When we talk about learning and transforming music into a career on the whole, it’s important to understand its history and behaviors. As an aspiring musician, this helps you get a fair idea of the fundamentals that make music so appealing, and how to give yourself the best shot in the music industry. Knowing where it has come from is really important in order to know how to enter the industry.
A lot of today’s music is heavily influenced by Jazz, a genre that was born out of the African American culture combining diverse rhythms with musical instruments of white Americans. Jazz turned out to be a huge cultural phenomenon that has made a huge impact on the global music scene, influencing modern music and scat singing (where the singer uses his voice to imitate a trumpet, saxophone or other instrument).
However, learning to sing well and taking it onstage is not just about understanding music; it’s about experiencing it. It’s about training yourself to be a good singer, and using the culture, the skills, and the passion of those before you to make your own take in music. It’s about improving your voice with the right exercises and deriving and incorporating influences that complement each other. There is literally a library on how to sing well, but it takes the passion and culture of music combined with the savvy and shrewdness of the modern world to make it onstage, and you need both.
Understanding Your Singing Voice
Here’s a fact that many ignore: singing, like any physical activity, takes muscles. You’re able to sing when the air flows through your voice box or larynx, within which lie the vocal cords. It’s when these cords loosen or tighten they cause “sound producing” vibrations. As a singer you rely on the flexibility and strength of these “muscles”. Basically, you need to understand how your voice box works to tap into your best singing voice, as well as avoiding any injuries or trauma to your voice.
Preparing Your Voice
Since your vocal cords are delicate, you need to take care of them, which is the first step of training them and knowing how to maintain them in a career of singing very frequently. Make sure you keep them well lubricated by drinking lots of water and mucus free, which means no smoking. Also try and stay away from places that require you to talk loudly for too long.
Start with light stretching because loosening up your body will help you loosen up your vocal cords. Keep in mind that you can compare your vocal cord to a rubber band – you need to warm it up, stretch it out, and develop it into a flexible tool. Warm up by slowly stretching them by making a ‘hisss’ sound along with the ‘zzzz’ sound, and maintain a steady stream of air. While doing this, go up and down in pitch. Doing such exercises helps you increase and reach a comfortable singing volume.
This is an important step, whether after practice or after an onstage show. It basically involves doing the warm-up process in reverse, bringing your singing volume down to your low conversational volume. The more time you spend warming up and cooling down, the stronger your voice will get, and longer you an sustain it.
Regardless of the type of music genre you’re interested in or how far you want to go in the music industry, improving your singing voice goes a long way in helping you become a professional singer of high caliber.
This is a guest post for TheEmployable