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Old 10-03-2009, 02:04 PM   #51 (permalink)
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^
Bah, don't take it so personal.

I've never taken singing lessons, nor do I've enough courage to sing in front of anyone, so, the only advice I can offer is do what feels good. Sure, if you're singing in a band or for someone, you might want to sound decent, but if you're singing for the sake of singing, by all means, feel it in your gut. I've a problem singing from my throat a lot and realized long ago how much better it sounds when I let the air come from my diaphragm. A huge part for me is simply letting go.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:28 PM   #52 (permalink)
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I have too much air in my voice. I've learned that working on your falsetto makes your voice stronger altogether.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:56 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Hey guys, I can't sing and I want to, how do I start?
Hi loose_lips_sink_ships,

As a novice singer (by which I mean I am someone who only recently has been trying to improve my singing skills), I have some tips to share with you, for what they are worth.

(1) Identify what it is about your singing that you don't like or that you want to improve If you can talk or make sounds, then (I feel) you *can* sing but the issue must be that something about the sound doesn't please you.

In my case, although I can (usually!) sing in tune, I am working mainly on control of the sound (so I can better control volume and whether or not I use vibrato on a given note, or part of a note). I am also trying to work on using a singing voice that feels very natural and relaxed, similar to my talking voice, but controlling the tone (a "mixed" voice or "speech level" singing, rather than "belting"). I am trying to avoid an airy, opera-like voice, simply because that is usually not the sound I want to have.

(2) Warm up. I've read that it is good to warm up at least for 10 minutes before you try to actually sing something. Ways to warm up include humming notes, doing "lip rolls" or "raspberries," and actually singing along with the piano, starting with low notes and slowly working up your range. The air flow needed to get your lips to flutter in "lip rolls" is the speed of air flow you will use when singing (except for really loud or quiet notes). A recommendation is to try singing the word "good" (because this vowel sound puts your adam's apple in a neutral position, neither super high or low), and singing sounds like "May, mee, my, mow, moo, muh" etc. After you are done singing, cool down by gently singing such things but starting with higher notes and working down to lower notes. I don't ever actually "cool down." I just read that this is what you are *supposed* to do. I don't usually sing long enough to feel like I need a cool down.

(3) Experiment with the shape of your throat and mouth to get the sound you want (or closer to it). For example, singers who are trying to do "speech level singing" try to keep their voice box (adam's apple) in a neutral position (as it is in speech). When you swallow, your adam's apple goes up. When you yawn, your adam's apple goes down. You want it to stay in the middle. I've also heard singers say that their throat position feels very open, much like when you yawn and the soft, lower part of your throat by your lower jaw drops down. This helps create a louder sound, I feel. Another tip: keep your mouth open enough to let the sound out well, such as by keeping your mouth in the shape of an oval, which is only achieved by dropping your jaw. Some people say you want to be able to fit two fingers into your mouth (from top to bottom) when you are singing (but obviously singers don't do this all the time, especially not on quieter notes). Another tip I just read about: if you say the word "sing" and linger on the "ng" sound, you should feel vibrations in your head behind your nose...your skull vibrates...and this is resonance that helps create your sound that you project out through your open mouth when you vocalize. Final tip: while singing, try pinching closed your nose to make sure your tone doesn't change, because if it *does* change, then this means some of your air is going out through your nose (making a nasal sound) rather than just out through your mouth.

A note on vibrato. Vibrato--a regular pulsating change of pitch--occurs naturally if your vocal cords (vocal folds, actually) are relaxed enough (but not too much) and the air flow is not too slow or too fast, causing the folds to vibrate in an oscillating manner (Understanding Vibrato). If you want vibrato in your tone, but haven't figured out how to get it to occur "naturally," start by just pushing in on your stomach (yourself!) in the rhythm you want to cause air fluctuations that cause a vibrato like sound. Note that this is *not* vibrato that singers like opera singers use...that occurs due to vocal fold oscillations...but the *feeling* of changing the sound rhythmically may get you used to the general feeling of vibrato. If/when I do actually sing using what I call "natural" vibrato, my voice wavers rhythmically even as I am blowing out air steadily. In other words, it is not fluctuating air flow causing the vibrato.

(4) Make sure you are taking a deep enough breath to have enough air to sustain the line you want to sing in one breath. The usual recommendation is to breathe in so that your belly bulges out as your diaphragm lowers, but your shoulders do not raise up...they stay stationary. Having enough air in you to support your notes is crucial to singing...since if you run out of air, well, you can't make a sound, of course. I saw one opera singer say that when she breathes in air, it is like a quick suck through the nose, as if you smell smoke somewhere and are trying to sniff in the air quickly (for half a second or so) to verify this. I thought the sound of the nose sniffing was distracting, but her point was that this quantity of air is all you should need for singing.

Supposedly, when you sing you should not feel like you are blowing out (much) more air than you do when you are talking. Singing ideally shouldn't sound or feel forced. If it does feel forced, I'd recommend relaxing, checking if you are blowing out air too quickly, and staying within your current vocal range. Again, the speed/amount of air you need to sustain a "lip roll" (vibrating your lips loosely) is a good speed of air for singing.

I've heard of people who like to exercise and try to sing at the same time, because they are breathing deeply during exercise (like on a treadmill), and they are warmed up, plus singing with control then is an added challenge, and your adrenalin is up...so this may simulate singing in front of others. I actually like to try to sing when exercising, for all these reasons. Plus, it's good exercise!

(5) If possible, find a vocal coach, maybe just for a lesson or two since I know it costs money, so that you can get some tips from someone who knows all about human anatomy as it relates to singing and sound.

Now, remember, I'm no expert, but the above summarizes what I've learned so far about singing. I hope it helps.
--Erica
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Old 10-03-2009, 04:03 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Ah Erica.

xD

I love you too much.
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Old 10-03-2009, 04:09 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Thanks for the great responses guys, uhh, I mean girls. I don't play piano, but guitar so I guess that'll work getting the right pitch n' everything. Once again thanks for the great tips.
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:43 AM   #56 (permalink)
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I was just having fun.

I'm actually a trained singing teacher - but you did ask...


My number one tip to ALL singers is HUM.

There are a whole load of things you can do with this simple device - the first is simply to find a note you're comfortable with (and this can change from day to day).

Hum it while counting up to 4 and really listen to the quality of the note - does it stay the same or waver?

If it wavers, you need more abdominal support.


I could go on about using the hum to improve a huge amount of vocal technique really simply - it focusses your attention on the quality of your vocal tone, intonation, breath control, the various parts of your head in which tone resonates - and everything else that is important to a singer, but the best thing is if you discover how useful it is yourself.


Learn how to control your breath using your diaphragm - that's really important too, and will help you sing long notes, get good tone and control.

There was another good tip mentioned above - warming up is ESSENTIAL for a singer.

Humming scales works, before using vocalisations.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:31 PM   #57 (permalink)
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What if I have air in my voice? How do I fix that?

Mostly my falsetto.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:08 AM   #58 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AwwSugar View Post
What if I have air in my voice? How do I fix that?

Mostly my falsetto.

Not sure I understand the problem here - air in your voice is essential...

Without having heard you sing, I'd guess you mean you have a "breathy" sound - which may not be a problem, as some singers cultivate that sound.

If it's "too much", then I can only guess that you need to work on the diaphragm, with the information to hand. That would certainly fix many issues with the falsetto range, which depends on you sending larger amounts of air through your vocal chords. You need to know where to send that air so that the tone is supported the way you want it.

The other physical aspect which will affect tones especially in this register is the palatte - the soft bit at the back of the roof of your mouth. It should be in a "raised" but not overly tight position for high notes.

Again, humming is a great way to get focus on the kinds of things you need to do to improve tone in this register. Try it - it works.

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Old 10-05-2009, 09:25 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Not sure I understand the problem here - air in your voice is essential...

Without having heard you sing, I'd guess you mean you have a "breathy" sound - which may not be a problem, as some singers cultivate that sound.

If it's "too much", then I can only guess that you need to work on the diaphragm, with the information to hand. That would certainly fix many issues with the falsetto range, which depends on you sending larger amounts of air through your vocal chords. You need to know where to send that air so that the tone is supported the way you want it.

The other physical aspect which will affect tones especially in this register is the palatte - the soft bit at the back of the roof of your mouth. It should be in a "raised" but not overly tight position for high notes.

Again, humming is a great way to get focus on the kinds of things you need to do to improve tone in this register. Try it - it works.
I need to do something about it. My voice doesn't sound clear enough when I'm in falsetto, and it was embarrassing during high school when I would have to sing in front of the class acappela. That's probably spelled wrong.

Thank you for the help.
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:54 PM   #60 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Certif1ed View Post
My number one tip to ALL singers is HUM.

There are a whole load of things you can do with this simple device - the first is simply to find a note you're comfortable with (and this can change from day to day).

There was another good tip mentioned above - warming up is ESSENTIAL for a singer.

Humming scales works, before using vocalisations.
Hi Certif1ed,
Your recommendation made me smile because it is exactly what I heard on an online singing tutorial video: the instructor said that some opera singing school only lets students hum during the whole first year! During the second year, they finally get to sing!

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Ah Erica.

xD

I love you too much.
Aww...you are as sweet as sugar! If I were to name you, I would call you AwwSugar! Wait a minute. That sounds familiar. Oh.

I'm testing out my list of singing tips currently and will now add a sixth:

Tip (6): Sing with other people.

I have taken my own advice, because I just managed to get recruited to play a role in the reading/singing of a new musical. Doing this musical should be interesting, because my last acting experience was in 4th grade, when I had the lead role of Mrs. Santa Claus in a feminist 70s play about Christmas (ahh...the good ol' 70s!). Now I get to play a 19-year-old and sing 3 solos and a bunch of duets. I'm curious to see if I'll crash and burn during the performance, or whether my singing tips worked!

And now I must go hum, because we have a rehearsal in 40 minutes.

--Veg
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If a chicken was smart enough to be able to speak English and run in a geometric pattern, then I think it should be smart enough to dial 911 (999) before getting the axe, and scream to the operator, "Something must be done! Something must be done!"
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