Singing Posture

Welcome to the Sage Music eLearning series. In this video series, I’m going to take you through some basic principles that you can apply to improving your singing voice, and refer back to when you are taking your singing lessons. You’re going to feel great about the progress you will make using these ideas and techniques.

We will go through posture, breathing, vocal warm-ups, vocal registers, and strength-building exercises. By applying these fundamental ideas, you will become a stronger and more confident performer. You are going to be pleased with your sound, and so will your audiences!

This video will help improve your singing voice by focusing on achieving the correct posture, so congratulations on taking your first step toward becoming a better singer! Watch the video above, or read the text below.

Let’s start with singing posture:

When your body is your instrument, the way that you hold it will affect your sound. Good singing posture has 2 major elements:

1) It has to be flexible enough to allow for expansion and optimal sound production
2) It has to be efficient, so that you are not expending any extra effort or creating excess tension

You want to pay attention to different parts of your body when singing. Starting from the bottom and working our way up, we will discuss feet, knees, hips, chest, shoulders, and head.

Feet: You want your feet to be shoulder- width apart, under your hips. If your feet are too close together, you will find yourself off-balance, with excess tension in your upper body. If your feet are too wide, you will notice that you are using excess energy to maintain that unnecessarily wide stance. However, by keeping feet the way I’ve instructed, you will create a nice solid foundation for your singing.

Knees: Maintain a nice loose position in your knees. If you lock your knees, you will once again find yourself off-balance with excess tension in the upper body. However, if you bend the knees too much, you will find yourself exerting too much effort in the legs and lower body. This is not the most efficient knee position. You want to stay in a comfortable, loose position, so you can move with ease if needed.

Hips: Hip position directly relates to the knee position. You want to keep your hips in a slightly tucked position. If you over-tuck, you will risk collapsing the upper body, cutting off your breathing. We also do not want the hips to be pushed too far back, which risks creating excess tension, especially in the lower back.

Chest: You want to keep your chest in an open position, to allow for the lung expansion required for singing. However, make sure not to pull too far forward, cutting your balance off from the lower body. You also want to make sure not to collapse the chest backwards and inwards.

Shoulders: When the shoulders are curved forward, they will influence the chest into a collapsed position. Make sure to keep the shoulders low and back. One way to achieve this position is to place your arms behind your back, and, if possible, try to touch your elbows. This maintains an open, flexible chest position while preventing the shoulders from rising up and creating tension.

Head: Proper head position will not only allow you to maintain an efficient flow of air through your throat, but will also prevent excess neck tension. I suggest imagining that you have a string holding up your head at the very top. This allows for a neutral position for the jaw and throat. If your jaw is allowed to raise forward, you not only cut off the air supply in the throat, but you create a large amount of tension in the front of the throat. Likewise, if the jaw is pulled too far down, tension is created in the back of the neck, and air supply is compromised. The neutral position will be the most efficient for singing.

When done properly, these elements combine to put your body into alignment, meaning that the ears are directly over your shoulders, which are directly over hips, and so forth down to the feet. This posture is the most efficient and the most flexible for singing.

Download Sage Music’s FREE posture worksheet now, to help you remember all body posture elements when singing.

Let us know if you’ve tried our tips for improving your singing voice. Pun intended: we’d love to hear from you. So please reply on our blog below or on social media, with the links below.
Stefanie Izzo teaches Singing Lessons in Queens, at Sage Music, Long Island City.