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ArtistWorks Vocal School Lessons: Rib Cage Exercise 2

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Now we get into the real
excitement of your vocal technique.
Believe me, it really gets exciting.
It is a little bit of drudgery at first
because you know,
you have to exercise some things.
But it's worth it, I'm going to be your
And I will remind you of the good things
doing these exercises will give you as you
move along.
Again, I don't expect for
you to be practicing for weeks and first
start finding that you have results.
You'll start seeing results.
As I hope you already have,
with each step of practicing these next 2
exercises we're gonna get into.
Okay, so this is rib cage exercise 2.
You've been practicing what I consider to
be kind of more of an introduction right,
that first rib cage exercise, stretching
the back.
Mobilizing the muscles that move your rib
cage and now that we have covered what
the problem and its solution is, we start
implementing it.
Just to tell you how to, that this is what
you should do isn't gonna work.
We need exercises that help you to
The actual we'll call it musculature
really of your body,
essentially your rib cage muscles, so
that you can maintain the rib cage
expansion as you're singing.
So we're taking this step by step and
you'll, this will become very evident to
you as we move forward.
First thing, you were doing that first
ribcage exercise.
Now what we're going to do is move you
forward so
you're no longer gonna do that first
ribcage exercise.
But the second exercise actually uses the
beginning of the first one you were doing.
So you in fact already know the first
Of this new one.
I'm gonna bring Novi back on.
And she'll help me demonstrate this for
So, like I said,
this is the this is that ribcage exercise
And the first part of it you already know.
I'm gonna go through a sketch of it for
So it's open mouth, palms forward.
You don't have to totally do this, but I
just want them, want to show this.
So you count to six here, no breathing.
Then you're gonna keep your ribs strong
and bring your arms down.
Do not exhale.
And work on keeping those ribcage muscles
strong to keep your ribs expanded for
a silent count to six.
Then you are going to put a hand on your
chest, one on your belly,
not too low though, keep the ribs out,
tiny inhale, the belly will pop forward.
I'm going to show from the side.
Keeping the ribs strong, tiny exhale the
belly comes in, keep the ribs strong,
tiny inhale, the belly pops forward,
Strengthen the ribs, tiny exhale.
Strengthen the ribs, tiny inhale.
Strengthen the ribs, tiny exhale.
Strengthen the ribs, then arms come down
and ribs fall.
This exercise, as you can see, is the
first time that you're actually going
to use the strength of your rib muscles to
keep those ribs lifted.
The point of the final section where
you're doing those little breaths.
It acts as a we'll call it a challenge to
your ribcage muscles.
Because every time that you either inhale
or exhale, the diaphragm is activating,
for the first time being kept stretched,
it's moving.
And you want to get to a point where that
diaphragm can move naturally when
you sing.
Without tugging your ribs down.
So this is doing it pre making sound.
Make sense?
So now let's go through it together.
Okay, open your mouth, turn your palms
Take this slow.
Stretch, pull your arms out let your ribs
Close the arch and palms come flat
together, keeping your mouth still open.
Do not breathe, two, three, four, five.
Strengthen those ribs.
Bring your arms down.
Do not exhale.
Keep those ribs strong.
Try to relax stomach if you can.
Hand on chest, one on stomach.
Keep those ribs strong.
Tiny inhale.
Strengthen the ribs.
Tiny exhale.
Strengthen the ribs.
Tiny inhale.
Strengthen the ribs.
Tiny exhale.
Strengthen the ribs, tiny inhale, hold,
strengthen the ribs, tiny exhale.
All right now bring your arms down and
ribs fall.
All right, now,
sometimes it's really helpful to have
someone put their hands.
On you right here.
Here's the shoulder blades.
You don't wanna have the person put their
hands up there, but rather just below
on the part of your sides that's starting
to curve towards the front.
This is where you have the strongest part
of your lateral muscles.
And they're there to help your ribs so
you're going to be strengthening these
You may feel it in other places, but this
is where the focus should be.
Another thing you can do from time to
time, when you're first
getting accustomed to this, is you can
take your hands like this.
Turn them backwards.
Put the backs of your fingers on your
See how they, where they touch?
And then, only give it back, all the way
back, please.
Thank you.
Okay, now expand the ribs, pushing your
ribs out against your hands.
See how that moved?
Okay, let them fall.
Good, do it again.
Now, this isn't taking a breath.
This is actually using the muscles to lift
these bones.
And let them fall.
So, that's an additional technique that
you can use from time to time as you're
doing the exercise.
Or as you're going through the course of
your day and
you want to go, "Can I do that?",
And you just put your hands there and push
Okay now, with this exercise, of course
there's a few important points.
One of them.
Has to do with your s-,
Your stomach, that's here [LAUGH].
>> [LAUGH]
>> And your shoulders are here,
not the other way around.
And, so with the shoulders you'll probably
they all tend to shrug at first when
you're like okay, how do I.
How do I keep these ribs open and you're
trying to figure it out.
So don't worry about that.
The stronger that you get those sides,
which will happen only by your repetitions
doing this exercise,
the stronger you get the sides the easier
it is to just let those shoulders relax.
You can think of your shoulders.
This helped me when I was first figuring
this all out.
I, I used to think of my shoulders like a
tablecloth and it just sort of draped
on top of this wide base, which was the
rib cage expansion.
And it just really helped me to relax.
The other thing, oh and
by the way the shoulders have absolutely
nothing to do with raising your rib cage.
You can do it separately and it won't
effect your ribs in the slightest.
Stomach muscles also will not help you
raise the ribs.
However, most of us at least are pretty.
You know, aware of the belly, especially
us ladies.
We try to hold it in.
But it's very important to leave that
You may not be able to in the beginning.
Don't worry.
You'll sort it through as long as you know
what your goals are.
So goals are, strengthen the rib cage
muscles so that you can keep them.
Lifted from the sides of the back, stomach
relaxed, shoulders relaxed.
Keeping that mouth open through the
exercise really helps also.
Okay now we're going to go through it all
together and
this will be your instruction.
Now is your turn.
We're gonna go through this exercise a few
And again use the speed that Novia is
using as you mirror her actions.
You probably won't be perfect.
Go through the paces, and each time that
you do it, it'll get better.
Here we go.
Head level.
Stand with even weight on both feet.
Legs straight down from your hips.
Mouth open.
Turn your palms forward.
All right.
Make sure they're forward and
not hyper-extended, going too far back.
Take this slow.
Whatever air comes in, comes in.
Stomach stays relaxed, stretch those arms.
Mouth again stays open, palms flat
Silently count to six, stomach relaxed.
Four, five, six.
Strengthen the ribs, arms comes down.
Try to keep those ribs lifted as you do
it, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Hand on chest, hand on stomach.
Keep those wrists strong, tiny inhale.
Hold, strengthen the ribs, tiny exhale.
Hold, strengthen the ribs, tiny inhale.
Hold, strengthen the ribs, tiny exhale.
Hold, strengthen the ribs, tiny inhale.
Hold, strengthen the ribs, tiny exhale.
Hold, strengthen the ribs, lower your arms
by your sides.
Now let the sides of your ribs come down.
That was probably a workout.
[LAUGH] See we're cheering you on here.
Wait until you can sing with your ribcage
It is really cool.
That's my little cheerleader moment.
[LAUGH] It is really cool.
Okay, let's do it again.
Standing on both feet.
Mouth open, palms forward.
Take the slow stretch, stomach stays
relaxed, a little air comes in.
It'll be enough.
Palms flat together.
Feel that stretch.
3, 4, 5.
Strengthen the ribs, arms come down, try
to keep those ribs lifted,
don't let them fall.
2, 3, 4, 5, 6 hand on chest hand on
Keep the ribs strong, tiny inhale.
Hold, tiny exhale.
Hold, tiny inhale.
Hold, tiny exhale.
Hold, tiny inhale.
Hold, tiny exhale.
Hold, keep the ribs strong, arms come
down, let those ribs fall.
Take a breath, give yourself a moment.
We'll do one more.
Okay, you ready?
Mouth open.
Palms forward.
Take it slow.
Feel that stretch.
Feel that stretch, your arms are the first
thing that pull open those ribs.
2, 3, 4.
Stomach relaxed.
5, 6 keep the ribs strong.
Arms come down.
It's kinda like a corkscrew and the ribs
stay up.
3, 4, 5, 6 hand on chest hand on stomach.
Ribs stay strong.
Tiny inhale.
Hold the ribs.
Tiny exhale.
Keep those ribs strong.
Tiny inhale.
All right hold the ribs.
Tiny exhale.
Tiny inhale.
Hold the ribs, tiny exhale, all right,
bring your arms down, and ribs fall.
So, that's three.
Now, we're gonna take a look at what your
practice routine should be.
Let's take a look at
how to practice this exercise.
This exercise also should be done three
sets, ten repetitions per set,
just like the first ribcage exercise you
So again, that's 30 repetitions.
It'll take a little longer cuz there's a
few more steps, but
it's not that much longer.
It's really just a number of seconds.
So in order to get this done, remember to
schedule yourself with enough time.
If you only for example,
schedule ten minutes, you won't get all
three sets done obviously.
So, right now give yourself I'd say about
25 minutes to get all three sets done.
When you're first getting familiar with
it, it might take a little bit longer
because I also want you to go back to the
prior lesson where you can go
through the exercise, watching Novie and
matching or mirroring the amount of
speed that she used and then, you know, do
it on your own.
You'll also find most likely that playing
some nice music in the background is
helpful and it feels relaxed.
Don't play fast music.
And you might also wanna make sure that
it's instrumental and
not vocal, cuz sometimes, you know,
us singers tend to really listen to vocals
when they're being played, ya?
But also, try to get this done first thing
in the day, so
that the day could go crazy, but you still
know you've gotten it done.
This is really well worth your while to
get your practice time in,
because, guess what, this exercise,
as well as the one that follows it, will
not be your lifelong buddies.
You do them to the point where you can
implement the results.
And that means that you're able to
comfortably keep the ribs expanded
as you're singing, and of course,
we'll get into vocal exercises that use
rib cage expansion as well.
A lot of them but that's, that's our goal,
is to be able to comfortably
keep those ribs expanded while you're
singing, be able to move really easily.
In fact I always found that keeping ribs
expanded while singing makes it
easier to move because I'm not trying to
control everything to get the best sound,
the rib cage expansion really ends up
handling a whole lot of difficulties,
problems, barriers, et cetera that you may
have been running into.
So, this is really quite a solution.
Okay, so, we've gotten three sets, right?
Each day, please.
Okay, you can take a day off each week for
good behavior or something.
But, watch out about that, because if you
take, you know, a day or two off,
sometimes it's harder to get back into the
routine unless you're a really
disciplined person who can go,
okay, I, I was, you know, just took two
days off but I'm back on the stick now.
Again, this won't take long.
It's a matter of weeks, and then you're
done with this exercise.
Let's not drag it out.
Play music, do it early in the day, check
yourself with the earlier lesson,
mirror a Novie, get accustomed to the
And the other thing is there's a second
exercise that we're gonna get into but I
want you to practice this one for
at least a week before you start the next
So if you feel like you need a little
longer that's okay.
And there may be, in fact, you know, some
other videos you can watch in
with other students who have maybe, you
know, gone faster than you were,
they started earlier than you and they
sent me in a video to take a look at and
critique and you can see what I've given
them, how do they do it, you know, oh,
you have the same problem.
Oh, that's how I should solve it.
You know that kind of thing.
But after you've practice this and when
you feel confident that you're
doing the best you might be able to do or
if you've really wanted to snag,
that checking the earlier directions and
other student videos does not solve,
then feel free to video yourself doing it,
and send that video in to me for critique.