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ArtistWorks Vocal School Lessons: Are You Straining to Sing?

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It's not uncommon as you go for
singing songs that have wider
ranges to run into strain.
Strain basically is, as you, I'm sure,
have experienced,
when you feel like muscles are pulling up,
you feel like you're pushing against a
ceiling in order to get that higher note.
There's two aspects to this reality.
One is mental, the other is physical.
And you might ask which comes first, the
chicken or the egg.
They way you're thinking, or the
We've covered a number of aspects of this,
within the head and chest voice dilemma.
The beginning of the last section of vocal
exercises I spoke about register break and
what that really is.
Right now we're just going to take a look
at one
very particular area that is so common.
We've touched on a little bit.
We're gonna draw it front and center now,
that has to do with thinking up for pitch.
These next series of exercises will help
you in the journey,
to think of sound just as sound and not
reach up or down.
When you're reaching up, it's as though
you yourself don't own the sound.
To dramatize it would be like, you,
there's a note coming up and you go oh,
please, I hope I can get it, and you sort
of mentally leap to get it,
and the body responds to that thought as
though it needs to
pull everything up to get a sound that's
somewhere above your head.
Or on the, on a, on a, you know, like, a
kid reaching for
a cookie jar on the top shelf.
The fact of the matter is all the sound is
made inside your body
by the different speeds of vibrations of
your vocal folds.
Those will happen mechanically for you.
If you haven't exercised your body
properly, of course,
as we've already spoken about.
The muscles will have a difficult time
doing what actually innately they have.
It's part of their character, you just
need to get them moving for you.
This is one of the reasons why at this
point we're not dealing with volume or
projection of your voice, and we're not
dealing with different tonal
characteristics and all that good stuff.
We're building towards that so
that those aspects come really easily and
If you're still straining to sing,
all the other aspects to vocal
characteristic, becomes very difficult.
So I'm taking you on a step-by-step
journey, as you've already so
far experienced, so that we're building
building towards a full release of your
So that you can use it however you want to
express it, no matter what,
whether you're using it professionally,
whether you're using it just for
pleasure, backup singers, choir singers,
it doesn't matter.
It should be fun to use your voice.
Now, there are ways of thinking about
For example, if you think forward.
And I don't mean pushing forward,
I mean just your thought is kind of
leveling out forward.
One of the reasons, now, for thinking
about the rib cage expansion or
keeping your concentration on that
expansion as you do the vocal exercising
is because it is
a way of thinking lower in the body so
you're not reaching up.
It helps to disengage any last aspects of
habit along that line.
Hopefully by now, your rib case expansion
is really good and
you're getting a lot of mileage from its
That being the hopeful case,
I'm not telling you to think about your
ribs because you need to in order to keep
them expanded, but rather to help change
your way of thinking
regarding sound and different pitches and
different aspects of your range.
Once again, each of the vocal
exercises that I'm providing you with will
initiate their own volume.
If you sing past that, you'll be trying to
get something that
the exercise is not actually naturally
designed to give you and
as a result, that will cause muscle
So just let the vocal exercise give you
the volume.
As your voice develops,
there maybe more natural volume that will
come from these exercises.
Let your voice develop.
You may wonder at this point, is it
appropriate for
you to go on to these next vocal exercises
and how should you be practicing.
As we've already gone through an earlier
compatible family of vocal exercises, you
simply need to be familiar
enough with them, that you're not feeling
like you're darting around and just,
kind of, checking out a few exercises and
going on and checking out a few exercises,
we want these exercises to actually help
develop your voice.
Those earlier exercises in, in this
complimentary section
will help you to do these next ones, so
spend the amount of time you need to, make
sure you're rib cage expansion is fine.
You should be continuing,
still, to practice the earlier two rib
cage exercises.
We're not quite done with that.
And a little bit later I'll give you some
explanation, and and,
and provide you with a way of determining
whether it's time to move on and
let go of the ribcage exercise two and
So don't worry about that, just keep
practicing those now in,
in conjunction with the vocal exercises.
Okay, let's get started.