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What are the fundamentals of vocal technique?

On the subject of singing, untangling the intricacies of nature versus nurture has long been a point of speculation and debate—but one thing that we can all agree on is that no matter where your starting point is, there is always room to improve your voice through mastering vocal techniques. Singing is one of the most ancient forms of music to exist in the history of mankind, and a gamut of vocal techniques for nearly every style of singing has been put forth, probed, and espoused. So to help you use your singing voice in the most effective manner possible, we are here to give you a complete guide on the fundamentals of vocal techniques. Whether you’ve got a wealth of natural, raw talent, or just pure enthusiasm, we invite you to explore your voice’s untapped potential by honing these singing techniques!

Open Throat Singing

One of the first vocal techniques to learn if you want a powerful and more extensive vocal range is Open Throat Singing. It is especially important for singing styles like belting, which uses the entire vocal range – from the lowest to the highest notes. The key to Open Throat Singing is managing height in the vocal tract; more precisely, raising the soft palate and lowering the larynx. Though it might not be obvious, smiling subtly with the eyes is perhaps the most effective way to achieve height in the vocal tract. Through this minor shift in facial posture, you can open up the vocal tract and achieve the necessary height and power for belting without causing strain or tension in their singing. 

Forward Vocal Placement

The Forward Vocal Placement technique allows you to achieve a more balanced and contemporary tone by way of positioning the vowel sounds further forward in your mouth and introducing a bit of pharyngeal twang to your singing voice. You may have heard of the pedagogical practice of “singing in the mask”- and it is essentially a tool to help master the Forward Vocal Placement technique. It involves intentionally bringing the voice forward so that it vibrates in the front of the face, creating maximum resonance and ring. Be mindful that doing this excessively can risk turning your voice nasally. To master the complete vocal technique, make sure to balance forward placement with sufficient pharyngeal space.

Sustained Release of Breath

A choppy, breathy voice is one of the biggest pitfalls of singing you want to avoid. Practising a sustained release of breath is a technique that will go a long way to help you steer clear of this, in addition to developing stamina and nailing a strong, smooth-sounding singing voice. The idea is that you want to sing each line in one exhale and in a way that the lyrics flow harmoniously together rather than be forcefully pushed out. Learning to have better control over your breathing takes practice, but for starters, you can try to hold your airflow at the diaphragm for a bit longer before allowing it to return to its resting position; or release a small sigh throughout the beginning and middle of your range.  

Mixed Voice

If you’re having trouble connecting your chest and head voice or always seem to strain past your vocal cords, then perhaps you have yet to grasp the game-changing singing technique of Mixed Voice. This refers to the skill of blending your head and chest registers to develop a pseudo-third register that carries you through transitions in tonality in a seamless manner. To find your mixed voice, you will need to practice smoothing out your vocal breaks and opening and closing your vocal cords evenly from the lower to the upper end of your vocal range. Once you’ve built up a strong mixed voice, it will open the doors to a whole new range of rich vocals!

Book a Singing Class with SeanyMac Studios

Want to put these vocal techniques to practice? Whether it’s belting or crooning, it’s not always easy to pick up these singing techniques without an experienced teacher to guide you in the right direction. If you’re looking to amp up your vocals and hone your technique, SeanyMac Studios can help get you underway.

Nurturing some of Asia’s top musical talents, SeanyMac Studios offers professional vocal classes in Hong Kong for singers of all ages and levels. Honing a complete 6-step approach that covers all the fundamentals of vocal techniques as well as stage performance, SeanyMac helps children and adults take their musical potential to new heights. Want to discover where your voice can take you? Book a singing class with SeanyMac Studios today!

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