Here are few recommended steps in becoming a better Singer.
Believe in Yourself
As a singer, I can tell you that if you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. Your singing must ring true. You must be confident if you expect to sing with the best voice possible. A confident sound contains a rich, ringing, and well projected tone. If you lack confidence and are worried about how you sound, begin a program of positive affirmations and visualization to connect with your inner power. Here are some suggestions for positive affirmations to help you:
- “I thank my Creator for my beautiful and perfect singing voice.”
- “Each time I sing, I am filled with confidence.”Create whatever it is that you need or want. Then, affirm your creation by repeating it over and over again. Visualize yourself singing in a place filled with people. Listen to the beauty and richness of your own singing tone: so confident, grateful, and eager to share the precious messages contained in the song.Visualize the moment down to the last detail. How many people are in the audience? Describe the size and look of the room, the stage, the band or accompaniment, the lighting, and your assistant. What are you wearing? How do you feel?Remember, it is the decisions you make when you have no time to make them that define who you truly are. Believing in yourself is one of the first steps to success. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, it will be difficult to succeed in anything. Even these six tips for better singing won’t be 100% effective until you feel confidence.
Open the Mouth to Sing With a More Powerful and Confident Voice
With the mouth barely open, your singing tone will remain suppressed or hidden-sounding. You must create enough space for the sound to come out. Don’t be self-conscious about a generous mouth opening. How will your tone ring unless your mouth is open enough for it to? Ever watch a singer close up and personal on television? At times, you can see almost to the back of their throat.
So give your singing a big boost by keeping the mouth open as you sing. You will quickly hear a more powerful sound. To assure that the mouth is open wide enough, place two fingers (one on top of the other) between the top and bottom teeth. Keeping the fingers in the mouth sing ‘ah,’ then remove the fingers from the mouth while still retaining the ‘ah’ sound. Did your mouth remain open after removing your fingers?
An exercise to help you to train your mouth and jaw to the right position for singing words using the ‘ah’ vowel is:
- While using a mirror to monitor for openness, sing the following words in a medium, comfortable tone: hot, brought, not, fall, hall, tall, talk, walk, father, stars, bars, far, and broad.
- Be sure to sustain the vowel ‘ah’ for a few seconds before closing the word with the final consonant.
- As you repeatedly practice each word, start off by going very slow. Gradually build your speed until you can sing through the list at a faster pace.
Breath Control: Learn to Breathe Correctly
Belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, is essential to a better sounding singing voice. The tone that you sing actually “rides” on the air that is being exhaled as you sing. When you begin phonation (speaking/singing), air causes vibrations to occur which produces sound and will continue until you run out of air. If you are currently breathing in air by the use of the upper portion of the lungs only, you will not only run out of air too early, but also have a weak and breathy sound. Learning how to inhale by inflating around your waistline takes practice. As you repeat the belly breathing exercise, you’ll be unlearning the wrong way to breathe and replacing that with the right way to breathe.
To learn to breathe using the belly breath (diaphragm), lay on the floor as pictured, book on abdomen centered at the waistline. As you inhale, expand the abdomen and lower ribcage which will lift the book.
- Learning the Belly Breath
- Place a light book (or you can go heavy with the yellow pages, etc) on your stomach centered at the waistline.
- Once you feel completely relaxed, quickly lift the book using only your belly, which will then move upward.
- Hold this for 5-15 seconds.
- Now, lower the book very slowly until the belly returns to its natural flat position. By lowering the book slowly, you are matching what happens as you sing.
- Repeat this exercise several times, using a hissing sound as you release your air while lowering the book.
- Variations on this exercise would be to replace the hissing sound with a singing tone on an easy pitch. You will soon see how you are learning to control the amount of air you emit during exhalation.
Breathe through your nose and mouth simultaneously.
When you have mastered the belly breath on the floor, try the same exercise in a standing position. Because you won’t have a book resting on the abdominal wall, place your hand where the book was positioned in the floor exercise. Feel for the expansion around the waist and lower ribcage area. Lastly, don’t forget to always keep your shoulders absolutely still during inhalation.
In a standing position, place hands on abdominal area centered at the waistline to monitor the expansion as you inhale. If you have trouble with this, return to the floor exercise. This must be practiced consistently for weeks before it's automatic.