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singing


Question Posted Thursday January 4 2007, 8:09 pm

i really enjoy singing and i want improve
i think i do some things wrong.
-first of all i am trying to breathe out of my diaphram, but i don't really understand how to do so...
-i want to improve my range, and i'm wondering if there is anything i can do to work on this? and i really want to learn how to sing runs and belt out songs
-also my voice is kind of weak and cracks at times and i'm wondering if there are any ways to strengthen it
-and my throat often hurts and i get really tired after singing a song and i don't think this is normal

so if anybody knows any ways to fix these problems or can find out any information, please let me know because i'd really like to improve!


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Igotamonopoly answered Thursday January 4 2007, 11:31 pm:
In regards to the answers below me:

You do not necessarily need a voice coach.

Drinking water is great.

Singing a cappella has nothing to do with the way that you use your voice.

Now for my advice. I have answered these quations numerous times, so I hope that you don't mind me copying and pasting my own answers.

Have you ever heard the phrase "Practice makes permanent?" Regardless, it really does, so you need to learn how to read and write music.

Here: I'll teach you.

Clap your hands at a walking pace. (Clap *beat* clap *beat* etc.)

These are quarter notes. In common time, these each get one beat. Here is what they look like: [Link](Mouse over link to see full location). Say "ta" each time you clap.

Now, we'll say a half note. Hold the "ta" for two claps. A half note looks like this: [Link](Mouse over link to see full location).

Hold the "ta" for three beats, and you get a dotted half note. The dot means that the note is held for its regular value, plus half. Here is what a dotted half note loks like: [Link](Mouse over link to see full location).

Here's the last easy one. Hold the "ta" for four claps, and you get a whole note.[Link](Mouse over link to see full location).

Your hands might hurt from all of this clapping. If they do, take a break, then come back. If not, read on.

These are a little bit harder. Okay, clap again, same speed. By the way, the speed is called the tempo. As you clap, subdivide each beat. For example, each time you clap, you should have time to say any two syllable word. Let's use "bagel". Clap and say bagel each time you clap, remembering that bagel has two syllables. These are eighth notes. They look like this: [Link](Mouse over link to see full location), and when there are two of them together, they look like this: [Link](Mouse over link to see full location).

Last one that we'll talk about, and the last one that you will need. A sixteenth note is an eighth note divided in half (it's 1/4 of a quarter note). As you clap, say "tic-a-tic-a" all in one beat. you have just said sixteenth notes. Here is waht they look like:[Link](Mouse over link to see full location). Since four of them make a beat, they are usually written this way.

Now, there are also ways to write silence. These are called rests. Here is a chart that shows how the rests relate to the notes. You might want to print this out: [Link](Mouse over link to see full location).

Next topic: the musical staff. The treble staff ( [Link](Mouse over link to see full location) ) has 5 lines and 4 spaces. Here is a diagram of all of the notes as they relate to the piano: [Link](Mouse over link to see full location).

To write music, you put the note (discussed earlier-this tells how long to hold it for, aka the rhythm) on the line or space that matches the pitch that you play(ed) on the piano/keyboard. You just have to make sure that all of the beats add up to four. You can have any combination of notes, on any pitches, as long as they add up to four.

Finding the key (or writing in a key) of the piece can be really, really hard. I suggest writing in the key of C natural if at all possible (don't play the black keys at all). It is easiest. However, life isn't always easy. Look at this piano: [Link](Mouse over link to see full location). The key is determined by which black keys are played (or not played). For example, play a G scale (all of the white notes starting with G). Do you notice that the F key is flat? Of course you do! You need to raise the pitch, or play the black key to the right of the F (the first black key in a group of 3), thus making it an F sharp, and completing your scale. A sharp sign is a pound sign. A flat sign is a lower case b. To write these on the staff, you put them next to the treble clef on the line or space equivalent to the note that you want sharped or flatted.

When writing the flats, they go in order. BEAD GCF. So, if there is only one flat, it will be a B flat (it has to be. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, kiddo). If there are two, it will be a B flat and an E flat. Etcetera. When there are a bunch of flats written in a piece, to find the key, look at the second flat from the right. Whatever note it is on is the key signature. If there is only one, it is the key of F. You kind of have to know that one.

Sharps go in the opposite order. FCG DEAB. Again, if there is only one sharp, it will be an F sharp, making it the key of G. Etcetera. To find the key of a piece with any sharps, you look at the last flat and count up one half step (to the next line or space), and whatever that is is the key. If it already has a sharp on it, then it is the letter sharp. For example, G sharp.

Next, you need to work on your ear. See, the thing about many poor singers isn't that the quaity of their voice is bad, it is that they are sharp or flat, usually flat. So, by improving the way your brain measures intervals, you will become a better singer. I suggest

[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)

[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)

[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)

to better your ear, and I found the Wikipedia article very helpful as you don't need to be able to read music to benefit from the information contained in it.

Run and do cardio. Start dance. These will help you lungs and endurance. It is a myth that singing only uses your throat. To be able to sing through an entire phrase, you need to have good endurance.

If your voice goes out on the high notes, you are not singing correctly.

You should always have good posture. Attain this by bending over to touch your toes and rolling yourself up and your shoulders back.

Practice sightreading. If you don't know what that is, it's reading music that you've never seen before and singing it. It helps to make you sing on pitch.

Also, I suggest learning a little about music theory so that you always know what is going on in the peice. Is there a crescendo? Mezzo di voce? A ritardando at the end? What is the tempo? If you can't answer these questions, a brush-up on music theory is in order.

Here is a great website for music theory: [Link](Mouse over link to see full location) .

Get a straw. Sit up straight, and have your feet on the floor-one slightly in front of the other. Try to do this in front of a mirror. Place the sraw in your mouth, and breathe in through the straw. Your back should widen as you breathe in, but your chest should not rise very much at all.

Say "sqeelo" (skweeloh) with an italian accent on one note and then move up and up until you hit the top of your range.

Sing, " Bumble bee-ee bumble bee-ee bumble bee-ee bumble-bee." Play this on the piano, starting on middle C, and play CE DF EG FA GB AC BD C. Play the notes similar to that pattern coming back down the scale.

Go to the higher part of your range and sing, " Ee-ooh-ee-ooh-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee," legato, full voice.

Here is a website full of tips and tricks. [Link](Mouse over link to see full location)

I highly recommend the book Singing for Dummies available at Borders and at Barnes and Noble. It comes with a CD that is really great with warm-ups, which are always good to practice.

HERE IS HOW TO BREATHE USING YOUR DIAPHRAGM!
Breathe in until you can't anymore, and then take another little breath of air in. But do it like this: Get a straw. Sit up straight, and have your feet on the floor-one slightly in front of the other. Try to do this in front of a mirror. Place the sraw in your mouth, and breathe in through the straw. Your back should widen as you breathe in, but your chest should not rise very much at all.

Then exhale on ssssss (like a snake). Repeat and exhale as you pant like a puppy. Halfway between your sternum and belly button is your epigastrium, and it should bounce as you do this.

Here are some relavent questions already asked on the site:
[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)
[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)
[Link](Mouse over link to see full location) (I copied this one for you, no need to reread my answer)
[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)
[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)
[Link](Mouse over link to see full location))
[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)
[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)
[Link](Mouse over link to see full location)

Q:i recently started taking voice lessons and my teacher said my voice sounds "cold" and is "too breathy" and i can't seem to fix it. i don't think i really understand and i need help figuring out how to acheive this. can anyone help me? thanks!

A:This means that your voice is not supported by your diaphragm. Try these exercises to improve drastically. It helps if you have a piano or a piano player. Also, ther are free online pitchpipes and pianos that you could use as well.

Ahh! DO NOT SUCK IN YOUR STOMACH OR STICK OUT YOUR CHEST!!

If you notice that you're singing with tension, get a piece of construction paper and hold it up to the bridge of your nose. Try to sing over it. My friend Eric had a similar predicament, and this is what he did, and now it's better, and his voice doesn't sound covered up.

Try this. It might be your problem. Also, be sure that you're breathing correctly. You should always have good posture. Attain this by bending over to touch your toes and rolling yourself up and your shoulders back.

Get a straw. Sit up straight, and have your feet on the floor-one slightly in front of the other. Try to do this in front of a mirror. Place the sraw in your mouth, and breathe in through the straw. Your back should widen as you breathe in, but your chest should not rise very much at all.

I hope I helped, and if you have more specific questions, plese feel free to ask!

You should always have good posture. Attain this by bending over to touch your toes and rolling yourself up and your shoulders back.

Get a straw. Sit up straight, and have your feet on the floor-one slightly in front of the other. Try to do this in front of a mirror. Place the sraw in your mouth, and breathe in through the straw. Your back should widen as you breathe in, but your chest should not rise very much at all.

Say "sqeelo" (skweeloh) with an italian accent on one note and then move up and up until you hit the top of your range.

Sing, " Bumble bee-ee bumble bee-ee bumble bee-ee bumble-bee." Play this on the piano, starting on middle C, and play CE DF EG FA GB AC BD C. Play the notes similar to that pattern coming back down the scale.

Go to the higher part of your range and sing, " Ee-ooh-ee-ooh-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee," legato, full voice.

Here is a website full of tips and tricks. [Link](Mouse over link to see full location)

I highly recommend the book Singing for Dummies available at Borders and at Barnes and Noble. It comes with a CD that is really great with warm-ups, which are always good to practice.

I think that this much info. should get you started.

I actually want to dedicate my life to helping others sing well, so drop me a line if you have any more quesitons or need other help.

[ Igotamonopoly's advice column | Ask Igotamonopoly A Question
]




Pheobe answered Thursday January 4 2007, 11:00 pm:
to work on your diaphram -
stand up totally straight - then bend over so that your back is completley flat ( like a table) if you want - you can use a wall to stablize yourself. then sing a note that you know you can hit. being in this position forces you to sing from your diaphram - and then you will know what it feels like.

to improve your range -
well first if you learn to properly breath your range will almost instantly get slightly bigger - and the rest comes from pratice -
sing a song thats "belty" a la christina aguleria perhaps? and after enough time - you'll be able to hit the notes. I've found that if you record yourself - you can hear exactly what your doing wrong- and then work on that particular area.
this will all strengthen your voice over time.


your throat is probably hurting because your not drinking enough - and dont drink cold water - its best to have it at room temperature

hope i helped!
best of luck!

Jenna

[ Pheobe's advice column | Ask Pheobe A Question
]



solidadvice4teens answered Thursday January 4 2007, 9:59 pm:
Hi,

The throat issues probably have a lot to do with not drinking enough fluids. If you are singing a-cappella especially or trying to belt things out you need to keep your throat lubricated by drinking lots of bottled water before a concert or going to the side of the stage for a bottle. If you see singers in live concerts go to the side of the stage for water it's to keep their voice solid and avoid the throat from drying up.

I think you need a voice coach as they will teach you how to sing what you want to acheive and take good care of your voice. Make sure you get a really good coach with years and years of experience by asking teachers involved in the performing arts or music about this.

[ solidadvice4teens's advice column | Ask solidadvice4teens A Question
]



runawayxlove answered Thursday January 4 2007, 8:37 pm:
hey, take singing lessons. they will know what to do for you =].

[ runawayxlove's advice column | Ask runawayxlove A Question
]
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