Do you have the right singing posture?
Have you ever taken the time to notice the posture of the greatest singers while they are performing in front of an audience?
Unless looking for some sort of style, they all stay still and straight alongside the microphone stand. It has nothing to do with charisma, they just know how important the column of air is, which is formed when the lungs push the air out under the pressure of the diaphragm, acting as a valve.
Indeed, between breathing and singing, a coordinated process is occurring which involves the wind tunnel, vibrator, resonators and articulation.
The ideal posture to assume is the one Bel Canto singers call the « postura nobile », or « noble posture ». It is based on the concept of keeping your body and organs available for singing.
The most important aspect is to keep the upper part of your body straight. Your body must be relaxed, except for the muscles required for your posture. You are stable on your feet, balanced, knees are unlocked (legs bent just a little), your pelvis and abdominal muscles are flexible and your back is straight to align your center of gravity with the chest. Relax your shoulders, even when you inhale, and keep your head straight (you can give it a try with your head down, you’ll hear the difference). Finally, the jaw must be relaxed too, completely loose (see our dedicated article about that).
You can try this when you sit down, allowing you to focus on the upper part of your body. However, you must be careful not to bend your back.
You also might have heard of imaginary strings, which is another technique that can help you. Imagine an invisible string above your head, and another one on your nose, like a puppet. Pull up on the first string. Your neck will stretch, so stop whenever you feel comfortable with this position. Now, imagine your voice comes out in the same direction as the first string, vertically out of your chest. Your voice should project powerfully and stable.
Let’s now practice with a simple exercise you can do anywhere to help you find this position naturally: lean on a wall, your back tight against the wall, and open the legs just a little. Try to be in contact with the wall as much as possible, with your head, back, backside and heels. Inhale slowly and deeply, without moving the shoulders, and try to relax. Do this several times until this becomes more and more familiar. You should be able to inhale more air quickly thanks to the action of the floating ribs.
If this feels too uncomfortable at first, then try it while lying on the floor, and then try again while standing up.
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