Singing scales....Working on scales is an important part of learning how to control your voice.
Many singers have told me that they do not believe in using scales as a warm up to a rehearsal session or even before a performance.
Often, it is with a bit of embarrassment that a singer will admit - ¨I never thought that doing scales was important for me. I just sing and warm up as I go. Vocal warm ups and exercises - that´s really more for classical singers, isn´t it?¨
No, that´s not true. Vocal exercises are for everyone.
If you want to keep your voice in good shape, extend your range, learn how to manage your breath better, find more colors in your voice, have easier access to a variety of emotions or centre yourself before a rehearsal... find some scales that you like to sing and work on them daily.
GO AHEAD! TRY THIS!
Try a beginner's warm up! Here's a simple, yet efficient and fun 20-minute warm up that you will love: SING WITH ME!
This (downloadable) MP3 called "SING WITH ME!" contains a 15-minute series of very simple vocal exercises and demonstrations that the aspiring beginner singer can sing-along with as a further incentive to "get out there and sing!" The MP3 ends with a song that you can sing-along with so that you can put your new found vocal awareness to the test!
What is a Singing Scale?
Scales are a series of notes that go up or down in pitch and have a distinctive, regular pattern to them. If you sing Mary Had A Little Lamb using just those first four words and you repeat them at different pitch levels (going higher and going lower), you will have an elementary type of singing scale.
But most scales are not quite so melodious. Listen to the following sound clip of a very simple vocal scale or exercise. I like to use this one early in a lesson because it is a quiet, calm exercise that allows a singer to concentrate on managing breath: Singing scales - short audio sample
What scales should You sing?
Perhaps the easiest way to discover scales that work for your particular voice is to take a few lessons with a teacher who likes to work with singers like you. That is, find a respected teacher who knows and enjoys the music you sing and ask her/him to give you some appropriate scales for your voice and your current singing ability.
It is of no value for you to be singing scales that are beyond your means at this point. Having said that, I also believe that even the simplest of scales can be a benefit to the most advanced singers.
However, if you cannot or do not want to find a singing teacher, you can also consider buying one of the many pre-recorded CDs (or DVDs) created by singing teachers. While you will not get individualized scales and exercises, you can work at your own pace using the exercises on the tapes.
Scales for Everyone - and Scales for Certain Problems
Some scale patterns work for all of my students because they exercise the whole voice in ways that everyone needs, no matter their ability, age or song style.
But there are also many vocalises (scales) that can help a singer with specific problems - such as singing high notes or finding a vibrato or learning how to keeping his/her breath steady.
Here is a slightly more advanced scale that helps vocalists learn how to manage faster moving notes: Singing Scales - fast moving notes
Daily Vocal Exercises Have a Hidden Benefit
Overall, singing scales is an important part of learning about your voice, developing your voice and keeping your voice in good shape. But there is another less obvious benefit to these exercises.
I believe that when you sing them daily, you are learning how to maintain a precise and somewhat mysterious physical and mental co-ordination that creates an inner balance, that can keep you on stage and performing even when you are not in good health or when other singing conditions are not optimal.
Look here for a simple, powerful beginning to your singing warm ups: Getting A Strong Start on Vocal Warm ups
I wish you Great Singing!
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