Misconception #2 – Squeeze Your Singing Like A Toothpaste
A few days ago while I was brushing my teeth, I thought about using a toothpaste tube to describe how people typically squeeze themselves when they sing (who else feels like we can multi-task while brushing our teeth pls shout too).
It is rather common for people to have the impression that singing (high notes in particular) feels a bit like squeezing or pushing the voice out (it can be so unconscious that they have no idea they’re doing it). Some unlucky ones who try too hard may even find their voice hoarse or throat painful at the end of a singing session (kudos for their efforts though) . 🙁
It is never about pushing the voice out, or squeezing the singing like we are pressing a toothpaste from the tube. Using how one squeezes toothpaste as an analogy for how people usually sing… you may want to take it as a FUN QUIZ and see which archetype you belong to:
#2 – Another common experience people have is when their bellies keep collapsing when they sing. In fact, the longer the note is, the easier it is for the belly to deflate… when actually the belly should be kept inflated by supporting. In the singing world, archetype #1 and #2 typically come together in 1 person.
#3 – I know that this tube looks weird when we try to connect this to singing (ha!), but I have come across students who experience tension in their thighs or feet when they sing… and as a form of makeshift training, I had to make them lie down and have their legs cycle in the air to release the tension (lol, talk about having fun while singing!) Do you feel tension in your thighs or feet too when you sing?
#4 – This toothpaste looks squeezed from every corner… and it’s really not that rare to meet singers who accumulate tension in their body/neck/back/hands out of necessity because they are not using the right techniques to support the singing. Some common ways of squeezing the singing out includes :
- clenching of fist,
- pushing the hand down to sing a high note ‘up‘,
- a need to raise the head in order to hit a high note
Singers who fit this profile typically loves to sing ‘big’ songs and have the pre-conceived idea that singing high notes takes a lot of ‘strength’.
#5 – This toothpaste looks ‘magical’. How is it possible to have the toothpaste out without first being squeezed? In the real life.. it’s not possible (ha!). But the magic in singing is the ability to consistently keep your toothpaste tube ‘bloated’ through deep breathing and support.
This ensures that we will always have the air as a fuel for our body (as opposed to feel depleted of air), and that in turns stablises our system to deliver great singing to our listeners.
The above may feel frivolous to some, but really, this is the best and fun way to explain the many archetypes of singing support I’ve come across….and we all have to go through this path before we become the ‘magical tube’.
Hopefully it will remind you to think a little bit about how you usually sing when you… next brush your teeth 🙂
The above images are taken off “The Way You Squeeze Your Toothpaste Can Say Something About Your Personality” (if you are curious.)