What song do you want to sing?

  • Breathing for Singing Made Simple

    There seems to be a lot of confusion about breathing when it comes to singing. Really all we are looking for is that the breath is allowed to fill into the lungs and exhale in a steady manner. It is actually detrimental to take in too much air before you sing a phrase in a song. If you ever have it that the voice sounds shaky especially as you descend in pitch, it is very often because you simply have taken in too much air that now has to find release.

    Try taking in a normal amount of air as if you were in a conversation. No doubt some phrases in a song or a phrase that includes a long sustained note will require more air intake, but the majority of your phrasing will be quite normal. 

    The key in singing is to focus on the exhale, not so much on the inhalation. Your body will breathe in automatically and so focus on breathing out as you sing, easily releasing your air in a steady stream.

    The best best best tool for this is to sing with Liprolls (motor boat sound with your lips) or Tongue Trills (rolling the front of your tongue). Sing all your favourite songs with a liproll or tongue trill and you will guarantee that you are singing with a consistent steady stream of air. In order for the lips or tongue to keep moving, you must be exhaling a steady stream of air which will quickly develop this muscle memory in your songs. It will also serve to keep the facial and throat muscles relaxed, which is ideal for singing.

    Basic Breathing:
    Place one hand on your belly, just above your belly button. When you breathe in allow your belly to move FORWARD. As you exhale the belly will fall back. This is the action of your diaphragm contracting downward as you breathe in moving your organs slightly forward and as you exhale the diaphragm relaxes. The action downward allows your lungs to fully expand. Try to keep inhalations relaxed and full with tongue relaxed. If you are struggling with this watch someone breathe as they sleep, their belly will rise and fall with each breath. Or lay on the floor with your feet up on a chair, relax, and watch your belly rise and fall. Try to continue this easy breathing as you sing and speak.

     Author: Tammy Frederick


  • Vocal Tip - Breath Marks!

    The key to vocal endurance and easy release of the voice is to plan out where you are going to breathe in your song BEFORE you sing the song!

    Take a moment to print off a lyric sheet or the sheet music and mark with a check mark with a pencil where you are going to breathe in your song.

    Try to look at phrasing of your story - how you would speak the sentence.

    Try to sing longer phrases, ie. two sentences together, rather than shorter; doing so will increase your breath capacity for those long notes at the end of the song.

    Try to sing with those same breath marks every time you sing the song to build your muscle memory.

    Note: Just because there is a rest, doesn't mean you should take a breath in. Sing through rests by simply exhaling rather than inhaling through them. If its hard at first, sing the last note before the rest longer to cover the rest until your body gets used to breathing out through the phrase, then go back to observing the rest with simply exhaling through it.

    Try it and see the difference in your breath capacity!

     

    "I can't explain it, but I'll find a song that can"

     

    Author: Tammy Frederick 


  • Connecting Yourself to the Story

    On some level, you can relate to the essence of any song. Understanding what your song is about is the first step to being able to express it; however, relating it to personal experience assists you in connecting to it and expressing it in an authentic way. By doing this you begin to breathe life, confidence, and emotion into the song. Start by thinking about the basic essence of your song as explored in the last blog post called Your Song's Story. Your song may be about love, hardship, loss, achievement, or desire. Now, think about a personal experience in your own life where you experienced a similar situation or emotion. Any personal experience, no matter how small, can offer you the feeling you want to duplicate. As you sing your song, imagine you are singing about your own experience. Use the lyrics of the song to pour your own story out into the world. This is an exercise to help you access deeper levels of expression with your song. The more connected you are to the story the more meaningfully you will be able to express it vocally and thus connect with your audience.

    self-ex·pres·sion

    noun

    the expression of one's feelings, thoughts, or ideas, especially in writing, art, music, or dance.

    Oxford Dictionary

     

    Author: Tammy Frederick

     


  • Your Song's Story

    Ultimately, as a singer, you are a storyteller painting images and experiences with the lyrics you sing. Begin to think about the story of your song.

    What is it about?

    What is the emotional journey of the song?

    Who are you singing it too?

    What is your objective in the song?

    What is the outcome of the story?

    Doing this simple exercise will also assist you vocally. When your focus is brought onto the story of the song it is taken off of the technical aspects of “singing it”. As you increase your awareness of the expression of your song there is a positive effect on releasing breath and extra muscularity. It will also make it a lot more fun as you get to go on the full emotional ride of the song! 

     

    Music is an extraordinary vehicle for expressing emotion - very powerful emotions. That's what draws millions of people towards it. - Annie Lennox

    Author: Tammy Frederick


  • The Mental Rehearsal

    The most powerful exercise you can do right now is to use your mind to visualize what you want. Whatever your goal is, first imagine yourself in that ideal picture. In general we think in images. Continue to flash the image of what you desire onto the movie screen of your mind. Imagine yourself singing effortlessly and with great joy in the situation of your choice. It may be singing to a loved one, performing live on stage, or jamming with a group of friends. Begin by seeing yourself in that situation in the manner you choose: relaxed, confident, and eager to share your voice with others. Practice this vision multiple times every day. Employ the power of written words by taking time to write out the script of how it will all unfold for you. Write from the place as if your desire has already happened and it went even better than you could have imagined. Review your script at least once a day. Add to its power by saying your written words out loud.

    Mental Rehearsal Script:

    Be as detailed as possible when you write your script. Paint the whole picture of the event. How you looked, who was there, the beautiful mood of the event, the perfect weather, everything you want. Describe it in detail as if you are writing about it after it has occurred. It has happened and it unfolded in this perfect way. Your mental rehearsal script can be used to create any situation...

    Example:

    “Thank you for the amazing outcome to _________________________. Everything went so smoothly and turned out better than I could have possibly imagined. I was relaxed, calm, confident, and pleasantly excited the entire time. I am so grateful for this incredible unfolding and the joy I experienced today. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

     

    "Brain studies now reveal that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions. Mental imagery impacts many cognitive processes in the brain: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory. So the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow—all relevant to achieving your best life!" ~ Psychology Today

     

    "There is one thing that separates elite athletes from average athletes… Elite athletes utilize the power of guided imagery or visualization. Imagery has long been a part of elite sports and many Olympic athletes have mastered the skill with the help of Sport Psychologists and Mental Game Coaches. When athletes visualize or imagine a successful competition, they actually stimulate the same brain regions as you do when you physically perform that same action. Visualization in sports or mental imagery is a way of conditioning for your brain for successful outcomes." ~ Peak Performance Sports

    Author: Tammy Frederick



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