Practise to forget! To give over to the music and the story.
The Sing Space Vocal Gym was born from the belief that with regular guided practise, a singer can gain ownership over their instrument
Every 30 minute sessions will:
Engage the parts of your body, voice and mind that need to be engaged.
Release the parts of your body, voice and mind that need to be released.
Activate your parasympathetic nervous system which innervates your voice and diaphragm.
Free your breath.
Connect your body to your sound.
Massage your vocal folds using back-pressure of sound waves.
Aid proprioception of the six fundamentals of singing
Open up your full sound spectrum.
Stretch and massage the vocal folds.
Enhance awareness of resonance
Engage your articulators
Free the larynx.
Keep reading for a full breakdown of every exercises
"How to warm up before an audition of performance?"
Part one: Set up to optimise the subsequent work out and active parasympathetic nervous system
Mindfulness, alignment, stretch and massage,
Part Two: Vocal Health
SOVT (semi occluded vocal tract exercises or half closed mouth to utilise the benefits from the back pressure of sound waves.
Part Three: Vocal Exploration
Explore your full acoustic and range potential with sounds that guide you safely towards useful vocal 'postures'.
1. Lip trills - for breath flow connected to the body (add tongue out)
How: Whilst keeping your face relaxed, allow your lips to trill or reverberate.
Why: You are learning to make a continuous flow of air, connected to your body as you sing.
The closure (SOVT) creates a backflow of sound waves which aids cord adduction and can stabilise the larynx. It also gives your heightened awareness of resonance.
As this exercise only works if your jaw and face is relaxed it will also encourage jaw release.
If you also want to target your tongue root release, then have an awareness of the tip of your tongue behind your bottom front teeth.
We slide to gentle stretch the muscles and ligaments whilst utilising the back pressure to give the vocal folds a massage
2. Puffy cheeks - For resonance awareness.
How: Sigh out and fill your cheeks with air then add sound. Make sure you keep your cheeks full of air as you sing.
Why: The closure of your mouth contains the sound waves within your vocal tract.
Allowing a heightened awareness of the ACOUSTIC sensations of resonance both within your vocal tract and sympathetically through your body.
Which will be useful for guiding your 'resonant placement' throughout your range to help navigate registers.
And is indicative of good fold closure.
These sound waves move at different speeds and shapes depending on different notes , how you balance breath and vocal fold and the acoustic shape of your vocal tract.
The puffy cheeks allow you to release jaw tension and focus on tongue release.
3. Sighing as singing - for awareness of cord adduction.
How: Breath in for two, out for two then sing on the wave and momentum of that release.
Why: We are exploring the benefits of an ‘aspirate onset’ and awareness of your own vocal cords.
This exercise is especially helpful for those of us who tense up before we sing (holding our breath and tensing the jaw and tongue)
There are two types of onset (how to commence a note):
Glottal onsets mean that the cords come together before the breath.
Aspirate onsets mean that the breath passes through the open cords before they come together to make sound.
Aspirate onsets, can help with jaw and tongue release, a free larynx and breath flow.
This exercise allows you to release muscles before you sing.
It also lowers sub-glottal pressure.
And frees larynx from unnecessary lifting
4. “Woah,” - For a free larynx or ‘extreme tilt.’
How: Aim for a yawning, dopey, sobby low Papa bear voice.
Why: This one is for those of us who tend to sing with a high larynx, allowing us to feel the other end of the spectrum: a very low larynx.
It is also for those of us who struggle with register breaks, or high notes as it uses an extreme version of the techniques needed to navigate these areas.
It allows for a stretching of the CT muscles to enable higher notes or ease through registers
The emotive sobbing feeling, can also engage your breath support and cord adduction (and your body’s primal knowledge of vocalisation)
Use an additional F before the W to aid jaw release and breath flow.
5. “Wee wee wee,” - with a finger/pen between your teeth - For jaw hinge release (add nose hold to check for nasality)
How: Put your finger (or a pen, or chopstick) between your front teeth and bring your awareness to the 'mask'
Why: You can’t lock your jaw hinge with this in place so it teaches you to sing without clenching your jaw (which also affects the muscles that surround your larynx)
It will also encourage your tongue mobility.
The ‘W’ we are using is to engage the breath support in the body and the choice of EE is because it’s one of the best vowels for tongue release and acoustic shaping.
The addition of holding your nose tests whether you are sending the sound into your nose allowing you to adjust the resonance placement accordingly!
Note: we don't make sound in our nasal cavities (hence holding the nose)
6. “Ng- Gah,” or percussive consonants - For tongue root release and engaging articulators.
How: With a dropped jaw we are isolating the tongue.
Why: Isolating the tongue will give it a good workout, tiring it out so it doesn’t get involved when you sing. The intermittent closure of the NG will engage breath support, create resonance awareness and engage the benefits of SOVT work.
7. “Hey hey hey,” - To engage the primal or emotive side of singing.
How: Take a gasped in-breath on the count of four they call out, ‘Hey,’ on an arpeggio as if you need to urgently get someone’s attention.
Why: Understanding that much of the vocal system is autonomic (or involuntary ie. connection to your nervous system) we need to give over to emotional intention to engage the body’s natural knowledge of how to vocalise.
The H provides the aspirate onset, and engages breath. Just be careful not to tense the jaw, neck or tongue in the urge to communicate.
Tongue lifts at the back rather than using the jaw
Maintain the exhale through the phrase
Rachel Lynes -vocal coach
These articles aim to simplify and clarify. My aim is to give you clear exercises that make a big difference.