Here is a question I received from Leandro about the panting exercise I reference in my 10 Steps to Better Breathing post.
I have a question about panting (From your 10 Steps to Better Breathing Post). Does the Panting exercise help in expanding the abdominal area so that there is more room for air?
The Panting exercise, which is used on our Complete Breathing CD/mp3 doesn’t so much expand your abdomen as it gives you more control of your breathing. Panting requires quick shifts back-and-forth between inhaling and exhaling in very short bursts. It helps build the Core Breathing Muscles that give you all the breath you need, while not letting you use more than you need. Most singers literally use twice the amount of air needed to sing a phrase. This costs you breath and control, and robs from your best sound.
I received this question from Ndumiso. I don’t hear this question too often, but it is something you should not overlook. Your physical wellness definitely has an impact on your voice. Read on for more.
What are physical exercises need to be done for voice training, I mean exercises like push-ups and sit-ups or other kinds of exercises?
Thank you for your good question. As a matter of fact, any good, general conditioning exercises are great for your voice, both aerobic and strength training—in sensible moderation, of course. Especially important for singers are core strengthening exercises such as the Superman combined with sit-ups (antagonistic balance) to help with posture.
Balance exercises such as standing on one foot or up on toes are also helpful for posture/balance. The only things I have seen become problematic are excessive weight training with the accompanying, excessive sub glottal pressure in the throat. I have also seen “six pack abs” that are so tight they can’t release for normal breathing. For most of us, however, that’s not likely to be a risk and we’re lucky just to stay generally, physically fit.
Keeping physically fit is vital to every aspect of life, and singing is no different. I encourage you, if you are spending time improving your voice, don’t overlook good general fitness. Feeling good and standing strait are as important to a good tone as anything!
Plan Ahead to Prevent Problems!
Need to kickstart your vocal training? The Vocal Coach Essentials Package is just for you.
Ever wonder how to actually get started with your vocal training, or in some cases re-start it? The reason for the question is all the singers I hear from who passionately want to sing but can’t quite put their fingers on the first step. To make that easier we’ve put together the Vocal Coach Essentials. I chose 4 training CD’s from our collection that I feel will best get you on the road to better voice control. We also threw in a bonus workout CD called Vocal Coach Styles which takes a well-know song and lets you experiment with it in 8 different musical styles. It’s extremely fun and may open some new options in your singing.
What Elements Of Singing Need To Be There Every Time?
That’s the question I tried to answer with Essentials Set. Here is what you will learn:
- Breath control is where it starts. If there’s no breath there’s no sound. And if there’s too much breath it can strain and wear out the voice not to mention make you run out of breath early.
- Tone is the sound of your voice, and no matter what your style there are right (efficient) and wrong (inefficient) ways to get that sound. You will learn how to get more sound with less work.
- If you’re the only one who knows what your song is about because of lazy diction you’re not going to get the message across. Our Complete Diction CD is famous for it’s thorough and practical approach. Just as with breathing, with diction you don’t want too much, or too little, and finding “just right” is easy once you know what to look for, and actually easier on your voice.
- Having great breathing, tone and diction is good, but if you look bored or scared or are not fully engaged with your audience you’re missing it. The steps to owning and expressing a song are clearly laid out in the Complete Performance CD. It’s the icing on the cake.
In addition to the above you’ll learn other critical skills like how to have a successful sound check, smart microphone technique, how to choose songs that work for you and much, much more. All things that every singer needs to know.
How To Best Use Vocal Coach Essentials
Because the sound of the voice is based on mechanics and acoustics it’s best to start with Complete Breathing. And, don’t be in a rush to blast through it. Listen to the training sections until you understand the principles, then do the fun, and often funny exercises anytime you can. In the car, taking a walk… any time you can. The more focused time you spend with these exercises the faster it becomes part of who you are. You will want to come back to this CD and will use the exercises for years to come.
Once the breathing is becoming more natural spend some time with the Complete Tone CD. Here, just as with the breathing, take time to live with a little and let the exercises help you discover your best and freest sound. It’s exciting, and will impact your speaking as well as singing.
I’m Here to Help
If you have any questions along the way, visit my Blog where you can browse various vocal topics that I’ve addressed, and if you don’t find the answer to your question, just type it into the form in the sidebar. I love to hear from all my students and will gladly help you along your way.
We’ve talked before about vocal skills that compliment each other—aspects of your singing that will never be quite right until other areas get a bit of training. I have a few more to add to that list that list. Such as…
Complete Expanding Your Range & Complete Breathing
Every singer wants to expand and maximize their range, but you will never be able to stretch out without good breathing habits.
You can not make or push the voice to sing higher or lower. Instead, you must relax and allow it to happen. This is why you need solid breath support. When it comes to breath, you only need what you need. More air is not better, and backing off too much will leave the vocal mechanism unable to do it’s job.
Complete Breathing will teach you proper breath technique. And, Complete Expanding Your Range leads you through fun and clear exercises that build on that foundation. Frankly, most singers are pleasantly shocked when they experience easy breathing and easy access to their full range.
Complete Blend & Complete Tone & Complete Diction
Why do some family groups seems to blend so naturally? It’s partially because they have learned to speak from the same parents and have the same musical heritage. The result of this upbringing is that they naturally have the same concept of tone and even the same patterns of diction.
But, you can have this cohesion even if you’re not singing with family members. To do this, you need to master your own Tone and Diction. Then, you can start to “get on the same page” as those we’re singing with using Complete Blend, and that’s when true natural oneness of sound happens.
Remember, your voice is an instrument with many parts and many influencing factors. To be your best you must address the voice as a whole.
Thank you again for reading! Let me know if you have any vocal areas you would like to see addressed here on Ask the Vocal Coach Blog.