Manning's Big Singing Lie#7
Big Lie #7 -
It takes great effort and the
coordination of many varied
muscles to sing correctly.
If you are having difficulties
right now, chances are, you actually
have TOO MANY muscles trying to help! Singing "as designed" is
than doing it wrong, and gives you more satisfying
A large part of
the "difficulty" most people experience in their singing
starts inside their own brains. Don't get me wrong. It's
not ALL in their brains, but it usually starts there. They
trick themselves out. It usually happens like this:
A singer gets hold of a song they like and it has one of
those high notes that sounds very impressive on the radio. That
high note is part of the reason they
bought the song to try and sing. They put it on and start to
sing along and as they approach the big moment, they realize
that they are approaching the end of their range!
What do they do then? They make a choice.
Possibility #1: They "go for it," pulling up
their chest voice and just blasting through it. Of course if
it's not too far above their break point, they either make it
and feel pain, or they don't make it and falsetto kicks in
Possibility #2: It's right on the edge of their
break and they make it but they are never sure they'll make it
the next time. They always feel insecure about it.
So...the next time rolls around
They try the song again, and as they approach the note
that's supposed to make them feel great, a strange dread and
fear kicks in. They begin to "work up to it" in their mind.
Their neck begins to show veins. The muscles under the chin
jump in to help also. (I've had students tell me that their
entire neck and back hurts after singing!) They may even begin
to breathe irregularly, reducing oxygen supply to the areas
that need it.
So here they are in a wrestling match with their own bodies,
wondering why singing is so "hard."
The truth is, by the time their minds tell them how hard it is
to hit this high note, they've enlisted every muscle in the
region to "help" and all those muscles jump on board. The
trouble is--it causes more strain and can even do damage
to the tiny muscles that actually make the sound.
Part of what Brett Manning has to teach singers caught in
this trap, involves some exercises to dis-engage all those
external muscles so they get out of the voice's way.
To show you what I mean, try one of Brett's simple exercises
Start on a comfortable note and sing "la, la, la" up the scale
until you get just past the limit of "comfortable" and then
return down the scale.
Now place the flat of your thumb under your chin and press
upward VERY slightly. Sing the same scale again and chances
are, you'll feel the muscles under your chin start to press
your thumb downward. These muscles are NOT needed for singing,
and in fact they only add to your strain.
This time go up the scale and try to consciously keep those
muscles from pressing against your thumb. You may not be able
to get them to relax without doing some of the other exercises
in Brett's program to get the strain off your vocal cords. But
most likely you WILL be able to do this, and you'll notice that
your voice enjoys this new sensation.
Next time, I'll reveal a lie about the nature of singing
itself that can severely limit you if you believe
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Read our Singing Success
Manning's singing lie 1 - about how to sing properly
Manning's singing lie 2 - about classical singing
singing lie 3 - about vocal range
Manning's singing lie 4 - about breathing correctly for
singing lie 5 - about falsetto to sing high
Manning's singing lie 6 - about natural singing
Manning's singing lie 7 - about the muscles used for
Manning's singing lie 8 - about singing being pure
Manning's singing lie 9 - about singing power
Back to The 9 Biggest Singing Lies