- Helene H
IS YOUR VOICE BORED, LOST AND LOCKDOWN LONELY?
3 VOCAL INDICATORS YOUR VOICE NEEDS HELP!
Everything is at standstill……eek.
Has your voice gone into lockdown meltdown mode? Has it started being not bothered and zipped up? When everything gets cancelled and postponed into the galaxy far far away it’s easy to think why bother singing until I need to use my voice again? I get it - COVID -19 and cancellations suck! However, not singing through lockdown is a dangerous vocal game to play because around about a few months in, which is NOW ,the vocal muscles that used to be flexible and strong will start to wither away and get weak. It’s so important to maintain and keep your voice healthy and fit! It’s a gradual shift when a voice goes out of shape and sometimes it’s hard to notice until you reach problem areas you didn’t use to have. I want to help you stay in shape until everything is up and rock n rolling again.
Here are 3 typical warning signs that your voice is headed in the wrong direction :
A diminished vocal range.
The top notes that used to “fly” are now an effort and you start to “push” to reach your notes.The more you push the more damage you cause and then you’ll start to push even more next time and on it goes down a bad vocal spiral. To reverse this you need to be gentle and sing those sections without any weight on your voice. Reach for a little less volume but keep your body and support system solid until the voice can handle it again. Listen to your voice and pay attention to how it feels in your body when you sing. If you can’t sing the notes quietly you can’t sing it loud either….unless you push. Don’t push…. start gentle and build your way up. Always.
A heavy thick slow moving vibrato.
Argh avoid at all cost, unless of course you want to sound like a nursing home!
Singing with a heavy vibrato is not only tiring for your voice but it also produces a very loose resonating tone. If you choose to put vibrato on your notes it must be a nice sounding vibration - fresh and solid with a healthy speed to it. So keep an ear out for how your vibrato sounds as it’s a very useful indicator of where your vocal health is headed.
If you find it hard to increase the speed then it’s too heavy, too out of shape and stuck in a rut! Kickstart your vibrato by attacking the beginning of the note where you want to use it and then take control. Decide you want it to move faster. Taking charge of vibrato really starts in the mind and is a commitment to movement.
Another fast way to get a healthy vibrato back is to take it off for a while. Try singing your notes without any vibratoand hold the voice straight like a laser beam. Sing through your song a few times totally straight and once you master that, then let it relax into the notes and listen to how the vibrato feels fresher and faster straight away. Keep it up - be da boss and take vibrational control!
Your pre lockdown smooth range is now full of vocal potholes!
If you stop training your voice it’s only a question of time until the muscles around the transition area (lower range into top range ie the middle of your voice) looses its flexibility. Before you know it you start to notice a horrible gap between your top and lower range. What used to be a smooth transition now feels like a bumpy ride! This is a very important warning sign from your voice to start working out vocally ! Get your songs out and start singing. Open up your voice on the inside as much as you can (go to the mirror and check the soft palate at the back of your mouth is lifted, like when you yawn or have a hot potato in your mouth) Keep practicing the songs you used to sing like that - open and free.Exaggerate the space inside. Remove the lyrics for now and just sing through the melody on a big open yawned Ah! (your ah should sound like ah as in father)
Support your voice with a strong deep breath before each phrase and glide through your melody with ease and comfort.
Slowly but surely your voice will come back. Fit for fight, auditions, tours and gigs!
Alternatively you can always connect up with me on my One2One sessions!
Also remember to leave me a comment and let me know how you get on, I’d love to hear from you!
See you on the other side singers!