How to enhance your vocals

How to enhance your vocals

If you enjoy singing or are very curious about how to become better at it, itembo.com presents you with an interview with an experienced Vocalist, Pastor Linus Thomas, who shares how to take care of your vocal cords and how you can enhance your singing voices significantly.

Mr. Thomas citing Van Christy clarified that “not all sounds produced from the vocal cord are regarded as the singing voice.” Rather he defined the singing voice as “the elongation of the vowels and the extension of the pitch inflections.”

He also cited David Slater who defined the singing voice as “the voice that is full of resonance, well-directed, and well placed”.

Using the definitions above, he highlighted that there is a clear distinction between the spoken and singing voice.

“It is clear that singing is an emotional expression of voice with words and music, however for a voice to achieve its usefulness in singing situations, it must be trained, disciplined and properly taken care of to be an expressive instrument with adequate resonance,” he said.

Just as every other musical instrument needs attention and maintenance, it is important that the human voice receives regular attention and checks.

Rather than pay more attention to learning scales, hitting some high notes, spending money on services of other instruments, singers and musicians ought to pay attention to their vocal instrument – their voice.

It is paramount for singers to cherish and pamper their voices.

 STEPS ON TAKING CARE OF YOUR VOCAL HEALTH

Below are steps you should take to improve your vocal health according to Pastor Thomas

  • Sleep/rest well: lack of sufficient rest or sleep has a way of affecting your voice. If you are exhausted you will not have the energy to breathe properly while using your voice without straining it, which can cause vocal fatigue.
  • Take enough water: drink lots of water, preferably room temperature as cold water tends to freeze the vocal cord. The vocal cord vibrates several hundred times per second when you speak, and even more when you sing. Water helps to lubricate and protect your vocal cord as it vibrates.
  • Eat normally and wisely - a well-balanced diet.
  • Do not overeat on the day of recital.
  • Avoid intoxicants, smoking, and hard drugs as they ruin the vocal cords.
  • Obtain regular, open-air but not strenuous exercise.
  • If you have any infection in your lungs, stop singing until the infections heal.
  • Start treatment of colds or sore throats on time.
  • Have infected teeth and chronically infected tonsils or adenoids removed by a good surgeon.
  • Vocal warm-up - warming up your voice before singing stretches your vocal cords and helps clear your throat. Stretching out your body is important as it helps relax your muscles before singing.

Lip Trills are one of the ways the vocal cord can be strengthened. it is basically gently blowing air through closed lips, keeping them relaxed and singing an "uhh" vowel sound underneath. It is an important element of good singing because overtime your singing and voice control becomes steady.

Another good way of strengthening your vocal cord is by gliding through a straw. this is done by blowing air through a small stirring straw while phonating glides up and down through your range. Just like the lip trill, it is usually draining and boring from the start.

The panting style is another way of strengthening one's vocal cord. This time the upper and lower lips open in the opposite directions with the tongue a little bit out while panting like a dog. When you do this you will discover some forms of dryness/dehydration in your throat or vocal cord. It helps in your breath control.

Breath control is usually highly instrumental in strengthening the vocal chord. This is done by holding a note (s) when performing. So, it is important to learn how to sustain a sound or note. Many times I do this by holding my breath for a minute or even more, and by the time you do this over and over again you discover you are good at it.

Regular bodily exercise and aerobics help you with the proper energy and stamina to stand and sing. It helps you sing with energy from note to note.

Again, to help your vocal chord to be stronger and ready for use is to not overuse your voice, know when its time to stop and rest. One of the ways to know this besides the obvious signs of pain in the throat, hoarseness, or fatigue is being able to sense what your voice needs.

Practice correctly, and regularly. It is one thing to practice, it is another to practice rightly. Regular practice is absolutely necessary for maintenance. You have to keep up regular vocal exercise - be disciplined and deliberate about it, otherwise you can lose your vocal technique and end up having to rebuild it.

Hiring a vocal coach is good. Speaking from experience, I’ve realized that having a good voice coach cannot be overemphasized. This is simply because a voice coach would correct you appropriately whenever you are wrong. In other words, doing all the above training with a coach around you is of great importance.

It is also very important I mention here that doing music in its general sense is all about discipline. If you are not disciplined and deliberate about your singing and music culture, then, I make bold to say that YOU CANNOT FLY. I’ve seen people over the years desiring to sing or play one instrument or the other but are not ready to go through these routines.

Finally, to enhance our vocals Pastor Thomas advises that the following steps should be taken:

  • Open your mouth: if you want to project and be heard, you need to open your mouth. It sounds very simple, but many people do not practice this. I know a number of times when I would have to fight with my choristers to open their mouths wide and coordinated in order to have the desired output.
  • Build self-confidence: a lot of choristers I know are gifted with good voices most times always end up on the bench because they lack the confidence to project their vocal abilities. Feel good about yourself, your ideas, and your value/worth, and express yourself without sounding arrogant, fake, or compromising on your style or personality.
  • Good diction: work on your pronunciation of words. Discover how to express yourself clearly and introduce yourself with ease.
  • Do away with stage fright: when you allow fear to overwhelm you on stage you cannot be able to deliver. Fear is one thing that cages a lot of people and stops them from bringing out their best. I was a victim of stage fright many years ago until Jesus delivered me I was not able to do anything for many years.
  • Be humble: I was a backup singer for many years until it was time for me to start leading. My backup period was a period of incubation and grooming. I was drilled and subjected to discipline and instruction. Many people want to lead but are not ready to learn. Good leadership begins with a good follower-ship. It is good to go through training and what I call musical discipleship.

itembo.com hopes that as you practice these tips you begin to notice positive changed in your singing voice.

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user image 2020-09-03
By: salome.nuhu
Posted in: Health

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