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Thread: Exercising your voice

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    Senior Member Stargazer's Avatar
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    Default Exercising your voice

    I want to start by saying that I'm a terrible singer, and have no desire to take singing lessons or become a singer in the near future. With that said, I have two questions:

    1.) For opera singers, how much of their ability boils down to technique vs. genetics vs. "vocal exercise"? I assume that all three come into play quite a bit...you have to be born with and maintain a decent voice, build up your vocal strength to sing powerfully, and practice the technical aspects rigorously, but I'm not sure how important each factor typically is.

    2.) Are there any exercises one can perform to improve their singing voice and general voice quality? I was thinking that if there are simple singing/breathing exercises I could perform to improve my speaking/singing voice, I could practice those to build up my vocal strength, and then if I ever do decide I want to try out singing, I'll already have that piece of the equation finished, and it will come down more to learning technique than anything. I tried googling, but it's kind of information overload and the majority of it is dubious at best. I would like to do this to improve my speaking voice as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer View Post
    I want to start by saying that I'm a terrible singer, and have no desire to take singing lessons or become a singer in the near future. With that said, I have two questions:

    1.) For opera singers, how much of their ability boils down to technique vs. genetics vs. "vocal exercise"? I assume that all three come into play quite a bit...you have to be born with and maintain a decent voice, build up your vocal strength to sing powerfully, and practice the technical aspects rigorously, but I'm not sure how important each factor typically is.

    2.) Are there any exercises one can perform to improve their singing voice and general voice quality? I was thinking that if there are simple singing/breathing exercises I could perform to improve my speaking/singing voice, I could practice those to build up my vocal strength, and then if I ever do decide I want to try out singing, I'll already have that piece of the equation finished, and it will come down more to learning technique than anything. I tried googling, but it's kind of information overload and the majority of it is dubious at best. I would like to do this to improve my speaking voice as well.

    Go and see a professional teacher.

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    Senior Member Ilarion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer View Post
    I want to start by saying that I'm a terrible singer, and have no desire to take singing lessons or become a singer in the near future. With that said, I have two questions:

    1.) For opera singers, how much of their ability boils down to technique vs. genetics vs. "vocal exercise"? I assume that all three come into play quite a bit...you have to be born with and maintain a decent voice, build up your vocal strength to sing powerfully, and practice the technical aspects rigorously, but I'm not sure how important each factor typically is.

    2.) Are there any exercises one can perform to improve their singing voice and general voice quality? I was thinking that if there are simple singing/breathing exercises I could perform to improve my speaking/singing voice, I could practice those to build up my vocal strength, and then if I ever do decide I want to try out singing, I'll already have that piece of the equation finished, and it will come down more to learning technique than anything. I tried googling, but it's kind of information overload and the majority of it is dubious at best. I would like to do this to improve my speaking voice as well.
    As a singer I agree with my colleague Pugg. Stargazer, I will admit to being somewhat intrigued by your questions - You forgot a most important dual-category: WILL/VOLITION - This dual-category, imo, separates the wheat from the chaff. Here we now talk about stepping out of our own comfort zone. With a professional vocal pedagogue you'll receive the coaching necessary to improve - But you must do the work needed to make it all happen - The pedagogue can't do it for you!
    Mathematics is not a spectator sport - It requires your full involvement. The same goes for singing - What you put in is what you will receive at the end of the day.
    Something to rock your cradle with:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Su-d6_pBFY

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    Senior Member Stargazer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer View Post
    I want to start by saying that I'm a terrible singer, and have no desire to take singing lessons or become a singer in the near future. With that said, I have two questions:
    The reason I mentioned that first bit is that I don't have the time, money, or motivation for lessons right now. I'm already taking piano lessons, and my free time is extremely limited these days. I was curious more from the perspective of developing a stronger and more powerful speaking voice for now, by maybe doing vocal/breathing exercises or something on my commute to/from work. If I chose to take up singing later, then I presume I'd already have one hurdle accomplished, and it would be easier to jump into it then.
    Last edited by Stargazer; Mar-01-2016 at 03:57.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer View Post
    The reason I mentioned that first bit is that I don't have the time, money, or motivation for lessons right now. I'm already taking piano lessons, and my free time is extremely limited these days. I was curious more from the perspective of developing a stronger and more powerful speaking voice for now, by maybe doing vocal/breathing exercises or something on my commute to/from work. If I chose to take up singing later, then I presume I'd already have one hurdle accomplished, and it would be easier to jump into it then.

    I am sorry to say but artist have to suffer, believe me, no one has the answer here, only professionals can help you .

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    The short answer is no.

    Now the long answer. It is very difficult to train a beginner's voice properly. But it is very easy to do it badly, developing bad habits. Especially - with excercises that are wrongly chosen or wrongly practiced.

    I spent a year with a teacher who is an excellent singer, but does his teaching on the side and, as it became apparent, doesn't know how to train a voice from scratch. I made quick progress in the beginning, but then on my singing didn't really improve despite plenty of excercising. I've now started with another (experienced) teacher who advised me not to sing or excercise at all except under his control for at least 30 lessons.

    If you're not ready to have lessons (and proper voice lessons are NOT fun, they're hard work, at least in the beginning) then the best you can do is sing along with good singers. Stay in your comfortable range, listen to them carefully, where they breathe, how they go up, etc. You can learn a lot this way, your voice will gradually get stronger and it won't get tense or unnatural. This is the advice a pro opera singer has given me.

    When you do look for a teacher be aware that 90% of them don't or can't teach, they only entertain their pupils. A good idea is to get an unbiased opinion on your progress every 2-3 months. If it's not apparent, move on.

    I hope this has been useful to you.

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