Here is a checklist to think about when working on your vocal technique! Some of these ideas came from a variety of sources including my own voice professors, Tricia Pine "Rejoice in Your Voice," and from the resource, Vocal Technique: A Guide for Conductors, Teachers, and Singers. I would highly recommend the book just mentioned as well!
Vocal practice check list:
Am I using diaphragmatic breathing?
Am I using a low belly breath?
Are your feel anchored into the ground?
Are my knees slightly bent?
Am I expanding below?
Am I allowing the back to open?
Are my shoulders in neutral position?
Are these areas relaxed?
Is my soft palate lifted, like a yawn?
Do I feel a cathedral space?
Am I stretching into the yawn space?
Am I lifting the soft palate and relaxing the tongue?
Is my jaw relaxed while lifting the soft palate?
Am I using my five resonators?
(Larynx, pharynx, mouth, nasal cavity, chest resonance)
Am I singing into the mask?
Do I feel a buzzing in the nose and forehead?
As I go up the scale do I feel as though the tone is going up over and back of my head?
Do I have plenty of space (yawn) space as I sing up the scale?
If I want a “nasal” sound, I can sing in the mask and not lift the soft palate.
If I want a forward sound, but not nasal, I can keep the soft palate down.
Is my larynx relaxed and not lifting as I go higher in pitch?
Is my larynx staying low?
Is my tongue relaxed?
Is my tongue in a resting position right behind my lower teeth?
Is the tongue going back in my mouth as a sing pitches?
Do I feel any tongue tension?
Vocal Onset (how I start the tone):
Hard onset: let a grunt sound
Soft onset: like a soft “h”
Remember, we want a balanced onset! (not too soft and not too hard)
How am I sending the tone?
Am I pushing the sound in any way?
Am I relaxing the larynx?
These are all helpful items to think about when practicing and preparing for auditions, performances, and recitals!