Vocal lessons, voice improvement

Exercises for improving singing and useful tips on making your musical performance better

• Please breath between musical phrases

 Don’ try to sing whole song on one breath. Take your time. You are on the stage and there is no need to rush. Between musical phrases we need to take breath, in the same natural way, as we take breath when we speak, whether it is a singing lesson or real performance on a stage

For example 2-3, maximum 4 words you sing, then you  should breath, 2-3 words and again you breath.. etc. This gives natural fluency to the vocal breathing and to the performance, plus, in this way, it is so easy to be more expressive with different colours in your voice. Breathing in the right moment will make sure you don’t strangulate your voice and  don’t create unnecessary tension in the area of your throat. The way you inhale and exhale is described in my previous BLOG. “Chi sa respirare- sa cantare” , which means in Italian literally, “who knows how to breath- knows how to sing”..it has been said by old masters of Italian Belcanto school. Time and experience show me that this applies to all types of singing ( rock music, country music, pop music etc)

•It’s good  to deliver the message of the song not only through the voice , but through the following tools of expression: face, body language, arms, hands, eyes.

 I  suggest to experiment with each of the “ tools” I have mentioned above.

Remember, it’s very useful to experiment with facial expression during the performance. This will help you easily to reflect the way you feel in the very moment. 

For example, If it is a sad song, I suggest to create in your imagination a variety of different types of sadness: 

1.Sadness with element of  hope

2. Sadness with element of grief

3. Sadness , but no regret

4. Sadness with element of joy

Etc

It’s just an example..  There are dozens of other variations.  More clear vision you have in your head- better your face and body will respond during the performance.. The same kind of varieties you could give to other types of feelings. It’s important to be inventive and brave to experiment when you sing.. 

Seriously, if painter before he starts to paint, is mixing all his paints and then later he starts putting them on a paper, why can’t we then prepare our thoughts, different kind of emotions before we start singing?

Ultimately, audience wants to believe in your story, if it doesn’t happen, what’s the point of your singing on the stage?

These are the first steps in building truly a professional approach towards  a great musical performance.

Efficient exercises which will definitely  work and will help improve your singing

  • Experiments with tempos and mood will bring extraordinary result. I saw it many times. 
  •  EXERCISE “Close your eyes”

Singing with closed eyes will be a very unusual experience for you, but believe me, in this way, you will be able to concentrate on the sound like never before. As a result, you can improve significantly pitch of your voice and give more colours to your voice.

  • EXERCISE “” SEAT AND SING” 

Try to sing the song while you are seating: relax your legs and arms, concentrate on your vocal breathing, support of the diaphragm and  make sure there is no tension in the area of your throat.

  • EXERCISE “WALL” 

Stand with your back next to the wall, put both hands on the wall. Find the object to concentrate in front of  you, just on the level of your eyes and sing.

Sing your song  and make sure that the only  elements are involved:

Your mind

Your vocal cords

Support of your diaphragm 

Good space in the area of your throat and no tension neither in your neck, nor in your lower jaw and your tongue

In such way, you easily create a moment of vocal awareness, which you will remember. Very often artists  being on the stage, experience state of anxiety and totally lose themselves and don’t feel  being grounded.. It is good to be “ here and now” when you perform. The suggested exercise will help you to solve the problem. The level of control will be much much higher. 

  • MIRROR

It’s good to have a mirror in front of you, while you are standing with your back next to the wall ( preferably, which will show whole height) , so you can see all the changes happening at the very moment.

When you sing/speak in front of the mirror, it’s important to explore a big range of characters: fragile/strong, fearless/shy, suspicious/ naive, happy/sad etc..in this way, you will learn so much about your voice and will have so many new opportunities to express yourself as an artist. Look at your reflection, try to correct what you see- yes, you can DO IT AND  CAN IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE AS A RESULT,significantly 

In fact, whole body should become an instrument through which artist/performer is  delivering “ the thought(s)”

Try to do this exercises at least, few times. The difference will be obvious 

  • LYRICS 

Please  work on the lyrics of your song

Simply print it out, take deep breath and read through it .. slowly.. with quite voice.. try to get to the very essence of words.. if anything needs to be translated- do it.. each word, step by step ( only in this way, brain will have a clear image attached to the word and will create the strongest neuron connections related to the lyrics).  Yes, scientist found out  that we have billions and billions of neurones in our brain but what really matters is how strong is the connection between those neurones..More thorough work is done on the text- deeper you will get to  the essence of what the author was trying to say, deeper and stronger will be neurones connection which will lead you to the excellent performance. Slowly, in this way, you are building up your artistic ( public speaker, performer) confidence on subconscious level.

Try to explore: who was the author of the text, why did he write it, what have inspired him? More willingness to explore you have, more questions will appear in your head and more answers you will find out.

Have a mirror in front of yourself. Say the words of the songs and involve your arms and hands ( trying to deliver message of the song also through arms/hands). Imagine that you are just speaking  to someone, sharing your story.

This is what truly gives you more strength, not just multiple repetitions and attempts  to sing the song. I would even say, try to become a poet before you are a singer. Good knowledge of words ( prepared in the way I’ve just suggested) will inevitably bring you to a new level.

Great ideas about good singing.

There are thousands of articles and advices related to good vocal teaching which you can find nowadays on Google. I decided to put together the very important ideas and thoughts on vocal technique from reputable and extremely well equipped with their vocal technique artists.

Here you can listen what Luciano Pavarotti thinks about diaphragmatic support, which is so important for any type of singing.

Here, Luciano Pavarotti speaks about Concentration, Diaphragm, Throat and Resonance.