Your vocal health is an important part of being a singer. When you have a strong voice and use it frequently to perform, you need to be sure that you are practicing proper vocal training to keep up with the demands of being a singer as well as keeping the voice healthy. Part of keeping those vocal folds and vocal cords in their best shape should be executing the frequent strengthening of your voice.
When singing, the vocal techniques you learn and the amount you practice play a large part in helping with voice strength. Here we will explore some of the best methods, exercises, and techniques that should be utilized to help strengthen your singing voice.
One of the most important aspects of being a singer should be properly warming up the vocal cords. Warm-ups involve helping to slowly “wake up” and stretch the voice, much like how you would stretch and warm-up your body before running. Proper warm-ups set your voice up to strengthen multiple parts. Stretching the voice helps both the chest voice and head voice because the transition between the two becomes more seamless and effortless when the voice is warm.
Some popular and helpful warm-ups include, but are not limited to: sirens, where you softly stretch the voice starting from a low note and reaching high notes without straining; vowel sounds, where you work on climbing the scales to open up your vocal range; lip trills to loosen the lips, which is another part of the body that needs to be flexible for proper singing. Warm-ups are a great way to work at strengthening the voice, especially when you practice them every day.
Airflow is another important part of strengthening the voice and can also be part of warm-ups. Breathing is how the voice becomes supported, and for those who wish to perform as a professional singer, breath support is extremely important. Holding notes is common when performing and learning how to properly execute diaphragm breathing techniques in practice that will support the voice sound and deliver strong, even tone is great for maintaining a healthy set of pipes. Proper breathing can make all the difference in singing and can reveal the difference between a beautiful, strong and full voice and one that is not supported with proper breathing.
Straw phonation is a relatively innovative way in which to practice proper breathing for singers. The straw needs to be metal, no plastic can be used, and the idea is to use the breath to push the sound out through the little hole. This breathing exercise is the mark of a great singer and with the proper breath support, you can hit, sustain and deliver notes with little effort as it gets easier the more you practice.
Like warm-ups, certain singing exercises are perfect to help with learning how to sing with a strong voice. The exercises could almost be the same as vocal warm-ups, but vocal exercises can be more extensive and focused on certain parts of the voice. Exercises go in a little more depth and help to look at vocal problems that you may be experiencing and addressing them.
Some specific exercises you could perform are relaxing the soft palate or concentrating on vibrato. Maybe you utilize too much vibrato when you sing, so you want to exercise to change the tone of your voice to help use less of it. Maybe you push air out too hard while singing and lose your breath, or have a more nasally sound because you don’t have proper support. You can look at exclusive vocal exercises that address these problems.
Last but definitely not least, one thing that should not be compromised and ultimately will be the first step when wanting to execute proper vocal strength is working with a voice teacher or one of our NYC-based singing coaches. Teachers can not only assist in helping to strengthen your singing voice but know how to do so properly and safely so that you do not expose yourself to potential future vocal issues.
They can also introduce you to new ways of warming up, how to become more versatile and how to change your voice to fit your style.
Vocal coaches and trainers have extensive knowledge about the voice, vocal anatomy, and the best singing tips on how to reach higher notes in your vocal register through proper techniques. They can help you to address voice habits and improper training that you may have received in the past, including when and how to properly care for the voice, such as taking vocal rest so as not to strain or damage your vocal cords. Taking singing lessons will give you the best opportunity to put your voice to practice and strengthen it the best way.
Having a healthy voice means having a strengthened voice, without the risk of strain. Proper warm-ups, breathing, vocal exercises and work with a professional can help you to identify issues within your own voice and give you the tools to help improve your vocals to their best.