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Singing Lessons - Day 1

March 1, 2024


Hi, I’m Camille van Niekerk with 30 Day Singer, and this is your first vocal lesson!


First, we want to assess your ability to match pitch. That’s because every vocal exercise we use assumes that you can match pitch, at least in a limited range. So I’ll have you pull up a chromatic tuner - my current favorite is the singing carrots vocal pitch monitor, and we’ve also used; both of these are websites so you don’t need to download anything. Ideally, you’ll wear headphones just for this part so the tuner only picks up on your voice to analyze, and not the pitches from this video. I’ll play and name a few pitches, and you’ll see how close you can get to matching them with your tuner. 


Most people, even without singing experience, will be able to match some pitches, especially in a comfortable range. But if that was a big struggle, I’d focus on matching pitch and intonation before anything else. 


Next, we want to find an easy, relaxed, low breath. Breathing for singing should feel natural. I like to find this breath by first breathing through the nose, and relaxing the abdomen so you can feel your belly moving. Then drop open the mouth to breathe through your mouth!


Our inhale is low and relaxed, and our exhale is when singing actually occurs. Establish a connection between your abs and sound-making with a hiss, hum, hah. Your goal is to feel gentle engagement in your low abs, so that these muscles are helping to control your airflow, instead of the muscles in your throat!


Now, a big part of your singing voice is your speaking voice. We sometimes call it your “chest voice”, because you can usually feel strong vibration on your chest. Let’s do an exercise where we’re just speaking on pitch.


Your speaking voice, or chest voice, isn’t limitless. Eventually you run into another coordination, sometimes called your head voice. Give me an excited, high pitched “woohoo” sound and just notice what that feels like. Try a few exercises where we use the “woohoo” sound.


That’s a great place to end this first voice lesson! To finish out your practice time, I encourage you to sing a bit of a song you’d like to work on. Thank you for following along with me, and I hope you found it helpful!

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