Ok, so I had a student earlier this week that was struggling to sing a faster song. So, I set out to devise a little system that could help me to accomplish just this, and in my development process, I came up with The Three Factors of Flow.
Do these 3 things well, and you’ll not only be able to sing more smooth and connected, but you’ll also be able to kiss those struggles of singing fast-paced material goodbye. So, let’s get right to it.
Factor #1 – Consistent Flow of Air
This is pretty obvious, right? In order to create a steady flow of sound, we have to back that with a steady flow of air. However, singers don’t always do this. Often time, especially between words, the flow of air stops or wavers, creating inconsistency in the vocal mechanism and breaking the flow. So, in order to avoid this, try to consciously release a constant and consistent amount of air throughout the entire phrase. You can even put your hand up in front of your face and feel the flow of air as it escapes while you sing. This will help give you something measurable.
Factor #2 – Consistent Space in the Back of the Mouth
A lot of singers really over create their vowels and consonants, chewing their vowels and consonants for each word. This isn’t just unnecessary, but it makes it nearly impossible to have a consistent open sound while singing especially in faster songs.
So try to make sure that the space in the back of the mouth remains consistently open. There’s really just no need to alter that space as much as most singers want to when creating words.
Factor #3 – Spit Your Consonants Out
In order to keep the space in the back of the mouth open, you have to spit the consonants out and forward. This means you’re going to speak the consonants further forward in the mouth. When creating L’s and N’s, you’re simply going to use the tip of your tongue and release the back. When speaking K’s and G’s, the back of your tongue is going to make contact with the roof of your mouth further forward than what you’re probably used to (though all of this is only to the point that it’s relaxed and comfortable).
Do this, and you’ll be able to speak the consonant in front of the open space in the back of the mouth without having to alter it hardly at all.
Balancing out all of these elements can take a little bit of practice, but once you get used to it, you’ll find that your sound is much fuller and more connected, and your ability to sing faster songs with freedom will have greatly increased.
I hope this helps, and feel free to add any ideas or questions below in the comment box and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can.
Vocal Coach Ken Taylor