Aiming for a quality tone is not just a subjective or personal preference thing. You may love the sound of hard rock or Linkin Park, or you may prefer the tones of classical young singers. You may even like the sound of the reverb computer enhanced voices common in dance and electronica styles. There is however some things to aim for to get a quality base tone. If you master how to shape your voice, you can sing most styles really well. This increases your versatility and employability as a performer. So check out how to assess your tone and what to do with what you may discover!
How do I achieve great Vocal Tone?
If you want to be a singer, you have to trust that your voice box can do everything you want it to, effortlessly. Your best singing voice will emerge from the larynx without help from any other muscles.
Take It Easy
You must be able to note when tension starts building in your face and vocal cords
so that you can stop, relax, and loosen up again. Tension is a sign that you are not singing properly.
Nerves cause your vocal cords to become dry and constrict. You may feel a choking sensation around your voice box. It may seem hard to make much sound, especially a clear sound. If this happens, open your throat up again by taking deep breaths, visualizing the passage opening, and feeling relaxation spread through your body. Do not clear your throat or cough! Both actions damage your vocal cords and dry them out. A better response would be to drink some water and swallow several times.
As your vocal quality depends on your larynx—not your articulators—screwing up your face or using exaggerated facial expressions won’t help you form a better sound. Keep your face natural. Your mouth will naturally form a vertical opening as you sing, but you do not need to open it into an exaggerated ‘O.’ Try to keep your mouth itself (including your lips and jaw) in the same position for all vowel sounds, so that only your tongue and soft palette move. For consonants, try to enunciate but not exaggerate.
If you stay just as relaxed while singing as you are when you speak, you should be fine!
Aim for a Quality Tone
Try this exercise.
1. Speak the first lines of “Twinkle, Twinkle.”
Twinkle, twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are.
2. Then sing the first lines of “Twinkle,Twinkle”
3. Write down a few words describing how your face, voice, and throat feel when you sing as compared to when you speak. It may help to look in a mirror while you see, so you can see any changes. For example, did you feel your throat tighten or your face start to scrunch up? From where did the sound feel as if it was coming? Did you feel any vibrations? If so, where?
4. Now, listen objectively to your singing voice as you sing it again. Write down a few words describing the tonal quality. Is your tone bright or dark? Hollow or full? Nasal or rich? Muddy or clear?
When you sing, you are looking to develop depth of tone. In other words, the sounds you produce should be full, rich, and clear. You don’t want a nasally, breathy, muddy, or brassy tone.
Compare the voice on
with the voice on .
Can you hear the difference? The second voice displays admirable qualities of roundness and clarity. But that doesn’t mean that the singer in the first example doesn’t have the potential of becoming just as good as the second singer. It just means that the she needs more practice and vocal training before she achieves the quality of tone she’s aiming for.
What you want to achieve a clear tone is the breath and tone occurring at the same time. This is called a simultaneous onset. The sound will still be forceful, but not harsh to the ear.
Try this exercise:One word that is good to practice this on is ‘meow.’
Now, say ‘meow’ yourself. Make sure the ‘m’ is forceful with no breathiness.
Pronounce all the vowels clearly.
Good work. Keep focusing on how you want your voice to sound and try to eliminate breathy or shallow sounds from escaping. Unless you are playing a character part that requires breathy, nasally, harsh tones, we suggest you stick to producing a great sounding well rounded tone, which can suit most songs or auditions.
Vocal tone is such an important part of Singing. It can be the difference between people buying your album or switching off your song when it comes on the Radio. We recognize a voice that is fantastic and easy to listen to…and we organize a voice that is not easy to hear. So go ahead and check out Singorama 2.0 for indepth and creative teaching on attaining great tone and manipulating your voice to suit different musical styles!