Free Advice For Great Singing – Separating Myth From Truth

man singing on stage

Singing is a great way to express emotions and worldviews. It is also an avenue to communicate what is in your heart and mind. If you want to be a singer, you better plan to be a good one. Otherwise, if you only want to communicate your thoughts, then being an orator would be more appropriate.

Singing Is An Art

The first thing to appreciate about singing is that it’s an art. Just as any other form of art, singing can be as unique as you are. Make it as personal as you can and see how much fun it can really be. No, you do not have to sing like Celine Dione to be successful; just get to know your cue. Let your singing voice be your trademark so that if someone heard you singing, they will not confuse you for someone else. That is the height of successful singing.

lady singing on stage
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

The Myths

There is so much information about singing out there, but a lot of it is not based on facts. Beware of these lies which are tackled by Spencer Welch and be on your way to a great and fun-filled singing career.

Avoid throat-singing

This advice was given with an intention to prevent damage to the throat. However, if it is taken too far, it ends up robbing the life out of the singing.

Inside the throat at the level of the “Adam’s Apple” is your voice box or larynx. Inside your larynx are your vocal cords (or folds.) In order for you to phonate (speak, sing, grunt, whine about the weather) you must close these folds and blow air through them, setting them into vibration.

…in an attempt to not “sing from the throat,” I have seen students resort to lazy, breathy singing. We call this hypofunction: not enough of a good thing. By trying to feel nothing in the throat, they end up not even putting the energy of speech into their singing.

If a singer really wants to feel nothing in their throat, they should give the vocal cords a rest and just exhale. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fill many concert halls. Via Spencer Welch

Avoid Coffee

This has been a well-circulated piece of advice for vocalists. For most coffee lovers, it has been the thorny issue that causes embarrassment. The good news is that the debate is over, as explained below:

man sings while playing the piano
Image Courtesy of Kremlin

This guilt lingered until I read this study (and others like it) that found drinking two cups of coffee had a “nonsignificant” effect on voice production. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it can dehydrate the body; however, regular coffee drinkers quickly develop a tolerance to the diuretic effects of caffeine. Via Spencer Welch

To sing well, breathe well

This is a half-truth since singing is not just about breathing, as explained below:

Undeniably, breathing is an important part of singing, but it is only about one-third of the process. Singing is composed of three interrelated systems: respiration (breathing), phonation (the vibration of the vocal folds), and resonation (the shaping of vocal tone by the throat and mouth.) Sometimes articulation (the formation of language by enunciators like the tongue, lips, and teeth) is included as a fourth system. Via Spencer Welch

Singing Techniques

By now you understand that singing is a systematic process that requires coordination. Another thing that is often a challenge for singers is the notes to sing and how to sing well.

While you may prefer singing the high notes (which is quite a feat), it is important that you sing ALL the notes well. Don’t just aim to sing the high notes well and neglect the low ones. Check out the advice below:

singing with passion
Image Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures

Are your high notes weak? This may be the reason.

Here is one problem that is making your high notes weak: you don’t take care of your low notes. Avoid being so consumed with the desire to hit high notes powerfully with an amazing tone. This desire will make you neglect the quality of your low range (chest voice) because you’re always anticipating the high parts. Here’s a secret: if a lower note is slightly imperfect, every note above it will get exponentially harder to sing with ease! Via Singing Success

You need to pay as much attention to the lower notes as you do to the high notes. This can be achieved if you follow the following advice:

So when you do your vocal exercises or sing your songs, make sure…

  • your larynx isn’t rising on the low parts

  • you’re tending to compression on the easy notes

  • you get a nasal (pharyngeal) sound on every low note

  • you have a balanced and easy sound on every easy note Via Singing Success

Conclusion

Once you get it right with the lower notes, you’ll be ready to attempt the higher notes and be on your way to great singing. Make sure your vocals are in good health – they are your greatest asset. Have a great singing career ahead!

Featured Image: Image Credit

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The art of bad singing: A legacy lives on

singing1She walks onstage, bejeweled and powdered and resplendent. She does not have to be beautiful; she is larger than life. In the few yards from the wings to center stage, she conveys her authority in her measured gait, her regal posture, her richly patterned gown, and becomes the repository of our hopes, our expectations, our projections.

Then she opens her mouth. And — brays.

Bad singing occupies a special place in our hearts. Indeed, it has taken on a special role in the cultural consciousness. Voice-lovers can wax eloquent about Ponselle, Milanov and Tebaldi. But no bygone diva except Maria Callas can touch the posthumous popularity of Florence Foster Jenkins — a doughty matron who gave recitals in outlandish costumes, including fluffy angel wings, and whose reedy, wavering voice, bleating haplessly on high notes, was preserved in recordings that continue to sell, even to outpace many recordings by real opera singers. Via Washington Post

 

Watch: Manse Shows Off His Singing Skills During Adorable Duet With His Dad

singing2Manse may just follow in Song Il Gook’s footsteps one day as a musical actor!

On October 30, the actor’s agency C-JeS Entertainment uploaded an adorable video of the father-son pair singing a short excerpt from the musical “42nd Street,” where Song Il Gook is currently in starring as Julian Marsh.

Looking dandy dressed in an overalls and hat combination, Manse brightly answers “Yes!” when Song Il Gook asks, “Did Dad do well today?”

The actor then prompts his son to sing and starts off to help Manse feel comfortable. While the youngest Song triplet looks shy at first, he slowly starts to sing with his dad and shows off an impressive talent for singing. Via Soompi

 

Tuesday Tips: How to know what song is suited to your voice

singing3Tuesday Tips is part of our Smule Inspire program. Through shared performances, tips, guest blog posts by veteran users, we hope that Smule Inspire will do just as its name implies: inspire all users in the community – to connect, collaborate, and create music together … ultimately to have the best experience possible on Smule.

Find what is natural

“The best way to determine if a song fits your range is to give it a quick go first then if you needed to force to get the sound (whether is too low or too high) then it’s not. It’s all about resonance. A song that fits your range shouldn’t need much effort to get a clear sound, after warm-ups( forcing the vocal chords / throat muscles). The ideal is to find songs where you can use your closest range to your speaking voice.It will sound natural, and it’s what makes the message of a song pass through your audience in the best way. Also, the songs written for a womans’ range are more difficult to be sang by a man and the opposite.” –LAURA_TV  Via Smule