Voice auditions are nerve-wracking. You walk into a room and are asked to stand on the big X duct taped to the floor facing a panel of people you don’t know! You’re feeling scared, nervous, and stressed. You’re probably silently muttering lyrics to yourself…hopefully not audibly, but who knows depending on how stressed you are. You quickly explain your tempos to the provided pianist, briefly introduce yourself and your piece, sing for about 60 seconds, say “thank you,” and walk out...
Scat singing is the act of using the voice to create instrumental sounds, often in a way that is experimental or improvisational. Scat became popularized in the early-to-mid 20th century with jazz singers like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Cab Calloway. Even though it’s a skill that can be difficult to master, scat allows singers a lot of freedom once they get the hang of it, and is a thrill to hear when done well.
Vocal fry is a singing technique people seem to be split up on. Many dislike the low, creaky sound of it, and more love the element it adds to a song, but as long as you do it right, those picky listeners might not be instantly turned off. It’s actually used a lot more than people think, and is often disguised with projection. The kicker about it though is keeping the volume and quality while practicing safety. What happens when you amplify vocal fry is you scream, but by safely harnessing that ability, you can create a very gutsy tune that will likely add an emotional distress to your song.
Stage fright is something all of us maybe acquainted with whether because you've given a speech or presentation.
You’re waiting in the wings, about to go on stage. The applause from the audience is dying down, and the announcer is about to call your name. Mic in hand, you take a breath and start walking.
The lip trill is a fun and effective vocal exercise. Sometimes called “lip bubbles”, this exercise is essentially the noise you’d make if you were imitating the sound of a toy car or airplane. The mouth is almost closed, lips buzzing or flapping together as you phonate (make noise) and release air. If you’ve never done or heard a lip trill before, check out the beginner’s warm-up tutorial on the site!
Any vocal coach will tell you that breath control in singing comes first and foremost, simply because the body of your voice relies on your breath. Without the proper posture, from spinal alignment to tongue placement, your voice would sound any combination of unflattering noises. It sounds like a lot to focus on at once, but as you practice, these exercises become second nature, and from there you can work on different styles, techniques, and registers.
The term "head voice" is commonly used to mean "high notes that are not falsetto or strained." The kind of clear, high tone Sarah Brightman is known for is an example of head voice. Another fine example of head voice is Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli singing “The Prayer,” particularly the end.
Every skill requires preparation, and for singing, vocal warm ups are vital. Skipping your warm-up can result in the embarrassment of losing your voice mid-song or worse, vocal cord damage. A good singer will even warm-up before their scheduled rehearsal, humming softly on the bus or practicing scales in the car. You will sound and feel better while singing if you keep in mind these warm-up tips.