6 Steps to Improve Your Singing Tone

Singing With Bright and Warm Qualities

Improving your vocal technique will improve tone quality. Elements of good vocal technique are: correct posture, low inhalation, sustaining breath, releasing breath, and more. These six steps deal directly with tonal quality or timbre but are less effective without practicing basic vocal technique.

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Incorporating both bright and warm qualities gives the voice a rich full sound that can easily be heard. Though popular singers tend to sing brighter than classical or jazz singers, a well-balanced voice is always desirable because it sounds healthy and natural. Few exceptions include the excessively bright toned characters in musical theater which are created in a healthy way by using the belt technique.

In order to find out if your voice is well-balanced, sing for a few friends and ask them to give you honest feedback. If you are too bright, then people might say your voice hurts their ears, is too loud, or is piercing. The opposite is true when you sing too warm. People might ask you to project your voice or sing louder. You might be told your voice lacks “ping,” vocal interest, or color.

To add warmth, pretend to smell a rose or imagine an egg in the back of your throat. Space in the back of the throat creates overtones, adding richness to your voice. Singers can lift the cheekbones and/or place their voice for added brightness. More »

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Finding the perfect balance of air flow and muscular effort is easy with the help of proper enunciation. A simple way to get started is to sing as you speak. Speak a phrase, speak it louder until you project your voice, raise the pitch into head voice, and then sing the phrase. Each step of this exercise bridges the gap between speaking and singing. More »

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Tone quality requires as much space as possible between the vocal cords and the opening of the mouth or the vocal tract. To maximize space, the tongue should lie flat along the bottom of the mouth with the tip of the tongue touching the top of the teeth while remaining relaxed. A tight or bunched up tongue can cause a limited vocal range and an unpleasant choking sensation. You may wiggle the tongue back and forth as you sing in order to temporarily release strain. More »

The palate is the roof of the mouth. The hard palate is in front, and the soft palate is located in the back of the mouth. Try opening your mouth as wide as possible, notice the hard palate lifts and the soft palate lowers? The narrowing of the space in the back of the throat greatly reduces the quality of your singing tone. If a yawn follows, then the soft palate lifts. Note the sensation. The ideal position of the soft palate as you sing is a relaxed lifted position slightly lower than you feel when you yawn. More »

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Lifting the cheekbones when you smile creates more resonant space. It allows the sound to reverberate, and your voice becomes louder and more colorful. It's the difference between singing in an acoustically well designed hall and your living room. More »

Placing your voice helps you sing louder and adds a zing or brightness to your voice. Several techniques are commonly used to help singers “place their voices,” which is a visual concept rather than a physical one. People do not actually put their voices anywhere; instead they create space that allows more vocal resonance. Placing your voice is just another approach for singers to manipulate their facial expressions efficiently. Rather than lifting the soft palate or the cheekbones, the singer does what they need to do to feel vibrations in the mask of the face. Particularly overzealous students benefit from understanding what they should feel rather than the physical actions they need to take to get there. Otherwise, they may lift the cheekbones and soft palate unnecessarily high, causing unnecessary discomfort and strain. More »