Have you found yourself confused by the technical terms used when talking about singing? Or have you heard a singer or coach use a unique technique and not know the name? Today, we’ll share six standard technical terms to familiarize yourself.
Friday, January 14th
Belting is a compelling way of singing, using the chest register to create a raw, down-to-earth sound. Nevertheless, it is easy to get carried away and force the sound out from the chest too powerfully or not with enough breath behind it. As a result, you could damage your vocal cords.
Vocalists who wish to create a powerful sound should do so with proper breath control and give the sound the right foundation by combining a little of their other registers into the sound.
Blending is a word used in choirs to make a group of singers sound like one voice instead of lots of individual voices. To accomplish this, directors and coaches encourage singers to listen to each other and modify their voices accordingly. When done right, you get a ‘blended’ or harmonious sound.
Falsetto is a term used to describe an action; it refers to when male singers go extremely high into their head voice. It is sometimes used as a derogatory term.
However, many talented male singers have very large ranges and express their sound through different registers. Or, in the case of counter-tenors in classical music, sing in falsetto to create a unique timbre and sound.
Phrasing is crucial in singing to give life and expression to your sound. It allows you to sound less monotonous or robotic. Phrases are formed through inflections remarkably similar to natural speech. Yet, these may vary slightly depending on the genre or style of music.
People will often refer to the “chest” and “head” registers; these are two types of sound produced by the voice using the corresponding parts of the body to make vibrations.
The chest is more powerful and forced by default, while the head is purer and tender. Every singer utilizes these registers to create different sounds and express moods in a song.
But, keep in mind that registers are not limited to just these two! Hence, singers should learn to create combinations of the two to make their voices more versatile.
Sustaining is a breathing technique, which allows a vocalist’s sound to stay consistent throughout a phrase. It involves tensing the abdominal muscles around the diaphragm and controlling the airflow as the sound is produced.
Sustaining is often ignored outside of classical music. However, it is a fundamental technique in any genre if you want your overall tone to be consistent.
This article is a re-post, with minor modifications, of “Singing Vocab 101: The words all singers need to know,” an article published on musical-u.com