Each singer possesses a distinctive voice. Consequently, each voice has its own set of problems and bad habits that are specific to it. Throughout my years of teaching, I have encountered numerous types of vocal issues; here are the most common mistakes that singers make and some tips on how to avoid them.
Friday, May 26th
Mistake #1: Breathing Wrong
Mastering the art of breathing for singing is a task that can be accomplished with ease. All it requires is adopting the proper technique and practicing it regularly. The appropriate way of breathing while singing is called the Diaphragmatic Breath. Here’s how you can execute it:
- Observe yourself in front of a mirror and ensure that the upper half of your body is completely motionless.
- Afterward, put your hand on your stomach and slowly inhale through your mouth.
- Let the inhaled air expand your stomach outward while your hand is still on your belly.
- When you’re prepared to do so, exhale and let your stomach relax inward.
Ensure no movement exists in your chest, shoulders, or upper body. Instead, the diaphragmatic breath activity should be focused on the lower abdomen.
Mistake #2: Not Warming Up
Warming up before singing is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to prepare your voice for the demands of singing. In the same way, stretching before exercise prepares your muscles for physical activity. This can prevent injury and strain on your vocal cords.
Additionally, warming up can improve your vocal range, tone, and projection. It also helps increase blood flow to your vocal cords, enhancing flexibility and responsiveness.
Finally, warming up can help to reduce performance anxiety and boost your confidence before singing.
Mistake #3: Not Practicing Correctly
You might forget your teacher’s instructions when there’s a big gap between lessons. As a result, you may question: “What did he or she suggest I practice?” or “What feedback did I receive about my high notes?”
The most productive approach to practicing is by performing vocal exercises that will enhance your singing abilities.
So, next time you are in a lesson, ask your instructor to give you vocal exercises to practice at home.
Mistake #4: Singing Too Low/High for Your Voice Type
Recognizing your voice type is a crucial initial stage in improving your singing skills. In case you are already aware of your voice type, the following is a compilation of the comfortable notes that lie within your vocal range:
Bass: Bass is the lowest male voice type with a comfortable range of E2-E4.
Baritone: Baritone is the second lowest male voice type with a comfortable range of A2-A4.
Tenor: Tenor is the second highest male voice type with a comfortable range of C3-C5.
Counter Tenor: Counter Tenor is the highest male voice type with a comfortable range of E3-E5.
Contralto: Contralto is the lowest female voice type with a comfortable range of E3-E5.
Alto: Alto is the second lowest female voice type with a comfortable range of F3-F5.
Mezzo-Soprano: Mezzo-Soprano is the second highest female voice type with a comfortable range of A3-A5.
Soprano: Soprano is the highest female voice type with a comfortable range of C4-C6.
Remember that this reference indicates the comfortable notes corresponding to your voice type. You might exert excessive pressure on your vocal cords if you sing beyond this range of notes.
Mistake #5: Singing Too Loud
One of the most frequent errors that singers commit is singing too loudly. When we sing too loudly, our vocal cords become excessively thick and tightly compressed, making it difficult to transition smoothly into high notes. Here’s how to develop a powerful voice without being too loud:
- Imagine yourself performing on stage in a small auditorium.
- Next, sing at a volume that would enable you to reach the back row.
- Ensure that you accomplish this without resorting to yelling.
The concept here is to learn how to produce a robust and resonant voice without experiencing the tension and strain of shouting.