Tips for Healthy Belting

Tips written for Health

Follow these simple steps to greatly improve the health of your voice.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Feel rooted and ready to take action. The knees are relaxed, not locked. Tilt the pelvis so that the tailbone points down. Lengthen the spine, including the neck. The shoulders are back and down, and you feel roomy but not hyper-extended in the chest.

Release your abdominal muscles. As you breathe in, the diaphragm descends and you elevate your rib cage, keeping the chest and shoulders steady. Release five rapid puffs of air like a laugh with no voice. Repeat several times. As you release the breath, hold the ribs open so that the inspiratory muscles resist the expiratory muscles, creating the sensation of breath and support.

Using a calling voice expressing great joy say “ay” [as in day]. Try again. Don’t yell or shout, but call as if trying to be heard over a distance. Now transfer the calling sound to a musical exercise. Women starting on middle “C”, men on the “A” below, sing: C-E [ay-ay] G-E-C [ah-ah-ah]. Go up by ½ steps until you reach your limit. (About a high A-flat for women, high C for men. Men with lower voices cannot belt, but can develop a quasi-belt voice quality.)

Vowel Modification:
As the pitch rises, the forward vowels modify toward “ay” [hay] and the back vowels modify toward “ah” [father]

Listen to:
Betty Buckley
Celine Dion
Linda Eder
Sam Harris
Marin Mazzie
Bernadette Peters

-Bill Reed