The Sing Thing 1
‘A series of natural vocal exercises
designed to steadily improve your singing skills’.

Copyright: Hand Maid Music 1999 - free to download here (zipped file).
As of 2016, explanatory videos are available here:

Below  are descriptions of the exercises on the CD/download. The initial tracks (not listed below) are my explanation of each exercise, the subsequent tracks are the exercises themselves. The download comes with the graphics so you can see which track is which.

Over the years I have sold thousands of these CDs worldwide and have made my money back plus a reasonable return - they are now free. These exercises with groove backings were the first of their kind in the UK and work (if properly understood) just as well today.

I hope they help you with your singing.

01. In The Beginning. This exercise helps to develop a relaxed, full and low in-breath. If we can acquire a manner of inhalation that creates minimum tension then our singing (which lives on the exhalation) stands the best chance of following suit.

02. The Sigh. We keep all that we have worked on in exercise 1 and add to it a natural un-forced exhalation. We aim to complete a full deep breath cycle with the minimum amount of work and/or tension.

03. The Sigh with a Squeeze. If we just rely on a natural out-breath with no support we won't be able to sustain notes or produce much of a sound, so we must learn to pressurise the air with the abdominal muscles but we want to do this with minimum tension. We don't want the work that is being done with the support muscles transferring itself to the throat and larynx. When we've squeezed the abdominal muscles to pressurise the air it's important that we're able to let go as soon as possible. We don't want to be storing tension.

04. Starting to Sing. Again we keep all the above but add to it a vocalisation on the out-breath. We prove to ourselves that we can start to sing on the natural un-forced out-breath that we have established in exercise 2 above. Still minimum work, minimum tension. We are careful to remember this feeling of freedom and ease because we want to take it with us in all our singing.

05. Adding Another Thing. You get the idea by now? We gently add things to our simple relaxed breath, trying to maintain the ease as we build up. In this exercise we have three separate onsets that again employ the abdominal support muscles, only this time we vocalise on the air flow. We remember that as soon as we've used them we let go and revert to our state of relaxation. If you find it difficult to let go of the work/tension then you need to tarry awhile on this one.

06. One Thing More. You've worked on exercise 5 and you can let go after squeezing the support muscles with separate onsets. We want to practice and monitor our flexibility of support. In this exercise we create accents in a sustained note being careful to let go of the work in between accents and noting whether there is a tendency to constrict in the throat to 'help the accents along', if there is we have to let go.

07. The Mobile Tongue. The tongue is a big muscle connected to the area of the larynx. This one frees up the tongue and gives it its independence; follow the instructions carefully!

08. The Dropping Jaw. More space, more resonance, more volume for free!! Loosen your jaw here. Again, follow the instructions carefully!

09. Grinning and Pouting. One for the cheek and face muscles - don't do this one while folk are present!

10. The Open Throat. A lovely exercise to encourage you to let go in the pharynx, put a bit more air through and enjoy huge, easy, rich, ringing vowels.

11. A Lip and Tongue Thing. Monitor your support. Can you keep a lip or tongue trill consistent as you traverse your vocal range?

12. Down to the Bottom. Got weak low notes? Do you pull your head down trying to get those low Eb's? Maybe you feel like you're strangling yourself? Not good! Sort it out nicely and gently.

13. Up to the Top. Not a shouter but a gentle exercise to ease through into head voice/middle register or falsetto. How easily can you sing the upper notes?

14. Humming and Buzzing. Resonance = free volume, tone and projection. Free because it saves the laryngologist's bills that pop up when you try to do it the other way. Not entirely free 'cause you have to buy the CD (not any more. AB) and put some practice in first... small price!

15. Fooling Around. That's enough tough stuff, here's one of the backing tracks to improvise/ad-lib on.

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