How To Sing Beautifully

Summarized by John Jorgensen
September 29, 2007

Keep a flexibly erect posture

  • Elevate your noble chest as though it’s being tugged up by a string (reach up for apples then put arms down leaving chest up, think of a mermaid on the prow of a ship).
  • Your shoulders should be rolled moderately back and down (carry tall heavy suitcases).
  • Bring hips forward in alignment, buttocks rolled slightly back and down (as if to straighten wrinkles in pants.)
  • Tuck your chin under and back so that neck is stretched long, back, while staying relaxed.
  • Relax your tongue (this is often the unwitting cause of a lot of tension in vocal chords).
  • Your neck and vocal folds should never be tense. (Of all, this is the most important.)

Breath and support breath with your low stomach muscles

  • With good posture and keeping your chest up, breath in deeply with your stomach.
  • Create a steady, sustained, supported breath flow with the lowest stomach muscles.
  • Stomach muscles should do all the work; let upper body and neck remain free.
  • Breath in silently, support breath through phrase, then breath again.

Bite the apple (a.k.a. “cocktail face”)

  • Sing in that “ugly place” at the front of your face (project a Shakespeare stage voice)
  • Lift the soft palate at the top back of mouth (surprised look).
  • Pinch your nose with your cheeks (sample cocktail drink, bite the apple).
  • You should feel your nasal and sinus cavities buzzing. It will sound brassy to your internal ear but project far and sound wonderful.

Sing tall open vowels; spit the diction

  • Feel as if all vowels are as loose and open as “Ah”. Sing most of the syllable on a vowel.
  • Drop and relax your jaw and tongue. Don’t be afraid to open your mouth tall!
  • As much as possible, keep the tip of your tongue relaxed against roots of bottom teeth.
  • When singing high notes, make vowels more open (closer to “Ah”) and forget the diction. Never reach chin up for high notes! Tuck chin, relax throat, and use more stomach breath.
  • Clearly over-annunciate the consonants only at beginning and end of syllables. Combine the consonants from the end of one syllable with those at the beginning of the next.

Sing musically with emotion and meaning

  • Feel the rhythm! As appropriate, emphasize key beats (usually the downbeat)
  • Sing musical phrases that have dynamic shape. Each phrase is different.
  • Know and feel what you are singing!
  • Make the words and music your own heartfelt praise to God.

Sing every note of every phrase with your chest up and forward, your chin tucked under and back, a resonating nasal cavity, a relaxed dropped jaw, and a steady breath flow supported from your stomach through the floppy vocal folds of an empty relaxed throat.

You’ll have twice the volume and range, longer breath, and a much more beautiful voice!

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