Having a wobbly or weak voice is quite a common issue with people who have just started singing, and, like most things in singing, is related to good breath control. This wobble is technically known as vibrato, which is a technique we want to be able to use as a sound effect when we choose to, and not one that just happens without us wanting it to!
To support the sound coming out of your mouth, you need a strong diaphragm muscle to support the control of air you take in, and let out. If you place both hands lightly one above the other, starting around your belly button area, and give a quick laugh – ‘ha ha ha’, you should feel your diaphragm muscle kicking.
Keeping one hand placed on the diaphragm, take a deep breath into that area, keeping it really low so that your belly and back expand as much as possible (so pushing the hand resting there AWAY from your body), and your chest and shoulders stay down and relaxed. Now less that breath out, slowly, as a hiss. Is it wobbly and wavering about, not a consistent sound?
Try it again – take your deep breath into your diaphragm area, and really let the belly expand. Now when you hiss slowly out, try squeezing the diaphragm muscle at the same time, so that your belly area slowly contracts back in. The sound should be stronger, more steady and controlled. You can start to try this on vowel sounds, like ‘Ooh’ and ‘Ah’ On a note that is natural for you), and then bring it into actual songs! It works!
To strengthen up the diaphragm muscle on an ongoing basic so that your singing improves in the long run, try this exercise:
Put some music on which has a good steady beat to it, not too fast, not too slow. Something like the speed of ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ works well (one my demo tracks posted on my site if you want to use that). Find the beat – you should be able to count ‘one, two, three, four’, ‘one, two, three, four’ throughout the song.
Now with your hand placed on your diaphragm area as above, try breathing in for the count of four, breathing out for the count of four – always through your mouth. Once you get the hang of the timing, take your breath in as deep as possible, really filling up your lower abdominal area, and engaging your diaphragm. You should be completely full by the count of ‘four’! On your breath out, keep the breath steady and controlled using your lips, and your diaphragm, so that your lungs are empty and your diaphragm has contracted back in by the count of ‘four’, and you are ready to breathe in again on the count of ‘one’.
Practise this over a few days, and if it becomes easy, increase your intake of air gradually so that your lung capacity improves.
You can then move on to breathing in for 8 and out for 8…and then breathing in for 4 and out for 8, or more, which is more like what you would do when singing a song.
Having control of your diaphragm, and therefore your breath control, will help in so many ways when singing. Look out for my next tips soon…happy singing!