The posture or stance which you use while singing is extremely important, even small differences between your posture will impact the quality of your voice. The problem with the singing posture is that it is often overlooked, as singing tends to be fairly complex most singers would rather focus on other aspects of singing like high notes and diaphragmatic breathing. Most singers develop their own singing posture over time, but they do not always have the correct posture.
The correct sing posture is standing tall, relaxed, feet apart, knees apart, hands next to the hips, chest forward, shoulders in the back, abs relaxed, head in a forward-looking position, and chin parallel with the ground.
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What is singing posture? The singing posture is a stance or posture which you use to sound better. There are specific criteria that make a posture good or bad for singing, but overall the posture has to allow you to sing to the best of your abilities. Although most singers do neglect their singing posture, but the good news is that this can be learned extremely quickly. Once you have learned them all you need to do is to remind yourself to use the singing posture every time you sing.
The main goal of the singing posture is to allow you to sing, without much of an effort. As your entire body is your musical instrument you will have to give it the best form or posture to sound as good as possible. This is the same for all musical instruments, all of them have a strong rigid form if something like a violin would be made out of rubber than it won’t be able to make the same sounds as a normal violin does.
The best part about the singing posture is that once you start using the correct one you will instantly notice an improvement in your singing. The sooner you learn the correct posture the sooner you will see the benefits. There are a lot of singers who know the correct singing posture but they simply forget using it, so you will have to keep reminding yourself to use it until it becomes a habit. If you are wondering which is the best position for singing then check out my recent article Singing while Sitting VS Standing ( Which is Better? ).
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The first thing you have to do in order to have the correct singing posture is to stand tall. This is probably the most important part, if you do not stand tall but you use all of the other things needed for the correct singing posture than you will not have the correct posture and you will struggle. While you are standing tall you will allow your lungs to inhale as much air as you need, in addition to this, you will also allow your diaphragm to expand without being obstructed.
There are two different ways on how you can learn how to stand tall
- Stand next to a wall, in such a way that your back and your head touch the wall. You should sing this way for a couple of days, just remember to have your back straight. You will have to make this posture your default singing posture. If you have hunched back then you will have some difficulties with this exercise the first couple of times, but with some practice, you will get the hang of it in no time.
- Place a book on your head and walk around, this is my favorite technique, and it has been used in the past quite frequently. Get a book with a hardcover and place it on your head, now walk around the room. You will have to balance the book on your head and you will instinctively stand tall and straight. You do not have to combine singing with this exercise, just use this exercise right before you sing for a couple of minutes. You can further increase your ability to stand tall by running, for more information check out my recent article Singing while running? ( The Truth ).
The more relaxed you are the easier it will be to learn the singing posture. If you are not relaxed you will find that maintaining the singing posture is difficult when it shouldn’t be. Your entire body needs to be relaxed in order to have a good posture. If you are having difficulty relaxing your body then try the singing posture in the morning, your body should be well-rested and relaxed. Make sure to observe the position of your feet and hands as well, oftentimes if these are not relaxed your entire body won’t be able to relax. In addition to this, you should also relax your voice to sound better, for more information check out my recent article How to relax your voice? ( In 8 Steps ).
For the correct singing posture, you will have to position your feet in such a way that they are aligned with your shoulders, basically, your feet should be placed at the width of your shoulders. If your feet are too close together then you will find it difficult to stand tall with a straight back because maintaining your natural balance like this is fairly difficult. If your feet are too wide apart then you will notice that this isn’t helpful at all.
You should combine this posture with the above-mentioned one, stand next to a wall, and maintain your feet right below the width of your shoulders. You will notice that this way it will be a lot easier to keep your balance and this will also allow you to stand tall without much effort.
If you knees are to close together than your posture will look awkward and you will find it difficult to maintain your balance. Some people will say that you should bend your knees a little bit, don’t do this it will look awkward as hell and you will mess up your singing posture. Don’t focus much on your knees, if you have positioned your feet correctly than your knees will also have the correct position
Hands next to your hips
The position of your hands will impact how you balance your entire body, if they are too in front of you then they will throw off your balance and your singing posture. Place your hands next to your hips in aim to have them in a relaxed position. If you are holding something heavy then you will notice that your hands, shoulders, and even your head will adopt a new position to maintain balance.
This is why it is important not to use a microphone at first when you are learning the singing posture, even though most microphones are lightweight they can still alter your singing posture. If you want to check your diaphragm working then you can place one of your hands on your abs, just do not apply any pressure.
Make sure to pull up your chest a little bit, just like you do when you are proud of yourself. This way the chest cavity will allow your lungs to expand as much as they need, thus increasing the airflow significantly. This is where a lot of singers start making mistakes, if you bend forward then you are not allowing your lungs to fully inflate if necessary. Just raise your chest a bit just like when you are proud of yourself.
Sholders in the back
The position of your shoulders will determine how your head will be positioned. You have probably noticed that when you are looking at your smartphone you instinctively lower your head and place your shoulders into a forward position, once you get used to this position it will be extremely difficult to stand with a straight back. Make sure that your shoulders are relaxed, pump out your chest and you will notice your shoulders will adopt a different position on your back.
If you are having difficulty, then stand up straight, pump your chest out, place both of your hands behind your back and touch both of your elbows. Just keep in mind that if you have been working out your back muscles than you probably won’t be able to touch your hands behind your back due to the bigger back muscles.
You should relax your abs, this way your diaphragm can expand as much as it needs to. To know if you are using your bad correctly stand next to a wall and place one of your hands on your stomach, now start singing. You will notice that your abs will start contacting and expanding depending on how much air you need for singing.
Head in a forward-looking position
This is where a lot of singers mess up their singing posture while they are singing. The singing posture is a balancing act and every part of your body should be in balance. Make sure that your head is not in a forward position. Your main goal is to heave your head at a neutral level, chin not too low or high. The easiest way to do this is to look in the mirror, position your head in such a way that you can no longer see the bottom of your jaw in the mirror.
Chin parallel with the ground
Your chin should be in a parallel position with the ground, stand up straight in front of a mirror and you will be able to adopt this position a lot easier. You can also place one of your hands below your jaw as this way it will be easier to see if your chin is actually parallel with the ground or not.
You will have to practice the singing posture, although it shouldn’t take you a long time to get familiar with it. The challenge will be to maintain the singing posture and to sing at the same time. For this, you should adopt the singing posture and start singing in front of a mirror for the first couple of weeks. This way you will have a lot easier time keeping an eye on your singing posture. The good news is that after a couple of weeks you will naturally use the correct singing posture.
As you can see the correct singing posture is not that difficult, you can probably learn it in one afternoon. The trick is to be able to use the singing posture while you are singing, for this you will have to practice until the singing posture becomes second nature and you no longer have to focus on it.