Technique Archives | Page 4 of 4 | Arden Kaywin Vocal Studio

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Join Arden’s free virtual studio to get member-only tips, tools and singing insights

IMG_9257-Edit

BRAVO

I’m so excited to have you!

Studio Members get motivational emails every once in a while, first dibs on scholarship seats to singing workshops and master-classes and other studio member-only resources I don’t offer anywhere else.

Please enter your name.
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Anatomical diagram of diaphragm for breathing used by Arden Kaywin, voice teacher los angeles in voice lessons los angeles to explain breath support for singing, how to use diaphragm in singing,

Stop Trying to “Use Your Diaphragm”

A Tip On The Anatomy Of Breath Support How many of you have been told to “use your diaphragm!” by a voice professional? I want to let you in on a little secret . . .you can’t actually “use” your diaphragm. It’s a futile request. While the diaphragm is an essential muscle for breath support and for the production of sound, you can’t actually direct your diaphragm to do anything because it is an involuntary muscle. Just like another very important involuntary muscle in our body, the heart, the diaphragm has an essential job to do, but we cannot directly control it. Telling a singer to “use your diaphragm!” is like telling an athlete to “pump your heart!” It’s an impossible request and contributes to much confusion around the nature of breath support for singing. The diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle at the bottom of your ribcage that separates your thorax (where your heart and lungs live) from your abdomen (where your digestive organs live). When you inhale, this dome-shaped diaphragm contracts downwards flattening out. When this happens, the volume of the thoracic cavity increases, a vacuum is activated and air is then drawn into the lungs. It’s the

Arden Kaywin, Voice Lessons Los Angeles, Man Struggling to Sing High Notes,

Help! I Can’t Sing High

One of the most common frustrations I hear from singers is that they have trouble singing high notes. Do you relate? If you are a singer who wants help expanding your range so you can learn to sing high notes with ease, read on. Range is a tricky thing. To some degree, our voices are physiologically built for a certain range. Longer, thicker vocal chords constitute a lower voice. The shorter and thinner your chords are, the higher your range is. However, within the boundaries of your physiology, I believe that any singer can begin to increase their range and access higher notes with more ease by experimenting with a few simple tools. Here are two ideas to help you increase your range for singing:  1. Access Your Siren Give yourself the freedom to explore your range outside of the pressure of singing. See what it feels like to “siren” around freely like an ambulance at the top of your range. Ladies, use your head voice for this. Gentlemen, stay in the higher part of your chest resonance, don’t flip into falsetto. Don’t think too much about the sound you’re making. Instead, use the freedom of the siren to play

Best Kept Secret Of Good Technique

I always say “Your body is your instrument, not your voice”. And in my opinion, the single most important part of your body involved in good singing technique is the one part of the body that most singers are the least familiar with: the pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is an area of muscular and membranous tissue that extends between your legs from your pubic bone in front through to your tailbone in back. Both men and women have a pelvic floor. We all know the feeling of needing to urinate and having to hold it until we find a bathroom. That “holding it” sensation is you pulling up on your pelvic floor. Try it now. Stand up and pretend like you are trying not to urinate and pull your pelvic floor up towards your belly-button. Now let your pelvic floor return to neutral, then go in the opposite direction. Bear down on your pelvic floor in the direction away from your naval as though you were trying to have a bowel movement. Good! You have just successfully manipulated your pelvic floor in both directions. What does the pelvic floor have to do with singing? For singing, the ability to

What is Vibrato?

I am often asked what vibrato is and how a singer can develop it. The term vibrato comes from the Italian word “vibrare” which means to vibrate. Vibrato is a small variation of pitch occurring spontaneously that results from the free oscillation of the vocal cords. A singer achieves a healthy vibrato by allowing for an open pharynx (open throat) while their vocal cords come together seamlessly without unnecessary holding/tension. It is the result of these opposing factors working together, basically “open throat, closed cords” (Jones) that results in vibrato. Also essential for a healthy, spontaneous vibrato is an even, consistent air pressure vibrating the vocal cords – in other words, good breath support. The optimal amount and pressure of the air being moved past the cords is regulated by a singer’s support system (ie, engagement of their abdominal oblique muscles, rectus abdominus muscles, transverse abdonminus muscles, lower lumbar muscles, perineum (pelvic floor), and intercostal muscles). There are many different kinds of vibrato that we hear and different cultures often prefer different sounds. For example, the Indian culture prefers a very wide and fast vibrato. In other Asian cultures like in China it is desirable to have a slower, wider

Arden Kaywin, voice teacher los angeles, offers a checklist to get rid of tension while singing

A Simple Physical Awareness Checklist To Improve Your Singing

The ways in which we use our bodies in our day-to-day lives effects how we sound when we sing. What do I mean exactly? When your body is your instrument, the way you use it when you are not singing influences how it behaves when you are. An example I like to give is of a tenor I worked with who was extremely tall (nearly NBA tall, well over six feet). He had always been taller then everyone around him from the time he was young. Because of his height, his interactions with other people nearly always required him to look down at the people he was speaking to, round his shoulders, cock his head and neck downwards both to try to make eye contact, and to also make himself appear smaller and less imposing to those he was with. When he would get up to sing, the same physical pattern would appear. . . a physical shortening and collapsing. Singing from this position created tension in his neck, throat and sternum which prevented him from accessing the full breadth and energy of his support, limited his range and squeezed his sound. Yet he didn’t even realize it because that

Arden Kaywin, voice teacher los angeles, shows best position for mental practice to improve singing

Mental Practice – A Singing Technique So Easily Overlooked

Sometimes the most efficient form of practicing singing doesn’t involve singing at all. Singing is an athletic endeavor, don’t let anyone tell you any different. We are asking our body to do the same thing over and over again for a desired outcome. Just like a major league pitcher or an Olympic sprinter, a singer’s body is our instrument. And no matter how good your technique or how healthfully you sing, there comes a point where too much practice singing will fatigue your instrument. The common wisdom is that a singer should sing for no more then about three hours a day total, and not more then about an hour straight without a break for vocal rest. But every singer is different. It is so important to know your instrument well enough that you are aware of what it feels like as you approach the threshold of overuse so that you can stop singing before you reach it. After that point, the idea of “mental practice” becomes essential. What is mental practice? Mental practice consists of taking yourself through your music in your mind’s eye (or in this case, ear) in a deliberate and specific way to reinforce your technique and

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3 Exercises To Reduce Tension While Singing

Tension is the enemy of the singer because it blocks the free flow of energy, breath and sound throughout the body. One very important concept for any singer to remember is that your body is your instrument, not your vocal chords. Anything that negatively impacts the open flow of energy and sound through your body will negatively effect the quality of your singing. . . . chief among these is physical tension. When a new singer comes to work with me, one of the very first things I do is to help them become aware of any physical tensions they have that are getting in the way of their most efficient production of sound. Mother Nature gave humans an incredibly efficient mechanism for producing sound, but singers often do not trust it. Instead they develop habits which they believe help control their sound, but which really just create all sorts of tensions that negatively impact the sound they are trying to improve. Here are 3 of the most common tensions I see in singers and some exercises to help undo them. Jaw Tension – If you have trouble with your higher register, one of the culprits might be that you

Arden Kaywin, voice teacher los angeles, shows singer out of breath while singing, singing tip for breathing for singing

Out Of Breath Too Soon? Here’s A Singing Tip

Singers – Are You Out Of Breath? Do you feel like you never seem to have enough breath when you sing? Are you constantly grabbing bigger and bigger breaths only to run out of air in the same place each time? If so, the problem may be that your breath quality is affecting your air quantity. Many singers unknowingly approach breathing for singing as a fast manipulation to pull as much air into the body as possible in the shortest amount of time. They think the only way they’ll be able to get enough air to make it through the phrase is if they actively grab, take, pull, suck, force or “tank up” as much air as possible into their lungs before they sing. What these singers don’t realize is that a breath of this quality creates tension (in the ribs, in the muscles of the abdomen, in the muscles of the neck and throat, and in the jaw), and this tension negatively affects the quantity of air they are receiving. The very thing they are doing in an effort to draw in more breath is actually causing them to receive less. If there is any tension in the body