I never do vocal exercises. They are for opera singers, not a guy who sings rock and roll.” Boy, have I heard that one before…many times. I’m going to come right out and say it: anyone who wants to be a good singer is making a STUPID mistake if they aren’t working with vocal exercises and breathing techniques.
Singing is a unique combining of complex physical activities and creative ideas, just as dancing, gymnastics, tennis and many other performing arts and sports. Just because most singers don’t involve their entire bodies in strenuous and difficult movements doesn’t mean that such activity isn’t occurring inside of their bodies. The golfer trains arms, legs, spine, balance, hands….These are muscles and body parts which contribute to the success of the golfer.
The singer trains vocal cords, diaphragm, abs, rib muscles, throat, tongue, etc….all which contribute to the success of their performance.
The finest golfers and singers exercise and train these body parts, but this training is not the same as playing the game or singing the song. These are results of the training which has gone before.
When an athlete trains and practices, she isolates each separate part and works it over and over again. Hitting many many balls with the driver, the putter and each of the other clubs. She practices working through sand traps and water holes. She hits many many balls from various distances to the green. Isolation of each and every possible situation is the key to playing a great round of golf.
The great singer isolates each part of his “game”. This includes singing scales in many keys. Scales exercise problem areas while songs don’t. How can a song isolate a specific problem area when the notes of a song move all over the place. Up and down, loud and soft, high and low, breathy and strong, never staying with one particular problem long enough for us to work it and make it better.
Good voice teachers work as much with exercises as with songs. They have a time proven program designed to improve and develop all areas of singing as isolated, individual parts.
If you are one of those who believes that vocal exercises are a bunch of bull..give them a try. Find a good teacher or a good recorded singing course and go for it. All it takes is a little time each week.
Al Koehn is a nationally recognized voice teacher, known for achieving amazing results with simple and highly effective techniques.
Written by By Al Koehn