Here are some quick, down-to-earth, immediately applicable set of singing tips today: Five vocal technique checks you can do to make sure you’re singing with good technique, and not making some of the most common mistakes that beginning singers make.
1 – Is your larynx moving up and down?
Check that your larynx is not moving up and down a lot as you sing higher and lower. It should stay more or less in the same place for the main comfortable part of your range. (When men get around E4-G4 and women get around G4-A5, you’ll start to see some rising.) Two pairs of muscles that attach to your vocal cords tune your voice to higher and lower pitches; your larynx doesn’t have much to do with it.
2 – Is your throat tight?
Place a hand around your throat, thumb on one side, fingers on the other. Sing. Do you feel muscles in your throat getting tight? You don’t want that. Again, just your interior vocal muscles should be working, not the exterior muscles muscles.
3 – Is your hyoid muscle tense when change pitch on a vowel?
Stick a thumb up under your chin while you sing a single vowel on a 5-note scale. (Right there behind the front of your jawbone, where it’s soft.) Do you feel a muscle pushing back down? You’ll feel it, unmistakably, if it is. You don’t want that tension, so practice singing vowels in scales without the assistance of that muscle.
4 – Are you making faces?
Get out a mirror. Watch yourself sing. Are you squinting, grimacing, making tense faces? Making faces ain’t gonna help the sound come out any easier. Practice singing without making faces.
5 – Is your mouth open or closed?
Your mouth is literally part of your instrument. When you sing, you form the sound that comes out by shaping your mouth. You muffle and flatten your sound when you sing with your mouth closed. Look in that mirror again. How far are you really opening your mouth? You may not be opening nearly as far as you think when you sing.
(c) 2009 Adrienne Osborn