Intuitive singing is one of the funnest ways to restore happiness, health, and connection.
Intuitive singing means letting your voice do what it wants to do, without trying to follow a pre-written melody. Intuitive singing is a form of vocal improvisation, which means you’re playing, making something up spontaneously. It’s very, very gratifying once you let yourself do it.
The potential to use our voices, letting them unfurl freely without direction as made-up songs, is a true gift from Source, or whoever/whatever you believe made human life.
The benefits of singing are many: lungs, immunity, and heart are all strengthened with singing. Singing also brings peace and safety to the nervous system (vagal nerve stimulation and parasympathetic activation all the way). Singing, furthermore, brings solace and celebration in equal measure into our emotional worlds.
Done in groups, singing is unifying and creates powerful bonds of connection between people. It is also a way of making “joyful noise”, a way to show Source we are grateful for our lives.
So why don’t we do it more?
Too many of us were told we can’t sing. That is a lie. All humans can sing, and we are allowed to, whatever our voices are like.
While it is true that some humans are especially accomplished at singing, some are endowed with unusually beautiful voices, and some have worked for many thousands of hours to perfect their singing gifts, we all have an utterly unique, special, and beautiful-in-its-own way voice.
This is the voice that life gave us, and we are allowed to use it as we see fit. Not to please anyone else, but to please ourselves. We can make ourselves happy by giving the natural gift of song-making back to ourselves.
We might need a little help remembering how to do it!
Here are some ideas to help get us flowing again.
Intuitive Singing over A Drone
For many, the very easiest way to sing intuitively is to sing over a sustained note played by another instrument.
This is called a drone. Here is a playlist of drones played on the cello:
If you listen to a drone and sing along with it, letting your voice free flow and explore, quite naturally you will attune yourself to the key signature. Very likely what sounds nice and feels good to you as you sing freely will be loosely in the key signature of that drone.
Make Your Own Drone Note
If you have an instrument, you can create a drone yourself by playing a single note repeatedly. You can do this with any instrument, except the ones where you can’t sing at the same time, like a flute or trumpet, in which case you need to record your drone first and then sing over your recording.
To make a drone note, hold any note as long and sustained as possible, and repeat the note once it has faded. While the note stays steady you can then sing intuitively over it.
In truth you can repeat the note in any steady rhythm – it could be short notes repeated swiftly, but the easiest way to sing intuitively when you’re first starting out is to do so over long, sustained notes.
If it’s possible to play several octaves of the same note at once, as you can easily do on a piano or harp, that’s helpful, as it makes the drone richer.
You may want to record your voice, to hear back your own special song. If you do this with the drone playing in headphones, leave one ear of the headphones so that you can also hear your own voice resonating acoustically while you do this, as this helps the recording sound better.
Next Step up from a Drone – 1 chord Song
If you feel like singing over a drone is feeling easy enough, you may want to move up to playing over a single chord, over and over. This is easily done on piano, guitar, harp, and other instruments designed to plays chords. Hold a single chord, or repeat it in a regular repeating rhythm, while your voice is free to roam.
Chords are made up of multiple notes played at once. If you want to play in the key of C, you can play a simple C chord (that’s C, E, and G played all at once), while your voice moves wherever feels and sounds and good to you.
Reflect on Your Intuitive Singing
What do you experience as you play around with intuitive singing? Can you remember your natural right to use your one, unique voice to create joy for yourself through found, remembered, and made up songs?