Have you been singing for a while but feeling that you haven't been progressing? Here are a few tips that you might find useful to kick-start your progress.
1. Take a lesson
Even if you have had lessons in the past it is worth having a review. It's quite likely you have slipped into bad habits. Call up a local teacher or even get an online course and follow it through. Even top professionals have occasional vocal lessons.
2. Check your form
Go back to basics and check your breathing and ensure you have perfected your posture. Look for unnecessary tension particularly in the neck and face as it can have an adverse effect on your singing.
3. Work on some relaxation techniques
Begin each practice by warming up with some basic relaxation exercises. An easy and quick one is the "rag doll". Simply stand with your feet roughly hip width apart then flop forward allowing everything to hang loosely down. Shake your head and arms slightly and then let everything hang down once more. This tension relief can really help.
4. Try something different
Many people focus solely on just a single technique or one song they are trying to master. What you need to do is attempt something completely different. Pop on one of your favourite songs and sing along to it. Pick a new song to learn in a style you haven't done before or for quite some time. When you go back to what you were doing before you'll find the staleness has probably gone.
5. Jam away
I do hope that you do regularly get together with other musicians for a jam. If not you really should be joining others going through some of those older fun songs. If you do perform live then you should avoid doing your usual performance songs and just hit the fun stuff.
You might be thinking "What's up with these vocal tips? There's no actual singing involved!" However, consider this. While other musicians can replace strings, get a service etc. Your instrument is YOU – it's your body. You are the one that needs the maintenance.
When you are in good shape your instrument is in good shape. Getting that sorted will lead to new enthusiasm and, more importantly, progress. Follow these vocal tips and you'll soon be back on track.
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