October 13th, 2012 | by VoiceCouncil

Take Our 5 Singing Technique Tests

  • These common tests are used by vocal teachers all over the world. They do not cover every aspect of singing technique but they do put a few critical areas to the test. Try them now.

  • 1. Sing open vowels like “ah” with your nose plugged.

    Now, the trick is to make your tone sound totally ‘normal’ – if it doesn’t, you are singing through your nose.

  • 2. Cradle your face in your hands

    And, while singing some open vowels, pull down on your jaw so it opens more than it usually does. Be amazed by how much freer your voice sounds with a more open mouth.

  • 3. Sing on a lip trill

    This is where you let your lips flap together as in saying ’brrrr’ on a cold day. If you do scales on this exercise, not only will you sound like a total nerd, but you’ll also find that you can sing to the top of your range with more freedom in your throat.

  • 4. Press your thumb up into the flesh behind the bone of your chin while singing.

    If it feels soft and supple, you’ll know your tongue is tension-free. The back of your tongue is practically attached to your larynx (voice box) so if it’s firm and tense, your poor voice has to work way harder to do it’s thing.

  • 5. Make singing sounds through a straw

    (and you’re not allowed to let any air go through your nose). The thinner the straw, the more aware you’ll be of how little air you use when singing. You’ll also enjoy a more focused, resonant sound.

Use these five tests to remind yourself that you can have a beautiful tone without excess air, throat and tongue tension.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/poppa.madison Poppa Madison

    The sixth test is to actually sing and enjoy doing it.

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  • Luke Pchr

    …but how do you sing NOT through the nose?

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  • Kathy

    A singing teacher can tell you specifically what you may be doing that is causing your sound to be too nasal. Most often, you can keep your sound out of your nose by creating more space in the back of your mouth. The best way to do this is through relaxing the jaw and tongue and allowing the soft palate to lift. What is the soft palate? The back of your tongue touches it when you say “ng.” It vibrates when you snore with an open mouth. Instead of trying to actually control your soft palate, try lifting your whole face into an inspired expression like you just saw something beautiful. This may be enough to lift your soft palate.

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  • Kathy

    Right on! When your singing is connected to real, true emotion, great stuff happens technique-wise. Conversely, trying too hard to control parts of our bodies when we sing can sometimes just create tension.

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