If you want to become a proper singer, you need to know how to use your body posture to your benefit. This essential skill comes before learning to breathe correctly and you must master these skills well before you can sing and play an instrument simultaneously. They’re vital for any singing performance, basically.
In this article, we’ll explore how to utilize your entire body effectively.
Table of Contents
Why Singing Posture is Important
New singers may believe the key to singing well is all about natural talent and vocal cords. However, a trained singer knows the secret comes down to knowing how to use correct posture. It’s the first thing to determine how well you perform, and the breathing techniques you’ll later learn will enhance the sounds you create with proper form.
New singers often lack proper posture. It takes time and practice to master, as with any other skill. But with a few small alterations, you can produce an instant improvement in your singing voice. It’s a tiny change with large gains.
Positioning each body part can help you improve your voice overall. According to Rider University, singing posture is the first way to improve the sound. Proper posture also enhances your breathing, allowing you to breathe much easier while optimizing the sound of your voice. Science shows that posture plays a role clear to your vocal cords.
On the flip side, bad singing posture comes with negative connotations. A lack of singing posture shows a lack of self-confidence in your abilities as well. It could be a fidgety hand or a slight shoulder slump, but the audience will notice. If you have bad postural habits, it’s your responsibility to fix them.
Correct Posture for Singing
Correct posture is when your stance allows the spine to remain straight, with your joints unbent. However, you also need to pay attention to your feet, knees, hips, abdomen, chest, shoulder, arms, hands, and head. In short, the entire body plays a role.
Make sure to stand up straight. Slouching keeps the belly from expanding, which limits the amount of air you can physically intake. Breathing from the diaphragm is crucial for singing, so this stance allows you to inhale easier. It also makes each breath more productive.
Use the following information to find the correct position for your body, one part at a time. With practice, you should be able to adopt a proper singing posture quicker each time. You’ll learn how to breathe into your belly and optimize the amount of oxygen from every breath. Focus on your head to start, moving down through the body. A mirror can help if needed.
Your head should remain level, with the chin parallel to the floor. Position the chin back a tiny bit to keep the neck straight. Streamline the neck with the rest of your spine. The goal is for the spine to align perfectly straight. Never tilt your head or neck forward or your A-O joint will also become unbalanced.
Chest and Shoulders
Your chest should rise high, with the shoulders back. Keep your shoulder relaxed and down rather than holding them upright. Rather than flatten the spine, try keeping a natural curve. Your torso should feel open and large. Don’t move your shoulders as you sing. Avoid pushing the shoulder too far back so they strain either.
The abdomen, or your belly region, should remain flat and firm. Allow the area to expand with your breath. Mastering these muscles can take time while you learn how to breathe using your diaphragm rather than your chest and shoulders.
Arms and Hands
Allow your arms and hands to rest comfortably at your side if you’re not gesturing. Keep a little space between the hands and your body as well to avoid appearing too stiff or nervous. They should feel relaxed and natural. Allow the air to flow around you. Never ball your hands into fists or fidget with your clothing or you will seem tense.
Keep the hips directly below the torso, which provides the maximum level of support. The pelvis should remain directly below the torso. Try to avoid thrusting your hips back or forward as you dance with the music.
Never lock your knees. No matter how nervous you feel, you have to keep your body relaxed to sound well. They must stay loose or you’ll restrict the blood flow and could faint in the middle of your performance. Keep the legs directly under your body for support.
Stand with your feet shoulder length apart. One foot should be slightly in front of the other to provide more balance. Lean your body weight slightly forward, but try to maintain an even stance.
The A-O Joint
The A-O joint is where your top vertebra, also known as the atlas, creates a joint with the bottom of the skull or the occiput. Keeping this joint properly balanced allows for less tension in your jaw and neck while you sing. You should keep your head balanced on this joint, without looking up or down respectively.
Singing Posture Exercises
There are also a few singing posture exercises you can practice. Use these techniques at home to help you get the hang of singing in proper posture.
Stand Straight Against the Wall
Face away from a wall and back up against the wall to stand completely straight. You should feel your heels, calves, shoulders, and head all make contact with the wall at the same time.
The straight surface helps you tell if any part of your body is unaligned. New singers find standing straight against a wall extremely helpful in the beginning. Just hold the position for a couple of minutes, release, and repeat.
Stand on Your Toes
For a single position that can help you understand how to distribute your weight effectively to impact your singing voice, try this exercise. It will help you produce more buoyant notes. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, shift your body weight forward until you nearly stand on your big toes. Return to the start position and repeat the exercise a few more times.
Expand and Contract the Abdomen
This exercise helps you determine if you’re using your diaphragm for proper breathing and helps with your abdomen posture. Stand up straight and place your hand on your stomach. Good singing posture is all about holding the body and breathing comfortably. You should feel the abdomen expand when you inhale and relax upon the exhale.
You can also complete abdomen exercises whether you sit, stand, or lay flat.
If you have a difficult time telling the difference between either slouching or standing straight, adopt each position. Slouch down and sing a note. Then, move back into proper posture with a straight back or use the wall like in exercise 1. Compare the difference in how deeply you can inhale and how you sound.
Relax Your Muscles
Tension can keep your posture from aligning just right. It’s okay to be nervous. Most new singers feel nervous for the first few times. However, proper posture helps you hide the nerves from the audience. Never let them see you sweat by checking in with each muscle group.
Start with your head, moving down through your body. Set each piece into position using the key above. Make sure to check in with each muscle as you go too, relaxing each piece completely before moving on to another. You want the movements to seem fluid and graceful. Never exercise your muscles if you’re hurt though.
Balance a Book
To help keep your body in the proper position, try balancing a book on your head. You can use any other object with a similar weight. However, the flatness of a book helps you tell when you slightly tilt to one side. Plus, it falls if you move too much. Many professional singers use this exercise to gain a correct posture.
Take any book you have at home. Place it on top of your head. Attempt to keep total balance while standing in front of a mirror. Watch for any tilting. Your chin should remain parallel to the floor while you sing.
Then, advance the difficulty by walking with the book on your head and finally singing. Observe how the body stays in position and balances the book with ease over time. You’ll begin to notice that if you accidentally tilt the book will move and the sound coming from your voice will immediately change.
Practice using correct singing posture in your free time using these exercises and make sure you adopt a singing posture every time you perform for the best results. Your body form is the quickest way to boost your singing voice. It’s not always easy to stop slouching habits overnight though, so practice continually. The results are well worth the effort.
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