Anyone can sing but not everyone can do it well without the benefit of singing exercises. Certainly, most people have the right equipment — that is, they have the prerequisite body parts to be able to sing and be able to learn to sing well. After all, speech and song are different from each other only in form and purpose. Any aspirant can become a better singer with the proper voice training.
Many professional singers were born with the innate aptitude for carrying a tune in a manner that is considered admirable by others. Still, majority if not all of these professionals require some assistance to improve in their craft in the form of additional vocal training and singing exercises.
For the rest of us who want to learn to sing, a few basic vocal exercises can help to improve singing.
The Physiology of Singing
Again, singing is not much different from speaking as both use the faculties that produce the human voice. Vocal production follows a process from respiration (breathing), to phonation (producing sound), to resonation (determining pitch and how loud the sound is) and articulation (pronunciation or making the sound understandable in terms of language).
This process involves the coordinated use of the lungs, the larynx, the trachea, the chest and head cavities, and various other body parts used in creating voice. It is therefore only logical that a well-tuned vocal machine can produce a better song than one that does not have the benefit of vocal training. Through regular singing exercises and voice lessons, anyone can develop better singing abilities.
Voice training can help in fulfilling several goals. Generally, it improves singing but specifically, it can extend a person’s vocal range, develops consistent tone quality, and helps the singer in mastering techniques for vocal expression. As a warm up, singing exercises can also help in preventing injury to the voice apparatus.
Breathing exercises are particularly important to improve singing. A singer should breathe with the diaphragm. Also, there ought to be effort to control breathing when singing. Remember that proper singing depends entirely on proper breathing techniques.
Be extra conscious of how you breathe. Breath in deeply, fill your lungs and allow your entire torso to expand outward. Your stomach should move forward and you should feel your lower back move as well. Your ribcage should expand also but be careful not to raise your shoulders. Be sure to breathe out slowly and gently.
As your body gets used to breathing this way, gain more control and increase your stamina by breathing in slow counts. Inhale deliberately for four counts, hold for another four, then exhale slowly for four more counts. Then, increase your count to eight, twelve, and sixteen. Not only will this singing exercise help you breath properly, it will also improve singing by developing your ability to keep a beat.
Doing vocal scales is another basic exercise to improve singing that is a part of every singer’s voice lessons. Sing the major scales on each key within your vocal range. Use Solfege (do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do) or pronounce the vowels A-E-I-O-U. Also try singing for example, ba-be-bi-bo-bu, ma-me-mi-mo-mu, and others. Singing the scales will also develop your recognition of accurate tone and pitch as well as improve your articulation. The recommended allotted time for practicing scales is 30 minutes a day.
These two singing exercises, breathing and scales are the basic foundation for good singing. By regularly devoting enough time to doing these voice training measures, you will find your singing abilities will indeed improve over time.