Yodeling is a novelty having a rich and vibrant history. The technique was first developed by Alpine goatherds to communicate with each other. Soon it became a full blown, dynamic art form that utilizes different techniques, styles and patterns. So what does yodeling entail? Yodeling involves suddenly singing in a falsetto and switching to and fro that and one’s natural voice. Anyone can easily yodel. If you can talk; you can yodel!
Before we discuss some easy ways to master the art of yodeling, let us discuss some reasons why you might want to yodel:
Top reasons to yodel
- It is cool; it can help you become cool at work or school.
- The art of yodeling is cheap; you do not need any tools or instruments to master it. Your voice is your instrument; no need to lug any heavy guitars or pianos.
- It is popular with the chicks!
- Learning how to yodel is a lesson in humility.
- When you yodel, you will be heard!
- It is great to pass time!
Now let us discuss ways to yodel…
1. Practice, practice!
Rome wasn’t built in a day. You cannot master yodeling in a day or even a week. Learning yodeling patterns is like learning a language. Yes, you may be talented and be born with it but you still need to invest time in the practice. The quality of your yodeling is directly proportional to the time you invest in it.
2. Keep it simple!
The key to yodel the cowboy way is to keep things super simple. Start with super simple yodels before you move on to the more complex ones. Many a best yodeler has made a career by yodeling out simple songs. Do not be tempted to master the thornier songs until you have mastered the basics.
3. Read books about yodeling
As with any new skill, the key is to read up all you can about it. There are many good books about how to yodel. Here are some top ones by actual professional yodelers:
- How To Yodel: Lessons to Tickle Your Tonsils by Wylie Gustafson
- How to Yodel the Cowboy Way by Shirley Field and Rudy Robbins.
4. Watch videos
5. Try out yodeling online courses
Many online courses can help you learn how to yodel 101. Check out this link to learn more. Alternatively, you can try out yodeling private lessons here. If you are visiting Switzerland, you could even take crash courses in Yodeling. Talk to fellow yodelers here to learn more.
6. Yodel in the car on your way to work!
Driving to work can be stressful if your commute is long and there is heavy traffic. Why not utilize this time to learn to yodel? Yodeling is a great stress buster and can really be a fun way to pass time on your way to work. It is best if you are alone in the car, at least in the beginning until you become the best yodeler. This way you can really let it all out and practice!
7. Yodel in the shower!
The shower is another great place to practice different yodeling patterns and syllables. So go ahead and try it out! Experiment, have fun and stretch your limits. Of course, protect your voice and be aware of your limits too. Make sure you master the simple, basic yodels before moving on to the fancy stuff.
8. Take criticism positively
One of the barriers to becoming the best yodeler is a mental barrier that is created due to criticism by self or others. Someone might have given you negative feedback or said something about your voice. You must mentally overlook those suggestions embedded in your psyche. Many comments can be extremely hurtful and can make a lasting impression; but you need to understand that these comments do not define you. So stop letting your critics become a barrier that make you believe you are a worthless singer.
9. Practice breathing techniques
Breathing is crucial element of yodeling. You must practice deep breathing and holding your breath so you can yodel for longer periods. Do the following simple breathing exercise:
- Sit in a quiet place
- Breathe in all the way to your diaphragm. You may count up to 4-6 counts as you inhale.
- Hold your breath for up to 4-6 counts.
- Breathe out up to 6 counts.
Do 3 sets of these exercises twice a day or before each practice session.
10. Always warm up before yodeling
Before playing a sport, we warm up so that our muscles are prepared for the exercise that is to come. Same is the case with our vocal cords or voice box. Before singing or yodeling, always take the time to warm up. You can try a few high notes followed by lower notes.
11. Listen to top yodelers
Mix and match things up and listen to different yodeling patterns and genres. This will help you challenge yourself and broaden your perspective. Open yourself up to different technqiues and styles.
Before every session, meditate and relax. If you are anxious, it will be reflected in your performance. Know you have got this and go ahead with confidence!
13. Take care of your throat
Drink warm water or water at room temperature. Suck on some lozenges to soothe your throat. Avoid shouting or talking loudly to preserve your voice. Do warm water gargles and steam inhalation to clear out the nasal passage.
14. Follow a healthy diet
Avoid eating fried, greasy and cold foods and food with too much salt or sugar. Eat healthy nutritious foods like lean meat, green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits. Drink soups and broths that prevent mucus and cough.
15. Use video/audio recorders
Record your yodeling practice sessions and play them back. Make adjustments and corrections based on this. Doing so will help you hone your yodeling syllables. It will also give you the confidence to sing before others.
Finally, sing from the heart. Your emotions will come out in your yodel. With regular practice, you can unleash the yodeler within you. Good luck!