how to encourage singing

I’m a big fan of Nick Page‘s “no-fault singing” principle, which is summed up (quoting Duke Ellington) “if it sounds good, it is good”. Put another way, I believe everyone can sing – can make a joyful noise – even if they don’t believe it themselves.

The following quote popped up today and I thought it worth sharing. It’s got familiar good advice for voice care, but the basic assumption should be examined, as well. And that is “anyone can sing and have a positive effect on those listening”. People who, for whatever reason, can’t carry a tune in a bucket can still convey emotion, make people stop and think, etc. I mean, why is Bob Dylan still touring? It ain’t his lovely singing voice, that’s for sure!

So, I encourage you to encourage everyone you meet to sing more. And as we know, the more they sing, the “better” they’ll probably sing.

How Not To Embarrass Yourself At Karaoke

“Warm up all day. Start by counting aloud when you wake. Later, laugh out loud; we laugh higher than we talk, so you’ll be activating your upper register.

Lubricate your voice, especially if you’re nervous (stress can dry out your vocal cords). Half an hour before you sing, eat a little bread soaked in olive oil.

Breathe from your diaphragm. You’ll generate the air you need to produce a melodious tone. Inhale through your nose and push your belly button out. Exhale and let your navel go back in.

Feel free to change keys. Even the pros sing in a lower register when their voice gets tired.

Sing with joy, from your heart, and no one will care how you sound.”

— Debra Byrd, vocal coach for “The Voice” and vocal producer for “The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep”, from the Huffington Post

(Disclaimer: the “bread and olive oil” trick was not familiar to me. I intend to give it a try, though. Sounds like a good breakfast to have before that 8:00 service, doesn’t it?)


About liberalreligiongetsloud

Contemporary Music and Worship Director (retired), First Unitarian, Albuquerque NM
This entry was posted in contemporary worship. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to how to encourage singing

  1. Do whatever makes you feel good, Vance, but absolutely nothing you ingest the day of a gig will have any impact whatsoever on the “lubedness” of your vocal folds. They’re located down below the glottis which separates the trachea (windpipe) from the esophagus (food & drink pipe), so the only way to moisturize them topically is to quite literally drown yourself. (Which, if you ask me, will have negative impact on your performance technique.)

    If you want your vocal folds to be nice and moist, you simply need to increase your systemic hydration by drinking clear fluids between 3 and 7 days BEFORE the gig. In other words, when you decide to be a professional singer, your new hobby is peeing.

    : )

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