The human voice is like a musical instrument powered by air. When you sing, the air from your lungs makes your vocal cords vibrate. It’s similar to blowing air through a straw. Just like a bent straw blocks the air, it’s difficult for air to pass through when your vocal cords are not aligned properly.
So, if you want to make your voice sound good when you sing, it’s important to stand up straight. This means keeping your body in a straight and upright position. By doing this, you can give your voice the best support it needs.
What is Bad Posture?
When we talk about good posture, we usually imagine someone standing very stiffly with their knees straight, their lower back curved too much inward, and their chest sticking out a lot.
This kind of posture is actually not good because it puts our body out of alignment. When our body is not aligned properly, it can create tension that affects the quality of our singing voice.
There are other examples of bad posture too, like tucking the chin into the neck or having a “texting” neck, slouching forward with rounded shoulders, or having a low or inwardly curved chest.
What is Good Singing Posture?
Creating good singing posture involves a few important things. Many new singers think they don’t have any problems with their posture, but it’s actually basic anatomy and goes beyond just feeling confident on stage.
Surprisingly, how you position your head, hands, arms, chest, abdomen, feet, and even knees can affect how well you sing.
Take a moment to think about whether both of your feet are firmly on the ground when you sing. Do your shoulders feel relaxed? Is your back straight? If you answered “Yes” to all three of these questions, then you’re off to a great start, but there’s still more to do.
Here is a more thorough checklist to assist you in perfecting your singing posture:
- Make sure your chin is level with the floor and slightly tucked in.
- Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders relaxed, not hunched.
- Keep your stomach firm, but still allow it to expand when you breathe using your diaphragm.
- Keep your hands relaxed and by your sides, slightly away from your body.
- Even if you’re nervous, remember to keep your knees loose and relaxed.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, slightly leaning forward. You can put one foot slightly in front of the other for balance.
- If all of this feels overwhelming at first, don’t worry. Once you practice and get used to it, you’ll naturally be more aware of how it affects your voice every day.
Importance of Singing Posture
One thing many singers struggle with when they’re starting out is having the right posture. But don’t worry, making a few simple changes to how you stand can instantly improve your singing voice.
Having good posture means keeping your spine straight and your joints not bent or twisted. When you have good posture, it not only helps you breathe better, but it also makes your voice sound better. So, by standing up straight and aligned, you can enhance your singing and have a better voice.
Here is a simple exercise to try in order to better your understanding:
- Practice breathing from your stomach or diaphragm; when you inhale, your lower abdomen should expand.
- Straighten your spine as you inhale in this manner.
- Try breathing in the same manner now, but with a slouched posture.
When you slouch, your stomach won’t expand as much as it should. This is important for singers because they need to take in as much oxygen as possible.
Correct Posture for Singing
Having the right posture means keeping your spine straight and your joints in a relaxed position. But it’s not just about that, you also need to pay attention to your head, feet, knees, hips, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms, and hands. In other words, your whole body is involved in maintaining good posture.
Make sure you stand up straight and avoid slouching. Slouching limits the amount of air you can take in because it restricts the expansion of your belly. Good posture, on the other hand, allows for better diaphragmatic breathing, making it easier to take in more air with each breath.
To find your ideal singing posture, go through each part of your body step by step, starting with your head. Practice regularly, and you’ll get better at assuming the right position more quickly. Using a mirror can also help you check your posture.
By breathing into your belly and paying attention to each part of your body, you’ll learn how to get the most out of each breath and maximize the amount of oxygen you take in.
Make sure your chin is straight and level with the floor, keeping your head in a neutral position. Pull back slightly to keep your neck straight. Your spine should be completely straight without any bending. Avoid leaning your head or neck forward, as it can cause an imbalance in your neck joint.
Chest and Shoulder
Make sure to pull your shoulders back and lift your chest up. Instead of raising your shoulders, let them relax and stay down. Keep the natural curve of your spine instead of flattening it out.
Your upper body should feel open and relaxed. When you sing, keep your shoulders steady and avoid tensing them. Don’t push your shoulders back too much to prevent straining them.
Keep your belly firm and flat. When you breathe in, allow your abdomen to expand and create space. It might take some practice to get used to using your diaphragm for breathing instead of relying on your chest and shoulders.
Read Also: Advanced Breathing Exercises for Singing
If you’re not gesturing, let your arms and hands hang down by your sides. Keep a bit of space between your hands and your body to avoid looking too stiff or tense.
Make sure your arms and hands feel relaxed and comfortable. Allow the air to flow freely around you. Avoid fidgeting with your clothes or clenching your hands into fists to appear more relaxed.
To have good support, keep your hips directly below your torso. Make sure your pelvis stays aligned beneath your torso. When you dance or move to the music, try to avoid shifting your hips forward or backward.
Always keep your knees from locking. It’s important to stay relaxed in your body for a good singing performance, no matter how nervous you may feel. If you don’t keep your knees loose, it can limit blood flow and even make you faint during your performance. Keep your legs directly beneath your body for stability and support.
When you stand, position your feet apart, about the width of your shoulders. To improve balance, place one foot slightly in front of the other. Lean forward a little while trying to keep your posture straight and level.
The A-O joint
The top bone in your spine, called the atlas, connects to the base of your skull, known as the occiput, at a junction called the A-O joint. When this joint is properly aligned, you can sing with less tension in your jaw and neck. To maintain this alignment, avoid looking too high up or too low down and keep your head balanced at this joint.
Some Exercises to Improve Singing Posture
Standing Straight up Against a Wall
Stand facing away from a wall and touch it with your heels, calves, shoulders, and head all at the same time. Stay in this position for a moment.
Boost your Buoyancy While Standing Still
Stand with your feet apart and shift your body weight slightly towards the balls of your feet. This will help you understand how the distribution of your weight affects your voice. Repeat this movement several times.
Expand and Contract Stomach
Stand up straight and place your hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in and make sure your abdomen expands as you inhale. Then exhale and feel your abdomen contract. Repeat this process to make sure your breathing is correct.
Practice these exercises in your free time to work on your singing posture. For the best results, always use good posture when you perform. Improving your singing voice starts with having the right body position. Breaking the habit of slouching may take time, but keep trying. The effort will be worth it in the end.