Some things I’ve noticed that help me to sing better…
Let me start off by saying I’m not an expert on singing AT ALL. In fact, voice lessons would be really nice. orz But like I said, these things that I am about to mention are some that I’ve realized help me to sing better and make better use of practice time.
The songs listed are all Japanese.
1) Exercise before you sing. This is something I noticed before, but it didn’t really occur to me until today. I danced to some really energetic songs and when the next song began to play on my playlist, I belted out the song in a way that surprised me. A good amount of oxygen is needed for good singing.
Playlist: C-ute; “Dance de Bakoon!” “Kore Ijou Kirawaretakunai no” (original choreography) “Everyday Zekkouchou!!” (“FOREVER LOVE” is also a good one)
2) It’s been said before by music directors and, like, everyone…but standing up really does help. After you exercise, catch your breath and a glass of water, stay standing.
3) Practice with a few songs you know you do well on. This way you start out feeling confident. 🙂 Also, keep moving as you practice. Walk around…do the dance to the song if you know it…or make up your own. 🙂
Playlist: Berryz Koubou; “Girls Times” “Onna no PRIDE” “Magical Future” “Seishun Bus Guide” (lately I also do “Aa, Yo ga Akeru”)
4) Don’t try to make yourself sound exactly like the artist of the song you’re listening to. Yes, I can sound like S/mileage. But when I try to project my voice in a “S/mileage” voice, by the time the song hits the chorus my voice will likely crack. At the end of the song, my throat feels tight and sore and my neck muscles feel strained. Berryz Koubou seems to suit my natural voice better, but if I’m trying to sound just like them (or one of the members), high notes fail miserably. When I’m trying to match…I DON’T match! I have to let my natural voice come out!
5) [Tip is courtesy of Nana] She gave me advice to try to project…um, higher? (Don’t know how to say it.) My strained singing is strained because I’m literally trying to squeeze the sound out of my throat. It’s like trying to force my chest voice through my vocal chords to connect to my head voice…but it goes too far and smacks the ‘ceiling,’ so to speak. (i.e. my voice cracks) The sound that comes out sounds dry and scratchy, and it leaves my throat feeling dry and scratchy too! D: So…sing farther back…and bring it out higher. Nana says try to make your nose tingle (with the vibrations). Again, when singing in my natural voice, it works. I can feel the difference and really notice if I’m not singing correctly anymore. When that happens, the sound moves to the front of my throat, where it seems to get stuck and I have to try to squeeze it through, so I stick my head out like a turtle or something… XD Yeah…good tip. Stand up straight and don’t stick your head out like a turtle! You’re probably straining yourself…
Playlist to test this: Morning Musume; “Maji Desu ka SKA!” C-ute; “Momoiro Sparkling” Buono; “Zassou no Uta” Berryz Koubou; “Heroine ni Narou ka!” “Ai no Dangan” S/mileage; “Yumemiru 15sai” “Uchouten LOVE”
Again, I don’t know all of the “official” warm-up techniques…I’m by no means a pro and I still have much to learn. If you have advice to give, please share it! I’d love to hear how you sing and what helps you while singing. 🙂 Professional advice is definitely welcomed, too!