Sing with a Well Balanced Beautiful Voice

How to Sing Neither Too Bright or Too Dark

Singer
Image courtesy of web4camguy via flickr cc license

Singing with a well-balanced voice is often a lifetime pursuit. Combining the ringing beautiful bright tones that resonate over an orchestra with the rich warmth of the lower overtones is a struggle, because they are opposite to one another. In addition, many people prefer a brighter or warmer tone and are afraid to add depth or ping to their voice. By taking the time and energy to love your unique voice and learn and develop both opposites, you will unveil the true beauty of your voice.

Practice Extreme Bright and Warm Singing

In order to sing with both the warmest and brightest tone your voice can possibly muster, practice extremes. First sing as bright or brash as possible. Imagine you are the character Elmo from Sesame Street or a bird. You may want to speak in the voice first and then sing in it. You may even try singing nasally, where air is allowed to flow through the nose. Now speak and sing in a swallowed style like Miss Piggy from the Muppets. I have used the phrase, “Fuzzy wuzzy was a bear, fuzzy wuzzy had no hair, fuzzy wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he?” to encourage a dark tone. Either you can speak it or sing it. The vowel ‘uh’ or ‘ʌ’ in the words fuzzy and wuzzy are created farther back in the mouth and help singers find the over dark, swallowed extreme.

Take Extremes Down a Notch

The next step is to take extremes down a notch. An overly swallowed tone quality often means your soft palate is excessively high.

You may feel a slight pinch or twinge of pain at the roof of the mouth. You may also feel your voice is stuck in the back of your throat. Overly bright singing is partially due to slapping the vocal cords together aggressively. You may be physically tense, sharp, too loud, or your may smile while singing.

Combine Bright and Warm Tones

Now Learn to Sing with both warm and bright tones. Start by picking one tone quality. I like to start with a moderately bright tone and open the back of the throat to add warmth. Think of a yawn, but allow the soft palate to raise just us high as is comfortable. A useful visual is imagining a banana. One side points to the mask of your face, where singers can direct vocal sound to create a zingy, bright tonal quality that carries in a concert hall. The thick part of the banana opens the back of your throat to add warmth. The other end touches your vocal cords and reminds you not to press the cords tightly together, creating an overly bright tone quality.

Recognize Your Voice is Unique

Avoid comparing yourself to others until you understand your voice type. A low bass should not compare themselves to a high soprano. Higher voices are naturally brighter than lower ones. Even comparing yourself to someone who sings your same part may inhibit growth. A dramatic soprano has the potential to sing much warmer than a light soubrette voice. Likewise, a young voice that is not developed yet will sound strained if they try to sing as dark as an adult. Your well balanced voice is different than another singer's unique tone quality.