Vocal Technique – Part 1

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 The Voice

Vocal Pedagogy

In this post, I will teach you about the science that is behind the voice. Hopefully, you’ll be able to come away from this article with knowledge on strain, resonance, pitch, support, etc.

In a nutshell, vocal pedagogy (vocal technique) is the study of the science in the field of singing. Since vocal technique is directly related to science, it is a good way to use it to judge a vocalist or a performance accurately and objectively. Vocal pedagogy consists of the following:

  • Physiology Of Singing
  • Breathing In Singing
  • Posture
  • Phonation
  • Intonation
  • Resonace
  • Tone Production
  • Vibrato
  • Vocal Articulations
  • Vocal Diction
  • Vocal Registrations
  • Vocal Health
  • Vocal Styles
  • Voice Classifications
  • Coloratura

Physiology Of Singing

Physiology of singing refers to the body parts involved in the sound production. There are three components:

Vibrator: Vocal cords/folds located inside the larynx fully come in contact and vibrate together in order to make vocal sounds.

Activator: The breath/air pressure from our lungs and various muscles of our body is responsible for the vibrations in order to make sounds.

Resonator: The pharynx amplifies the vibrations from the vocal cords creating a resonant/reverberating sound.

Breathing In Singing

Breathing is the fundamental core when it comes to singing. You have to breathe to sing, and not just any breathing, you need good breathing to be able to sing well.

So how should one breathe whilst singing?

Firstly, one should inhale from their diaphragm, which allows more air to enter the body. A good way to determine whether or not a vocalist is breathing their diaphragm is to observe the movement of their shoulders. If a vocalist’s shoulders are moving upwards during inhalation, whilst singing, then the singer is not breathing from their diaphragm. One’s shoulders should always remain still and relaxed whilst singing.

During inhalation, one’s diaphragm expands, contracts, and goes downwards, whereas during exhalation the diaphragm slowly relaxes into its original position by moving upwards.

Additionally, one should avoid breathing out too quickly. This is because if one pushes the air out whilst one sings, an airy and weak tone will be created. A vocalist must breathe out as slowly as they can so that they have enough air in the vocal cords to execute complex vocal lines and/or notes with ease. If a vocalist doesn’t have control over the amount of air they exhale while vocalizing, they will most likely strain (and in extreme cases will be unable to produce a line of connected notes — see Park Bom). This is why supporting one’s voice is extremely important, as it distinguishes a skilled singer from an unskilled singer.

The less air you use, the more powerful the singer’s voice will sound whilst singing. To achieve this, one should practice contracting the diaphragmatic, abdominal, and side muscles to have full control over the air that you breathe out so exhalation can happen as slowly as possible.

The whole point of this is to create an optimal and healthy sound, because good breathing equals a good sound output.

In summary, the two integral parts of breathing in singing are:

Breath Support: The interactions between various muscles in order to control the air used to vibrate the vocal folds.

Breath Control: The regulation and coordination of the airflow above the vocal cords.

To avoid confusion, remember that Breath Support happens underneath the vocal folds and relates to the movement of the muscles, namely the diaphragm; whereas Breath Control happens above the vocal cords and has to do with the steadiness, coordination, and regulation of the airflow in the body. Proper tone production, vocal power, the ability to execute very low and high notes properly, and belting properly all have to do with breath support. Sustaining notes (especially harder ones), handling complex vocal lines, executing vocal runs/melismas properly, being able to play with vocal dynamics (levels of volume), being able to produce a proper vibrato, and singing in either legato or staccato properly all relate to breath control.

Finally, breath support and breath control are related to each other because without proper breath support it would be hard to have proper breath control.

Posture

It is very important for the singer to not just pay attention to how they breathe, but to also pay attention to their posture. Great breath control is useless if your posture sucks because the air won’t be flowing in the proper areas.

This is an example of bad posture whilst singing:

A singer’s shoulders should always be relaxed and down; if they are moving up and down as the singer breathes it means that they don’t have enough air to support their notes correctly. This creates tension in the whole of the upper body that leads to strain.

The singer must not slouch. The shoulders have to be kept back and in a straight line. Slouching prevents the airflow from circulating around the body properly, leading to tension in the vocal cords, which causes strain. This is due to the slouch causing the muscles used to support the voice being folded over. No matter if the singer is standing or sitting, they must keep their shoulders back and in a straight line.

The jaw must be kept relaxed as well. When the jaw is relaxed, the tongue stays out of the throat, keeping the larynx neutral. Pushing the jaw forward — a fail attempt at trying to create more volume — causes the tongue to be pushed back, which causes the larynx to be pushed down, thus creating a froggy-ish and throaty sound.

The larynx should always be relaxed and in a neutral position. If your larynx is too high or too low, it means that you’re breathing incorrectly. If a singer’s larynx is not neutral, they will strain.

Last, but not least, the neck and head position. The head should be held up.

The head should be held up, but not too high. The head’s ideal position is when the jaw is a little over the horizontal, as this allows the throat to open whilst singing. Kyuhyun is a great example of someone who knows how to hold their head whilst singing. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Junsu.

Lifting your head higher to sing high notes, or putting it down to sing low notes, does not help whatsoever. In fact, it creates tension in the neck that will prevent the throat from opening, thus causing strain.

105 thoughts on “Vocal Technique – Part 1

  1. Hello! The other time i suggested Girl’s Day’s Minah and Sojin. Here are some recent songs they released~ Hope it’s useful!🙂

    And some older songs~

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  2. Hi umm.. i know its not what you do but could you analyse chester bennington? I mean you dont have to really do it just a short explanation perhaps?

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  3. I have a naturally short tongue (like yo, so short) and even if I tried, I couldn’t get an inch’s difference between my tongue and my lips. It’s that short.
    So I wanted to cut the muscle under my tongue which is restricting it’s movement to seem normal (some seniors found it quite interesting) but I’ve been told by a vocal instructor that the tongue often gets in the way of good singing (blocking airway and whatnot I think it was) and I should leave those muscle be.
    What’s your take? Is that advantageous or should I rid myself of the muscle? Or does it not matter?

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  4. I was just wondering, but could you explain to me what it means to achieve resonance? I keep seeing this term but i’m kind of confused as to what it means. thanks!

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    1. Resonance is basically the way sound is projected and formed when singing. IT’s the way to achieve a full, round and comfortable sound that still remains present, powerful and stable without the need of tension, shouting or pushing however still keeping volume and ease. It’s much easier with videos than with words, this is singing afterall, we gotta listen ^ ^

      These will help you understand how it’s supposed to sound ^ ^

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  5. Hello! I wanted to ask about the effects of adding too much chest or head into one’s mix on tone production and how this could potentially hinder one’s technique? I’m also a bit confused over what “pushing” refers to lol – would you mind clarifying its meaning, please?

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    1. Sure hi. First, it’s kind of contradictory in general to talk about the ratio of chest and head voice in one’s mix. For the most part though, a heady mix is the one that’s easiest on the cords and will not damage you, in the long run. A balanced mix is the best one for a good resonant forward sound AND still healthy, a chesty mix is just very hard on the vocal cords. It isn’t unhealthy, but it uses them up the most so if you use a chesty-only mix for a long period of time, it can tire out your vocal cords much faster than a headier mix. It’s okay to use it, but the lighter your voice, the thinner and more delicate are your vocal cords. Pushing can mean two things, pushing can mean shouting or pushing the voice out too much.. or it can just mean pushing too much air into your vocal cords so that the notes will come out with an excessively large amount of air support, instead of simply just supporting enough, they use a bit more air to get the note out and can sound a bit forced. So kind of like forcing out the voice, I’m not sure why you’re asking because it can mean kind of different things depending on the vocalist.

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      1. Thanks for the detailed explanation! Well, I sometimes see people use the term “pushing” without giving a proper context, so it was just somewhat unclear to me. Would you know of any examples for the “too much air” type of pushing? Oh, and with regards to chest-dominant mixes, could using this affect one’s agility or their ability to hit higher notes with ease?

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      2. Yes it does affect agility, it’s a heavier sound so the voice isn’t as fast and it can hinder ones range. Also mhmm that example would be Ailee sometimes pushing too much and having a pushed resonance. She’s the only I can think of off the top of my head.

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  6. Hello! I want to ask something.
    Back then, I can hit high note well (I don’t think it was that well, but my friends and my teacher said I hit high note very well). And last year, between October-November, I got sick. It was flu, and I also lost my voice. Early December, I was fully healed and get my voice back, but I can’t hit high note again. Even I can’t sing the song I used to sing before I sick. When I’m speaking, my voice still sound same like before. But when I tried to singing, my voice cracking and my throat feels hurt. I even can’t sing a song with flat note. Is that normal or..? I thought it was normal at first, but 3 months already passed and I still can’t sing like I used to be.
    Sorry for the best english, but I tried my best so you can understand. I already asked my friends and they said it’s normal, but I don’t think so. Thank you before!

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    1. There are two possible reasons. 1. Your voice hasn’t fully healed in every aspect yet. 2. After you stop singing for sometime, your voice can lose the natural muscle memory you had and you need to retrain certain instincts back into your voice. I don’t believe it’s 100% normal and I believe if it’s that huge of a difference, you should definitely seek a doctor to make sure your voice is fine. By doctor, I mean a voice-specialized doctor. Your English fine! lol

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  7. I wanna ask something. I joined a school choir, and got bass vocalist, it makes my lower register is extremely developed, but my middle register and upper just disappeared, i even cant reach F4 well, it pushed a lot and kinda like shout but not that bad, so my very supported range with full resonance is E2 – E4, i have no problem singing at that range anymore or i can say its my developed area, but if i use head voice it can reach up to Bb5. So jealous to other person hitting 5th octave well, is it a problem or not ?
    And im curious about my rate, i think im an average to above average.
    My intonation is not well but not bad, tonality is ocassionally present, relax and health vibrato, im not consistent, the support is above average trained, placement is well, resonance very well at my supported range and i use head, chest, and sometimes mask, im avoiding nasal voice and its success, musicianship is average and sometimes lack, agility is above average, wdyt ? What is my rate ? Thank you , i enjoy and learn everything about vocal pedagogy at your blog very much.. thanks thanks

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    1. If you have full resonance from E2 ~ E4, that is PRETTY impressive. You have to understand that keeping a consistent column of sound throughout 2 octaves is not an easy feat. So you have to be sure that you actually are actually resonant and not just thinking you are. I can’t tell you your rating at all, I don’t even know your voice type. Choir voice types never mean anything, you sound like you could be a baritone? IF and only IF your resonance is this consistent, you could be easy above average, if you’re have agility too and yknow. I can’t tell you your rating for sure and I wanna just say I don’t know. I’d rather listen to you singing songs, to be able to hear your voice type, your intonation, your vibrato, your placement, your musicality, dynamics, agility and musicianship, all by myself, then I can tell you such a thing. I think you shouldn’t worry about ratings, they’re not the most important part about singing at all. I hope you keep reading the blog and we can keep answering your questions, thank you so much for your support! ^ ^

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      1. To be honest i have whistle register too, i learned it when i was 8th grade, mariah carey is my role player at that time, i used to reach C8 but now the top is D7 or lower, how can i repair my own whistle and keep it healthy ? Even my friends said “youre sick dolphin boy, you gonna hurt your throat”. And if my C8 back, i want to know how to use whistle wisely when singing, lately my precious whistle notes are useless because idk how to use it as perfect as mariah does .. ><

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      2. Well that’s another completely side of your voice that you’re telling me about now. Although Whistle is disconnected, support, relaxation, neutral larynx and openness all still are valid things to keep in mind when working through your whistle. Apart from that I can’t go much further.

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  8. Hi! I need help, I have an audition tomorrow and I have to sing but I’m very shy and nervous, that singing is good but I am afraid. I had thought singing Speak Now by Taylor Swift or The Way by Ariana Grande but I’m just learning to mix and it might sound airy or heady or my throat could close, I tend to do a lot of races and ad libs but I’m afraid to sound shaky or too light but I’m fine with breathing and support.

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    1. Then don’t let them. To breathe properly from the diaphragm you have to exercise a new muscle memory where you allow the upper part of your torso to be completely relaxed and not move as you allow the lower part of your abs, your diaphragm and your back muscles to expand and create a much thicker and well anchored feeling of being grounded on the floor without like “floating away” or being tight.

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  9. When some Kpop idols sing high notes, there is a squeaky/whiny noise at the end? Why does that noise come out?

    ^0:57, after IU’s high note, there was a strange noise from her voice

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    1. Because there’s such an excessive amount of air being pushed through the vocal cords when certain people strain some notes, the vocal cords are very constricted and closed, the throat is very tight and the diaphragm is pushing too much air causing their sound to be pushed and tense and when they let go of the vocal cords, the air pushes through and causes the vocal cords to crack for a moment and jump in pitch. (This is what I believe is happening but I am not entirely sure it’s what happens for everyone.)

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      1. Thank you so much ^-^ I hear the whiny noise in various high notes (especially in girl groups), and I was just curious why.

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  10. Thank you for such an eye-opening blog! The articles are very detailed and easy to understand, even for someone with zero music background like me >.> I kind of want to take vocal lessons after reading this blog, just for the sake of learning. I wonder how old is too old though?

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  11. I have a question about the falsetto and head voice. I was watching a video about vocal registers and it mentioned the differences between them, which I also remember you covering in your videos also but one thing struck me as odd. In the video, it mentions that falsetto is always soft and would always require the use of a mic to be heard and can never achieve the same power and resonance as the head voice. What I’m confused about is that for me (I’m a guy just to be clear), I’m able to sing in that upper register with power and I believe resonance but I always thought that was my falsetto. I do notice that when I do sing certain high parts of songs, I go into my falsetto since it’s more airy and soft but other times I’m able to sing high with more strength. It is possible that I’ve been accessing my head voice without realizing it? What’s the feeling of singing falsetto as opposed to your head voice?

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    1. It’s hard to explain so id rather hear it. It’s possible you’re using a head voice yes or a reinforced falsetto. Where you’re not airy, just pushed.

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      1. Is a reinforced falsetto bad? I’m not comfortable enough with my singing to record it yet, haha. Maybe if I can find a place to properly record it so I can not feel like I have to hold back.

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      2. Mhmm if its pushed yes. Most of the time I heard it from pop singers it’s bad but it can be done properly, I believe.

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  12. I was gonna ask this on my other comment thread but it fits more under this post. Can you have a lifted soft palate and still be nasal? Does projecting through your nose also cause nasality?

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    1. You can but that is like…you’d have to be consciously trying to do it, it’s not something easy. Projecting through your nose IS the reason for nasality, lifting the soft palate usually counters that habit.

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      1. Ohhh that makes more sense. I thought projecting through your nose and lifting your soft palate were unrelated. Thank you!

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  13. I know it’s not Kpop, but I’m curious to know what you all thought of Lady Gaga’s performance of The Star Spangled Banner. I liked it but at the same time, I’m not sure how sound her technique was throughout the anthem.

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    1. 0:31 nice head voice transition, she started slightly nasal at first but it was all on purpose. 1:18 her F#3’s sound great. 1:20 lots of vibrato there. 1:32 that’s nice. 1:45 nice C#5. I feel like sometimes her mix gets a bit too light and she loses power and she rises in range, her resonance isn’t as big but the support is there, for sure. 2:14 good transition into head voice, good placement and vowel shaping. 2:20 the run after this part was kind of a slide but the sustained note had good placement, it was nice. 2:39 Nice nice, the highest note in this was Eb5, the lowest was F#3. Good support throughout, the placement could’ve been fuller.

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  14. Hi Ahmin, I finally got up the guts to share some clips of myself – would be interested in your opinion about the quality of my voice on these, all just me singing, no accompaniment or backing track. They’re just phone recordings, but at least it was quiet (late night) when I made them. Not sure if you’re familiar with the songs, they’re easy listening songs from my childhood, except for the clip from Phantom which isn’t very good but will give you an idea of what my range sounds like up there when I’m really tired🙂 https://soundcloud.com/lyrical-peach/twist-end-die?in=lyrical-peach/sets/short-set I would really appreciate it if you have any moments, please rank me as appropriate just based off these or anything else in my SoundCloud that I just put up from this week. I’m still learning, working on centering vowels, placement, legato, support, so I won’t be offended if I’m at the bottom level🙂

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    1. I like the way you sound very musical theatre in this. Your pitch is pretty nice, I like it when you switch to your head voice. Your head voice is nice, it’s very heady. Weird, Come On Over makes you sound a lot more whiny and nasal. I can tell that you’re trying to emulate the singers of both songs, when you sing the Phantom of the Opera, you sound a lot fuller in placement. Your C#5 was mixed there, pretty tight. There are issues with your breathing, it feels very shallow and I don’t hear really much depth in the way you breathe. The way you sing isn’t bad at all though, it sounds nice. You sound pretty. The lower parts of If sound like the Carpenters lol Apparently it’s not their song…oh well but either way, you’re able to keep tone very low. Your range is very full of tone even on the bottom, it just lacks in placement. Are you taking vocal lessons currently? I’m really against rating people who are not my personal students or who are not actual professional singers, who are paid to sing. If you’re a beginner and taking lessons, it’s just unfair and silly to rank you. I really like your voice and I think you have a lot of potential.

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      1. Hi Ahmin, I’ve been taking lessons from a very experienced teacher since fall 2013. I started because I n my late 30’s I started getting asthmatic speaking and couldn’t sing how I used to. Turns out I had developed some poor vocal habit, possibly from mimicking breathy styles like Olivia Newton-John, hence, poor habit showing singing her song. Vowel centering and retraining away old habits on the specific song would help.

        My teacher, Rocio Guitard , is the director of teacher training for International Voice Teachers of Mix. She takes lessons, too, as most great teachers recognize the need for neutral ears! So I can trust her ears and methods. I would have progressed faster if I had practiced more and not yelled at my kids and slept more😉

        No, I’m not paid, and your response is very helpful and validating for me. I’m sure I’m no great vocalist but am still curious where I can rank once I get my voice where I want it. I really, really appreciate you taking the time to listen to me! It’s very validating. I’m working on forward placement, and breath support is a big issue for me. When I can get it, my vibrato is so much better. Thank you so much for the compliments! I’ll continue working on my voice.🙂 I’ll ask you to listen again when I’ve resolved the breathing and nasality more fully. 🙂

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      2. Wait you’re older than 30? Omg that’s so cool! I’m so happy that you started taking lessons even at a later age, you show me that you can keep improving no matter how old you are! I think taking lessons is very important, I still take lessons too. ^ ^ Yelled at your kids haha I bet that’d be hurtful. Actually it was my pleasure to listen to you sing and when I said you’re not paid, I hope you didn’t take that as offensive. I meant that as in, I don’t think it’s important for you to get a rating. What’s important for you is just to keep working on yourself and enjoy singing, most of all. ^ ^ I actually think you singing two different styles and changing your voice completely for both is a skill so props to you! No problem, it was my pleasure.

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  15. Hi Ahmin,
    I’m *gulp* 42🙂 I had always been able to sing reasonably, but never knew about technical correctness. In 4th grade I sang alto in the school choir, “Super Singers,” that I looked up to while in younger grades, hearing them perform things like “Brighten Up My Soul” and Christmas and Hanukkah songs. That’s the only choir I ever sang in. Caroling with all the foreign language groups in high school doesn’t count😉 I have sung for family with cousins and done karaoke with cousins, but that’s it.

    I didn’t take that comment about not being paid as hurtful at all, I sing purely for my own enjoyment. Sometimes it’s literally just for me, because my husband, kids, and parents don’t want to hear me sing in Korean. At least my teacher doesn’t mind; we will just figure out the vowel tuning together. Since I have to mimic and my language skills aren’t that good, I’ll rely on familiarity with vowel pronunciation based on what I hear Kyu use. It will be interesting, customizing the vowel centering for me, but at least I’ll have a good starting point.

    I was supposed to start 한번만 but because I’m working on legato, she brought out The Rose. I put that lesson online, I just cut the playlist for you because I didn’t want to waste your time😉 I recorded the other stuff late at night after everyone went to bed so I was tired, too. I still have a ways to go on breath support but from the lesson it’s easier to hear my voice quality with better support. Since you’re teaching, feel free to listen to see if you hear what she hears. I know she does training for other teachers on a regular basis. I had much better placement for this last lesson, because I had a breakthrough recently. I’d been focused one one thing at a time, so sometimes I’d forget other things. I was frustrated that I felt uncertain about determining the presence of resonance and support vs not and was poking around online. I’ve been following Justin Stoney’s series since 2013, but I just found Kimberley Smith, who is a little more bubbly and has a lovely way of explaining the mask that worked for me. Not that I didn’t know, but it was a refresher and I am much more aware of it now. My legato singing has really improved in the last month from regular practice and with the building of confidence, I finally got up the nerve to really put my voice in my mask more and it felt so good. I’d love to be as good as Kyu, haha!! But my goal is just to get as far as I can in that direction. I have a critical ear, so it’s been a huge struggle to get this confidence in my own potential. I’ve thought about asking your opinions many, many times, but didn’t dare. I’m so relieved now.

    Most of the stuff I sing is in these genres; musical theatre, musical movies, pop, R&B, ballads, easy listening, country. Kpop is good at bringing genres together in a palatable way, so I don’t mind some other stuff. Alternative, techno, I can get into them but it’s not my area. Not knowledgeable about classic rock or grunge or metal. Too scary for me. Anyway, I’m out of touch with the popular music scenes because I limit myself to a subset of kpop. Re: being able to do multiple styles, I always thought of it as a mimicking thing. I’ve never recorded myself faking a country twang, but I’ve done it. Think LeAnn Rimes or Trisha Yearwood. I should see how I sound, maybe late tonight. Is it that unusual?

    Oh and my teacher has never labelled me with a range, told me what my tessitura is, or characterized my voice. Other than knowing my upper passagio as an E5, because I have cracked there, she always focuses on the task at hand. I would like to be able to judge for myself but I’m not quite confident that I can identify where support begins and ends and such. I’d tentatively label myself as a light lyric mezzo. I don’t have the power I want yet, but at least I’ll get more with forward placement. If you can tell where support begins and ends for me that will help. I still can’t tell the difference between a heady mix and a chesty one. I can tell when I strain or push, though. I feel weird asking my teacher because it isn’t that important, but it’s just one of those things where you feel like solidifying facts in your head.

    Oh this was too long, I’m so sorry, I get so long winded! But let me say thanks again😀

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    1. P.S. If you are curious to hear the lesson bits that were done in studio, aim for the last 10 mins, it’s a lesson after all. The best is usually neat the end. I just re listened myself again, training my ears on vowel centering. And are the Caroenters comment, that is an incredible compliment to me, because Karen Carpenter had a beautiful tone. The Carpenters were amazing, I snatched my dad’s best hits double CD set when I moved away. Definitely one of my absolute favorite artists growing up.

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    2. Awww I’m s sorry about your family not wanting to hear you singing in Korean ㅠㅜ You’re so young! Don’t be silly haha The Rose…as in “some say love, it is a river”? I feel like a lot of different instructors have very different ways of explaining things and going on about things and some work better for some and some work better for others. So it just depends on who you get. It’s true though, singing is being able to multi task all these abstract ideas of support, placement, being relaxed, keeping the tone forward, the tongue relaxed…all these crazy sensations you have to tune into all the time, it makes you very self aware of your body haha We are literally our own biggest enemies, so try to not let you psych yourself out at all dear. You’re in control, confidence comes from within and if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will. I don’t think it’s unusual and I also avoid singing rock or heavy stuff like that. lol She’s wise, I feel like I tend to label people with a voice type much too early and I should keep it to myself instead. Your support is different than what I’m used to because you tend to switch into head voice a lot and you connect well into it, so I wasn’t really thinking of where it starts or ends. I believe you had a few very nice A3’s and your head voice wasn’t bad either. You should ask, she might tell you haha No problem, it’s my pleasure. Karen Carpenter did have a beautiful tone, you’re right.

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      1. Hi Ahmin, yes – the Bette Midler (by Amanda McBroom) song. Singing really is quite the challenge of mental coordination, muscle coordination, posture and trying to make as much of it muscle memory as possible🙂
        When you say I switch into head voice a lot, is it the right time to do so, or am I just flipping? I know that sometimes I’m flipping and placing my voice further middle or back of my head and not in the mask, I can sense that. I’ve been trying to place my head voice more forward (using whatever visualizing techniques). I’ve been trying to understand if I’m mixing correctly or not, and how to sense if the mix is chest dominant or head dominant, and how to recognize it in others’ vocals. I’ve been able to connect better without breaks, over time, at least. I’ll re-listen to see what I sound like when you said I had a mixed, tense note, that will hopefully help some, too. Maybe at some point I will just ask my teacher these things.🙂

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  16. Hello there! I have been an avid reader of your blog and thus, been interested in vocal technique. I myself love singing and recording my voice in karaoke application (lol) but never get any formal training in vocal.
    Anyway, would you mind listening to my voice and help me identify my vocal fach (is it the right use for the term?)? LIke, am I a mezo or soprano? My voice when talking sounds like an alto, my friend says but i am not sure.
    I also do not mind if you all could give me some advice in fixing my vocal technique lol here some examples of my voice :

    http://www.smule.com/p/550903165_291106426
    http://www.smule.com/p/550903165_286422477

    Thank you very much🙂

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    1. Hello there! So first of all, great voice, really nice sound. I really like your overall sound and you’re strong, the problems I’m hearing are a slight airiness coming through pushing your voice out too much and a lack of support, instead you just sound pushed out too much. Your vowels also tend to be too wide both in Japanese and English, both of which I know aren’t your first languages so it’s alright, just try to focus on keeping a lower jaw and not opening your mouth so wide. As for your voice type, I wanna say you’re a Soprano. You could be a mezzo maybe depending on how your voice develops as you train and age, but you sound like you’re a Soprano.

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      1. Woow thank youu did not expect you to reply this soon hehe. Wow really? It kinda boosts my confidence lol.
        yes, I realize too that I tend to open my mouth and jaw too wide, usually to ensure I hit the note right and ensure I speak clearly. I guess I need to fix the habits lol. ANyway could you explain what makes you think I am a soprano? Is it because my voice sounds bright?

        Thank youu

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      2. You have a very light voice, it doesn’t lie that deep in range, in perfect your lower range didn’t seem to sit where your voice was most comfortable and it felt like it sat lower to you than it would for P!nk who is a mezzo. The upper parts felt like your voice could be pulled higher and you have a naturally high mix that indicates your voice naturally sits somewhat higher in range. Definitely never a contralto.

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  17. Can i ask one question? Does having a lung problem, luke asthma, affects your ability to sing? If yes, is there a solution to it? Thank you!

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    1. Yes I believe it can affect your breathing but if you learn proper breathing technique it shouldn’t impact you too hard if you don’t have as asthma attack.

      Like

  18. Ahmin, could you please translate these messages to Korean? I know that this sounds really delusional and is not related to this blog at all, but I want to send messages about vocal pedagogy to my faves.
    1. please check out Kpopvocalanalysis blog. This blog can help you improve your singing skills and you can learn useful information about vocal pedagogy.
    2. Get rid of nasality and sing with resonance please.
    3. Stop being throaty and sing with resonance please.

    Thanks in advance If you translate these. ToT

    And I have a question about throat placement. I know that when vocalists sing with throat placement, their voices sounds strained and raspy, but doesn’t everyone sing from their throats? and vocal cords are in the throat, right?

    Like

    1. It’s hard to translate it exactly because if I could translate it clearly, I’d write analyses in Korean haha I mean if you just say it like that about throatiness and being resonant, they probably won’t understand it..it will just be kind of random. I am touched you’re thinking about communicating with idols in order to help them improve their singing with us, that’s really sweet of you. ^ ^ Singing with your throat means you’re tensing up the throat muscles around your larynx and vocal cords to aid hitting higher notes instead of relying on being relaxed + breath support + vocal cord strength. So singing from your throat means putting a lot of stress on your muscles and straining them.

      Like

  19. Hi admins!
    This time I have a doubt about something not related to idols but to vocals in general. I know some people who can sing with a healthy vibrato and know how to control it’s speed but when it comes to singing with a centered pitch or supporting their voices they can’t do it properly. So I want to know what they are doing right (to produce a healthy vibrato) and is it really possible to produce a healthy vibrato with weak technique?

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    1. Are you sure they’re singing with a healthy vibrato? Cause in a way a vibrato has its own natural speed, if you’re controlling or manipulating its speed, it is very likely that it isn’t a natural vibrato. I’d have to hear them. Pitch can also be lack of muscle memory in the vocal cords on where the center of pitch is.

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  20. OMG… I began visiting this site just for fun, because I was curious about how good or bad the technique of some of this singers was (I am waiting for AkMu’s Suhyun, I know it is already on the “future analysis” list), but then I came across this section and I have felt the need to comment…

    I was in a choir for almost 10 years when I was at school. There I used to sing at a high pitch, although I was supposed to sing the contraltos’ parts (I suppose we were sopranos and they made this to make it more comfortable for us to sing, but I don’t really know). After leaving school, I have kept singing, but never as seriously as then, although I really want to start to receive singing lessons again. Going to the point, the problem is that whenever I sing at that high pitch, I don’t really know if I’m using falsetto or head voice and it worries me, because it’s the register where I think my voice is more beautiful.

    I don’t really feel comfortable about uploading a video to Youtube (even if It’s a black screen with just my voice over it), or uploading something sung by me to Soundcloud or such… Would it be possible for me to add a Mega link with the mp3 file instead? If it isn’t, I will prepare the Youtube video.

    Thanks in advance!!! (And excuse me if I have made any mistake, English is not my first language, although I am studying it).

    Like

      1. You are really kind!

        I let you three links, the first one is the whole song in my “normal” pitch (I find my voice to be a bit “childlike” in this pitch and I don’t really like it): https://mega.nz/#!BhlUQJ7C!7Z22aqf_Ai1guROgwjKaMZyf0OVkcc-UBlxKyZl5RpI

        Then, using a part of the same song, without the “karaoke” music, an example of my high pitch. This is how I sang at my school’s choir and I think the higher notes are a falsetto, but I don’t know about the rest: https://mega.nz/#!9lMymToA!UlbeTZsV8R34hOhAjX6CpIAdM2UIThL0fUx4CGQDXzA

        And, as a friend asked me to record it the lower I could just for fun, here’s the same part than in the previous link, but on my lower pitch (I was only focused on hitting the notes, because I had never sung so low before, so it’s out of rhythm and everything… But I would like to know if I do something wrong that could damage my vocal folds or anything…): https://mega.nz/#!1xUUXKxb!mfdlJosZB5KAtOQfFmpjTUxzd8WTX7AF-Qcisb9wqC0

        Thank you again!

        Like

      2. I like it how the artist name is “V.A.H.”, that looks actually pretty cool. LOL I don’t think you sound very child-like, but what I hear is that you have a strong Spanish accent when you sing, so that messes up with the overall vowels and how you enunciate. That affects your overall diction and causes you to sing more through your nose and you’re just not really dropping your jaw low enough so your voice doesn’t project as much as it could, it gets better as you sing higher. (This is all from the “normal” audio.) I heard you mixing some very chesty and kind of throaty B4’s at the end, you’re just kind of pushing a lot of the chest out and it’s not really connecting with support but it’s okay, you don’t sing actively so no shame in that.

        Okay that’s funny, you’re singing with an airy and more falsetto like tone throughout in the high pitch one, but even as low as Eb4, it’s kind of falsetto-y too. Eb3’s in the low pitch one. You’re singing while pushing your larynx down a lot, it is a bit unhealthy because you’re just pushing it down a bit too much and it’s not the best way to sing. It’s very full of tone which is a good though. I think the biggest issues I hear are mostly pitch and stability. You tend to have somewhat of a shaky vibrato throughout in the first audio and second one, but because you’re singing lower in your chest voice in the last one, it’s not a problem there. Also your pitch is more or less right throughout, it’s just consistently flat but the general melody is there, it’s just not centered in pitch. I really think you could do better singing in Spanish though but yeah to answer your question, it mostly sounds like you sing with chest voice and falsetto, there’s no real mix or head voice yet.

        Like

      3. The truth is I’m Spanish (was it so evident? LOL), and, yes, I have to improve my English pronunciation, I know it… The V.A.H. part is because I thought that way it would be easier to relate the files to my “name” in these comments.

        So I should work on my jaw position and my nasality in my chest voice, isn’t it? Perhaps the latter is the reason why I don’t like my voice there…

        And I should try to develop the mix and head voice… It’s what I thought because in the choir they taught us to breathe and so, but they didn’t focus as much in developing our voices, as long as we hit the note, it was enough. Just in case, I add another song that I sing in the most comfortable part of my register, just to check if I achieve a bit of mix voice at least there (this song is older, so I know my pronunciation is somewhat worse…): https://mega.nz/#!49M3kDCK!AnznM7zc5K3xqEqrlPmRmObAYCU8BVCLAUx2OSm_d98

        It’s the last song I upload, I promise! LOL

        About the lower pitch, I don’t think I will ever sing so low again, it wasn’t easy at all LOL, but I was curious, and as I had it recorded already, I decided to ask for your opinion, but, as I supposed, I see it’s not good for my throat.

        Just one last question, what would be my voice type?

        Thank you again!!

        Like

      4. It was obvious that you had a Spanish speaker accent but I could see your IP Address to find out you were actually from Spain. lol Right, in choir nobody really teaches individuals how to sing properly, as long as you sing in pitch. It’s not that you don’t have a mixed voice, it just isn’t balanced at all yet so it sounds like you’re pulling chest.

        There’s more airiness and softness in this song, where you’re not fully singing only in a falsetto voice or just chest voice. There’s nothing very different to note though, I’m afraid.

        I don’t know, you seem like you’re probably an untrained soprano.

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      5. I didn’t even think about the IP! LOL

        Thank you again for your patience and kindness! You have helped me to realise how much I still have to work and now I am more eager to receive singing lessons to really learn how to do it properly, because I have always loved singing, but I stopped doing it on daily basis after leaving the school and lately, although I have done it sporadically, I’ve begun to be more worried about making mistakes and “breaking” something inside there due to a lack of technique.

        The good news is I can still improve! LOL (Not joking, It really makes me happy to know there is so much room for improvement!).

        Again, thank you for your time and your help!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. This isn’t your first time asking about non-Kpop singers and I’m sorry, we get too many requests and videos. We don’t have the time to listen to videos that are not relevant to our analyses.

      Like

      1. Sorry should’ve said Female. Is there any other songs? because i really like the low range and want to work on it.

        Like

  21. I was wondering, is it really bad to have an airy voice? I’m not sure what I have to understand (sorry I’m just a beginner when it’s about technique).
    In fact I have difficulties to differenciate airy voice and falsetto😦 and I love to hear airy voice (I mostly listen ballad and emotional song) ‘-‘ I dont know if it’s normal or not. So I was wondering if an airy voice is really a bad thing!
    I hope I’m clear but I’m french and my english is not really good ^^

    Like

    1. Nothing in singing is bad if it can be controlled and done on purpose. Nasality, airiness, throatiness, all of those can work stylistically if they’re done on purpose and can be turned on and off at will. If you can ONLY sing like that, you’re going to damage your vocal cords and limit your voice’s development. Airiness doesn’t allow the vocal cords to be fully connected so they’re not strengthened when you sing and if you can’t connect them properly at will, it’s a vocal weakness. Airiness happens everywhere in your range, falsetto is just the airy version of the head voice (more or less). Your English is just fine. ^ ^

      Like

      1. Oh wow thank you for your explanation! They are very clear and I understand much better now. You’re great at explaining this kind of things!
        So it’s okay to sing with an airy voice for the style but only if you do it intentionally🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Hello, would you be willing to listen to my recording of me singing and comment on my technique? Would greatly appreciate it🙂

    Like

      1. If you forgot the tune and couldn’t read the hangul fast enough, I’m going to guess you probably aren’t 100% familiar with this song enough to be able to sing it with confidence. It’s not good to send in a recording of a song that you’re not completely comfortable with because this will give you more problems that perhaps you wouldn’t have otherwise. I hear problems with shallow breathing, you don’t take deep enough breaths so you tend to run out of breath by the end of each line and you so you fall flat. You sound like a tenor, but you don’t have enough breath management, you let out too much air at times and then not enough at others, so your pitch is kind of wobbly and you lack the correct smooth flow for this song. This song also has a lot of dynamics and you lack the depth of chest voice development in your mix and support to be able to handle most of it, this is a very challenging song and I wouldn’t try to sing it without knowing exactly what I’m doing vocally. Good job for the effort, it is a hard song and you got through it without deviating too far from the center of pitch throughout. It requires a lot of range without head voice too, so good job. Work on breathing and pitch, match the pitch with the piano.

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      2. ahh ok how do I make deep breathing consistent when I am singing songs, any exercises or tips you can give? I didnt even realize had shallow breathing problems when I sang songs.
        Thanks again for taking the time to hear my recording!! I am also really appreciative that you put so much effort in making vocal analyses and replying comments🙂

        Like

      3. Well watch our vocal tips videos, that will give you a visual. The first one will address breathing pretty clearly. ^ ^ No problem, it’s my pleasure! ^ ^

        Like

    1. You have a very nice voice, your pitch does sound better. 0:31 you went flat then you slid slightly up, you kept doing that throughout the song like 0:45 you’re like swelling and sliding at the same time, 0:12 slide, 0:18 0:26 too many slides, find the melody 100% on first. The higher parts are very tight, they’re pretty high if you’ve never had training. I can hear it everytime you breathe, your breaths are VERY loud, they’re very much like gasping for air, than a nice and relaxed deep breath. This isn’t too bad, but it is a hard range for you right now. You have a lovely tone and it really shows in your lower and mid notes, but higher you get, the thinner you get due to lack of openness in the throat, lack of development of your vocal cords and improper support. You should work on how to create a clean stream of air in your singing so that you don’t strain yourself so much, also so that you don’t slide and find the pitch. Try some easy scales but making sure you’re precise the whole time and your breaths are easy, not gaspy.

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      1. Is the lack of openness in my throat a result of the way i was breathing? tbh i didnt really notice i was straining the high notes because it didnt really feel tight at all..:/

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      2. It’s partially that but also just bad habits. It doesn’t feel tight to you because you aren’t used to anything but that sound. So if that’s how you always sing then you wouldn’t have anything different to compare it to sensation wise.

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      3. what sensations should i aim for when singing in my upper register in my case? when keeping an open throat and keeping my breath consistent

        Like

      4. Kind of a similar feeling to yawning and feeling very opened. It’s hard to tell you, just watch our vocal tips videos so that you hear the differences. Singing is easier when listening.

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      5. Nah has been doing this so long,how could she keep healthy through hundreds of performances every year?There must have some tricks,right?Maybe she is non-human.
        Just curious,if the vocal technique of alien Diva from the The Fifth Element is 100,what about top opera singers like Joan Sutherland,top pop singers like Beyonce and Nah?
        Sorry for my immature english,thx for ur reply.🙂

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      6. ahmin,have you never seen The Fifth Element?

        The range covered is G#2 to F#6.The alien fioratura use the voices of Inva Mulan and another baritone,then played with a keyboard.Agility is insane,human voice cant change notes that fast.

        Just for fun,what about the vague scores of Joan Sutherland,Beyonce and Nah?

        P.s
        Its not easy to find vocal tips from main page or list of analyses.Maybe a tag add to the catalog would be a lot more helpful for visitors.

        Best Regards!

        Like

      7. There’s a category on the right side bar where we have “Vocal Tips for K-pop Fans.” Scores? You mean ratings? I don’t know Joan Sutherland, nor Nah enough. I’d rather not rate vocalists I haven’t analyzed.

        Like

    1. There’s way too much air coming out of your voice. You’re starting on air before you start on the proper stretch of your vocal cords, right from the beginning until the end, the whole time you were singing. which is why you were pretty flat throughout, because your vocal cords are barely doing any work. You’re not connecting them properly and instead you’re just pushing through with air. 0:26 You should be hitting Gs but you changed the key of the song in that line and started singing F#s, then you were off key from there. You need to work on a lot more vocal cord stretch and a lot less pushing air. Oh wait you knew you were flat, good. lol The Bb4 is usually in head voice, yes.

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      1. soo is the problem that i start way to breathy on the onset? or is it only on the onset of the phrase that i dont start off right? and is this present throughout the whole time? do u think i should take the phrase slower first actually because i think its q fast lol

        Like

      2. It’s that you start on breath over vocal cords, all the time. It’s present the whole time yes. You may take it slower, that always helps.

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  23. Hi. I don’t know if this is the appropriate place to ask you this. But I’ve noticed you talk a lot about reinforced (?) falsetto. What is the difference between a normal falsetto and a reinforced (?) one ?.

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    1. Reinforced falsetto is just a louder falsetto with more air pressure, as far as I am aware. I actually don’t usually use that term so I may be wrong on the definition.

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      1. I see .. thank you for your time ahmin have a nice day ( probably night for you tho lol ) I enjoy reading this blog and you guys make great analyses. Looking forward for future analyses❤

        Like

  24. I have a question. How do some singers showcase a good mix voice without having shown(?) a resonant head voice i.e. haeri, hyorin etc. Cause i thought a resonant mix voice require both a resonant head and chest voice

    Like

    1. The mixed voice may be theoretically the mix of a head voice and a chest voice, but the muscle development is kind of independent and it works as its own register, so developing it can happen outside of developing the head voice. Having said that, it can backfire since the raspiness Hyorin shows in her falsetto irritates her vocal cords and creates issues in her mix.

      Like

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