Today’s lesson will enable you to start a fantastic vocal workout that will strengthen your voice and gently stretch it so you can begin to experience the euphoria of progress.
We offer you a form or a visual reminder to keep you on the right track when you are practicing.
So go on what have you got to lose… all you have to lose is that underutilized voice and that lack of self-confidence that comes with not knowing how truly great your voice is.
So go on… discover to help yourself achieve vocal greatness, with today’s lesson on developing a failure-free plan.
How to implement a sensational singing plan!
Now that you’re ready to head into the heavy-duty section of the book, we’d like you to take a minute to consider your plan of attack.
You can either read through the rest of this book, absorb what it says, and go away and forget it all—or you can set some goals for yourself now and figure out how much time you can dedicate to exercising your voice.
As we said before, there’s no way you can develop a good singing voice by thinking about it. You will have to practice—and that means every single day, if possible. We’re not talking about hours. Marathon singing practices can end up damaging your voice instead of improving it.
You may want to start with anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, from once to three times a day.
Right now, as an exercise, we want you to see if you can find room in your schedule for two 15-minute practices every day.
Practice Session #1: I will practice for _________ minutes at __________ o’clock.
Practice Session #2: I will practice for _________ minutes at __________ o’clock.
In order to inspire you for those times when you feel as if you can’t manage to make the time or don’t have the energy to practice singing, fill in the following sentences:
1. I want to sing because _____________________________________________.
2. When I sing, I feel _________________________________________________
3. I want to get better at my singing because ______________________________
4. When I’m really good at singing I hope to _______________________________
Now, imagine the best singing experience you could dream of and answer the following:
. Where are you singing? __________________________________________
. How big is the audience? _________________________________________
. What are you singing? ___________________________________________
. Is it for a certain occasion? ________________________________________
. What are you wearing? ___________________________________________
. Do you know anyone in the audience? _______________________________
. What happens when you finish the song? ____________________________
Tips for a Perfect Practice
There are three important things to remember about your voice practice sessions:
1. Start with a warm-up.
2. Shorter and often is better than longer and infrequent.
4. Don’t overdo it.
Vocal practices always begin with a warm-up—and I’m not talking about stretches and jumping jacks. Rather, your vocal muscles need warming up just like your body does. For example, have you woken up in the morning and found that your first word came out as a hoarse croak? Your voice wasn’t warmed up! What happened was that during the night, fluids collected in your throat tissues. Mucous built up, and your vocal cords became dry.
Because your vocal cords need to be damp to move well, you found yourself unable to speak normally in the morning.
A great place to do your vocal warm-ups is in the shower… because the steam opens up your throat and windpipe and is soft on your vocal cords.
Remember to drink lots of water—and that doesn’t mean juice, milk, coffee, or soda pop. Those liquids can’t compare when it comes to water for keeping the vocal cords moist and functioning at their best. The best singers keep hydrated and may drink up to a gallon of water a day.
Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
You can’t warm up just by singing a song. Good warm-ups take you through your chest voice to your head voice without building pressure.
Fortunately, there are some simple warm-up exercises you can do.
Try this exercise: Make an ‘ng’ sound. Hint: the same sound in ‘singing’.
Your mouth should only be slightly open.
Make sure that your jaw does not tense up too much. Keep it— along with your mouth and lips—still. The sound will vibrate, and you should feel it in your nose.
Now, continue making the ‘ng’ sound, but start with a low note and “siren” a scale all the way up to the top, and back down again.
Make sure that you clearly pass through each note in the scale, but keep the sound smooth.
Listen to the example:
Keep sirening until your top note is as high as you can go. If it gets too high, lean forward and drop your head slightly while you are still sirening.
Listen to the example:
Try this exercise:The Lip Roll
This is one of the best warm-up exercises you can do. It can be used to extend your vocal range and improve breath control. However, it is also quite difficult, as it utilizes so many areas of your vocal mechanism. We promise, however, that it will become easier with practice!
Relax your face, mouth, and lips. Make a ‘br’ sound, revving it up until you can feel the vibrations in your lips. This takes quite a bit of air! Sing a low note while continuing to do your lip roll.
Now, try something more difficult. Continue doing your lip roll while singing up the scale for five notes, then sign back down to your original note, finishing with ‘ah.’
Shift your starting note up a half step and do another lip roll. Keep doing lip rolls until your top note is as high as you can go.
For additional practice with breath and breath control, do your lip roll while singing all the way up the scale and back down again.
Try this exercise: Consonants. The purpose of these exercises is to loosen the lips, mouth, and jaw, and relax muscles, so they may be done either speaking or singing (i.e., as scales). Do them quickly! This may be difficult first thing in the morning.
Say words with ‘b’ sounds, ‘m’ sounds, and ‘l’ sounds. Or, sing scales on ‘bah’, ‘mee’ or ‘loh’.
When you begin your training, shorter practice sessions several times a day is better than one big practice session every few days. The shorter practices will enable you to keep your focus and not tire the new vocal muscles you’re beginning to stretch.
When you do each exercise, you need to focus on what the exercise is supposed to accomplish. Feel the physical sensations that each exercise causes. Note the change in sound it produces. The more aware you become of your singing apparatus, the more control you will have.
Finally, when you’re done, your throat should not feel tired or tense. If it does, chances are you haven’t been using proper technique. The discomfort may be caused by using your outer muscles too much, forcing sounds out rather than letting them flow naturally, or singing your exercises too loudly. (A moderate volume is best for practicing.)
Do you feel embarrassed or shy when others can hear you practice your singing exercises? One great place to practice singing is in the car! Do your vocal warm-ups on your way to work, to the store, or to school. The commute will seem much shorter … and no one will look at you twice!
When you practice these easy vocal strengthening exercises you will notice a big difference in your voice. And as you practice you will become ready to take on a whole lot of different singing challenges.
Keep a look out for our next lesson on staying away from and eliminating pitching problems.
Another Singorama Success Story!
Leesburn, VA, United States
The warm ups we gave you in today’s lesson pale in comparison to the comprehensive warm up and strengthening program developed for Singorama 2.0
Check out how to extend your vocal range, strengthen your voice and gently stretch your vocal cords to achieve a range you always dreamed about but never thought possible!