Would you like to free your voice? Here are some important singing tips for choir singing. Do you want your voice to feel free and open when you sing? Do you sometimes feel your voice getting smaller, tighter, weaker as you sing? Want to reach those high notes with ease? Want to be in control of your voice? Then you need to think about how your voice actually works. To take control is an active choice. The only way to stop your voice having a mind of its own is to connect it to your mind.
Here is what you need to know (and I am trying to keep this very, very simple).
True Vocal Folds (also know as vocal cords) these are what vibrate together to make sound.
False Vocal Folds - these lay over the top of your True Vocal Folds and will close if your body feels you are (let's say) in danger. Why? I hear you ask. Because the true function of both folds is simply to let you breath or stop things entering your lungs - a valve. Singing is NOT their true job. When you sing you are making your folds do something unfamiliar and this means you need to consciously control them to get the sound you want.
To get a clear sound you have to be able to get your false vocal folds out of the way so that your true folds can move freely and unhindered. So, how do you do this?....
Put your fingers in your ears and listen to your breath. Really focus on the sound. Take your fingers out and follow this exercise.
You have to be smiling. If you don't smile this won't work
Laugh. Laugh hard until you really start to laugh. Yes, you read that right.
Focus on how this feels. Do it again.
Keep laughing and smiling but silently this time - Don't hold your breath. Keep breathing
Focus on how this feels. Do it again from step one.
Don't change a thing. Put your fingers in your ears and keep breathing - there should be no sound. If there is no sound then you have moved your false folds out of the way.
The main thing you must remember is that there is no point in doing any of this if you do not try to connect with how this feels. For me my throat feels open. Sometimes it makes me feel like yawning.
Aim to run this exercise before the song you are practising. Whilst singing keep thinking - do I have that feeling?
I associate my open voice sound and feeling with laughing and smiling. You might be thinking "this is great but I can't smile in a sad song, that would just be weird" and you're right. But once you understand the FEELING you can recreate it without the smile.
Practice all the steps above with the smile. Once you are confident then you can run through them again with a neutral facial expression.
Eventually you won't have to laugh and you won't have to always smile because you will feel it.