TOP 5 PRACTICE POINTERS FOR MORE "POP" (and Why Jessie J sings with her mouth closed)

November 11, 2016

We aren’t talking about pop MUSIC, but rather POWER in your voice without straining.




Straws are taking the voice world by storm, and with good reason. They have proven to reduce tension and unwanted pressure in the voice. Tension kills all the good vibrations in our voice, so we use straws very often at Innovative to achieve more comfortable and open vocals. It is recommended to warm up daily with straws for about 3-5 minutes. Straws are also great to combat what may feel like a closed or muffled voice with allergies and colds. So, hop on over to Starbucks for your free straw and start BUZZING!





Have you ever tried singing into a pillow, scarf or sweater? It can make some major vocal magic happen. If you’re interested in getting your voice to feel open and easy, then use this trick! This method also keeps to noise to a minimum, so it is a particularly handy way of practicing during “quiet hours” or if you are worried of disturbing neighbors or roommates.




Did you ever puff your cheeks out wide and “pop” them when you were a kid? Then you already know about the blowfish. Well, turns out it’s not only a fun way to make fake farts and beatbox, it’s also awesome for vocal conditioning. Specifically, this technique allows the throat to open and relax so that it is not used to support the sound. In the voice world, the blowfish is one of the most useful tools for establishing a resonant voice—and it’s also one of the most fun.


In fact, Jessie J showed us her silly side and actually demonstrated her blowfish on TV. Take a peek below:






Let’s talk posture and alignment. Every first class singer has near perfect spinal alignment. If your spine is out of alignment, basically everything around it including your larynx will have to compensate. Your breathing muscles will be working to correct this alignment instead of participating in the respiratory process. In short, if your abs are being used to hold your spine, then they won’t be readily available to open your ribcage (and lower your diaphragm so you can take in the air you need to sustain a phrase or sing a high note). So, use a WALL SIT to reset, lengthen the spinal column by finding its natural soft “S” curve and allow the abdominal wall to release again. This trick is also helpful for engaging the inner leg lines, which can aid in grounding your body and sound.






Sometimes turning an airy consonant like “F” into a voiced consonant like “V” can give a bit of a vocal boost. So, the next time you’re singing “SO IF YOU CARE TO FIND ME, LOOK TO THE WESTERN SKY”, try singing “SO IV YOU CARE TO VIND ME…”. But, are people still actually singing Defying Gravity? Well, you get the point. Creating more voiced consonants, especially for “belty” full-voiced singing, will amp up the decibel level. Also play with turning “S” into “Z”. In our earlier Wicked example, the phrase would become “ZO IV YOU CARE TO VIND ME, LOOK TO THE WEZTERN ZKY”.


*Please seek a qualified voice teacher or vocal coach on the HOW of these methods. If done improperly, it can be potentially damaging for the vocal folds.


Feel free to email for any questions.

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