When a singer finally decides to branch out from singing as a group in a choir and perform solo, everyone wants to be able to sing like Adele, no effort needed. Unfortunately, it takes a bit more than that. Do you think Ariana Grande was able to belt out Dangerous Woman without a bit of practice and technique? She didn’t just wake up one day simply being able to sing like a powerful goddess. So, when you’re preparing a song, these 5 things will help you achieve an awesome performance.
Definitely one of the most important singing techniques is your tone. You don’t want to be singing a sad song in the tone of a rock singer, so you need to decide what genre best suits your voice or best suits your music tastes and work on what makes that style into that style. Rock songs for example are usually sung with a clear, often nasily tone. This can be achieved by singing mainly in your chest voice and your mixed voice so you can belt out the awesome Dave Grohl sound. For me, the more glottal, the better when I sing rock. Slow, soft, emotional songs however, often use more of a breathy, light tone. Take Birdy for example, she uses mainly her head voice and her falsetto by moving the sound up to the top of her head so that she can sweetly serenade her audience. Those types of songs sit mainly towards the back and top of your head whereas rock songs sit mainly at the front and in the chest/mixed region.
Now I know what you’re thinking when you start singing and people tell you that you need to learn how to breathe properly. You’re thinking, breathe? I know how to breathe. In, out, repeat. You don’t have to think about it right? But, sorry, it takes a bit more than that. When you take a deep breath in, you’re not supposed to lift your shoulders all the way up to your ears and suck in your stomach. No, no. It’s all about breathing the air into your stomach. And yes, you may look slightly larger in the stomach region than usual, but to get the fantastic breath support that you need for a killer performance, that’s just what you have to do. You may have heard the phrase “use your diaphragm,” but what does that actually mean? The diaphragm is a muscle that sits just below your lungs and it allows you to get great breath support so you can sustain those crazy long notes you hear some singers achieve on the radio. The end of Sweet Child O’ Mine for example? Breath support! So, put your hands on your stomach with your fingers touching in the middle and breathe in. If your stomach expands and your fingers can’t touch anymore, you’re doing it right!
Ah, the good old articulation. Basically all it is, is making sure the audience can understand what you’re saying. It sounds very easy, but often it isn’t. The words may sounds clear to you but they may not be. Most of the time it’s about the shapes of your vowels. When we sing, we have a tendency to close off our vowels, especially if it’s at the end of a long note. This can squash the word and people may not be able to understand you. Also, sometimes singers won’t pronounce the consonants at the ends of the words, so back can sounds like ba, and start can sound like star. Sometimes we can try to mimic an artist’s tone and overdo it which can also make the words maybe a little bit blurry. If you find that you have these problems, try over-pronouncing your words at first and then singing properly, this will build the muscle memory and you won’t have to think about it as much. You can also try speaking the words and then singing them with a similar tone. Sometimes we can try to mimic an artist’s tone and overdo it which can also make the words maybe a little bit blurry.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t be nervous. Nerves are good because they bring more energy into the performance and they provide that spark that makes it great. However, you probably don’t want to go on stage and sing as quiet as a mouse because you’re too nervous to even blink. Building confidence is something most singers struggle with. It’s not easy to get up and sing for a bunch of people, because you’re afraid of what they might think. It just comes with practice and pushing your boundaries. The hardest part is getting past the first performance. It doesn’t even have to be on a stage, it can be in your lounge room in front of your family if that’s where you feel most comfortable. From there, the performing will get easier. Sure, you still get the shivers and tingles before you step out onto the stage, but coupled with excitement, the nerves add the personality to the performance. Once your confidence is built up, you’ll be able to perform like a major rock star, it just takes some practice.