Singing Exercises – the Basics
There are a number of basic singing exercises available to help you be a better singer, and even a rudimentary understanding of these fundamentals can dramatically improve your voice! In fact, learning a range of singing exercises is essential in becoming a better performer. Always remember that even very talented singers need to practice all the time and ensure they look after their voices. By doing this, they tend to harness the talent they have and use it to its maximum advantage.
Firstly, and prior to actually doing any singing, it is a good idea to stretch and relax your whole body. You can do this by stretching up while breathing in and then letting your body bend forward and dangle your arms while you exhale. Doing this little process a few times can also help to relieve that nervous tension or “stage fright” that can often build up prior to performing.
Next, and the most important singing exercise to do is to warm up your breath support. Breath support involves all the muscles in your diaphragm, lower back, chest, and throat and just as athletes do warm-ups prior to working out, singers also need to prepare before a rehearsal or performance. Vocal warm-ups get your breath support flowing and prepare your muscles to be ready for the more strenuous activity to come. It’s also perhaps the most effective way to prevent vocal fatigue and vocal cord damage. This is actually all part of the basics of music training.
Breathing support can be an easy exercise, but it can take a singer a while to perfect it. Breath is essential to help any singer’s voice last through long sustained notes and through long performances. It also helps you to sing at pitch, especially for higher notes where greater breath is needed. An added benefit of a good warm-up is to ensure that you will not run out of breath and get blank vocal spots during a performance. Finally, breath support exercises help you get familiar with your mask resonance and vocal enunciation that is important in letting your listeners understand what you are singing. This really helps to engage the audience and enhance your performance so you can better bring across what the composer is trying to express.
Relaxed muscles, good breath support and mask resonance are fundamentals that are essential to get you singing through a performance at a satisfactory level. These are needed to reduce the chance of vocal cord damage, and to prepare your body and mind for singing in a way that maximizes the talent you already have. To learn about singing at it’s best after great training and a good warm-up check out this post about the Washington Opera.
When singers look back to the actions they took to be able to stay at a high-performance level, they often report that these basic singing exercises have helped them. There is a range of specific ways to put these singing exercises into practice that should be slowly absorbed into a routine. This results in a familiarity with your voice that leads to more powerful performances as was clear at the 2014 Festival of New Vocal Music.