3 cliches of singing that are actually true

Updated: Dec 29, 2019

So, I should start by saying, I had my first singing lesson in 2016 from Tim J Spencer, and I'm still very much discovering everything my voice can do. I had to stop singing lessons, if you have read my previous blogs, you will know I've been pretty broke last year or two or three or four. I would like to learn about my "mix" register and see where that is useful, even though I can belt quite high. I would also like to develop my softer side of my voice too, so my girlfriend doesn't wince during "car karaoke".


All in all, I'm super chuffed with how my voice has transformed. Even my speaking voice, still softly spoken, yet I don't loose my voice every winter like before. I can whole-heartedly recommend Tim J Spencer. I hope he doesn't mind me plugging his singing lessons, I should probably ask him......Ok I've asked him, he's cool with it. Tim J Spencer vocal lessons - Phone: 07526 986162 - Email: tim@greenpandamusic.com

Anyway, plugging Tim over, more egocentric stuff before I get to the 3 things.

Here is what I sounded like before lessons:


So that was circa, 2014, two years before first singing lesson.


Here is one of the latest songs I released recently:


I tried to pick two songs roughly in the same area of my voice. You might prefer the first one "Hope", you might prefer the second one "One True Love", however; you may notice that the voice in the latter is a bigger, rounder sound. I believe it is because of these 3 clichés you hear singers and singing tutors say all the time.


1) BREATHE WITH YOUR DIAPHRAGM

Yes, it is in the films and on the tele but it is so true! Your breathing is fuel for your voice. Your voice rides the air that comes out when you exhale. Your diaphragm is a big muscle that circumnavigates your torso, you could think of it as a balloon. As you inhale, your stomach expands, as you exhale, your stomach deflates. Don't force it, just take deep breaths and you should be doing it right. Try holding the breath in for a second before exhaling too!


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Relaxing isn't it? I'm sure people who meditate do the same thing.


So once you've got that, sing on the exhale. This will feel weird and alien for a while, but once you get used to it, your voice will thank you for it; a lot less effort on your throat.


bonus tip - don't put too much strain on your throat, should feel like your chest or stomach is doing most of the work.


2) JUST GO FOR IT


A lot of people that don't sing regularly will kind of wimp out when it goes high. Please don't do this. If you find the sound gets thin or a little bit like kermit the frog when you go higher, you should not do this. Instead of thinking "uh oh, its getting a bit high and loud, I better back off" lean into it instead. Yes, it will get louder, thats because you're using more air to go higher.


Of course, you can flip into a different register such as singing in your full voice and then flip into your head voice, Imogen Heap and Bobby McFerrin are masters of this. This is an artistic choice though.


A lot of singing is very much physiological. If you try to sing when stressed, you're all tense and it makes it tougher to sing. If you lack confidence in your singing voice, you will sing like it. Just go for it! If people laugh, they can't do any better, the ones who can will probably remember what it was like starting out and will probably encourage you.


bonus tip - singing is an extension of your speaking voice. Thankfully, we all speak differently.


3) PRACTICE


The phrase "practice makes perfect" couldn't be more true for singing. The larynx and the diaphragm are both muscles. If you lift dumbbells with your arms enough times on a regular basis, you get bigger arms. If you run a lot, you get toned legs. If you eat enough, you stretch your stomach (I'm rather good at that last one).


This is exactly the same with your voice. When you sing, you use every single muscle in your body, plus, you use them in a way you will not use them in any other activity.


bonus tip - "car karaoke", give it a go, but remember to drive safely.


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There are so many other things I have not included in this blog. For example, where to aim the sound, you have choices of where to aim the sound when leaves your mouth.


Another thing is position of the larynx, when you go higher or lower, you can move your larynx to compensate, this stops you from cracking or it sounding like you're straining.


Maybe I could write another blog on singing tips. Let me know if you like it and I'll do another.


May 2020 be a great year for you.


Ian Todd


Website: <www.mriantodd.com>

Email: iantodd16@hotmail.co.uk

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