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How to Sing Better, Advice from Celebrity Voice & Performance Coach Jeannie Deva

I like to keep things simple: Singing better simply means to be able to do more of the things you want to do with your voice and to do them reliably. True, it usually includes things like singing with more range, better tone, stamina, passion, volume and power as well as singing in tune and without pain. But most importantly, that you can use your singing voice freely and express yourself musically in the ways you intend.

Your Body, Your Instrument

Since your body is your instrument, your voice needs the right kinds of exercise and approach to bring it up to peak performance. On the other hand, you may not really need or want to reach your full potential. That’s OK. Whatever degree of improvement satisfies your singing goal, that’s adequate. And that’s what I consider the purpose and goal of technique – to sing what you want to sing in the way you want to sing it and maintain your vocal health. For those of you who perform there is one more step: To express yourself, connect with and emotionally move your audience. 

Mind AND Body

Singing is a mind/body activity. There are things to know and understand. These things are not complicated – though like many subjects, it can be made to seem so. Once the myths are exposed and replaced with the factual truth about singing it all makes so much sense and is so natural, just that in itself makes singing easier and more enjoyable.

There are many myths about singing. For example: “The higher I sing the more air I need to push out.” Since the exact opposite is true physically, singing with this inaccuracy leads to many vocal difficulties and complaints.

I’ve learned through experience that a majority of singers share the same myths and falsehoods. And, I’ve found that no matter how great a singer is thought to be, there are things they could do better, simpler and easier. 

A Quick Aid to Singing Better

One of the first things necessary to improve your voice is perhaps surprising: Limber your tongue. A limber tongue makes singing easier, increases the tonal quality and resonance of your voice. It can even result in better pitch and more!

This is a physical fact. The reasons why are described, demonstrated and diagramed in my ArtistWorks online vocal school. I help you achieve results right away within the first exercises – my Vocal Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs.

Exercise: Tongue Stretch & Release

Here’s an exercise that will assist the improvement of your tone and ease of singing. This is an excellent exercise to include as one of the first steps in your vocal warm-up routine.

  • Open your mouth slightly. Slowly stretch your tongue out of your mouth and over your bottom lip while letting it remain as relaxed as possible. Think of stretching and holding out your tongue from the front of it rather than pushing it out from the back.
  • Once extended as far forward as possible, slowly stretch it over to the right side and hold it there for 2 seconds.
  • Return it to its stretched and forward position.
  • Now slowly stretch it to the left side and hold it there for 2 seconds.;
  • Return it to center.
  • Now slowly return it to its position within your mouth. Swallow.
  • Repeat this for a total of three times, no more.;
  • Caution: You can do this exercise more than once in a day, but only 3 repetitions at any one time. The tongue is the strongest muscle of the entire body for its size. It can be easily strained if you overdo the amount of stretching at any one time.

In my numerous years of researching the voice and sharing my discoveries and techniques with singers, I have worked with tens of thousands of singers from beginners to top recording and touring professionals. While everyone is different and musical genres and goals vary, I’ve found that the needs of the voice are pretty much the same.

I hope to be of help to you, too!

Here’s to the joy in your singing.

Jeannie Deva

Jeannie Deva is a celebrity voice and performance coach, Grammy member, author and originator of The Deva Method® Complete Voice Technique for Stage and Studio™. As a recording studio vocal specialist she has worked with and been endorsed by engineers and producers of Aerosmith, Elton John, Bette Midler, Fleetwood Mac and The Rolling Stones. Seen on E! Entertainment and TV Guide Channels, she has been interviewed as a celebrity guest on TV and radio talk shows in the US, Europe and South America. Jeannie teaches privately in Los Angeles as well as online worldwide. For more information visit: http://www.jeanniedeva.com/DevaVocals

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