A2Z SINGING TIPS

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A2Z SINGING TIPS

Post by mr.banker on Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:36 am


A2Z SINGING TIPS


A is for Attitude. How many singers does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the world has to revolve around
them, ha ha. All kidding aside, being a vocalist is a very courageous and naked way of expressing yourself. If you aren’t
open and unashamed, your audience will not be able to develop an empathetic rapport.

B is for Breath Control. To skillfully control your breath while singing it is required that you relax most muscles, while
strenuously exerting others. This is an exercise in coordination that requires concentration and practice – but like
anything you’ve done a thousand times, it eventually becomes second nature.

C is for Criticism. Everyone always has something to say – especially if you ask them! Gravitate towards your fans,
disregard those whom you believe may have motive to see you fail. Take to heart constructive criticism you can use to
make yourself stronger, and accept the fact that you cannot please all the people all the time.

D is for Dynamics. Using dynamics is the art of raising and lowering the volume of your voice to add texture and
expression to the sound. This is also known as “color”. You will notice that in popular styles, the voice grows louder with
higher notes, and softer with lower notes, with the exception of when falsetto is used.

E is for Emotion. If the emotional content of the song you’re singing is powerful enough to move you, then allow that
emotion to affect the sound of your voice. If it’s not, then you must reach inside your heart and connect with a similar
experience of your own.



F is for Facial Muscles. For homework, observe your favorite singers in live action. Take note of how they drop their jaw
for some sounds, and lift their cheeks up for others… The shape of your mouth will greatly affect the tone and volume of
the sound you are creating.

G is for Grace. When singing, the sound should flow with ease - do not force. Volume comes from the manner in which
the sound resonates, and each note has its “happy place”. Even to sing with a raunchy sound is a manner of technique,
not force.

H is for Hoarseness. The vocal cords are very delicate, and improper use of them will cause bruising, and if repetitive,
calluses. When damaged, the vocal cords loose their elasticity causing a reduced ability to produce clear tones,
limitation of range, and a great deal of stress for the performing singer.

I is for Imagery. When you are describing through song an event, an emotion, an experience, your surroundings, specific
people, etc… you must have a clear vision in your mind’s eye of the images you are describing. If you neglect to do this,
the words will seem to have no meaning.

J is for Jabberwocky. When you are composing lyrics, don’t forget that nonsensical words, sounds, and scat are
legitimate prose. La la la, do do do, bottle op’ botten doh, bottle op bop ‘n bayden day dow dow…

K is for Karaoke! Karaoke is a great stepping stone between practicing as a beginner, and auditioning for a real gig. You’re
a star on stage with a professional P.A. system, and there is no pressure at all not to make mistakes!

L is for Larynx. The vocal cords are not really cords at all - they’re more like flaps which stick out horizontally from the
sides of your windpipe. The vocal folds vibrate in accordance to their length, mass and tension using “tensor muscles”.

M is for Music. It is my opinion that a singer is only as good as the song that he/she is singing. You must choose your
material wisely; you would be surprised at how it alters people’s perception of your voice.

N is for Name. What’s in a name? Lots if you’re a singer! You know how there are just some names you remember easily,
and some you don’t? Many musicians have “stage names”, also known as “pseudonyms” (“pen names” are for authors).
You do not need to legally change your name; it is extremely common and accepted for musicians to have an a.k.a. if
they so desire.

O is for Observation. Decide which vocalists you most admire, and then observe their technique. Visually, you will see
how they use their physicality, and how they present themselves on stage. Audibly, you will hear what perhaps they are
doing differently, and how you can improve your own technique.

P is for Projection. Projection is the art of pushing the sound (via the air) up, and forward, and away from you. Singers,
actors, and public speakers do it. “Reach for the back row”. Remember that even when your voice is going down in pitch
and in volume, the projection always moves up and forward and away – because it is your directly related to your
airflow.

Q is for Quench. When I’m recognized in public as a vocal coach, a lot of people ask first: “What should I drink”? I tell
them that if they’re singing properly, it doesn’t matter much what they drink. I prefer to avoid caffeine, because I don’t
like the crash that follows the artificial stimulation. Avoid hard liquor, it burns going down and the fumes may irritate.
Avoid dairy products, they may help generate phlegm. Other than that, just try to remain hydrated and fueled – I like to
drink spring water and fruit juice. When consuming carbonated beverages, be sure that you can keep your burping under
control! It can be embarrassing, especially during ballads.

R is for Range. You are not born with your range, you can increase it. If you cannot touch your toes, try every day to
touch your toes - and you will touch your toes. Your range can be stretched in the same manner (using proper
technique!!!) and likewise, if you don’t use your full range regularly, it will shrink back.

S is for Style. Placement (bass & treble, etc…), singing raunchy or raspy (without going hoarse!), vibrato, and falsetto
are all stylistic techniques that can be learned, developed and mastered. Why not be versatile as possible?

T is for Talent. Talent? I believe that talent is an illusion that only people who’ve practiced a great deal will ever possess.
I have students who practice regularly, and students who don’t – the difference is abundantly clear. Adhere to a
structured practice regiment and you will be “talented” too!

U is for Undaunted. People often take their singing ambitions very seriously, and then along comes some person of
authority who says “It’s unrealistic to think you’ll ever be a professional” for whatever reason. Think for a moment and try
to come up with the names of five superstars to whom this person would be likely to say the same thing!

V is for Visualization. Many vocal coaches use visualization techniques for the placement and projection of the sound. For
one example, if you imagine the sound appearing out of nowhere above and just in front of you, you can aim more
accurately with your pitch (no fading, or “dipping” into the note) and from there, project it away from you (pushing with
your diaphragm). Project in a outwardly round manner for a fuller sound.

W is for Warm Up! I would not be caught dead singing without warming up first. You go to hit a note… and a different one
comes out! Your delicate little vocal folds were not made to go from 0 to 60 in three seconds. You must stretch them to
their full range gently and gradually.

Y is for Yak and Yell. Once you have developed your skill with regard to using your voice without damaging it, use this
a concert, scream on a roller coaster, shout instructions at a sports event, argue with your family, etc… you must
preserve your voice with skill - or it won’t be there when you need it to sing!

Z is for Zeal. If you’re a performer, then you must be zealous in all your endeavors. From the preparatory and
organizational phases, to the performance – your enthusiasm and ardor will be a key factor. If you’re tired and you need
to sing 30 songs now, pretend you’re not tired! Good luck, and have fun!!!
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