3 Ways to Make A Beautiful Sound: Beginning Voice
Vocal study is, essentially, learning how to produce a good tone, so it’s difficult to explain how to fix it in just a few steps. What we can do is outline the fundamental elements of singing so you can learn to self-diagnose when your voice isn’t sounding right.
Disclaimer: While the basics are the same, there are many schools of thought on how to achieve good singing. It’s okay if you or your student are studying voice under guidance that doesn’t perfectly match these techniques. Try some of them if you like, or disregard them if something else is working for you.
Think of the vocal chords like a reed: air pushes past to make them vibrate and create pitch. This means breath support is critical to making a good sound, so keep your body engaged. Run through some of your breathing exercises, or move around to wake up your body. Do some jumping jacks, dance, or even run up and down a flight of stairs!
Resonance is the quality in the sound that is full and reverberating. To make the sound resonant, you need to feel where it vibrates. You want to feel it resonate in the “mask” of your face: the cheeks, nose, and forehead. Hum through some exercises to feel the vibration in the nose and how “forward” the sound is. Your director will also have some exercises that will help focus the sound in a way they prefer.
The poster in your choir room is right: 90% of singing is mental. Try to envision your sound moving in a physical way while singing: shooting up through the air, swirling above your head, or any other way that might help you! When your mind is focused, your body and voice will be focused too.
However, vocal mentality is a double edged sword. You can psyche yourself out with negative thoughts. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break. Give your mind and body time to reset. Then, think about why the sound isn’t right and how you can fix it.
There is a lot more that we can cover on producing a good tone in singers, but these three areas will point you or your student in the right direction. If you ever need more help, give us a call. We’ll assist as best we can, and have private teachers in Normal and Champaign that can give you more attention in lessons. Happy singing!