New to singing? Learning a few foundational techniques makes a world of difference and give you the confidence you need to continue singing. And, anyone can do these things!
3 Easy Steps Toward Better Vocals:
- Exhale as you sing. This seems a bit obvious. Breathe in, breathe out. For some reason our body usually wants to horde our air. Let it out in a smooth even stream.
- Vertical is better. You generally want the shape of your mouth to be more vertical than horizontal. You may be told “open your mouth wider.” Beware! While space does often increase resonance (which is what you want) you also want the sound to be focused. Avoid opening your mouth like an alligator mouth. Instead, let your lower jaw relax and hang below your upper jaw.
- Use your lips and tongue. Once you find that nice open space in the mouth cavity and your exhaled air is moving the sound out, we need to form understandable words. In general your tongue controls most of the consonants (such as “t” and “n” etc.) and the shape of your lips form the vowels (such as “a” or “o”). Don’t let your lips and tongue take 5. They are most important! Oh, and smile a little. It helps.
Tips Specifically For Choral Singing:
- Don’t be the loudest one. Your goal is to blend with the voices around you. Match the volume of the people around you, unless otherwise specified.
- Overdo your consonants. The beginning and ending sounds of words do not sound as obvious to the audience as they do to the singer. So overdo them until your director tells you you’ve gone to far, which will probably never happen.
- You should sound good by your self. Sing with all the expressiveness of a soloist, but still listen for good blend. Here’s how to check yourself: If someone instantly muted all the other singers in the choir while you were singing, would you sound great by yourself? This is your goal: to sound great alone, so the group will sound great together.