Singing advice Watch

One autumn leaf
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I'd really like to learn how to sing.
Here are some struggles I came across and would appreciate some help by those who sing.

1) throat tension
2) throat feels closed off when I sing (airways)
3) can't breathe and sing at the same time
4) when holding a note or singing high , head starts to feel strange(almost like a headache)
5) chest feels tight when singing

To elaborate on 3 , I feel I'm holding my breath when I sing and then when a line ends u have to relax and exhale and then inhale again which takes too long and by that time the song already starts again .
Thanks
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Oxford Mum
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Could this be nerves?

Why not join a choir, so you don’t feel that everyone is listening to just you?

This way you can learn to read music, meet new people and if the choir has a good reputation you may even be able to visit different towns to sing
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One autumn leaf
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
Could this be nerves?

Why not join a choir, so you don’t feel that everyone is listening to just you?

This way you can learn to read music, meet new people and if the choir has a good reputation you may even be able to visit different towns to sing
i dont think its nerves tbh because it also occurs wherever i sing including at home by myself. Its probably incorrect technique because it feels im tensing my throat to sing.
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Mona123456
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(Original post by One autumn leaf)
I'd really like to learn how to sing.
Here are some struggles I came across and would appreciate some help by those who sing.

1) throat tension
2) throat feels closed off when I sing (airways)
3) can't breathe and sing at the same time
4) when holding a note or singing high , head starts to feel strange(almost like a headache)
5) chest feels tight when singing

To elaborate on 3 , I feel I'm holding my breath when I sing and then when a line ends u have to relax and exhale and then inhale again which takes too long and by that time the song already starts again .
Thanks
I’m not a specialist by any means but I would say:

1) this may be to do with either being nervous, or straining your voice if you’re singing demanding songs, particularly belt/pop stuff. If you feel tension you may be pushing your initial vocal range and be attempting too much too soon - take it easy and don’t sing continuously for long periods of time. Ideally you need a vocal teacher of some sort to help you develop classical technique and extend your range naturally and carefully - you should use technical exercises to extend your range rather than sustaining really high or low notes a lot.

2) not quite sure what this is? Is this breath control and you can’t finish phrases? Or is it like throat tension as above? Either way, I’d again say to be really really careful not to strain yourself and damage your vocal cords.

3) I think this comes with practice - as you sing regularly in choirs or have lessons, it’ll help you do have better breath control and learn to take breaths quicker. It’s something you have to train your voice to do really and it can take a while to be patient and maybe pick something fast and staccato in style (but not too demanding regarding range). Learn it slowly to begin with but keep practising and hopefully you should be able to breathe quicker.

4) as far as I’m aware this isn’t normal and shouldn’t happen. I would advise you not to sing this high if you’re having physical side effects. If you do want to sing that high, I’d get a vocal teacher to help you do this without damaging your voice or yourself.

5) this is likely similar to 1. Either you’re nervous, pushing your voice too much or your physical condition isn’t quite right (so you may be really out of breath or tired). Proceed with caution and again, I would recommend not to sing in a way that causes this, if you can ask a singing teacher to help you.

Please be careful with yourself and your voice and make sure you aren’t pushing it too hard
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One autumn leaf
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(Original post by Mona123456)
I’m not a specialist by any means but I would say:

1) this may be to do with either being nervous, or straining your voice if you’re singing demanding songs, particularly belt/pop stuff. If you feel tension you may be pushing your initial vocal range and be attempting too much too soon - take it easy and don’t sing continuously for long periods of time. Ideally you need a vocal teacher of some sort to help you develop classical technique and extend your range naturally and carefully - you should use technical exercises to extend your range rather than sustaining really high or low notes a lot.

2) not quite sure what this is? Is this breath control and you can’t finish phrases? Or is it like throat tension as above? Either way, I’d again say to be really really careful not to strain yourself and damage your vocal cords.

3) I think this comes with practice - as you sing regularly in choirs or have lessons, it’ll help you do have better breath control and learn to take breaths quicker. It’s something you have to train your voice to do really and it can take a while to be patient and maybe pick something fast and staccato in style (but not too demanding regarding range). Learn it slowly to begin with but keep practising and hopefully you should be able to breathe quicker.

4) as far as I’m aware this isn’t normal and shouldn’t happen. I would advise you not to sing this high if you’re having physical side effects. If you do want to sing that high, I’d get a vocal teacher to help you do this without damaging your voice or yourself.

5) this is likely similar to 1. Either you’re nervous, pushing your voice too much or your physical condition isn’t quite right (so you may be really out of breath or tired). Proceed with caution and again, I would recommend not to sing in a way that causes this, if you can ask a singing teacher to help you.

Please be careful with yourself and your voice and make sure you aren’t pushing it too hard
Thanks for the reply, I do sing quite a lot of pop songs which are trending. I cant really seem to find vocal teachers for a good price in London.I am not quite sure what breath control is but I do struggle to finish the phrase sometimes. I believe the headache comes from me not breathing for too long (holding my breath as I sing).
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Mona123456
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(Original post by One autumn leaf)
Thanks for the reply, I do sing quite a lot of pop songs which are trending. I cant really seem to find vocal teachers for a good price in London.I am not quite sure what breath control is but I do struggle to finish the phrase sometimes. I believe the headache comes from me not breathing for too long (holding my breath as I sing).
You’re welcome. I understand - pop songs are impressive to sing but often quite hard on the voice! Regarding breath control - this is essentially to do with how you can control your breathing and train your breathing, so that you can breathe quickly, finish demanding phrases, and generally it’s about how connected your mind and body are so that you can breath intuitively as and when it feels (and sounds) right, almost by instinct, especially for improvisation stuff or when you have to learn things quickly or have longer singing pieces.

If you have a headache because you aren’t breathing enough, my advice would be to take it easy and don’t continuously sing long phrases. Perhaps start by picking songs that have just one or two longer phrases (such as My Favourite Things from the Sound of Music for example). Have a go at maybe picking pop songs that don’t have a really big range, but maybe just have some long/difficult phrases to practice breath control. Then, you can move onto harder pieces with more sustained longer phrases if you like (classical stuff is great for this). Try and just improve one skill at a time - don’t try and pick one piece that has lots of long phrases, is super high, in a difficult language, requires intense emotions etc. Just aim on improving one technique at a time - breath control seems a good place to start, and hopefully you’ll gradually build up to singing longer phrases without headaches. Then once you’ve conquered that you could focus on higher range extension. That would be my advice anyway based on my experiences.


Don’t worry if you can’t get a singing teacher - it helps but it can always be something for later on in life perhaps. At the minute, the main thing is that you’re even singing at all, and that you enjoy it and are dedicated to it. My tips for training would be:

1. Sing regularly but not for extended periods - depending on how busy you are, perhaps aim to sing for 30-45 minutes twice a week. Even once a week is great! Just try and have a routine.

2. As said above - carefully focus on improving one skill at a time. Maybe have two songs on the go - one pop song you enjoy and one more technical one that will help you develop the current skill you’re working on. For technical skills, operettas are good as they aren’t as high as opera but still are demanding for improving technique. If need be, just pick a few lines that sit comfortable within your vocal range to work on.

3. If you can, learning basic piano, singing sight reading and aural (essentially hearing) skills are very useful. Developing a good ear so you can hear when you’re off pitch is so important.

4. Make sure to do exercises before every session - of course if you’re in a choir or singing a simple song it may not be necessary, but if you’re singing for 30-45 minutes a productive 5 minutes in exercises to warm your voice up is so important. Especially if you hope to sing high stuff - warming up is vital!

Hope these tips helped. I reckon YouTube will likely have some singing lessons and tips videos if you’re looking for something specific, and quite often free sheet music is available online if you know what you want. Good luck!
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Surnia
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(Original post by One autumn leaf)
i dont think its nerves tbh because it also occurs wherever i sing including at home by myself. Its probably incorrect technique because it feels im tensing my throat to sing.
You need to learn to use your diaphragm to breathe. When people fill their lungs to start singing or try catch a quick breathe during a phrase, if they don't know the correct technique they will expand their ribs. Using your diaphragm will allow much better control of how you release air when you sing. Plenty of online tutorials to help with this!

Also, make sure you warm up.
Last edited by Surnia; 2 weeks ago
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hippieglitter
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Pop songs aren't hard, just saying, I've come across a huge variety of choral and more modern genres that are much harder to sing than pop, but it is very easy to tell when a musician has had classical training and it may interest you to find out that most hard rock singers have, that stuff is hard, to get the power and volume behind you voice to sing hard rock is one of the most technically difficult things a singer can do and requires extensive training and a **** load of practice with vocal exercises. As a long time singer who has had training, i do believe that all the points you've mentioned could be relieved or improved with training. Breath control is huge thing and you need to make sure you are breathing properly. Strengthen your diaphragm and try to sing from deep down rather than your head cos can end up sounding throaty or nasal. Do not try to sing any higher than your voice will comfortably allow this will damage your vocal chords, you may be able to increase your vocal range with training but this takes time.
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One autumn leaf
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(Original post by hippieglitter)
Pop songs aren't hard, just saying, I've come across a huge variety of choral and more modern genres that are much harder to sing than pop, but it is very easy to tell when a musician has had classical training and it may interest you to find out that most hard rock singers have, that stuff is hard, to get the power and volume behind you voice to sing hard rock is one of the most technically difficult things a singer can do and requires extensive training and a **** load of practice with vocal exercises. As a long time singer who has had training, i do believe that all the points you've mentioned could be relieved or improved with training. Breath control is huge thing and you need to make sure you are breathing properly. Strengthen your diaphragm and try to sing from deep down rather than your head cos can end up sounding throaty or nasal. Do not try to sing any higher than your voice will comfortably allow this will damage your vocal chords, you may be able to increase your vocal range with training but this takes time.
could you explain how I could go about singing pop songs because i after every phrase I sing, my chest feels heavier and heavier, So i need to pause and deep breathe to carry on. I feel I would suck even more at rock because its so loud.
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hippieglitter
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(Original post by One autumn leaf)
could you explain how I could go about singing pop songs because i after every phrase I sing, my chest feels heavier and heavier, So i need to pause and deep breathe to carry on. I feel I would suck even more at rock because its so loud.
I do believe that t could be all to do with breathing, try these. This is just one suggestion but there are loads of video on youtube about all aspects of singing.
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aciana
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I only know about classical singing, so up to what you take from this, if anything.

1.You need a feeling like you are about to yawn, which is very relaxed and open and lifts the soft palate. So if you start to simulate a yawn and at the same time start singing you will get a more relaxed feeling, it will probably sound a bit strange but the main thing is to understand that relaxed feeling and then gradually tone down the yawning until you just get the relaxed feeling without the yawn sound.

2.Throat closed - your throat must never feel closed, your throat shouldn't really feel anything much at all, just imagine it has been given an anaesthetic, it all goes through your throat but should never get stuck there. Again, when you yawn does your throat feel closed? Try it, you will find it's very relaxed. Even if you yawn on a high pitch there's no tension, so that's a good exercise - yawn from low to high pitch on an ahh sound. Also you can try this with "ng" sound if you know what that is - it's like the end of "swimming" - the "ng" sound at the end. Another warm up is the lip trill on "brr" sound so your lips vibrate and you can go up and down scales. A bit of red wine might also help to relax.

3. Breathing - you need exercises for this to do with quickly relaxing abdominal muscles to allow the air to enter, maybe you are holding too much tension there.

4. Headache - maybe it's just a sensation you're not used to? I am not sure about this one

5. Chest tension- Try a physical warm up to loosen and stretch muscles or lightly tap on your chest and arms.
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One autumn leaf
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(Original post by hippieglitter)
I do believe that t could be all to do with breathing, try these. This is just one suggestion but there are loads of video on youtube about all aspects of singing.
hey i just watched her video, I tried the hissing excercise but it seems that I can never fully exchale so once i get to the limit i have to relax and take a regular breath relaxing my chest. its kinda hard to explain.
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hippieglitter
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(Original post by One autumn leaf)
hey i just watched her video, I tried the hissing excercise but it seems that I can never fully exchale so once i get to the limit i have to relax and take a regular breath relaxing my chest. its kinda hard to explain.
Its practice, just like the rest of your body the more you exercise you lungs, the stronger they will be and you will be able to take in more air and learn to use and expel it efficiently enough for singing. I have noticed a lot of people will waste their air on the first few words in a sentence and sung phrases are longer and require more air than speaking which is why the end of sentences can sometimes get lost, but this also comes with practice.
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