It is crucial for any singer to develop awareness of their posture and alignment as these will affect the sound they are making.

We start by defining what they are:

Posture: A particular position of the body

Alignment: Arrangement (in our case of the body) in a straight link or in correct relative positions.

As there are no “good” or “bad” sounds we can only develop ways of vocal production as efficient as possible, which is helped by maintaining a good posture supported by a balanced neck/back allignment that creates as much space within the resonating spaces in the throat and supports a balanced use if the laryngeal muscles. Your breathing pattern will better as it will increase your ability of breath control.

Standing Position and Alignment

Feet parallel and shoulder width apart
Knees slightly bent (to aid the back of the ribcage stretch)
Pelvis slightly rotated forward
Shoulders nice and relaxed
Arms relaxed by the sides of your chest
Neck slightly lifted
Chin slightly raised
2 imaginary dots just under the collar bones on either side of the sternum. They open as “flowers”.
Lips sealed but jaw is not clenched.

Ex n° 1 – Spine Rolls

Feet are 1 foot away from the wall and shoulder width apart
knees are slightly bent
back is flat on the wall
shoulders are open
back of the neck is touching the wall
You should feel a stretch in the muscles connecting the shoulders to the neck.

Start rolling down your spine vertebra by vertebra and make sure they don’t come off the wall in small units (2 or 3 vertebrae at a time)
Hang down
Give your shoulders a shake
Head a little “yes” nod
Breathe into the back of the ribcage
Blow a candle between your legs on a voiceless fricative “f” (2 short and 1 long) twice
Breathe into the back of the ribcage again and on a long “f” come curling up your spine again, vertebra by vertebra

Repeat the exercise on 2 other voiceless fricatives “s” and “sh” and then on 3 voiced fricatives “v”, “z” and “j” (like the French je t’aime) on the lower third of your range,

Aim to increase your breath capacity each time and TAKE YOUR TIME!

Ex n° 2
Just stand and experience the feeling of being perfectly aligned, then shift your focus to your breath. Notice the difference between how you felt before and how you feel now.

Sitting Position and Alignment

Sit on an average chair (not a stool which usually are higher)
Ground your feet: they must be firmly planted to the floor
Legs at 90° angle
Rotate your backwards and forwards until you find a nice middle position (notice your sitting bones on the chair)
Arms hanging either side of the body or put your hands nice and comfortably on your thighs
Shoulders nice and relaxed
Neck slightly raised
Chin slightly raised
2 imaginary dots under the collar bones on either side of the sternum. They open as “flowers”.
Lips are sealed but jaw is not clenched.

Ex. n°3
Just sit and experience the feeling of being perfectly aligned, then shift your focus to your breath. Notice the difference between how you felt before and how you feel now.

Ex. n° 4
Sing a song you are working on both in standing and sitting position. Botice if anything shifts whilst singing. Has your alignment changed? Is it easier or more difficult to sing.

 

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