How to Develop Vocals

Developing vocals requires a consistent and deliberate plan of action that will guide you toward your goals. Developing a practice routine that begins with a warm-up, followed by exercises to develop technique and then finally, ending with repertoire will help you to improve your voice consistently and incrementally. It takes time to develop your voice, so maintain a relaxed attitude toward practicing and practice six times per week.

Step 1 Buzz your lips up and down a five note major scale to warm-up your voice. Start on the first pitch of the scale and buzz up to the fifth before coming back down. Start on a pitch that falls in the lower part of your range and comfortable to sing. Sopranos should start on F, mezzos on D, tenors on A and basses on D toward the bottom of their range. Repeat the scale five times by moving up a half step for each sequence.

Step 2 Breathe from your diaphragm. Avoid breathing from your chest. Mimic the feeling of yawning to feel your breath go into your diaphragm. Breathing deeply provides support and enough air to sing properly.

Step 3 Stand up straight with your neck relaxed and your head looking slightly higher than a parallel line to the floor. This will help to ensure that airflow travels through your neck and throat without constriction. Vocal folds must vibrate freely to sound properly, and this requires proper posture.

Step 4 Find your highest note with a piano. Simply sing along with the piano. Start on any pitch in your range and continue until you can't go any higher. Don't press yourself to sing higher than you can.

Step 5 Sing vocal exercises to extend your range. Begin on the syllable "hmm" and start a fifth below your highest note. Sing down the first five steps of the major scale. For instance, sing C - B - A - G - F if C constitutes the fifth below your highest note. Continue to sing a half step higher each time until you can't sing any higher. Don't force this. Your vocal cords will naturally stretch over time, enabling you to sing higher.

Step 6 Practice your music, also known as repertoire. Have a collection of music that you sing in your ensembles, and etudes designed to help you improve your vocal technique. This component should make about three-quarters of your practice routine. However long it takes you to warm up, practice your music three times as long.

Step 7 Study diction daily. Diction teaches you how to pronounce words correctly. When you sing words correctly, your vocal folds vibrate more effectively, producing a more natural, powerful and open sound.

Vocalists are not man-made musical instruments. If your voice wears out, you can't buy a new one. Practice daily, but don't strain your voice by doing too much too soon. Start with 15 to 20 minutes a day and gradually increase your practice time by 10 minutes every three weeks. Eventually, the goal should be to practice for one to two hours each day in addition to your ensemble playing. Warnings Avoid practicing when you are sick. You can harm your vocal cords.


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