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A Resource for the Aspiring Vocalist


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Improve Your Posture

Choosing the Seated Posture

There are many reasons why you could choose to sit while singing. It could be the choice of instrument you are playing alongside, per example the piano or the drums, or maybe you are just sitting down to introduce a more intimate moment during a show. Whatever the reason for your seated posture, there are a few tips which can help improve your vocal performance in such a situation.

Tips for the Seated Posture

  1. Don't slump in your chair
  2. Keep your back streched but in motion
  3. Balance your head over your tailbone
  4. Lift your cheeks
  5. Express emotions
  6. Position your microphone when playing an instrument

By Ernst Vikne [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Elton John in 2009

^ 1. Don't slump in your chair

Make sure you do not slump on your seat. Sit upright on the front edge of your chair while putting one foot forward to gain extra balance. Raise your comfort by having your feet flat on the floor and wearing comfortable shoes.

During parts which require intensity put some weight towards your buttocks into the chair, and towards your forwarded foot into the ground. The idea behind this is to strech your spine.

^ 2. Keep your back streched but in motion

When you strech your spine you want to achieve a straight back, however, don't keep your back stiff. Move it and keep it in motion. Controlling your movements should center around your pelvic floor. Avoid slumping or hunching your spine, which e.g. commonly happens when playing the guitar.

^ 3. Balance your head over your tailbone

Observe the position of your head and make sure that you keep it balanced over your tailbone. Facing straight forward is to prefer whenever possible. Movement should come from the hips, not from the shoulders. Make sure you float your head while moving. Keep your chin almost parallel to the floor to avoid any tension on your throat, even when singing the higher and lower notes.

^ 4. Lift your cheeks

The facial posture has an acoustical relationship to the tone of your voice. A correct facial expression will improve the carrying power of the voice and spare the singer breath.

Enter the facial expression during breath inhalation by gently rising your cheeks in an attempt to feel an inner smile similar to the beginning phase of a yawn. Don't create a full smile, but assume a pleaseant expression. Limit the fascial posture to using the cheek muscles only; don't have jaw, tongue, or mouth influenced. Keep this posture during singing and relax your cheeks during the next inhalation before rising your cheeks again.

^ 5. Express emotions

To avoid being frozen on position make sure that you express emotion through your eyes and hands without compromising your grip on the microphone. If you are holding notes or lyrics keep them raised to eye level while keeping your shoulders relaxed.

^ 6. Position your microphone when playing an instrument

When you play an instrument in seated position and sing at the same time you should position your microphone just right. Make sure that you do not need to bend forward and that the height encourages you to keep a straight spine.