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Singing Exercises (Guitar Lesson)

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Mark Lincoln

Singing Exercises

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

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Guitar Performance seriesLength: 26:15Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:59) Lesson Introduction Welcome back! Get your guitar out and get ready to sing!

** If you are playing the guitar as well as singing, then you can do the individual warm-ups together but there will be some parts of each that you will need to do separately from one another. For example, you will still need to stretch and warm-up your body before you are fully ready and able to sing at your maximum potential. The other parts of the warm-up procedure can usually be done together. Nevertheless, go through your “normal” vocal warm-up in its entirety to protect your voice and get the most out of the singing experience.
Chapter 2: (02:37) Warm Up 1)Warm up the body
2)Single note hum
3)Three note hum
Chapter 3: (03:07) More Warm Up Continue warming up with the following steps:
1)Hum Me-me-me-me to mah-mah-mah mah to me-ma-me-ma-me
2)Wake up the breath with sah-sah-sah etc. Sing long and sustained at first, then five times staccato.

In general, we need to go through the warm-up process to get to this point and then begin to look at and create beauty in singing and performing. Hum a single pitch in mid voice with a pianissimo (very softly) volume level. Then, sing a gradual crescendo (increase in volume) on a succession of vowels that become brighter and brighter. So, hum softly increasing in volume u-o-a. As mentioned in the last lesson, you can do this portion of the warm-up while accompanying yourself with the guitar.
Chapter 4: (03:22) Singing Process Think about the singing process process in this order:
Without any one of these steps, the singing process cannot work properly. It is very important to think about the entire process to become a good singer.
Chapter 5: (02:35) Optimal Warm-Up In general, a 20% rule of thumb for vocal warm-up is a good way to go. If you are planning to perform for an hour, a ten to fifteen minute warm-up should be sufficient. An increase in that amount should accompany a more rigorous performance or more lengthy performance. This should be done while accompanying yourself with the guitar. However, if you are playing and singing as well, you should probably spend additional time warming up your hands and wrists, and perhaps even practice chords and vocal passages together.
Chapter 6: (04:50) Playing in Sync No, I'm not referring to the illustrious music of the now defunct boy-band “In Sync,” but rather playing and singing the same note at the same time. As illustrated in the last performance lesson, our first exercises were intended to facilitate playing and singing the same note at the same time we are playing. So, we played the A-chord while humming an A note. Then, we hummed a three note passage, then a five note passage, and so on. The goal of that particular exercise was to “break the ice” so to speak, since playing the same tone at the same time in sync with the chord is easier than singing a series of notes that deviate away from this simple pattern.

Exercise 1
Play an open C chord (see lesson 3 of my Intro to guitar for chord tabs if you need to) in this rhythm or "down, down, down, down." Hum a single note, then a three note passage, then a five note passage. Easy, right? Now we’re going to step it up a little bit! Hum a series of notes that correspond with this rhythm down down up down or "down, down-up, down." Watch me in the lesson if you are confused about what I’m talking about.
Chapter 7: (01:22) Down Down Up Down Sing like I do in the video: "down, down-up down, down, down-up, down." This is the next level in difficulty when singing and playing together. Practice this until you feel comfortable and ready to go on to the next exercise. Remember to relax your wrist and allow the pick to flow over the strings in order to obtain a smooth and sweet sound from the guitar.
Chapter 8: (06:16) Another Exercise Exercise 2
The next part of this exercise involves singing and switching between the C major and A minor chords. Play the same "down, down-up, down" strum pattern and alternate. Be sure to say "down, down-up, down" as you strum.

Exercise 3
While holding an A minor chord, strum this rhythm: "down, down-up, down." Play the Am and strum while accompanying yourself first with single note hums, then a three note scale, followed by a five note scale. Now, try it while singing "down, down-up, down." Watch me in the video to see how I do it. Sing softly at first, then louder and faster as you get more comfortable with the exercise.

**Remember, some of these exercises might be difficult at first, so take your time and relax. You may find yourself strumming when you didn’t want to or singing when you hadn’t intended to. This is normal! Work through the exercises slowly and even at half the speed that I’m demonstrating if it helps you.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Member Comments about this Lesson

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

billyboyblubillyboyblu replied on February 6th, 2014

I am 60 years old. I can do the 3 note guitar hum thing but I only get 4 out of 5 hums.. I am running out of gas on this one. Should I take an extra breath before the 5th.. ?????

krobinson5krobinson5 replied on June 20th, 2011

Mark. Thanks for the pdf file. It is a lot easier to read after being printed than the normal files. Too bad every instructor in JamPlay doesn't offer pdf files.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on July 1st, 2011

Thanks KR I hope this stuff is helping! Take care, Mark

pdt256pdt256 replied on January 20th, 2010

his guitar seems to be a bit out of tune

billyboyblubillyboyblu replied on February 6th, 2014

His guitar was a tad out of tune....but a very good lesson. Excellent voice instructor..

benjiiibenjiii replied on May 14th, 2010

yes it is!!!!

alfbergeralfberger replied on February 26th, 2009

is mark tuned a half setp down because my c doesn't match his

zayatszayats replied on November 19th, 2009


zayatszayats replied on November 18th, 2009

Hi, is the 3 note hum and 5 note 123, 12345, or 135 , etc?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on November 19th, 2009

Hey Zay how are you? You sho0uld start with simply half step increments so I guess 1,2 ,3 would probably be the best way to begin. can do anything as long as you start off quietly and slowly and allow the vocal chords to warm up gradually. Great question!

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.

Lesson 1

Introduction to Singing

Mark introduces you to the wonderful world of singing.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 6

Singing Exercises

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

Length: 26:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 9

Rhythm in Music

Mark Lincoln explains how rhythm is used in music.

Length: 15:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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
Lesson 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

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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