Tips for Singing Your Best

By: Voice Instructor, Gina Latimerlo of The Latimerlo Studio

Everyone wants to “knock ‘em dead” at a singing audition or performance. However, if you haven’t had the benefit of voice lessons or other vocal technique training, it can be a little nerveracking. Here are some tips pulled from Sing Anything – Mastering Vocal Styles, my book with co-author, Lisa Popeil.

This is an easy one to pratice. In the mirror, stand tall with your shoulders pulled down from your ears. Make the back of your neck long so that your chin is even to the floor (or tiltled down just the slightest bit.) Place your feet hip-width apart for good balance and a strong sound. Lift your chest up – like it is hoisted on a hook.

Where and how you breathe is unbelievably important to singing with power and stamina. Again, watch yourself in a mirror. Breathe in so that your belly drops OUT. Imagine your belly is a balloon and you are filling it with air.
That said, only your belly should move when you breathe. To have the best sound, you have to keep your chest and shoulders completely still while your belly moves with your breath. (Remember your chest should be up and your shoulders down.) Resist the urge to over-breath. It’s not how much air you have, it’s how you control it. And, how you control it is…

Supporting your voice is really crucial to singing. So, here’s how you do it: When you breathe in, your belly will come out (as you’ve just learned). When you start to sing, tense the top part of your belly (the part between the bottom of your chest and the top of your belly button). Now, when you tense it, I want you to tense it OUT – like the opposite of a sit-up.
In other words, when you have good support, you will feel your belly firming out the entire time that you are singing a phrase. Fair warning: that belly will want to come in as you sing, but don’t you let it! Because if it collapses, so does your sound. Be sure you are firming that top belly OUT for every note that you sing.

For musical theatre, you really want to imagine sending the sound through your nose. Put your fingers on your whole nose and humm. Feel the vibrations? Now when you are singing, imagine the sound going straight through the area that you felt vibrating. That will begin to give you a good belting sound. You can also add the feel of the very beginning of a yawn (where your soft palate lifts a little bit) if you want to add a little more flavor to your voice.

There’s so much more to singing – and I’d love for you to learn it by reading our book, Sing Anything – Mastering Vocal Styles. Check it out (and the free Q&A section and listening guide) at! My studio, in addition to private lessons at the main studio, also offers voice lessons at Park and Recreation Centers throughout the Bay Area, so you can always duck in for a month if you want some quick tips and guidance.

You were born with a unique voice and the world can’t wait to hear it, so get up there and SING!
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