Imagine this- you love to sing. You sing in the shower, you sing in your head all day, and you dutifully take notes in your singing lessons and practice, practice, practice. But you’re still not happy with how you sound. You try hard to train your voice. Your vocal range isn’t as wide as you’d like it to be and you can’t hit a high note despite practising for weeks.
But don’t give up hope just yet. Here are a few simple vocal exercises to help you achieve the singing voice of your dreams!
Vocal warm-ups, best to train your voice
Wait! Before you start, don’t forget to warm up your voice first, just like how you would warm up in the gym before exercising. Here are a few quick vocal warm-ups you can do.
- Yawning- This helps you relax your jaw, throat and tongue muscles.
- Stretch your body- This will expand your rib cage and fill your lungs with air.
- Inhale and Exhale- Taking deep breaths will relax your vocal folds and expand your range.
- Lay on your back – Lying on your back is another useful breathing exercise because it forces you to breathe with your diaphragm. Try singing through one of your voice pieces while you are lying on your back and place your hands on your stomach. Each time you inhale, you should feel your stomach expand, and your diaphragm moves up.
- Face Massage- Gently massaging your cheeks with the tips of your four fingers will relax your facial muscles and make it easier to sing louder.
Now that your vocal cords are all prepped and ready, let’s begin!
Humming your favourite tune helps ease your facial muscles, as well as create space for resonant sound. This works especially well after sleeping or resting your voice for several hours.
Humming is great for your voice as it helps to stabilize and soften it. Keep your lips pressed together softly, teeth apart, and make a humming sound.
If you’re confused, simply make the sound at the end of ‘sing’ and ‘ring’.
This sound is achieved with the soft palate and tongue working together. It provides backpressure, while at the same time transitioning between lower and upper registers (chest and head voices) a bit easier.
Perfectly creating this sound takes a lot of practice, but once you’ve achieved it, you can sing anything!
Practice singing basic notes
Also called the ‘Solfege Method’, this involves going back to the basics, mainly, the Swarams: Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Da, Ni, Sa. Sing these notes in ascending order once, then immediately follow it by singing them in descending order. Repeat this cycle ten times in one session.
Alternatively, if you’re more comfortable with Western music, the same method can be followed using the Western Notes: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do.
If your passion lies in Carnatic music then you can join Carnatic music online classes. Learning online offers you a lot of benefits to getting trained by professionals in the music industry. You can learn the right technique to practice without harming your vocal cords.
I love to sing!
A very popular method used by professional singers, the “I love to sing” method not only trains your voice but helps build confidence and eliminates trembles while singing.
This affirmation helps you to actually believe in your vocal prowess while assisting with creating your range.
Start low, and sing “I love to sing!” with a big smile on your face, because this will help your mind create a happy tune, one that is clear and bright.
Start at the root, hit the octave, then come back down. This singing exercise helps you test and extend your vocal range, thus it should be done fast and all in one breath.
Before you begin to sing, know your vocal range and know how much you should extend. Enroll in the online music lessons for beginners and learn the nuances of singing from the experts in Indian classical music. In the excitement of expanding your vocal range, you might risk your vocal cords. Hence, learning from the professionals is the best way to avoid overdoing your singing or practices.
Tongue twisters to train your voice
What’s the point of singing wonderfully, if nobody understands what you’re saying?
Regularly practising tongue twisters helps you enunciate complicated lyrics while still maintaining the speed and rhythm. Not only that, tongue twisters help you emphasise certain words or phrases without sounding out of place.
Here are a few tongue twisters that will do the trick:
- Unique New York. Unique New York. You know you need unique New York.
- Red leather, yellow leather. Red leather, yellow leather
- A tutor who tooted the flute Tried to tutor two tooters to toot. Said the two to the tutor, “Is it harder to toot, or to tutor two tooters to toot?”
- If two witches would watch two watches, which witch would watch which watch?
Remember, while practising the tongue twisters, be slow and clear without rushing. Make sure to keep trying until you get it perfect. The goal is not to say it a certain number of times every day, the goal is to get a little better at saying it every time.
And that’s it. With these few simple, quick exercises, you can train your voice to be pitch-perfect!