Singing Practice Routine

Following on from my first post about singing practice – I’ve put together a routine that might help you plan your practice.

  1. Start by stretching! If you have been desk bound all day, your body could do with standing tall again! You can add some neck stretches and shoulder rolls too. Generally give yourself time to leave the day job muscular habits and come back to your lovely singing posture and allow some space in your ribs to breathe again!
  2. Breathing exs time! Maybe 5 mins of focus on your diaphragmatic breathing exercises. Again just to remind your body this is what you use in singing.
  3. Warm-up Here the focus is on getting the voice into a free position in order to be able to move through your range without clunky changes of gear or jumps. The reason we tend to use scales is because:-
    1. it improves your listening to fine tuning of the note intervals
    2. it trains your voice to hold an even tone as you move up and down
    3. by repeating the patterns so you are familiar with them, you can concentrate on the vocal technique not the notes.
    4. If you are new to the scales and don’t yet feel confident with them you can use the idea of a siren sound. Making a trilling rrr sound and sliding up and down through your ‘breaks’ or gear changes will really help. Notice if you tighten and increase effort as you go up to your top notes. See what happens if you actually REDUCE the effort and feel like your letting go instead. Does that make it easier?
  4. Sing your song – Hurrah! Now you can work through the detail of your song. If you are learning how to extend your breath or reach a high note, keep reducing effort as your first port of call. If I am learning a new technical point in a song, I break it down to the bar I’m working on and work the specific issue. I then see if I can run in and out of that bar and maintain the change. Only then will I run a whole section back and forth. Note that I expect to repeat it many, many times to embed the change. Once or twice wont do it!!! That’s why we practice!

Hope that helps you!

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Sandra Smith is the director of The Lost Sound Dartmoor Folk Choir, visit their dedicated website to find out more.

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