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What Would Christina Aguilera Do?

Singers come to me all the time saying they want to learn how to sing with more power but what does that actually mean?

Shows like The X Factor have taught people that singing is all about how loud and high you can sing with some vocal gymnastics thrown in…. 

Singers are told that projection is key to awesome singing, I DISAGREE!
What does the phrase ‘project your voice’ mean to you?  
To me it makes me think of literally throwing my voice at the audience but in my opinion, your job is not to throw your voice or anything else at your audience, it’s to surrender to the story you’re telling and to SHARE your voice and story with your audience without expectation….  
You can’t force people to like you or enjoy your singing and not everyone will which is ok...

If people don't like your singing, that DOESN’T MEAN YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH.
Your opinion of yourself and your singing is THE most important opinion of all :)
Most singers associate belting with powerful singing and yes, belting is an awesome technique to master and these days most pop/rock singers belt BUT...

If you belt incorrectly, pushing and straining your voice because you’re trying too hard to please people you’re in danger of seriously damaging your voice and you’ll actually sound and feel weak.
Here’s something else to consider…

If powerful singing is all about belting, does that mean that John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, Freddie Mercury's 'These Are The Days of Our Lives' or Lily Allen’s version of ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ are weak and rubbish?  
In my opinion, singing with power is NOT just about singing as high and as loud as you can!
To me, power as a singer and performer comes when you can sing any note in your range with ease and expression in tune, with great phrasing, dynamics and tone…. 
Powerful singing happens when you ‘re confident and relaxed, enjoying your voice and singing connected to the story and emotion you’re sharing and most importantly when you’re able to sing and perform with AUTHENTICITY...

That's what stars do and what audiences love and respond positively to :)
So, when it comes to your voice, singing and artistry, YES... 

Evolving, growing and learning is a lifelong pursuit but a huge part of becoming the singer you’ve always wanted to be is learning to accept and love your voice as it is in the here and now.
Now, I’m not saying that we’re all as good as Celine Dion, of course vocal talent is a key factor as is training but that’s only part of the equation…
We are all on our own unique journey and should look to become the best singer WE can be without seeking outside approval or comparing ourselves to others…
If you know you have a tendency to push and force your voice and you know you strain when you sing, I’d like you to ask yourself these questions:
1) Why are you forcing your voice? 
2) Why are you trying too hard?
3) Are you trying to prove something? If so, what & why?
4) Do you feel like you’re not good enough? If so, why?
5) Has something happened in your past to make you feel this way?
6) Do any other negative thoughts/beliefs come up for you?
Once you’ve identified any negative and limiting beliefs, ask yourself if holding onto them is serving you, choose to let them go and replace them with some positive affirmations.
Here’s a couple of examples to get you started:
1) I love and approve of myself exactly as I am
2) I am enough
3) I am good enough
4) I love and approve of my voice
5) I’m grateful for my beautiful, unique voice
Alongside your affirmations, rather than focusing on what other people think or might think of you when you sing, I’d like you to start focusing on bringing a positive, playful and joyful attitude to your performances and practice sessions.  
I’d like you to keep your attention centred on what’s happening in the present, practice staying connected to your body, keeping your focus on what’s happening, how you’re feeling and the story you’re sharing in the now 😍 🙌

This Is Not To Be Skipped...

Singers... You'll often hear people talk about the importance of mastering your breathing for awesome singing but in my opinion, it's just as important to master excellent posture/body alignment when you're singing.

In short, if your body isn’t aligned properly your singing will suffer...

...When your skeleton is out of alignment, muscles normally required for movement are required to support & stabilise the skeletal system. This in turn can cause tension where we don’t want tension & can restrict our lung capacity.  

You need to have your weight evenly distributed over these 5 Key points in the body to achieve correct body alignment:

📌 Head - For optimal singing, you want to tilt your head down slightly like you’re reading a book this will help free the infrastructure of your larynx.

📌 Shoulders - Check in with your shoulders give them a roll, don’t pull them back too far (this will curve your spine) & don’t allow them to roll forward in a slouch.

📌 Pelvis - We want a straight back with our pelvis aligned underneath our hips (don’t stick your bum out or forward). Roll your pelvis back & forward to find neutral. This will enable our abdominal & back muscles to move freely when we inhale. Stand against a wall & try tipping your pelvis forward so that there are no gaps between your back & the wall.
Don’t allow your rib cage to expand & collapse as you breathe in & out.  

📌 Knees - You want loose knees, they don't have to be bent, just not locked back.

📌 Feet - Your feet want to be about shoulder width apart, wiggle your toes, take your weight forward & back then come to the middle & ground yourself by imagining roots growing from your feet deep into the Earth.

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About Karen
Two-time Billboard Chart-topping singer-songwriter and musician Scarlette has twice been BBC Radio 2 Playlisted and has toured some of the best venues across the UK and USA, including The Royal Albert Hall, Manchester Arena, Hammersmith Apollo, Hard Rock Café Hollywood, The Viper Room and the iconic Bluebird Café in Nashville.


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