If you take a look beneath the surface, singing, indeed, is a very complex process. It’s not only your throat that sings, it’s your whole body. If you’re unaware of how you stand or how you sit, you better check out your posture right now.
In this article, I’ll shed a light on the importance and the benefits of a perfect singing posture.
Straighten up your spine and let the air flow
It’s always fascinating to me, how some people are born with something (good), that others have to learn and train in the first place. Same applies to posture. I’ve met people, who just can’t stand not straight. They’re genetically built in a way that they always keep their shoulders back, chest out, and straightened out from the bottom to the top.
However, to be successful in life in general, you have to know your strength and weaknesses. When I first started taking vocal lessons, my teacher, who was also a professional dancer, corrected my bad posture and also explained why he did so.
As in singing, we’re constantly aiming for releasing tension and enhancing vocal freedom, a proper posture will help you with both aspects.
Sitting vs. standing
Basically, if you keep a straight position it doesn’t really matter, if you’d rather sit or stand while singing. Although most singers like to stand and rock the stage, others prefer to sit on a stool for a lovely ballad.
To gain some personal experience, I want you to try two exercises
– Sit down on a stool and position yourself right on your sit bones. That will correct your posture automatically.
– Now, roll back over your sit bones just a little until you’re in a relaxed position.
– Keep your legs parallel and your feet flat on the floor
– Slightly lift your chin, so that you look straight forward.
– Loosen up your shoulders
– Stand up, your feet aligned with your shoulders
– Slightly bend your knees and bring your pelvic forward
– Lift your chin, so that you look straight forward
– Loosen your shoulders
The goal of these simple exercises is merely to get a feeling and understanding how it feels, when -through a proper posture- you’ve opened up your body, allowing the air flowing easily. Once you’ve done these exercises, the information is brought to your conscious will do its work there.
3 Ways to improve your overall posture
1) Yoga: I guess you all know what Yoga is. Technically, Yoga consists of 3 different pillars: The physical exercises (asanas), breathing and meditation. If you attend a typical yoga class, though, you will primarily do the asanas, that stretches and shapes your body in a very natural and soft way. As breathing plays an important role in Yoga, it’s a great way for singers to work on their posture.
2) Workout: If you’re a more physical type of person, I suggest you’d rather hit the gym for traditional weight lifting exercises. One reason of a bad posture can be, that your back muscles are too weak to keep your back in a straight position. With only few exercises you can target them and achieve satisfying results within some weeks. Nice side effect: You’ll get your body in great shape, too.
3) The puppet Imagination: This is a more mental than a physical exercise, with instant results, though. Let’s try this right now.
Imagine a string, attached to the top of your head. Now, someone pulls that string upwards and your body aligns just like a puppet. What your mind tells your body is that everything, except of the head, looses and your body instantly switches into a good posture. It’s important to practice this particular exercise over and over again, until it’s really internalised.
Check your posture every time you pass a mirror and correct it by imagine you being that puppet on a string.
How your voice benefits from a proper posture
Besides many other advantages that come with a good posture, like more economic usage of your body resources, prevention of muscular or joint problems, a better and more vital look, your vocal performance will thank you too.
Firstly, the air can pass much more easily, because through a proper alignment, there will be no buckling where the air gets stuck. When you have a bad posture, there might be resonating areas, that were literally closed for the air and could never been activated. When this has been corrected, you will experience a fuller sound in your voice. Secondly, you will get rid of a lot of tensions that tend to tight your voice. Moreover, the good tone versus bad tension of muscles, involved in singing, will be well-balanced and therefore enable more vocal freedom.
As you can see, a perfect posture is essential for a proper airflow during singing. A bad posture can limit your vocal progress and the sound of your voice. With an optimised airflow comes vocal freedom and a fuller sound.
While the choice to sit or stand while singing is up to you, the aim is always to achieve a straight and tall spine.
There are numerous ways you can improve your posture, from Yoga to weight lifting or playing some mental tricks. Just choose one and stick to it until you see results.
What’s your favorite exercise to get a straight back?