Vocal Exercises (Guitar Lesson)

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Mark Lincoln

Vocal Exercises

Mark Lincoln guides you through stretches and vocal exercises to warm up the voice. These exercises are important to keeping your voice in good shape and avoiding injury.

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Guitar Performance seriesLength: 23:12Difficulty: 1.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (0:800) Things to Avoid and Maximize Voice: Things to Avoid or Minimize
1. Shouting
2. Whispering
3. Clearing the Throat
4. Alcohol
5. Cough Drops or other numbing agents
6. Talking
7. Smoking
8. Heat*
9. Milk products
10) Acidic stuff
Chapter 2: (03:50) Things to Maximize Things to Maximize in order to get your maximum vocal potential.
1. Water (Hydrate)
2. Stretching (Body)
3. Warming-up (voice)
4. Singing **
5. Listening
Chapter 3: (11:10) Warm Up the Body and Voice Warm-up the Body:
Touch the Sun- inhale through the nose, count 4 and raise the arms, touch the sun, relax the shoulders, exhale while lowering the arms. Increase the count and continue to relax neck, shoulders, back etc.

Rotate the Neck- slowly rotate the neck, first to the left and then to the right. Count four to left and then back to the right. Increase the count until the neck feels more relaxed. Then, stretch up and down in the same manner.

Rotate the Wrists- especially for guitar, but also for general body warm-up. Rotate the wrists around and back, also pull fingers toward you gently. Count four and then increase the count.

Stretch legs, hamstrings- pull legs up and back, count four and increase count. Then, stretch back (flat).

Stretch sides- to right and then the left counting four and increasing count as you go.

Warm-up the Voice:
Bernoulli Principle- Vocal folds are brought into vibration; same concept that provides lift to a plane.

Hummmmmmm- begin the one note hum exercise. Once comfortable with the one note, test other notes in that same range. Take your time with this note and make sure the one note feels good before moving on. Next, change the note into three, making sure each note feels as good as the first. Relax!!!! This process should be slow and easy until the notes become slippery and relaxed. Then, raise the first pitch and sing three note melodies up the scale.

“ME”- the next step is to substitute the word “me” in a five note scale, on the first, third and fifth notes like this: Me ee Me ee Me…This should sound and feel smooth and unforced. Avoid “dumping” the air out on the last syllable. This exercise allows the vocal folds to hold a little more pressure or load while still maintaining the humming stance. Work awkward areas.

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Supplemental Learning Material



Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

sherchanrock72sherchanrock72 replied

one question for you Mark, is it ok to hmm.. single note for a long.

bourque1bourque1 replied

the most relaxed dude on earth

theenglishtheenglish replied

I am not tone deaf. I can match notes on my guitar and I can sing things like Christmas carols and children's songs; pop and rock songs, however, often leave me confused. I can never seem to match the tune. I also have trouble playing and singing at the same time. I am not interested in stage performance at my age, but I really want to be able to pick up my guitar and sing a tune. I have never been able to do this well in my life. Think you can help?

graphicdpictiongraphicdpiction replied

Hey theenglish, I just joined Jamplay recently and I've been playing guitar for about 20 years. I recently wanted to try to sing and play. I ain't great but I did learn something that helps with coordination. Most of us get tab off the internet with the words and chords above the words to practice with. When I started to try and sing the song it seemed like I was fooled up by coordinating the lyrics with the playing. I could play the song on my guitar without singing but when I tried singing, the coordination with the guitar went out the window. Sound familiar? Try this... When you download tab for a song, line up all the chords visually on the page with each other. For example if the chord progression is C G F, make sure these chords are lined up vertically and not just flowing with the text that is beneath it. All Cs on the page should line up vertically Gs, Fs, etc. If you have C G F for the verse make sure all Cs beneath are lined up vertically from line to line. Not disjointed or scattered over the page. You may have to adjust the lyrics so the word where the chord is to be played is underneath the chord (use spaces or tabs to spread them out). What I have on a template in MSWord is a document that has tabs every 1/8 of an inch to spread out chords and the words that appear beneath. Sounds silly but it seems to work for me. Music is about timing or keeping the beat. When your timing is off it's just noise! If you look at sheet music the chords line up or are evenly spaced but the words are spaced to conform to the chords. Do the same with your tab! Ever since I rearrange all my tab this way and I catch on much quicker to the song and have less hesitation playing and singing. Let me know if this helps.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey English...if you're not tone deaf then you can learn to sing. Are you dedicated to truly learning? Keep trying the stuff on the site and make sure to adhere to each of the rules and guidelines then see where you are. Good luck my friend! Mark

mitchpeacefulmitchpeaceful replied

At a young age a doctor tested my vocal chords and told me i had gnodes on them which was the cause for why i lost my voice so often. am I doomed for singing?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Mitch! Wow, that must have been a tough thing to hear at a young age,holy smokes! Nodes can go into "remission" if you are kind to your voice but they can also be removed as well. Some people bounce back great from Node removal and others are unable to sing as they once had. It depends on the size of the nodes and the individual. Either way, there are ways to deal with some! Good luck my friend:) Mark

mitchpeacefulmitchpeaceful replied

thats pretty much what my research told me. Dang. I know some famous singers came out of it but the unfortunate such as julie andrews (mary poppins) was never able to sing again. Plus you cant speak for thirty days after surgery...But i'll look into it. thanks for the response.

jiddz1992jiddz1992 replied

I know i'm going to get abused for this but some of the best singers smoked to get their voice's to a more bluesy sound...

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Jiddz ummmmmm, well, I think it's one of those chicken and egg issues. Did they start smoking to sound more bluesy, or were they already into the blues and then started smoking because they were so down? Either way, you know as well as I do that smoking is not exactly the healthiest habit and there are other ways to get that bluesy growl... know what I'm sayin'? ML

silly6stringsilly6string replied

do u have lessons on breathing?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Silly what's happening? I know there's some stuff on breathing in the performance series but we will be doing more breathing stuff down the road. Take care, Mark

tiffanychengtiffanycheng replied

It's really helpful! :D

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Thanks Tif and by the way, has anyone ever mentioned that you look an awful lot like Taylor? Mark

sceptileblade411sceptileblade411 replied

Great lesson Mark!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Blade thanks! I hope this stuff helps you to develop your skills and become a great vocalist! Peace...Mark

jaysonjohnjaysonjohn replied

Mark, I really enjoyed your guitar lesson set, and learnt more in a month than in the past year. I am going to concentrate on my singing alot more this year and have just started this lesson set. Many Thanks, you're a great teacher.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Jason thanks for the great feedback and I'm happy that you're learning so much here...awesome to hear from you and Happy New Year by the way! Mark

jpfanboyjpfanboy replied

This is great Mark!! I'm really going to dedicate much time with these great singing lessons!

sailorgirliesailorgirlie replied

yay :) This very basic but I really like that... I'm looking forward to the next lessons. Maybe I'll find the answer how comes that I'm absolutely comfortable with singing classical music in my choir and I have difficulties with my favorite rock tunes (I guess because those are sung by male singers to begin with)

jasonduranjasonduran replied

try janice joplin or joni mitchell whom you can listen to for free on youtube.com they are great female classic rock singers even robert plant from led zeppelin has some really theatrical pieces that are in vocal ranges that most male singewrs could never contend with.

coolguitaristcoolguitarist replied

You are really a cool teacher . you have encouraged me to sing. thanks.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Guitarist thanks and great to hear from you! It always makes me happy to hear that I have encouraged a fellow musician to sing. Keep at it my friend! Mark

ingridshevkuningridshevkun replied

This is a very good lesson. Thank you for taking the time and making this. It's somewhat interesting how I did most of what you talked about in this video just beause it felt right. However, now I know that it's what I was supposed to do :) Awesome Job! ~IS

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hi Ingrid! Great to hear from you all the way from Moscow. Please try to visit with me live from 2-5 p.m. Mountain Standard time when I do my live chat on-line! I would love to hear about the Russian music scene as well as your experiences playing live. I think you are ten hours ahead of us so maybe you can visit before you go to sleep. Either way take care and rock on! Mark

cheesebombcheesebomb replied

Thanks for the lessons, look forward to some more :)

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Chesse thanks for the input! Have fun, Mark Lincoln

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

I meant Cheese! ML

SylviaSylvia replied

me me me me me, me me me me me! I remember that!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Sylvia, don't forget ma ma ma ma ma too! Thanks for writing in! Mark Lincoln

gorbaggorbag replied

The lesson hits on important points, but most of it is for advanced singers and professionals. It would be good to pick up the pace and start teaching more applicable things.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Gorbag, thanks for writing. Let me know what you would like to learn and we'll try to work up some stuff that might be more to your liking. Take it easy and Jam on! Mark Lincoln

mercenarymercenary replied

nice lesson - cant wait for the other ones :)

Guitar Performance

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Performing live or in a studio situation is a goal of many aspiring guitarists. Vocal training and the ability to sing and play at the same time are skills that will help in this endeavor.

Introduction to SingingLesson 1

Introduction to Singing

Mark introduces you to the wonderful world of singing.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Vocal ExercisesLesson 2

Vocal Exercises

Mark Lincoln guides you through stretches and vocal exercises to warm up the voice.

Length: 23:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Vocal VibratoLesson 3

Vocal Vibrato

Mark continues to discuss vocal warm-ups and exercises. Then, he moves on to explain vibrato.

Length: 23:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Warming the BreathLesson 4

Warming the Breath

Mark covers some singing terms and teaches an exercise that is used to "warm the breath."

Length: 19:10 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Singing and GuitarLesson 5

Singing and Guitar

Mark Lincoln talks more about vocal exercise and warm-up. Then, he moves on to discuss singing and playing at the same time.

Length: 26:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Singing ExercisesLesson 6

Singing Exercises

Mark Lincoln provides more singing exercises to practice while playing your guitar.

Length: 26:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Singing and Playing RevisitedLesson 7

Singing and Playing Revisited

Mark returns to singing and playing. Mark teaches proper form while singing and playing, cognitive exercises, and chord progression basics.

Length: 17:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Anatomy and DynamicsLesson 8

Anatomy and Dynamics

Mark Lincoln discusses song dynamics and the anatomy of songs. He also explains more about singing and playing.

Length: 23:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rhythm in MusicLesson 9

Rhythm in Music

Mark Lincoln explains how rhythm is used in music.

Length: 15:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Technique AppliedLesson 10

Technique Applied

Mark Lincoln applies singing and playing techniques to the Doors song "Riders on the Storm."

Length: 17:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Palm Muting and SeparationLesson 11

Palm Muting and Separation

In lesson 11 of his performance series, Mark discusses the palm muting technique and how to separate your singing from your playing.

Length: 23:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Picking Vs. StrummingLesson 12

Picking Vs. Strumming

Mark discusses how alternating between arpeggios and strummed chords can add contrast and flair to your music.

Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Silence Is GoldenLesson 13

Silence Is Golden

Mark discusses silence in music and how it can transform a piece. Additionally, he explains how to use silence effectively in your playing.

Length: 16:40 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Warm-up and PracticeLesson 14

Warm-up and Practice

In this lesson, Mark Lincoln talks more about warming up your voice and walks you through a few exercises that will aid this process.

Length: 16:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Preparations for Playing LiveLesson 15

Preparations for Playing Live

Mark provides a lecture on items you should do and think about to become a proficient live player.

Length: 20:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Voice and GuitarLesson 16

Voice and Guitar

In this lesson, Mark delves into the concept of combining both your voice and guitar into one neat little package you can deliver to your listener.

Length: 21:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Day in the LifeLesson 17

A Day in the Life

Mark Brings us Lesson 17 today to explain the preparation that goes into a performance. Mark tracks back up to 36 hours in advance, and shows us some routines to prepare for a great show.

Length: 19:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Dynamics of a SongLesson 18

The Dynamics of a Song

In this lesson, Mark teaches all of the diverse parts to a song with regards to dynamics.

Length: 20:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Proper Breathing RoutinesLesson 19

Proper Breathing Routines

In this episode, Mark talks about proper breathing techniques and routines. He gives us eight points to work off of when singing and playing together.

Length: 23:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Play Along with Mark LincolnLesson 20

Play Along with Mark Lincoln

Mark Lincoln brings us a great play along opportunity. Mark provides lyrics as well as the chord progression for this play along. He also breaks down key elements such as palm muting, hammer-ons, bending,...

Length: 24:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Palm Muting TechniqueLesson 21

Palm Muting Technique

Lesson 21 is a repeat of lesson 20's content only with a whole new set of chords and techniques. The"chords de jour" will be a little simpler than lesson 20's and will also include a much more in depth...

Length: 20:05 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mark Lincoln

About Mark Lincoln View Full Biography Mark Lincoln was born in S. California but was raised near Portland Oregon in a town called Beaverton. When he was twelve years old, he began his journey into the realm of the creative by composing poetry and was later published in a journal called "In Dappled Sunlight." He wrote for four years until his older sister blessed him with his first guitar, an old beat-up nylon stringed classical guitar. Mark played that guitar for five years, continuing to compose his own lyrics and starting the process of matching his own words with chords that he was learning on the guitar. He learned to play chords from his friends and from music books that he both bought and borrowed. Mark cited his four biggest influences, at that point at least, as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones.

Mark cites his most current influences as Radiohead, U2, older music by REM, and Peter Gabriel amongst others. He performs with two acoustic guitars, one being a six-string M-36 Martin with a three-pieced back for increased bass response, and a Guild Twelve-string which is his most recent acquisition. Mark is fond of saying that the twelve-string guitar is better because you get two guitars for the price of one, but he still plays his Martin equally as much and with the same passion.

Mark ended up in Fort Collins Colorado where he currently lives, works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and continues to write, teach and perform music. He currently performs with a group called "Black Nelson" as well as with a number of other seasoned professional musicians including his cousin David, a virtuoso lead-guitar player. Mark has performed in many of the smaller venues in Denver and Boulder, as well as some of the larger ones including the Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, Herman's Hideaway, and also at The Soiled Dove where he opened for Jefferson Starship as a soloist. Some of Mark's originals are also available for your listening pleasure on MySpace.

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