Why Is Posture Important When Singing?

Disclosure: Some posts contain affiliate links, which earn us a commission if you make a purchase through them.
  • How does my posture affect my vocal performance?
  • What are the best ways to avoid bad posture?
  • How can I tell if my posture is right for singing?

So many singers underestimate the value of good posture while singing. However, good posture can make a massively positive impact on the level of control and tonal range that you can access while singing. But is it possible to fix or improve your posture for better singing? And just how does your posture affect your singing?

We’ve put together a brief guide to understanding the fundamentals of good posture for singing. In this article, we’ll also provide some handy tips you can use to develop your posture, as well as ensure this posture while standing or sitting. 

How Does My Posture Affect My Singing?

It can be easy to assume that good singing is centered around the throat and mouth, as this is the very source of the sound you’re creating. However, singing involves a fair amount of coordination from the rest of the body. Effective singing requires learning the essential body mechanics that support and enhance the voice, and the foundation of these mechanics lies in good posture. 

Our lungs act as the engine that drives our singing voice (as well as a few other crucial functions). Air is the primary fuel that we use to create and control the sounds coming out of our mouths. When we speak, sing, cough, yawn, or snore, air passes over the larynx to create a variety of tones depending on the rate and velocity of air passing through. 

A good posture ensures that the lungs can maximize their capacity for air intake and also allows the lungs more freedom to move for dynamic control. Next up we’ll show you how to remedy bad posture and cover the primary points along the body that ensure good posture for singing. 

What Is Bad Posture for Singing?

Bad posture places unnecessary stress on the diaphragm. The diaphragm controls the rate and degree that your lungs consume and exert air. The deeper and faster you need to breathe, the harder your diaphragm needs to work, and a bad posture hinders this process. 

When we slouch forward (a common habit in human posture), we create an arch in our spine that compresses our diaphragm. This bent-over shape inhibits the lungs’ capacity to take in air and also stunts the speed and velocity that it needs to let air out.

Before you straighten your back while reading this, it’s also important to note that some people tend to overcompensate for bad posture, which is equally detrimental to effective singing. Pushing your chest out too far can also create an arch that hinders your lung capacity and control. In the next section, we’ll show you some quick pointers to help prevent bad posture while singing. 

The Primary Posture Points for Good Singing

So how can you ensure good posture while singing? There are a few primary points along your anatomy that you can use as guides to help establish and maintain good posture. Use this list below as a reference to help settle yourself into a comfortable, reliable posture for effective singing. 

  1. Feet – Try to keep your feet squarely planted beneath your hips, at around shoulder-width distance. You should be able to comfortably lean forward and backward without having to shift your stance. 
  2. Knees – Several people tend to stiffen or lock up their knees when trying to improve their posture. However, it is always best to give a slight bend and keep them slightly loose to allow you to draw tension away from the upper body. 
  3. Hips – Your hips act as a vital pivot point for your spine and posture, and they determine the base load placed on your spinal column. Try to keep your hips squarely in line with your knees to help disperse weight evenly through this region. Try not to push your hips too far backward or forwards as this will create extra work for your spine and diaphragm. 
  4. Chest and Shoulders – Slouching over and forward will compress your lungs and hinder your ability to inhale. Try to ensure that your chest is open to allow sufficient airflow by correcting any slouching. Also, be weary of pushing your chest too far forward as this also places unnecessary strain on the diaphragm. 
  5. Shoulders – The most obvious indication of slouching is in the shoulders. You can easily remedy bad posture in the shoulders by holding your hands together behind your back and pulling your elbows toward each other. Again, it’s important not to overexert this movement as it places redundant stress on the lungs and diaphragm.
  6. Head – A steady head position will help regulate airflow through the mouth and throat. Looking downward compresses the windpipe, and it’s best to try and keep your head at a neutral position, keeping your gaze at a natural eye level. 

How to Sing with Good Posture While Sitting

  1. Keep your feet squarely placed in front of you, and try not to cross your legs if possible as this will create a twist in the spine that hinders your ability to breathe efficiently. 
  2. Try to find something soft but firm to sit on to support your body weight. If you sit on something unstable, your posture has to make up for the lack of balance. Barstools are a great example of reliable, comfortable seating at an adequate height for good posture. 
  3. Keep your hips squarely planted on your seat, and try to avoid shifting your weight onto your feet. Also, draw your shoulders back to avoid slouching. Place your hand on your stomach to help you stop overarching your spine and to monitor your breathing while singing. 
  4. To help keep your head in a reliable position, imagine that someone has tied a string to the top of your head and is gently pulling you upward. This visualization can help keep the frame of your body in natural alignment for good posture. 

Final Thoughts

Correcting and improving your posture generally involves working some natural bad habits out of your everyday movements. Good posture will not only improve your singing but has also been proven to improve your general mood and quality of life. You can use the guide above to ensure that you keep your posture in check and effectively optimize your body for singing in doing so. 

FAQ

  • What is the ideal posture for singing?

While there isn’t any kind of perfect posture for singing (as humans come in a variety of sizes and proportions), many singers tend to keep a square stance on their feet, hips, and shoulders. They also make sure not to slouch or push their chest too far out from their chest—both habits create unnecessary strain on the diaphragm. 

  • Does good posture help your voice?

A good posture allows your lungs to perform at their optimum capacity, which provides you with more power, stamina, and control while singing. 

More Stories
25 Interesting Karaoke Statistics and Facts (2023)