What Singing Should Feel Like
I don't know why it has taken me so long to write this post because it has needed to be written and blasted around the web for a long time.
I wish I had known what singing should feel like when I was much younger and having a lot of issues with my voice.
When I was a teenager I sang because people told me I was good at it. I'd had a little bit of training but didn't understand the whole concept of support so would tighten my abdominal muscles more and more, thinking that was what I was supposed to do.
Because of this, I would sing mostly from my throat and not know why I could hit notes sometimes and not others.
Then I started working on harder songs and doing shows once I began university. I was studying opera (and still not understanding exactly how to better my voice) but performing musical theatre and soul gigs. I began to experiment with belting.
It sounded good but I would lose my voice and have a sore throat after about an hour. This happens to everyone, I thought.
Please please please don't brush this kind of thing under the rug so to speak.
You should never lose your voice after singing.
You shouldn't feel tightness or pain in your throat.
You shouldn't have to tense any part of your body to excess (abs, throat, shoulder, tongue, jaw etc).
It should feel GOOD.
I only started working on this whole idea of ease and energy after watching Beyoncé sing.
Now, I'm going to get a bit controversial with you. What is difference between watching Christina Aguilera sing and watching Queen B sing?
They are both incredible singers, but Beyoncé looks effortless. I have seen her in concert and DAMN, it looks so easy for her (even Love on Top my friends). Christina is often over-singing and despite it sounding pretty impressive, it makes it look hard.
If you do one thing for your voice this week, please start to pay attention to how easy or difficult something feels.
Can you release tension from somewhere? Could you pay more attention to how it feels rather than how it sounds, just for a few minutes?
TRY THIS: A great trick to help you release added tension is to inhale (nice and low, grounding the breath) and exhale through the mouth paying attention to how freely it falls out of the throat.
Then when you go to sing a line of a song or an exercise, replicate that same sense of release. Exhale with breath only. Then inhale again and exhale with sound trying to imitate the same feeling.