Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Need To Sing Loud? 11 Tips For Doing It Safely

                                        Billy Devereaux and me singing loud

Two facts:
  1. Unless one only wants to sing for a short while, the voice needs to be protected from strain.
  2. However, there are times when a singer wants or needs to sing loud. 
Here are a 11 tips to do it safely:
  1. Understand that volume should come from resonation, not excessive air pressure. You need to add some pressure, but that pressure should be absolutely controlled so as not to over-blow the vocal cords. Think of playing a guitar (or ask a guitar player)... what happens when you strum the strings too hard? 
  2. Open the back of your mouth with plenty of vertical space no matter what you are articulating. This will add richness to your resonation.
  3. Never use 100% of your air power. This will always tighten the throat, strain the cords and limit resonation.
  4. Learn how to pull instead of push your voice from the correct voice path.
  5. Squeeze from your pelvic floor while at the same time widening your ribs. 
  6. Don't lean forward... instead, put your weight into your heels and come from behind to power your voice. If you do bend forward for visual effect, bend from the waist to avoid crunching your ribcage.
  7. Learn how to use your hands in gestures, on the mic or on the instrument you're playing in ways that can help stabilize and widen your ribcage.
  8. Don't freeze your jaw and soft palate...a sure way to tighten your throat. A slight chewing movement can often help you with this.
  9. DO use extra energy. Just be sure you balance breath support with breath control, creating compression centered in the pelvic floor for the power.
  10. Make sure you have enough breath to carry your voice completely through and past the end of your phrases. If you run out of breath, your ribcage will start to come down and in and you will push your voice.
  11. Remember to use the magic formula: Back off the pressure + add passion!

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