Singing and vocal teaching has changed a lot over the last fifty years or so, as popular music styles and musical theatre challenged the dominance of pure classical training. The constant of course is the instrument; whatever sound you want to make, you’ll be doing it with the same set of muscles, vocal folds and breathing mechanisms that come with the body you have, but beyond that there are a wide variety of tricks that can be used to shape the sound of your voice, whether you want to better fit with the band or project you are in, to prepare a character to portray on stage different to yourself, to explore mannerisms you admire in other singers or just to get better at a particular musical style.
I will be exploring all of these in more detail in future articles and videos (along with the techniques for actually going about it), but this is basically a list of ways people commonly look to change their singing voices and an introductory (not exhaustive) guide to what you could hope to achieve. Please note that whatever your reasons and goals, developing a strong voice takes years of work and practice, but the more you work at it the better you will get. Find a private(ish) place to practice (I practice a lot when driving my car, much to the amusement of passers-by who see me mouthing crazily at the traffic lights), find a good teacher, seek out every chance you can to sing with other musicians and don’t let the comedians get to you (when you’re learning to sing, everyone’s a comedian). Or to put it another way:
Make a big noise.
Make a better noise.
In order to do any of the following you will first need to get your breathing sorted so you’re singing efficiently without constriction in the throat – see here on how to get started if you haven’t yet.
Coming articles in this series: