How Loud Should You Practice as a Singer?
Being a singer is the best! It’s full of moments of pure joy… and lots of moments of frustration. All we really want is to be able to sing in a way that feels good (and sounds good too). But there are so many things that you can get caught up on when it comes to practicing. Improving timing, tone, pitch, accuracy, nuance, style, and the list goes on. Today I want to narrow the focus for you. If you want to get more results your of your practice exercises and prevent vocal fatigue all at the same time, there’s one thing you can focus on – Volume. By paying attention to your volume during your training sessions, you’ll be able to improve your voice. So today, we’re going to talk about how loud you should practice as a singer and how to use your volume as a tool in training!
What are you trying to accomplish in the moment?
Depending on the aim of your practice session, the volume you’ll want to sing at, and the tone you’ll want to use may differ slightly. But there is one thing you can do that helps with everything across the board: maintain the same volume across your range in your exercises. To do this effectively, we must listen carefully to what we’re doing so that we know what to change or improve.
For example, when you sing in your lower chest voice range, everything feels natural and good. As you start to go higher in your range you may enter a spot where the only way you can stay in chest voice and sing the notes is to push and force the sound out. When this happens your volume increases and you get louder! That’s a sign that you don’t have enough strength there. So how can you use volume to improve your results>
When should the volume change while I’m singing?
While you’re practicing and working, there’s a few times that the volume you’re singing at will change naturally… and that’s okay. It has to change a little bit! Knowing this is helpful as you listen to yourself and listen for those cues specifically. The first place is when you’re lower in your chest voice and go up in your range. If you want to keep the full voice you have in the lower range, you may notice it getting a little bit louder. The second time is if you’re going from your chest to head voice. Monitoring your volume as you make those transitions will help you determine where you need to work on strengthen your voice.
As you sing, there are ways to take the stress off your voice. If you’re experiencing a lot of outside tension, then you’re experiencing a lack of foundational strength in your voice. Again, being mindful of the volume you’re singing at and how it feels will help you expose those weaknesses. When you really have to push sound out and find yourself straining, that’s a spot to note – and somewhere you should work on.
Exercises to Strengthen Your Voice
The first exercise is going to focus on you going down in your range. You can sing “mum” in a lower part of your range. As you start to go higher, don’t get louder. Even though you’ll want to, don’t! Instead, make that your stopping point and don’t go past that spot. It’s not wimpy to create a stopping point like that in your exercises. Remember the goal is to keep your volume the same as much as possible, so we need to know where we have to stop and regroup. You can join back in when the exercises come back down into the range where you can maintain your equal volume.
In the second exercise, we’re going to go across your range. Most often, when singers do this exercise, they are louder and heavier at the bottom of their scale and lighter at the top. The goal is to really balance them out and create a consistent volume across the scale.
When you’re working on these exercises, try to keep your volume around a normal speaking range or perhaps a little more authoritative. You want to feel comfortable and at ease at the volume you choose – not crunchy or scrunched up!
Watch today’s video to learn more about the proper volume for singing– and to try out these exercises!
Want more help?
If you’re experiencing issues with volume as a singer or feeling any other foundational weaknesses, check out my 6-week course, Foundations Training! Volume is one of the first things we focus on during the six weeks together. By working on your voice foundations, you’ll be able to build a stronger voice, reduce vocal fatigue, and so much more!