Saturday, June 23, 2007

Support Exercises For Singers

As I have discussed in previous posts, breath control and support are essential to singing. Here is a vocal exercise that has proven to be extremely helpful in building better support. Keep in mind that the exercise is only designed to increase the body's awareness of proper support. It is not a "tone" or "range" exercise.

1. This exercise uses a 5 note descending scale, 5-4-3-2-1.
2. This exercise should be sung only in same range as the speaking voice. You should sing no higher than is comfortable.
3, Sing each pitch on the vowel 'Oh', starting the sound with an 'H' or a slight burst of air. This requires a quick contraction of the abdominal muscles. Ho-Ho-Ho-Ho-Ho. The sequence is sung with one breath.
4. Each note should be short and have impact. It should feel the same as if you are laughing...belly laughing.
5. Using a very narrow range, go up and down by half-steps. The entire range of the series should not exceed one octave.

Repetition is the name of the game here. Don't let yourself get bored. Feel each note as being important. really work the abs and put a good 'H' on each note. The point is to use a lot of air...more that you would need for a typical song phrase. Repetition of the sequence will train the body to take in the right amount of air per phrase.

After 5 to 7 minutes, double up the Ho's per note. in other words:

As before, make every note important. Sing very staccato in short, detached bursts.

This exercise is the base coat of what should be a 20 minute daily workout. Gradually, the benefits will seep into your singing and you will realize an improvement in pitch and density of tone. And remember, the place to think is in the practice room. efficient exercises will enable you to interpret songs without thinking of technique. Don't make it's always simpler than it seems!

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