouth simultaneously.
In order to increase your breathing capacity and improve the control of air flow when singing, you also need to use diaphragmatic breathing. When you use diaphragmatic breathing, you can feel the area just below the bottom of your rib-cage (see picture below where the lady’s hand is resting) at the centre of your torso expanding outwards. You should be able to feel your rib-cage expanding in an outward direction (including the rib-cage at the back of your body).
Do the following practice at home. Exhale until your lungs are almost completely empty. Breath in rapidly using diaphragmatic breathing (inhale through both your nose and mouth) until you can’t breathe in any further. Hold your breath for about 5 seconds and feel the pressure of the air against the rib-cage area. Slowly exhale.
Controlled air release
In order to attain a consistent tone when singing, you need to be able to release air consistently while you sing. A consistent release of air whilst singing will result in an even, smooth tone. On the other hand, if you release air inconsistently, your voice will sound choppy (tone sounds like it is becoming louder and softer intermittently).
Try the following practice at home. Hold a small piece of paper with its bottom edge level with your upper lip. Inhale fully, and then exhale with your mouth so that the piece of paper is blown upwards. If you maintain a consistent release of air, the piece of paper should remain at roughly the same position as you exhale. Experiment with different speeds of air release (exhalation), but remember to maintain a consistent rate of air release each time.
Tensing your diaphragm while releasing air helps you maintain a consistent tone, especially when you are singing at higher pitches or at a loud volume. This is known as diaphragm support.
Try the following exercise. Inhale fully, and then sing at a comfortable pitch and relaxed volume, while releasing air consistently through your mouth. Tense your diaphragm such that you feel air being squeezed out of your vocal cords at a faster rate – if done correctly, you should be able to feel the muscles around the diaphragm area flare outwards and the air being forced out of your mouth at a greater speed simultaneously. Your singing volume should increase at the same time also.
Raise your soft palate while singing
The soft palate is an area around your tonsil (refer to the picture below for the exact location). When the doctor asks you to say ‘ahhh’ and he/she shines a torch into your mouth, you are raising your soft palate. You can sing with a raised soft palate by dropping your jaw and raising the roof of your mouth as you sing. With a raised soft palate, the air flows out of your mouth in a greater arc, resulting in a rounder and richer tone. You may find yourself hitting higher notes with greater ease as well, when you raise your soft palate while singing.
I hope the information in this article helps you to improve your singing. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or opinions.