How Do I Sing Better? Creating A Focused Tone.

July 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Singing Lessons

Hi.  Ian Castle here.  Welcome to your free weekly singing lesson and mp3 download.

Today I want to teach you how to sing with a focused vocal tone.
First we need to determine the difference between a focused and unfocused tone.
Your tone can be affected by many things.  In a previous video lesson I showed you how your jaw can affect how your voice sounds.  If it holds tension or gets stuck in one place it will affect your tone in a bad way.
The same can be said about your tongue.  If you hold tension in your tongue or have it in the wrong position when you sing it will cause your tone to become distorted and unfocused.
Refer To The Video For A Demonstration
In that demonstration I applied tension to my tongue and made it move back in my mouth.
Now I want to demonstrate how a relaxed and forward tongue will create a much more focused and better sounding tone.
Refer To The Video For A Demonstration.
Could you hear the difference?
Keeping your tongue forward in your mouth creates space in your throat and the perfect shape for your sound to form your natural vocal tone.
The mp3 exercise I am going to share with you goes like this:
Refer To Video For A Demonstration.
The Y or YUH sound at the beginning of each vowel will help to keep your tongue in the perfect position and shape to create a focused and natural vocal tone.
You can access the downloadable mp3 of that exercise at my blog.  You can find a link to it in the resource area below.
That’s it for this weeks free singing lesson and mp3.  I’ll be back soon with another lesson for you.  Bye for now.

Resources

An Exercise For Creating A Focused Tone:

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Download The Exercise (Right click and save).

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How To Improve Mixed Voice

June 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Singing Lessons

Hi.  Ian Castle here.  Welcome to your Free Weekly Singing Lesson.

This video is part four of my absolute beginner series.  In the previous three lessons you have learned how find your tone, develop your pitch and discover your high notes.

Today I am going to show you how to connect your low and high notes by using mix voice.

I don’t want to get too technical in this series so I will make it as easy as I can to explain what mix voice is.

Mix voice is a mixture of sound between your throat and your head.  The sound vibrates in both these areas to create a mixed tone.

The best way to experience this part of your voice is to hold an NG sound.

Refer to video for demonstration.

To make this sound say the word sing and hold the NG at the end.

Refer to video for demonstration.

To make sure that you are creating a mixed sound place your fingers gently on your throat and the bridge of your nose.

Refer to video for demonstration.

Ok so now that you have the sound vibrating in the right areas it’s time to move to the next step, adding a vowel.

Refer to video for demonstration.

The goal here is to maintain the same sensations and vibrations that you sense and feel with the NG sound and slowly melt into the vowel.

I suggest keeping your fingers on your throat and nose as you do this exercise to make sure that you are maintaining the mixed sound.

I’m going to share with you one of my best exercises for mixed voice that you can practice with by yourself.

Refer to video for demonstration.

I am singing the 5 major vowels and maintaining the mixed sound throughout each vowel.

I am going to record a full mp3 of this exercise for you.  You can access it in the resources area below.

That’s it for this weeks lesson.  Please leave me a comment and I’ll be back soon with another video and mp3.  Bye for now.

Resources

Mixed Voice Mp3 Exercise

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Download The Exercise (Right click and save)

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Vocal Cord Closure and Connection

June 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Singing Lessons

Welcome to your free weekly singing lesson.

This week I want to focus on proper vocal cord closure and coordination.
So what is vocal cord closure and why is it so important for singing?
When we sing and speak our vocal cords come together and as the air passes through them sound is created.
If our vocal cords don’t come together there will be a lot of space between our cords for the air to pass through.  This will create a very breathy tone.
The result would be similar to a whisper.
So, how does all of this relate to singing?  One of the biggest and most common problems I see is singers losing connection as they sing higher notes.  The result is usually a very obvious break followed by a flip into falsetto like this:
Refer to the video for a demonstration.
I know how frustrating and embarrassing that can be because it used to happen to me all the time.
I’m going to share with you some tips and an exercise that you can use to train your vocal cords to stay connected.
First, what I want you to do is take a breath through your mouth, then hold your breath with your mouth open.
Refer to the video for a demonstration.
After you have done that I want you to vocalize an “OH”.
Refer to the video for a demonstration.
When you hold your breath with an open mouth position your vocal cords have to close to stop the air escaping.  This puts them in a completely connected position.  By vocalizing a vowel from this closed position it makes it very hard for your voice to flip into falsetto because you are starting from a connected position.  Does that make sense?
I’ll slow the process right down for you to demonstrate how the vocal cords gradually unzip to create a pure connected sound.
Refer to the video for a demonstration.
Before I move to the vocal exercise I just want to point out a very common mistake that singers make when singing words that start with a vowel.
I was working with one of my private students on a song from the musical Chicago.  The phrase goes like this:
“Think of those autographs I’ll sign”
On the word “Autographs” she was putting a H in front of the vowel, so it ended up sounding like this:
“Think of those hautographs I’ll sign”
She wasn’t aware that she was doing it and as you can hear it creates a very breathy and unconnected tone.  The way we fixed it was exactly what I showed you earlier doing the breathing in, holding and vocalizing a vowel, technique.  It worked straight away and got rid of the breathy tone.
Be careful if you have words which start with a vowel in your own songs.  Make sure you aren’t putting a H in front of it because you will lose connection.
To finish with I want to share with you an exercise that you can use to train you vocal cords to stay connected through your range.
Refer to the video for a demonstration
Notice that I wasn’t trying to sing too loud and my tone was quite edgy.  I was basically doing the exercise I showed you earlier, just over a series of notes.  Each note should be short, with time for your cords to close between each note.
I’m going to provide you with an mp3 of this exercise on my blog that you can use to practice with.
That’s it for this weeks lesson.  Download the mp3 exercise.  You can find the link below.
I’m Ian Castle.  Thanks for watching and I’ll be back next week with another lesson.

Resources

Vocal Cord Connection Exercise

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Download The Mp3 – - – Right Click and Save

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Online Singing Lesson: Improving Tone And Power By Releasing Your Jaw

June 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Singing Lessons

Hi.  Ian Castle here!  Welcome to your Free Weekly Singing Lesson.

I know it’s been a while since I uploaded one of these videos but sometimes I have to step away from the camera and focus on other areas of my life!

This week I want to focus on vocal tone and power and how your jaw plays a major role in both these areas.

I’ve chosen this topic because it is something that I have been noticing a lot with my private students lately.

Your jaw needs to be relaxed and tension free to allow your voice to function properly.   A lot of singers hold tension in their jaw and aren’t even aware of it.

Watch yourself in a mirror when you sing.  Does your jaw move or is it stuck in one position?  If you can see your bottom row of teeth this is a sure sign that you are holding tension.

I’m going to demonstrate the difference in both tone quality and power when I sing with a locked jaw and a released jaw.

When you watch the video demonstration above notice that my tone was very pressed and quite nasal when singing with a locked jaw.  It makes sense.  If there isn’t enough space for your sound to escape through your mouth then some sound will be forced to your nasal area.

Watch and listen as I sing the same phrase with a released jaw.

Can you hear the tone quality improve?  What about the clarity of my words?

Next I want to show you how dropping your jaw will increase the power of your voice.  I will sing a big note with both a locked jaw and a released jaw to show you the difference.  Please refer to the video for the demonstrations.

I can tell you the second one felt so much easier.

A lot of singers confuse dropping their jaw with widening their jaw.

Watch the demonstrations in the video above to see the difference between the two.

Widening your jaw and mouth will create tension both in your jaw and your neck.  Dropping your jaw actually reduces tension in your neck and helps to keep your larynx low.

A great exercise to develop this dropped position is YA.

I’m going to show you how it should look and sound so make sure you watch the video above.

I’m going to provide you with an mp3 of this exercise  that you can use to practice with.  I’m going to do this with a lot of my video lessons now so that you can create a compilation of mp3 exercises to improve your singing.

That’s it for this weeks lesson.  Download the mp3 below to get your mp3 collection started.  I’ll be back next week with another lesson and mp3.

Your Coach,

Ian Castle

Resources

An Mp3 exercise for releasing tension in your jaw.

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Download The Mp3 –Right click and save.

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Online Vocal Lesson: Vocal Placement

March 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Singing Lessons

In today’s online vocal lesson I am going to show you how to experience your different vocal registers by using physical sensations.

Please leave your comments and questions below.

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How Can I Sing Better: How To Sing In Head Voice

March 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Singing Tips

How Can I Sing Better?  This is a question I get asked all the time.

In this video I am going to show you how to sing in head voice and improve the tone of your voice.

Please leave your comments and questions below.

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Vocal Lesson Online: How To Sing In Head Voice

March 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Singing Lessons

In today’s vocal lesson I am going to take you through a system that will show you how to sing in head voice.

Please leave your comments and questions below.

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How Can You Learn To Sing: Discovering Your High Notes

March 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Singing Lessons

How Can You Learn To Sing?

In today’s singing lesson I am going to teach you how to increase your vocal range. This lesson is part three of my beginner learn to sing video series.

Please leave your comments and questions below.

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How Do U Sing: 3 Ways To Sing Better

March 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Singing Tips

How Do U Sing?

Today I want to share with you three of my favourite techniques to improve the sound of your voice.

Maybe you have a decent vocal range and breathing isn’t a problem but you are still unhappy with the tone of your voice.

These techniques will help to improve the clarity of your words and eliminate a breathy or muddy tone.

Please post your comments and questions below.

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How Can You Sing Better? Project Your Voice

March 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Singing Lessons

Singers always want to know “How Can You Sing Better?”

I come from an operatic background. I have sung in theatres which hold 2000 people. In the classical world microphones are rarely used so you have to project your voice to the audience members way up the back of the theatre.  What I am going to do today is take some classical techniques and apply them to modern singing.

Please leave your questions and comments below.

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