You’ve probably heard this a million times but I will say it again if you are going to sing DON’T FORGET TO WARM UP! It is crucial you let your vocal chords get ready before you use them so you can get the best out of your voice. Much like any other muscle in your body, it’s good to stretch before exercising that particular muscle. Jumping right in can result in damaging your voice (sometimes permanently) and losing some range. Here I will go over some basic tips to get you started. This will help before a performance or before you begin to practice. Don’t forget to breathe from your diaphragm, breath support is also important.
Expanding your lungs for longer notes:
This can be done anytime anyplace. Simply take three small breaths then on the fourth take a large breath and hold it in as long as you can. Don’t worry your not going to die or pass out, so keep that air in and then exhale and repeat. That’s it, it’s that simple. This will help expand your lungs, letting you take in more air and being able to have more breath support, giving you an easier time to sing (more stamina) and being able to hold longer notes.
Sing in the shower:
Not only can you use the shower to clean yourself but it’s a great practice/warm-up space. The hot steam/moist air from the shower will naturally help expand your vocal chord (avoiding strain) and the bathroom is great fro reverb. So when your in the shower sing one of your favorite songs, BUT sing it an octave lower then the original. By the way this doesn’t have to be done in the shower.
This can be done when your are lounging around the house. Simply vibrate your lips as this will help loosen tension on your vocal chords and your mouth making annunciation better. To take it one step further you can go through any musical key while vibrating your lips (don’t go too high or too low if you can’t or you will strain) and go from high to low as this will also help with building your range.
These three warm-ups should get you started and you will see a huge improvement (assuming you are doing them correctly) in a matter of days. If you want to take it a step further and get some lessons I recommend one of L.A.’s best vocal teachers the Voice Mechanic. He will make sure your are sing properly and fix any problem you have in 30 min. Don’t believe me? check out his site and watch the videos for yourself.
Peace – Johnny