Understanding Vocal Technique and Vocal Health
March 5, 2019
Singing is more similar to physical fitness than any other musical instrument. Just like some people are born with a natural inclination towards physical fitness, some people are born with an amazing voice. Does this mean that someone who doesn’t have much natural talent can’t learn to sing? Absolutely not. That’s like saying, “I’ve never been very athletic, so I’ll never be able to lose weight or build muscle”. This person may never look like Zac Efron, but they CAN get in better shape if they learn how to eat healthy and exercise, and stick with it for an extended period of time.
Because our voice is a part of our body, and improving our singing voice is simply developing tiny little muscles in our throat (our vocal cords), everyone can become a better singer without exception. But before we can work on developing our voice, we have to understand what we are trying to accomplish. Rather than trying to imitate the sound of our favorite artist, let’s focus on objective things like range, power, and control – things that once we master we can modify to sing any style of music we want. These are areas that we can measure concrete improvement. We can improve these aspects of our voice through exercises. We have to learn how to do the exercises, what we are trying to accomplish with each, and then be able to identify when we are doing them correctly.
Next we need to understand healthy singing vs unhealthy singing. Healthy singing is singing in a way that leads to improvement, whereas unhealthy singing is singing in a way that leads to a deterioration of our voice over time. Have you been to an amusement park or a concert, and the next day you can barely speak? All that screaming was unhealthy for your voice and your vocal cords were hoarse and trying to recover. If we’re not careful when we sing, we can do permanent damage.
Knowledge of vocal technique and vocal health are an absolute necessity as a singer and if learned and applied correctly, everyone can get better.