Tuesday, January 29, 2013
What are the ten most common problems of singers? There are ten, but when some subcategories are added, there are actually 21 PHYSICAL common problems of singers. In addition to those, there are mental, spiritual, and emotional problems to deal with. The easiest problem to handle will usually be the one of posture. If you haven't been to or if you haven't observed a ballet class, then you haven't been exposed to ballet posture. A teacher will tell the dance student to "pull up", meaning as if there is a string attached to the top of your head and that is being pulled up. What does this effectively do? This part makes your rib cage rise slightly. This is great for singing because with your ribcage slightly raised, your lungs have more space to inflate and expand. The secondary effect of ballet posture is that your abdominal muscles are slightly flexed. Too much flexing of the abs is as deleterious to a good tone as too little flexing. When we breathe, we do not fill up air into the abdomen. Your lungs terminate at approximately bottom of your ribs. If you had air in your abdomen, you would possibly be in extreme pain. You also need space for your inhale muscle to contract into. Your inhale muscle is the diaphragm and you CANNOT feel it. You can watch your abdomen bulge as it contracts downward and presses on the organs below it: the stomach, the intestines, the liver, and a few others. The significance of this is nil EXCEPT if you have eaten a large meal and have to sing with a full stomach. That can be a minor problem and can also be uncomfortable. Does good posture "fix" your singing problems? No. It is one of 21 factors, some of which are related to each other, which is why we can call these the 10 most common problems of singers. Look for problem number 2 coming soon :-) Bad posture can interfere with singing or with the ease of singing. It is a good idea to make good posture a habit, so that you can have your attention on the art, rather than on your own body.
Posted by Chuck Stewart, Vocal Coach at 3:26 AM