Vocal Exercises to Improve Singing
Correct training with vocal exercises is essential to the proper growth and care of the voice.
However, just singing scales is not the answer
In fact, it is critical to understand that you can train something incorrectly and cause more harm than good.
Here’s how to properly train your voice, without hurting yourself:
Proper Training of Vocal Exercises
1) Posture. Sit or (preferably) stand up straight. Try not to get the spine tipped in any direction.
2) Understand how to take a correct diaphragmatic breath. (breathing from your stomach). When inhaling, it will feel like your stomach is filling up like a balloon of air. When exhaling and singing a scale or phrase, you will “push out” this air.
3) Focus on relaxing your chest neck and throat while using this abdominal (diaphragmatic) strength to do the work.
4) Get a mirror out and look at the back of your throat. Try to keep your tongue flat (initially) to create as much space as possible in the back of the throat (like the Dr. looking at your tonsils asking you to say ah).
5) Work at getting a really bright “ping” in the sound as this is the one sound that truly grows the voice. Good cord closure is extremely important. An “airy” sound will dry out the cords. On the other hand, too much pressure will lose resiliency, flexibility and elasticity in the cords so a balance of not “over-singing” must be maintained.
6) As you ascend a scale you should work at getting the “uvula” to rise in the back of the throat.
7) As you advance you will want to learn about correct vowel modifications as these will allow you to ascend and descend with correct vocal tract shaping. Maintaining consistency of the vocal tract with correct support and relaxation is the key to hitting the “money note” with accuracy, good tone and consistency.
8) Starting with simple major scales is best so you can focus on the mechanics first without having to “think” too much about notes.
Watch this excellent video on the laws of singing to get you started – and be sure to apply everything Ken says, so that every time you perform a vocal exercise you do know it’s helping you and not hurting you: