If you are like me, you love to wake up Sunday morning to go to church and praise God with your singing voice! However, it’s not always easy to sing in the mornings, so here are a few things you can do to help get your voice ready for worship.
Starting off with a hot shower will help clear the sinuses. I usually hum in the shower, usually from my top voice down. I keep it very light and connected. Zzzzzz’s in your high voice done lightly are great, as well as sirens from your top voice down. I like exercises that get my head register resonating first. The chest voice will get it’s warm-up when I start telling the kids to hurry up!
Then in the car on the way to service, the kids and I will do some arpegio exercises in a light mix. Again, I prefer top down for my voice, because most of our music is sung in the lower part of the voice register (ie around A below middle C up to high C for a female. An octave lower for a male). Therefore, it’s really important to have the “gears” in place for an easy transition to head register when singing.
Do you ever notice that when you sing along with the radio you usually have this very talky kind of singing that can be fairly loud but you have trouble reaching the high notes. Then when you sing at church on Sunday, you have this other voice that is, let’s just say, different, kind of whimpy maybe, yet sweet.
This isn’t everyone’s experience but it is common, especially for women. Songs on the radio are usually written in lower keys so the singers can use their chest voice. Then when they get to the higher notes, they “belt” out the high notes. This is that shouty, yelling kind of voice that some audiences love, and some audiences hate!
Traditional church songs are quite often written in a key that is too high to use your chest voice well. Instead, singers need to use their head voice to reach the high notes. This is why some church choirs with older women have that unique sound!
Depending on your singing background, you may be more comfortable in either one of these voices. Most children who grew up singing in choirs are very well acquainted with their head voice. Children who did not sing much growing up, are much more likely to be comfortable in their chest voice, because this is the range that is closest to their speaking voice.
The key here is to know which voice you gravitate to, and then work on the opposite. Good singing needs a balance of both the head voice and chest voice, irregardless of the kind of song you are singing.
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