By Cari Cole
The great thing about voices is opinions are highly subjective. People’s opinion of what makes a voice great varies. Like 50 flavors of ice cream, the many genres of music give the music lover choices. Whether you want to chill to a heavy metal rock guitar god ripping scales like thunder and scream/singing at the top of his lungs or an indie folk rock chick weeping about her last boyfriend, there is music to fit your specific mood and taste. And when it comes to the voice, it runs the gamut from diva to guttural – depending on what you like most. So – the most important goal is to be the best singer you can and own your sound 1000%. Here are some top tools and rules of great voices follow to stay great.
Here are my Top 5 Tools and Rules of Great Vocals.
1. Vocal Technique is the path to vocal freedom and more expression.
If you’re looking for more vocal freedom, you’ll truly find it in technique. One of the best tools in the world of great vocals, is the art and science of vocal technique. If your voice gets stuck in your throat, you’ll never be able to deliver your greatness. No one wants to hear a voice that is struggling to hit the pitch or is stiff or is throaty or nasal. Study and train your voice. No one wants to hear a voice that is struggling to hit the pitch or is stiff, or stuck in your throat, or nasal. You got this!
2. Vocal Health is the key to longevity and avoiding burnout.
Being vocally healthy is important for obvious reasons, but especially to make sure your voice doesn’t crap out at important moments. Nothing is worse than not being able to perform or support your record because your voice is breaking down. Or going to sing and nothing comes out because you don’t have a clue for how to keep your voice healthy. Avoid embarrassing moments by knowing the best-kept secrets to vocal health and wellness. Book a Cole Power Hour or join our Vocal Freedom Circle to become the master of your vocal health and technique.
3. Natural Remedies to getting back on track ~ and fast.
One of the best ways to keep your voice healthy is to know what’s causing it not to be. Most people still run to conventional medicine (Theraflu, Nyquil or drugstore cold medicine) to treat colds and cases of flu. These products are not only poison, they only mask symptoms and do absolutely nothing for your healing. I still see way too many people running to the doctor for a round of antibiotics that will not only kill all of your good bacteria and weaken your immune system, but they are not effective against viruses or colds. If you want to know what products you should use for your colds, allergies, reflux or vocal problems, there are natural solutions that will not only fix you in the moment but solve your problems long term. Start with a fresh salad and green juice every day to bring more oxygen, chlorophyll, and vitamins into your body to raise your defenses. The next step is to get on a supplement program including Vitamin D3 (sublingual is best) to raise your immune system and get on the road to better health naturally.
4. Smooth moves rule great vocals.
What makes a voice pleasant no matter what genre is being sung, is about smooth moves. Phrasing that sits in the music, not on top of it. In the groove, not rushing it. A vocal line is rhythmic AND melodic. Sitting in the groove and smoothing out transitions develops a “smooth sound.” If you want more smooth moves in your sound, study and emulate blues singers to improve your phrasing. All great pop voices have elements of rhythm + blues at their core. Watch the Muscle Shoals movie to watch early Aretha and the movement in early American rock n’ roll: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/muscle-shoals/ for inspiration ;).
5. A distinctive vocal style helps you claim your lane.
The good news? Stop copying and be yourself. Having a voice that sounds like everyone else is actually a detriment if you want to stand out. Look for ways that your voice can stand out. Play with your words, extend your vowels, practice having dynamics with your voice. Study singers you like. How do they pronounce words? How do they use their vibrato (or not use their vibrato)? What do they feature about their voices? What can you feature about your own voice to have more style?
I hope this helps rock your vocal greatness ;).