Step up your vocal game
A lot of people get frustrated and go through different trainers, coaches, and teachers, but never really quite get to the place where they feel comfortable with their voices and bodies. But what if I told you that there are 7 easy things you can do right now to quickly improve your voice? In this article, So today I want to give you 7 physical tips and mindset hacks that you can implement right now that will help you stay at the top of your vocal game.
Tip #1: Own It
One of the most important things you can do to quickly improve your voice: own it. What do I mean by that? Well, it’s actually very simple to explain. Presenting your voice in front of people – no matter how large or small the audience or venue – is a conscious decision made by you and you alone.
Because the reality is that unless someone is actually paying money to see you perform or speak, most people don’t really care if you sing or speak or not. Think about that for a moment, because it’s this realization that can be a powerful and liberating factor for your mindset, giving you greater vocal freedom. In other words, by just saying „fuck it“, you can achieve far more with your voice than you ever thought possible.
So if you make the decision to put yourself out there like that, then do it with passion and without fear. Your voice will follow your lead.
Tip #2: Relax
Another important mindset hack that you can implement fairly quickly: relax. I know that’s easier said than done, but consider that fear, anxiety, anger, and so on are all negative emotions that can lead to muscle tension and eventually vocal stress.
Research shows that deep breathing periodically throughout the day helps you relax by lowering your stress levels and improving your focus.
So before you enter into a situation where you have to use your voice for an extended period of time, take one or two minutes to close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
Tip #3: Voice Up, Head Down
When we raise our voices in volume or pitch, the natural tendency is to tilt our heads back and sing or speak toward the sky. This activation of the muscles in the neck can lead to vocal tension over time.
To relieve this tension, it’s important to try to keep your head in a neutral position, so try tilting your head down instead of up while singing or speaking high pitches.
This downward tilting of the head tends to automatically shift the energy focus from your throat into your face, therefore reducing strain on your voice. To demonstrate how this works, try tilting your head up and saying the vowel sound „eee“. Now as you say the vowel, tilt your head down. You’ll notice that the lower you tilt your head, the less strain you feel in your throat.
Another way to keep your head neutral without thinking about it is to literally shake your head while singing. This has the effect of helping you avoid excess strain in your neck muscles, because it’s exactly those muscles that are involved in the movement of your head, and it’s very difficult to move your head with a stiff neck.
Tip #4: Perform Sirens
In the fitness world, dynamic warmups (where the body is in constant motion) have been shown to be very effective in comparison to static warmups. where the body pretty much stays put.
One of the best dynamic warmups you can do for your voice is the siren (also known as a glissando), where you slide your voice up and down through its entire range. I did a video on vocal dynamics called „the 3D voice“, in which I use this exercise.
As a vocal warmup, performing sirens by humming, with lip or tongue trills, or vowel sounds is more effective than singing scales, since the larynx is always in motion, as opposed to the static movement involved in typical scale singing.
Tip #5: Do Something Physical
I created the VOXXBODY® workout to show people how physical fitness and vocal training go hand in hand. Moving your body while warming up your voice is an excellent way to quickly prepare your voice for a performance or presentation by increasing the heart rate and blood flow to the muscles, including those muscles involved with your voice.
Head rolls, light stretching, exercises like pushups or jump-rope hops, planks or simply walking around the room are also great ways to prepare the voice for action.
Tip # 6: Volume ≠ Power
This tip is a mindset hack that involves understanding that VOLUME does not equal POWER. All that means is that for voice to be powerful it doesn’t necessarily have to be loud, but it has to make an impact. A good example of this is Billie Eilish; a singer with a very soft voice that leaves a huge impression on the listener.
One of the most effective tools in any vocalist’s arsenal is the ability to make your audience think you’re singing or speaking louder than you actually are. This is achieved by learning how to control your vocal ‚color‘ or ‘timbre’. Consider this: Have you ever winced when hearing a high-pitched sound, even if the sound was far away or it wasn’t very loud? Of course, you have! It’s simple physics: higher frequency sounds are perceived as louder by the human ear than lower frequency sounds.
So, the brighter your voice is, the less energy you need to expend to be heard.
Tip # 7: Make Silly Faces
The vast majority of successful vocalists and athletes have a common trait; their facial muscles are far more active while performing than in normal speech.
Articulation is one of the keys to good technique; so don’t be afraid of looking a little weird while performing, as long as your silly faces are not an indication of vocal strain or discomfort. Remember: It’s better to sound good than to look good.
Do What You Gotta Do
So I hope you now have a better understanding of what you can do to quickly improve your voice, but that’s just one small part of the bigger picture. These tips are just a jump-off point; understand that it takes time to develop skill and achieve mastery, be in singing or in sports. If you’re looking for a program that incorporates all of the vocal and fitness tips that I give you here, please check out my VOXXBODY® workout by clicking the link here in the video or in the description below. See you guys again soon!
More tutorial videos on my YouTube channel