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Fit as a Fiddle

Want vocal stamina? It’s time to address your body – says Kim Chandler

Welcome to my stint as the ‘Vocal Coach in Residence’!

For the next eight weeks I’m fortunate to be given the platform to share various vocal insights with you gleaned from observations made over many years of teaching singing.

I will cover a key area each week that I’ve found to be important to a contemporary vocalist’s development.

In this first week I will address a very foundational but not very ‘rock ‘n roll’ area – being physically and vocally fit.

Your Body

Two areas which singers draw on when performing are cardio-vascular fitness (i.e. exercise which gets the heart rate up) and core-strength (e.g. built via Yoga, Pilates and the like).

Cardio-vascular exercise, good for life in general and not just for singing, consists of activities such as power walking, hiking, jogging, aerobics, swimming, dancing etc.

It needs to be approached sensibly (and preferably in consultation with a trainer), especially as regards tailoring a regular exercise program to your current level of fitness and age.

Core strength building is necessary for accessing muscular support from the torso during singing; particularly for the high, strong singing that a lot of contemporary repertoire requires.

Your Voice

Even more crucial for singers is regular vocal practice to build and maintain optimal vocal condition.

For vocalists who are serious about their long-term vocal development and stamina, I suggest establishing a near daily routine of voice-building exercises and singing repertoire for between 30-60 minutes per day, depending on your current level of vocal fitness.

There are good vocal exercise resources out there – do some online searching and choose what works for you.

My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids

Gemma Mewse – Daydream (Original)

Hi Gemma, I know that live venue well – they hold some great originals nights there! You have a fab, current sound in the vein of Lily Allen and the like. There are two main things I’d suggest for improvement on an already strong live performance: the top note in the chorus could benefit from a little more ‘focus’ (less breathiness), and because your song is quite wordy, you need to plan exactly where it’s best to breathe.

-Kim Chandler

If you’re signed up to VoiceCouncil’s Peer-Review, you’ll be receiving unique coaching feedback from Kim for the next 8 weeks. You can sign up here

Kim Chandler is one of the UK’s top contemporary vocal coaches. She has a busy private studio in London and her clients include well-known artists, artists in development, professional singers and other vocal coaches. She is a director of the British Voice Association, and is the creator of the popular “Funky ‘n Fun” vocal training series.

Kim’s Voice Cross Trainer App is available now. It’s based on her popular “Funky ‘n Fun” vocal training series.

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  • Hi Kim! We spoke on the phone a few years ago. About Grace Knight if you remember. I’ve a good mind to post my vid here again for your comments. All the best anyway.

    Chris Davies

  • Excellent advice – Fantastic to see the legend that is Kim Chandler here! :)