How should I train my voice?

So I’ve been jogging lately to get in better shape and stay healthy.

The first time around in my neighorhood is my warm-up. I start out walking at a medium pace and by the end of the round I’m ready to step it up.

The second round I’m jogging. I set a pace that has me breathing in a rhythmic pattern that I know I can endure to the next round.

By round three I’m feeling tired. I’ve reached my peak and my technique is starting to fail. I go back to walking the rest of the way home.

Why am I telling you this? Because this is a good way to train your voice.

First round is your warm-up. Second round is your work-out. Third round is your warm-down.

How long each round is can vary, and what you do each round can vary. For me, lip rolls and sirens through my entire range is both my warm-up and warm-down. My work-out is my longest round, but that’s because I’m in good shape (vocally that is, certainly not jogging!)  You may find you spend most of your time in the warm-up, and your round two of working intensely is for only a short time. That’s OK. Being a vocal athelete takes time, commitment and training….regular training, every day.

You can always learn to sing better…

This is for all the adults who were too shy to sing as a kid, and now as a adult you love singing along with the radio, but you wish you could to it better. Here are a few tips to try…

1. Use a set of good headphones to listen to an easy song by one of your favourite artists.

2. Listen intently and try to mimic the words and expressions but without making a sound. In other words, pretend you are that performer and articulate every word with clarity and preciseness.

3. When you are ready to add your voice, take one side of the headphone off and leave the other side on. You must be able to yourself as well as the performer. 

4. Now sing quietly but intently with the performer. Make sure you are enunciating the words clearly and with expression. Be careful to be on exact pitch as the performer. Remember, you are not trying to mimic your interpretation of the performer’s sound, you are mimicing the consonants, vowels and phrasing.

5.  Remember you are doing this quietly, but not quiet like a whisper, but quiet like you are talking…..just like talking on pitch.

6.  If you find yourself needing to be louder as you go higher, then you are not approaching this exercise correctly. The voice needs stay at the same volume on the low notes as the high notes.

7.  To help find what the high notes will feel like, try a “cry” approach, or a dog whimper to the pitch of the high note. Notice the thinness of your voice when you are in your head voice. Remember, your goal is not to match to “sound” of the performer, but rather the “pitch” of the performer. Sometimes just lightening up on the high notes will usually create the correct connection. This may be very breathy but you are going in the right direction.

9. Now with practise you can start to “lean” into the notes. This should help eliminate any extra air getting through. 

10. One last tip — be true to your voice. It should not be your goal to sound like the performer in the song, it should be your goal to sing the song with your voice to the best of your ability.

Let me know how this exercise worked for you. Do you have any questions?