The first thing that Grammy winner Adele learned about singing before she set fire to the rain was sit and stand straight.
You read that right. New singers are so eager in reaching the high notes or thinking of a rock star pose that they sometimes forget the most basic requirement for singing: proper posture. Sitting and standing in the right way is crucial for singers to breathe properly or hold their instruments throughout a song. While you’re stuck in your not-so-comfortable office chair trying to make ends meet and waiting for your big break, you can work on your posture to improve your singing.
Why Good Posture Matters in Singing
Enhanced Breathing – A good singing posture allows for proper breathing and good blood flow—all helping your voice to sound better. When you slouch, your abdomen cannot expand as much as it can making it more difficult to sing or reach certain notes.
Energy Management – Singing can be exhausting, especially when you routinely do it as part of training. Good posture helps your muscles relax and helps you manage your energy well when you are able to breathe properly. Poor posture not only makes it harder for you to catch your breath but also causes back pain and fatigue.
Looking Like a Star – The best artists have good posture. Adele sings with her back straight and chest out. So does Sam Smith. Don’t they look regal and respectable? The way they carry their selves make it obvious they have multiple Grammys.
The Wrong Singing Posture
If you weren’t used to sitting up straight or standing with your chest out most of your life, it’s hard to outgrow it and it’s likely to be your posture when singing too. You’re doing it wrong if both your head and pelvis is slanted forward and your spine is skewed. If your chest is curving down to your abdomen and you’re putting your weight only on one foot, you’re spelling disaster. This posture won’t allow you to be flexible while performing and it stops you from singing with the best sound.
The Right Singing Posture
The ideal posture to hit the notes is a parallel position. You need to make sure that your head and shoulders are aligned with each other. Follow the same straight line from your shoulders to hips to knees and feet. Keep your shoulders relaxed, hold your chest out and make sure you feel that it’s easy to control your muscles in your abdomen. This is the posture most conducive to using your diaphragm for breathing.
Relax your hands on your side and slightly move them away from your body to let air surround you. Don’t tighten your knees, though. You need to keep them loose so it’s easy to move around—even and especially when you’re nervous. Make sure to lean your body’s weight forward and stand with your feet slightly apart.
Of course, it’s impossible to maintain a perfect posture all throughout a performance because you will have to move around the stage, otherwise you might look boring on stage. Just remember to keep your upper body straight when walking around and that your hands don’t hug your body to let air flow around you.
Becoming consistent with your posture is hard work. It requires building a routine that supports good posture. There are plenty of things you can do about this like enrolling in a yoga class to get used to stretching or investing in chairs for posture support. There are a lot of good office chairs for your back, with adjustable features and parts that help your spine maintain a parallel position. The best part of all this is that not only will this help you with your singing—it’s good for your health too.