Being An Old Man Helped My Singing (No, Seriously)

What do a park-dwelling Birdman, an old hunchback, and a golden-kneed soccer player have in common?

Watch my latest singing tips video to find out!

In this video, you'll learn how my performing onstage with my musical improv group gave me insight into a new strategy for relieving vocal tension. Specifically: that my playing *old, male characters with hip-loaded posture* helped me to bust singing tension!

Here's my conclusion: loading your hips, tucking your pelvis under, and bending slightly at the waist can help to un-tense your neck, shoulders, and throat. (This is similar to the "butt clench" technique I often advocate for belt singing -- thrusting your energy DOWN into your lower body can help to free up your upper body.)

Yup, I know it sounds crazy. And no, I'm not kidding about this!


(NOTE: In the video, when I play my weird old man characters, I stick my neck out a bit, kind of like a "chicken-neck." Resist the urge to do this. The most important part is sinking into the hips, not craning your head forward.)

You, too, can wield the power of singing with a more hip-loaded posture, and feel firsthand how it helps to relieve tension in your neck and face.

Practice using the tips contained in this video -- and let me know what you think!

Improvisationally yours,



Felicia Ricci

All stories by: Felicia Ricci
  • Ted Stern

    Hi Fel,

    Your tips have helped me a lot and I plan to apply for lessons with you when I have money. Hopefully, that will be sooner than later. About your "old man" stance tip. I'm 71 and don't ever stand that way. At least, I don't think I do. If I start now others will think I'm actually old. So, can you offer another tip that won't add to the age factor? I use your butt tuck method whenever I can. The problem is, at my age it's easy to forget to tighten your butt.

    You have a great voice!

    Keep up the good work and thank you very much for your tips and beautiful attitude.

    Ted in Moscow

    • Felicia Ricci

      Hi Ted! I hope I didn't come off as ageist in the service of comedy! These were my very broad, silly interpretations of old men 🙂 As we all know, old men are, in reality, powerful people, each with their own unique postures 🙂 xo Fel

  • Eda

    Hilarious and helpful. I agree and feel much more grounded when I'm in a kind of lunge position and sinking into my hips. It lets me be more fluid and less tense from the waist up.

  • Bubba

    Hi, Fel,
    As usual, great advice from an awesome teacher. Since I'm already considered old (80), how about some tips on how to sing without tension when in front of a church congregation? We do praise songs and I'm afraid the pastor would not feel good about my bending while singing. Ha,ha.

  • Yanya

    Yes, that's the very first thing my new singing teacher (she's an academic) told me on my first lesson besides moving shoulders down and back and releasing tension in the whole upper part of the body (like soft palate, jaw,neck, waist, hips...). It really helps me as you Fel also said - your voice sometimes just disappears and it's all because of tension which my previous teacher unfortunately did not consider at all and I noticed it through experience and experimenting. ThanksFel! 🙂

  • Phoebe

    I had fun watching this. I was already imagining myself onstage performing then doing the old-man pose. Haha! Lots of love here.

    I love the way you teach and give tips.

    I sure will give this singing trick a try. Thanks, Fel

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