More on belting

Healthy belting requires ultimate breath control to avoid damage to the cords.

First, no pushing. Simply allow. It requires a lot of energy and effort to belt safely. This effort and energy is felt in your abdomen, pelvis, ribs and back. You should feel no tension in the throat. The throat is very open and the tongue is high in the back of the throat. This doesn’t mean you will feeling nothing in the back of the throat. But, you should have no pain, strain, tickle or cough-like feelings.

Belting high notes should be done with thin cords (although it may sound like some singers are belting in the chest voice). The volume of a good belt sound is no louder than the volume of your loud speaking voice.

Try this.

With good cord closure (compression), allow some air to escape with your high note. In other words, belt “hey” while allowing the “h” to help you let some air leak through your cords.

Keep your jaw relaxed and your mouth wide open like biting into an apple, or just like the feeling before a yawn. Again, the tongue should be high in the back of the throat with the tip sitting behind the front bottom teeth, and the soft palate is lifted.

If you feel tension at the back of your tongue then you are straining. Start again with a relaxed high tongue and open mouth and throat.

Staccato exercises in your high voice (thinning of cords) are great for stopping the breath, gaining control, and prepping to belt and sing rock.

This means your breath is drawn down deep into your lungs, and your abdominal muscles, back muscles and rib cage muscles are engaged in the effort of controlling your breath.

And don’t forget, you should always warm up and warm down with lip rolls, sirens and tongue trills.


Singing is an entire body experience

Have you ever noticed the body language of your favourite singer? Odds are their body is engaged in a way that relays emotion to the song. Watch their face. Notice how the eyebrows may rise or the nostrils may flare. Watch the mouth and tongue, and pay special attention to the chin.

These details are not simply “acts” to add to the performance. These details are necessary to great singing.

Have you ever noticed that when you sing alone, and really get into it, your voice and body feel free? Have you noticed when you get in front of your teacher or an audience, your voice and body have trouble finding that freedom?

Don’t underestimate the role your body energy plays in your singing.  Sometimes we take this for granted and never consider it. We can actually engage energy outside the larynx and in turn, create freedom in the voice.