So you mastered singing exercises with different vowel sounds. You’ve managed to perfect the lip or tongue rolls or one of the many other sounds we use to develop connection in your voice. Now all you can do is ask yourself “how do I sing songs with connected voice?” As many of our students begin to singing on the level of speech they realize that the exercises open their voices. Yet, when they sing, they still come disconnected. The challenge usually stems from having to sing as a part of their livelihood. Many of our students are professional singers that cannot afford to take time off to perfect their singing voice.
It takes an awareness in your own voice and a stubborn attitude to not slip back into old habits. This can take a lot of time to fully develop. The attitude and dedication, that is. The majority of the sounds you make in the vocal exercises is not much like the different sounds you re producing when singing lyrics. Vowel shapes need to be studied and learned. Adding consonants, and not relying on hard letters as a handle can cause frustration. Luckily, you are not alone in this challenge.
A great trick to start getting there in your singing, is to take a song you are working on and take all the words out and replace the words with the sounds of your exercises. Make note to how you produced the notes when the words are out of the picture. With difficult songs, I might take a few weeks of vocalizing the song without words and really get on touch with the feel of the melody in my vocal chords. Once you start putting words back in the song, switch back and forth from words and exercise sounds and get them to feel alike.
As you practice your singing, you may want to invest in a good notebook or notepad to write the sounds you are making on. Creating a visual reference that goes along with the muscle movement and audible sound can build a foundation for your lyric singing.