We want to cover some of the most basic things to get you started with you free online singing lessons. One of the most important things that I want to mention that isn’t always considered is posture. This should be one of the most important things to get down on your list. Just like others using an instrument, your voice is an instrument. Each instrument needs to be help correctly and so does your body. There are so many different parts of our body that we use like our chest, throats, abdomen, and heads to produce sound. It is important to have the right posture for this.
First Singing Lesson Online, Posture!
Another key thing is to make sure you are standing up while you sing or if you are behind the piano to have good form. One of the first things that I do to get into a good singing position is to stand up straight and let my arms hand loosely on my side. Always remember to keep you head up because you want your airways to be clear while you sing.
You want to imagine that you are being pulled up from the top of your head to your navel. This will allow you to have more space in your lungs for air to enter. A good way to get a sense of the position you need to be in is to stand with your knees unlocked and slightly forward. Usually I leave about a shoulders width apart between my feet. Now try to keep the muscles in your abdomen tight while relaxing (never slouch)
You want to make sure that you have good balance and relaxation in your body and we have some great tips below. Keeping a good attitude and following these steps will allow you to take control of your breathing. Remember to go easy on yourself when learning because this won’t happen over night:
1. Make sure to be conscious of your hips and that there is no tension in them. Try to find the center of your hips which gives you that straight line position with everything else in your body.
2. Give yourself enough room between your feet and rock back and forth on feet to find that balance of your body weight.
3. Make sure that there isn’t a lot of tension in your knees. Knee tension can put strain on your back and move up and down your body affecting your voice.
4. Make sure you have that “proud” chest to give your lungs enough space to function properly.
5. Make sure your neck is tension free and is in line with your frame.
6. Rotate your shoulders lifting them up and down to release tension. Put your shoulders in the low position when done.
When doing breathe work, you always want to engage the diaphragm and fill up the bottom portion of your lungs. This will help you carry and support your voice. We have included some exercises to help your technique. Now you make feel light headed at first and it might be a good idea to take breaks, but keep at it.
Some Breathing Exercises so that you can try:
Feel free to practice this as often as you like.
Breathing Exercises 1 – Find Your Diaphragm
Place your hands over the soft part between the bottom of your rib cage (just above your stomach). Now feel your hands gently being pressed outwards as you inhale. (Watch you don’t use your stomach muscles to help you push your tummy out! Alternatively, that you are lifting your shoulders! ) This is the diaphragm, the muscle we use when we sing correctly. Just to feel the difference (keeping your hand over your tummy) – now try breathing in as if you are sipping through a very large straw. Feel the whole of your lungs expand and how much more air you seem to have in your lungs. Now breathe out gently through your mouth.
Other exercises to help you find your diaphragm:
Get on your back now and lay flat, move a hand over your belly (below your rib cage area) and take a deep breathe in; what I really want you to visualize is you have a large straw that you are trying to breathe through (about 2cms in diameter). Gently suck that breath in, and feel it filling the bottom of your lungs. Then feel it filling the edges and back of your lungs. You should really feel your hand being delicately pushed outwards. You need to feel your torso expanding. Gently exhale the air in a long and steady breath.
Pant like a dog. You will feel your diaphragm pushing against your hand each time you pant.
Breathing Exercises 2
Now breath in deeply, now exhale gently and slowly with a S breathe (hissing like a snake). Try to keep your exhalation as a constant and steady stream for as long as you are able.
When you start to get the urge to try, breathe and exhale just a little bit more before you have to breathe in.
Some people can manage just a few seconds, others can manage a minute or more.
Do what is right for you to begin with. Try timing yourself. Eg this week you managed 10 seconds, next week try for 11 seconds etc.
Another important aspect of practicing pronounciation is the way the shape of the mouth and placement of the tongue for each vowel and consonant effects the tone and brightness of the notes produced. Learning how to manipulate these shapes and positions in conjunction with correct breath control can aid in improving range, tone and clarity. Another key aspect of vocal technique is improving consonant and also vowel production so make sure to practice those E’s & T’s!
Singers spend more time singing vowel sounds when compared to the consonants which is something we want you to focus on when practicing. Vowels are formed by the shape of a combination of parts that form the vocal tract including the lips, tongue and nose. Each tongue mouth and placement shape gives the vowel its own characteristic (known as formants) which identify the vowel to the listener i.e., sort, sought.
Good diction requires the crisp, clear pro-nounciation of the consonants, if not then your audience won’t be able to distinguish what you are singing. A common fault with singers is that they don’t end the word properly, eg Don’t go breaking my hah, instead of heart. So don’t forget to end your words with crisp consonants also.
Think of your vocal cords as delicate membranes in the middle of muscle. For these membranes to work correctly the need to come together to make sound. Sometime infection or higher-use causes these membranes to swell, resulting in hoarseness. Continued over-use, shouting, and in many cases whispering can, after a while, result in damage of your voice, which needs medical attention.
What can you do to look after your voice?
Well warm-up your voice before you start to sing is very important when using singing lessons online. So, many singers, just get out there and start belting. You wouldn’t see an athlete tearing around the track without warming up their body first, so offer your voice the same consideration. It doesn’t take much effort. • Start with a few deep, controlled breaths, followed by some humming.
If scales are not your thing,
• Hum your favorite song.
• Use your voice to make a squeaky door being opened sound (use the ee sound to slide up and down your vocal range).
• Move onto singing some of your gentler songs, before you start tackling the belters.
• Also know your limits. Don’t try to sing too high. Alternatively, too low until you are warmed up enough. Begin at a comfortable range and move up from there.
Another key thing is keeping your vocal cords hydrated on a regular basis. When thinking of our cords, consider them as delicate membranes, which can dry out very easily (especially in harsh, smoky environments). So, take in yor required amount of water everyday.
Most people don’t realize that when we drink, that liquid doesn’t actually wash over our vocal cords. When we swallow, a flap comes over the windpipe to prevent food and liquid from going down into our lungs. So you need to be drinking plenty of water many hours before you start to sing, so that it is absorbed by the body and distributed to where it is needed.
If sprayed when breathing in, can help lubricate your cords, there are a number of sprays on the market, which. Also steam inhalation is good at getting moisture onto your cords.
Drinking – (alcohol). We’ve all needed Dutch Courage at some point, but alcohol can lead to damage of your cords. Huh? I hear you say. Alcohol numbs our nervous system, and helps lose our inhibitions.
You might have accepted a gig and feel a little nervous so you have a stiff drink before you go on stage for example. When you’ve not had a drink, you know when your voice is tired or when you have pushed your voice too far because you will feel discomfort in your throat normally. But, since you’ve had your drink your throat is numb. Your ‘buzz’ of the gig is pushing your voice past its usual boundaries (this may take the form of singing too loud, too high, too low, or simply for too long a time period) and you can’t feel those warning signs. You wake up in the morning, with a sore head and no voice for several days (or in some cases several weeks!)
There are no health benefits to smoking, so sometimes cut down or quit completely. Smoking influences your lungs ability to perform and capacity, so you will battle to hold onto individuals long notes. When you smoke, it irritates the membranes inside the windpipe, creating excessive mucus build up and can give you a cough, that may inflame the singing cords, as well as all the other health problems associated with smoking.
If drinking and smoking are bad – drugs are even worse, that leads me onto recreational drugs -. Don’t go there!
Avoid abusing your voice throughout the day. Don’t talk for long periods of time – you will find your tone of voice will get hoarse. Prevent whisper- ing. This is stressful to your voice and will cause vocal fatigue. Usually do not shout over deafening noises, such as equipment or concerts. I have know a few who have yelled at rock and roll concerts, etc, and haven’t been able to sing for a few months afterwards. It’s simply not worth it when you learn to sing online!
I’ve had lots of questions about what to do if you’ve lost your voice due to hoarseness, colds and voice loss. I’m not a doctor, and I always recommend you seek professional advice, but I can provide a few tips:
1. REST on a regular basis!
2. Drink plenty of Water.
3. Avoid Tea and Coffee, Cream & Alcohol
4. Take Vitamin C tablets or eat fruits/ vegetables rich in Vitamin C to aid your body’s natural defense. If required, hot Lemon & Honey or Blackcurrant both contain vitamin C and anti-viral properties and fresh ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties – grate a little ginger and add it to hot water, sweeten with honey.
5. Another thing during the flu season that might be bad is violent coughing. Lozenges, Throat Sprays and Cough Drops will work. They are not going to treat the cause, even though these are good for temporary relief of symptoms.
6. Inhaling steam from hot water will help, with or without a few drops of Eucalyptus, Peppermint or other Essential Oil helps to clear the sinuses, and get moisture to back into your throat.
7. Do NOT attempt to Sing out and avoid Talking up until you feel better to allow the redness an opportunity to reduce. This may be even take weeks
8. On rehabilitation start with some mild humming for 5-10 minutes at a time and slowly build as much as a few vocal workout routines in your mid- range gradually increasing the range over several days. The rate of recovery will depend on the severity of sickness and how experienced a singer you are. Any recurrence of hoarseness stop and relax the voice for the next couple of days.
Some Key Tips to Keep Your Singing Voice In Top Shape
Cultures, from all around the world, for thousands of years have been singing. The urge to sing and to listen to people sing is definitely an innate part of simply being human. Even people who insist that we’re tone deaf or a dreadful singer, can still be found to hum or sing out along to the radio when we thing no-one is hearing.
Exposure to singing would have started in early life with the singing of nursery songs or lullabies. Studies have show that talking and singing to a baby will help babies learn to talk, and the repetitive songs that children love can help them learn their alphabet and numbers.
Often as we grow, singing for many people becomes a neglected behavior. We may become self-conscious, or feel that singing is no longer part of our social group. We then lose the confidence in our ability to sing, which is a real shame as there are so many benefits of singing.
1.Singing increases the amount of oxygen you take into the body as you take deep breaths. This produces a feeling of happiness and alertness as more oxygen gets to the brain.
2.Singing also improves the muscle tone of your rib cage, and in your back and abdominals (belly and lower), because these muscles are involved in controlling the outflow of air and stabilizing the larynx as you sing.
3.Your will notice more calories being burnt because of the higher oxygen intake and also you use muscles in your jaw, face, neck and throat. Singing can also improve the muscle tone of your rib cage, abdominal and back muscles.
4.Improving the muscle tone in the larynx, which singing does, also helps to relaxed snoring, which enhances sleeping and helps countertop insomnia.
5.Singing is a great stress-buster, and can assist shift us from distracting and negative thoughts.
6.Singing also provides the ability of reaching out to even the hardest of heart, by unlocking feelings and feelings.
7.Singing included in a group or choir can also help you socially by meeting new friends and having that sense of belonging.
There’s many ways that you can sing: in the bath/shower, in the car, but step outside your comfort zone a little and find something that appeals to you, such as a local singing group, karaoke night or take up some singing lessons. Also there are online singing competitions you can join. You’ll probably find you’re not quite as bad a singer as you initially thought and singing online is just the start.