One bad habit I see a lot that makes a big difference in the way we singers use our voice, is that often we don’t open our mouths enough when taking our in-breaths.
Why is this so important?
Because opening your mouth and taking in air is the very first step in a chain of steps when producing sound. Opening and relaxing the jaw down at this critical point of the singing process helps the larynx open and relax too, therefore the result is a more open and relaxed sound. See how that works? I’ve created and attached a video to this post to show you an example of what I’m talking about.
One of the best things you can learn as a singing student is how one small change in the way your mind and muscle operates can have knock-on effects to how the body conducts itself, and ultimately the sound you create. Think of every little thing you do in your process – the way you take in air, the way you hold onto it, the tension in your mind and your body – and learn to recognize that if one thing is off it will flow onto other areas of your voice also.
This is why learning to become a better singer really is all about developing better habits. Some of these habits are so tiny it really does help to have a singing teacher there to help you feel, hear and see what might not be working; as well as give you tools to fix whatever might need to be improved.
So I ask anyone reading this to be more aware of how you’re taking your in-breath, try my tip for a week. Practice in front of the mirror, and between scales, between phrases in your song – really drop and relax your jaw. Make the breath quiet and deep enough it reaches your diaphragm, and see if you can make this new habit part of your everyday singing practice.
If you are new to singing please don’t feel discouraged. There IS a lot to learn and relearn when you’re first learning to singing – how to breath, how to stand, even how to THINK – it all relates to a better sound. But I’m here to offer regular online singing lessons for FREE, with little things you can do that can make a big difference. You can follow me via email, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and keep track of my weekly singing tips and tricks.
Image credit: Kathleen Tyler Conklin