1 Simple Trick for Easy Singing (Enter: the Fish Lips!)

When it comes to singing, I'm all about shortcuts and easy singing tips! Sometimes the simplest adjustments can yield big results, fast. Enter: Fish Lips!

What are the Fish Lips? It's a simple cue/adjustment that will help your singing get much easier. Because who doesn't love easy singing?

You'll find Fish Lips helpful in the following ways -- they will help to:

  1. Relieve tension,
  2. Neutralize your larynx,
  3. Get your jaw to relax,
  4. Help you sing through your vocal break(s),
  5. Create a less spread, more focused vocal tone.

One way to practice the sensation is to sing lip trills as part of your vocal warmups (check out my quick demo in the video).

Layer this cue onto your practice or song prep, and let me know if it helps!

xo Fel

AUTHOR

Felicia Ricci

All stories by: Felicia Ricci
51 comments
  • Vicki
    REPLY

    This is great and you are so funny! What a special way to start the day. Thx for connecting the trill to fish lips. I've been having trouble moving from my wide lip singing to rounder more open. This is going to help. If only I could stop laughing at myself when I see my singing image in the mirror - that's help too! I don't think the dead fish thought will help with that at all. Have a great day, Fel!

      • Marie Kirk
        REPLY

        Hi Fel,
        I Just love your work.
        You have taught me so much and I have always known fish lips is the best way to get that voice out, but have not known how to apply it to myself.
        My husband is a country singer & a recording artist with two CD's that he has produced himself here at home. He never wears a big smiley face while singing and hardly ever shows his teeth while speaking ,or singing,' but man what a sound he has. His voice is awesome'. I know it would benefit him if he had a few pointers from you, not to change him, but to build on what he already has. I have heard great singing teachers saying Fancy how he would sound if he would only open his mouth when he sings, but they really don't get it for if he opened his mouth the way they think he should then he would not get that amazing voice of his. I Know that the inside of your mouth is the home for an amazing voice and that the lips are the doorway for it. I study singers such as Damien Leith on TV shows and I promise you that even before that get stated I can see that fish mouth doorway as you call it and I know they will be wonderful to listen to & will have total control of each and every word. My Hubby doesn't get it, or hasn't until now. I can't wait to show him this video of yours so that he can hopefully see for himself what I'm on about. Lucky Dave he was raised with fish lips from his Mum and it's natural for him, but when ever I try to experiment with it,he frowns and harshly says ''Open your mouth.'' I do try and explain that all I'm really trying to do is to copy him, but he never gets my meaning. Hopefully now I will be able to do it correctly thanks to your video and your lovely way of explaining things to us all as you do Fel.
        I remember the first time I came across you with your tips it was back in your early stages, but you were great even back then.
        I loved your straight forwardness, no beating round the bush, no suspense, or trying to get us to sign up, no stringing us on, no pestering, no pop up adds keep coming to bombard us.
        You sold me right away with your bright and cheery, open natural look and your lovely big eyes. There's nothing artificial about you Fel. You are really beautiful and down to earth. I Hope you will stay around forever and ever with your tips and Gorgeous smile. We Love you Fel. Warm Regards Marie Kirk Atherton Tablelands Australia 4883.

  • Jitske
    REPLY

    .. Hi, Felicia,

    Thanks for the connection: just found it out lately my self, I adressed it as 'piggy snout', it places the resonance more in the front instead of closer to the vocal cords, which is bad.. and if overdone: creates nasality, which you may prefer (not me) as I read this here and there, great tool: it prevents from damage in case of high notes... Thanks for the affirmation indeed! Exp., exp...and find out.

  • GERARDA
    REPLY

    Great tip....it gets the tongue really relaxed.....all you tips are very useful. Look forward every day to your emails. Some advice on not going flat when singing would be great
    THANKS SO MUCH
    GER SPAIN

  • Lulu
    REPLY

    Hi Fel, yeah that's a great tip, thanks. I just tried it with a song I'm rehearsing for a performance in a few weeks. I'd been hearing the 'horizontal' sound and not liked it, but Fish Lips has cured it! Result!

    I have a question...do you have any tips on memorizing lyrics?

    thanks xx

  • Toni
    REPLY

    UNBELIEVABLE. What a difference. I had been told by a teacher to move the jaw back and this was always so uncomfortable. This technique removed tension I'mmediately and allowed me to sing higher and lower notes with easy. Thank you, thank you.

  • Rebecca
    REPLY

    This was great. Thanks!! I was actually (instinctively doing something sort of like this but your explanation just made it all make sense. (Love being validated too!) Plus, you made it easier and more complete. I will definitely be making the fish-face more and more now! Cheers

  • Michael
    REPLY

    Holly cannoli !
    It bridges higher and lower , with ease ????
    Thank you
    You teach students how to grasp voice , the same way I teach students how to play instruments
    Thank you for lightening the technical aspects of technique
    It's playing music ... So play !

    Btw belt your ass off ???? Was worth every penny
    I'm still on the breathing section ..... but I'm a smoker
    Thanks Felicia

  • Tim
    REPLY

    Love the fish lips, not sure I got it quite right, yet, but working on it. love how fun and positive/up beat you are all the time! Well, had a audition and practiced and even my ten year old niece said the night before that I sounded better than original artist...which happened to be Adele. The day of audition at 6AM, I did your warm ups starting at 3AM and then songs by 5AM, then hour drive to audition and just humming it over and over again. Got to audition and went thru security and sat till 11AM in folding chair and was not allowed any further warm up, every time we all tried a brief bit were instantly spoken to and asked again to hush, that seemed so opposite of what we should do, went to bathroom and tried to sing there and everyone was trying this and security shut us up again, too. It got into my head and I started to get nervous. Singing a big song with no full voice after five plus hours was creeping into my head and I tried to think of clear tube and wrapped in Christmas lights and then we all (10) finally got called into small room with a producer and began...most were cold and I heard their songs and started to sing them in my head and my song crept out of my head and then I was called to the mark and I started fine and started to get to higher part and building emotions/strength and tightening occurred and I focused on techniques and words jumped out of my head and I tried to regain/thinking what is the next words and blank and yet they came at last second and I could not hit it like I had. Producer asked me to stop and start at that point it went ere and I asked if I could start back over at beginning to ease into it and he agreed, because he stated I started so strong. I stepped back and tried to collect myself quickly and I started again and got past the rough part and started I thought to relax and his face said this guy is not it, and nerves hit again and it all repeated again and I was able to end strong, though. Producer stated that was rough, sir, but the beginning and ending was strong and I just need to get those nerves out and know the lyrics better. I knew the lyrics, but kept hearing the other singers songs in my head, if that makes any sense and then I could not prepare for the lyrics/notes I had to hit. My niece wondered what happened and all I could say was nerves, but by 12:30PM that day I had a full blown head cold and congestion. So perhaps it was coming on that morning at audition (wait) and nerves made it worse and I tried to technically overcome it and it was just not possible with out a clean out and there was no place to do it. So I know this was a long to read, but perhaps suggestion(s) to long wait to sing and nerves, illness on day of performance/audition?; will help me and others. Love ya Fell and your courses! Wish I could afford more private lessons, but right now only a meal per day and working all sort of jobs and lucky I am not on street, never have more than 10 dollars left at end of month.

  • Gloria Barnes
    REPLY

    Is too bad for me to just have found your help ,I have been singing for awhile (68yrs old)never been expose to any tipe of lessons. I sing mainly at church and when it is some tipe of gathering. I don't know if it is too late but i like your classes. Is there any type of a starting point that i should go to be able to follow your tips and lessons?. thank for giving all of this for free. I was never able to pay for singing lessons. I have been singing since i was 7 . thanks again.

  • Kayelamity
    REPLY

    BRILLIANT!!! i have choir practice tonight and this and the other mp3/pdfs are helping. I am a low alto, and I am trying to learn the combined breathing thing, amazing, i should have known the skull is an acoustic instrument, full of pipes, i was a nurse, but I have solo sang so long with my guitar or jammed with folks in my key, so you, darlin are an answered prayer. I actually started to think, oh well, Go with what God gave you, but he gave me you, and just in the nick of time! I am choeoing a wild west gunfight/song old west setting for VBS at my Church, and have Easter cantatas , I LOVE your positive teaching and you , well, brilliant, just know you are NOT unloved chicky! XXXXXXXXXXXX

  • Summer
    REPLY

    Love your videos! Thanks so much for your fun tips. They're easy to remember and help so much! My daughter who is 11 has been doing these videos with me (we're learning together since we have the same bad habits haha). I would love to see a video for young singers!

  • Jan
    REPLY

    I want so much to listen to your video but I am blind and my screen reader is not clueing me in on what to click on to play it. I do not usually have this problamm. I love listening to you and am learning a lot from you.

  • Alan
    REPLY

    Cool , I am always looking for a way to sing better as an older man, even though I have sung in many cover bands and am now looking to get back into it. This little tidbit is awesome.

  • Ginny
    REPLY

    This was very helpful. I have subscribed to your channel and really enjoy it. I haven't had time to practice lately but this may help me focus. If the sound comes out correct your more likely to practice.
    So thankx for your help.

  • Tom
    REPLY

    My voice teacher has been trying to get me to do that for years! It doesn't come easy because of bad habits that have been "trained in" for 50 million years.. Well not really that many..

  • Amandine
    REPLY

    Fel, I LOVE your videos) you make me laugh out loud, really!! And I'm going to try this fish lips right NOw! Thanks again for your beautiful energy and wonderful teachings)

  • Andrea
    REPLY

    Yes I just paid a ton to learn this tip from a speech pathologist to help me correct terrible vocal tension but its still nice to have your video. In fact you video helped me see more about how to use this with my singing, rather than just as an exercise given me by the speech pathologist to fix my throat constriction problem.

    So i will definitely be thinking more about "fish lips" and using it more as i sing.

  • Ann Helm
    REPLY

    Hey Fel,

    I will reply below about the fish lips, but I am writing here and now because I want to tell you a couple of visualizations I have been doing during vocal warmups, and since this is your latest video there is the best chance of your reading it here. These are inspired by tips from you elsewhere.

    One visualization is to see the tone coming out of my mouth as being like a trombone pointed slightly down. Like on the Belting 2 exercises with the NYAH's sirening up and down a fifth -- that is perfect for the trombone image. You have told us about thinking "down" when we exhale as well as when we inhale, so the trombone is aimed at about a 60 degree angle downward. It's fun.

    The second visualization is connected with your instruction to sing from the belly button. I visualize my standing body as a big pipe in a pipe organ, and the horizontal rectangular hole is in my belly. The sound comes out from there, and also from the top of my head where the pipe is open at the top. You told us with the belly mouth visualization to let the tone just float on top of the breath and resonate in the head. The pipe organ image gives a feeling of the sound floating freely up and out the top of my head, which has a liberated feeling.

    And just a brief thanks for the fish lips as a way to get a more vertical, darker vowel on those WAY and EH vowels especially. I watched your video before I did my vocal warmup today, and tried to apply it. I have mentioned in an email before that I do my daily warmups with the warmup exercises you posted a year or so ago on YouTube. Those are great, while alternating them, I do a couple of sets of lip trills. Some times I do the whole LIP-EE-AH exercises on a lip trills, and I also do the MM humming octave as all lip trills.

    You're my teacher, Fel, and I'm so happy to be studying with you. Thank you!

  • John Porter
    REPLY

    Fel,

    Appreciate the "fish lips" & "trill" tips. Am in a period where singing in public is quite rare and tips like these help me do some "singing things" more regularly.

    Cheers,

  • kenneth olen smith
    REPLY

    Thank you for your wonderful help, I am getting better not yet ready to go our on gigs to help the girls orphanage, but we did raise $3,000.00 dollars last year going door to door in our coinage campaign. I truly want to be able to go too nursing homes to bring some joy to those who need it most and get donations from the corporate mangers. Love ya

  • Chris
    REPLY

    Dear Fel,

    I always feel like a fish out of water when I sing. So fish lips really help to complete the picture.

    One day I will find my voice - the journey is noisy, but fun!!

    Thanks so much for what you do! You enrich our lives!!

    Warm regards
    Chris

  • James Kevin
    REPLY

    You're "Fish Lips" & "Lip trill" are very helpful, I appreciate you taking the time to create your uniquely amazing
    instructional approach. I'm definitely going to check out more as I'm an accomplished multi-Instrumentalist/composer and desire to
    Master my Individual VOICE 🙂
    Thank you,
    Respectfully,
    James.
    p.s.
    the owl pillow is way cool!

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