Hello singers, I am up and running to the studio this morning to record some artistes but before I dash out of the house, let me quickly answer a question from an email I got from one of my students on the other end of the world. He wants to know the events that guide a great singing like that of Beyonce, Adele and the likes of other great singers; and I have decided to title this: The 5 Laws of Great Singing. Now, let me tell you this, when you benefit from something, share with more people and leave a comment. This is how we appreciate ourselves and make the world a better place. Lets get down with it!
Everyone talks about diaphragmatic support. But what is that really??? It is actually the whole abdominal cavity not just the diaphragm. Think of what happens when you breathe. Or let me rather say, try to feel what's going on when you take a breath. As s singer, when you breathe in, your tummy area should expand like you have just taken a big meal (diaphragm expands). And when you breathe out, the exact opposite should happen - you should flatten out (diaphragm contracts). See image below:
Diaphragmatic or abdominal support is the engine that controls and drives a great singing. It is so important in the activity of singing and contributes a lot to the powering of your voice. So, if you notice, that your voice is not carrying much power and confidence, this could be a pointer. A very good singing teacher could help you achieve this.
2. Vowel Placement
Vocal clarity is every singer's aim. Singing exercises using vowels can help you achieve a great, clean and crisp sound. Yes, it's got to be flawless. You want to sing your vowels with an open throat just like it is when you take a really satisfying yawn - that automatically lifts up your soft palate. You also want to ensure that your tongue is not jumping all around in your mouth. It should be in it's natural position, resting flat and lying with tip touching the back of the lower teeth set; of course not forgetting that a relaxed jaw is indispensable. With this technique you are able to generate that bright sound which is all you need to develop a fantastic voice.
3. Breath Control
I usually tell singers to sing high notes with less air so as not to blow off the vocal cords. When you sing a song, you are manipulating your organs of articulation (lips, teeth, palate, tongue et.c.), supporting your notes with your abdominal muscles and most importantly, controlling your air flow. You don't just blow out all the air you have stored up in your lungs, you let it out in a controlled manner and let your resonance take over. You see, every earlier mentioned technique works hand-in-hand with other techniques to contribute to that beautiful sound you want to create with the voice. You need to take these techniques one after the other for development. Don't try to do all at once. Start with one, develop it to a good level then add another. For breath control exercises, I recommend a simple one. Pick a comfortable note and sing the English alphabets on it from A to Z and then continue from A to G. Do this on one breath. That means your want to take your best big breathe before starting. A demonstration will be posted here soon. Also keep your eyes on our Lee Music School Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lauraetemah/ (Also LIKE and share our page with your friends) for more tips.
4. Stress Management
Most people believe that they have to tense up their muscles whenever they want to do anything tremendous with their voices. NO. The exact opposite is the real deal. Relax. You don't need to freak out to hit that high note, just relax. Prior to your routine vocal warm-up exercises, do some physical warm-up exercises. Some of which are: facial muscle stretch, tongue sweep, neck release, upper body twist et.c. These will release tension and help you relax. Do let us know if you need a description of any of these suggested exercises.
Your imagination is another important factor in singing. What you are thinking about can affect your singing positively or negatively a great deal. I use the reverse technique for my students. If you are going for a high note, imagine it's a low note. That in itself make a world of difference. If you tend to stretch your neck to sing high notes, move downwards when you are going for the note. That keeps your stress level in check and makes singing easy and fun. the same thing goes for adlibs, riffs and runs. Just relax in the process of executing them and they will come out great.
If you have any questions or benefited from this article in any way, share with your friends and drop us a comment below. Let us know if you want us to do an article on any singing issue you might have in the comment box.