Today's topic: Your FACE affects your singing!
Don't believe me? In my latest video, you'll learn how a personal vocal struggle led me to investigate the inside of my mouth -- specifically, my soft palate and cheekbones.
What did I discover?
An open, expanded, relaxed face and soft palate are crucial to creating a full, open, and beautiful singing tone.
In my personal experience, having a locked right side of my face (caused by tension and stress) can seriously limit vocal range and vocal tone.
Your face is a key RESONATOR for creating beautiful singing tone -- so if you're droopy, tense, or not creating space as you should be, you are seriously cutting off what's possible for you as a singer!
In this video, I'll give you some cues for expanding not just the middle of your soft palate -- but also the left and right sides -- which will, in turn, make pitch and tone much easier for you.
I'll also show you a (hideous!) face stretch that you can do before and during warmups....
Last Thursday I hosted a Facebook Live Event with my Singing Transformation class and we discussed a key revelation I had recently:
Singing does not stop after you're done singing.
Instead, it is a state of BEING that CONTINUES well after you finish creating sound.
Crazy, no? Allow me to explain! Check out the video below -- excerpts from the event. We'll also sing through a couple key vocal warmups together!
In the video above, you will:
Singer buds! Many of you have talked to me about the incredible amounts of tension you experience while singing, and I want to help!
I've been cooking up some cool warmups that (1) Relax you, (2) Open your voice, (3) Get you LOVING on yourself and feeling confident. :)
(I've been trying to come up with a title for these, I'm thinking "Let's Get Singer-High"?)
Anyway, I wanted to give you a short 'n' sweet preview of one warmup that will get you to:
(1) Open your voice and relax your throat and larynx
(2) Lift your soft palate while relaxing your jaw
(3) Look at yourself in the mirror and think HEY I LOVE MYSELF!
And here it is!
The sung line is "I LIKE LOOKING AT YOU" and the musical pattern is 1-1-3-2-1-1.
Here's the nitty gritty:
(1) Look in the mirror while you do this. It will help to make sure....
(2) You keep the back of your mouth open and relaxed the whole time, kind of like you're yawning. So you sing "I LIKE LOOKING AT YOU"...
Here's a thought... What if the qualities you believe make your voice less than, actually make it cool and interesting?
I've contemplated this question a ton as I venture into writing my own music. So far I'd describe my strange songs as a cross between: Grimes, Lana Del Rey, and Every Broadway Show Ever.
ANYWAY. My vocal background and training is musical theater singing, which means I'm hardwired to think: "These notes (high, low, whatever) need to come out cleanly, perfectly, and without any noticeable variation, damnit!"
And while I still love that I'm able to unify my chest, mix, and head voice cleanly (for the most part) -- and I believe it is important for singers not to be held back by any technical "holes" in their voices --
The truth is: for many genres of music, embracing our imperfections, or the reasons our voices are unique, can unlock a whole world of interpretation, variation, color, emotion, and interesting style choices.
Take it from the Leaning Tower of...
Here's a lil video all about microphone singing! My best 6 tips for knowing how to record vocals for optimal results.
My tips include....
1) Set levels so they're not too high; otherwise you'll max out and distort your vocal recording -- and, worse, try to hold back or sing tentatively to accommodate this too-high setting. Instead, aim for a lower microphone level. You can always boost it later.
2) Get your live monitor/headphone levels right! Singing with headphones always presents its own set of challenges, so I almost always leave one ear outside of the headphones as I'm singing to get some live feedback.
3) Don't forget your breathing DOWN BELOW! The microphone picks up what you're creating up top, however, the work and effort happens via the rest of your body. Don't forget your technique or become a "neck-up" singer in the studio.
4) Be mindful of how distance to the microphone affects the nuance, intimacy and volume of what you're singing. Closer = more intimate. Further...
Sharp singing is when you go for a note but land a little bit too high, which is a hurdle for many singers.
So today I will answer your question: “What do I do if my singing is consistently sharp?”
In this video, you will learn some powerful approaches that will help fix your pitch and make it much more accurate.
Notes are like circles, and your pitch can move up and down the circle. When you’re singing a note, you’re creating a tone that is round. If you’re used to landing sharp, aim at the bottom of the note’s “circle.” This will help “average out” the pitch.
Stay grounded. Literally, stay connected to the ground and remember your lower body! Pitch often reflects your energy and focus. If you're nervous or “floating up” into your head, your pitch can start to drift upward, too. Remember, singing involves your whole body!
Your breath support is your pitch buddy! Thrust your focus down to the lower part of your...
When you’re singing, vibrato is that slight oscillation in pitch that varies a note from a straight tone.
In this video, I’ll describe exactly what vibrato feels like and how you can achieve it using some mental adjustments. (Yes, singer buds, it’s primarily a mental process!)
Simply go through these steps to find your own vibrato:
When it comes to singing, I'm all about shortcuts and easy singing tips! Sometimes the simplest adjustments can yield big results, fast. Enter: Fish Lips!
What are the Fish Lips? It's a simple cue/adjustment that will help your singing get much easier. Because who doesn't love easy singing?
You'll find Fish Lips helpful in the following ways -- they will help to:
One way to practice the sensation is to sing lip trills as part of your vocal warmups (check out my quick demo in the video).
Layer this cue onto your practice or song prep, and let me know if it helps!
Isn't it frustrating when you feel like you've worked so hard on a certain singing skill, but then when you go to actually do it, you get blocked by tension?
My newest video gives you some powerful imagery, or visualizations, for you to use while you're singing -- designed to fix about 95% of your singing problems!
When I say "fix your singing," I essentially mean: get out of your own way, and rely on your breath to guide you. When you learn how to relax, trust, and let go, singing is finally possible!
In this video you'll get 3 powerful mental images that I use with my students when I cue breath.
I'll also take some time to re-teach you how to breathe for singing -- zooming in on the actual sensation of what breath feels like (which so often confuses singers). Breathing for singers can be tricky to get the hang of at first, but once you understand it and memorize the sensation, you're going to make lightning progress.
Basically, breath for singers feels a bit like you're filling...