Singing lessons do more than just teach you about vocal techniques; by learning how to control your voice technically, you can also learn to show emotion. Showing emotion in music does not necessarily mean the emotion shown in your face (although this is important!), but refers to the feeling being conveyed through the use of vocal registers and vibrato techniques.
The best performances do not rely solely on belting out the high notes; while this is impressive, it is more important that you learn how to produce sounds that are pleasant and warm. This skill is very difficult to perfect without the help of professional voice trainers because that quality of voice can only be achieved through proper voice placements.
There are different factors that affect vocal placement. The first one is the vibrato.
Vibrato is the rapid changing in pitch that helps to create a vibrant or richer tone (just think of opera singers: they are trained so that all of their notes produce vibrato).
It takes training to develop vibrato, but it will come with practice. Warmness of the voice is attained through breathing correctly and smooth pitch change. The variation of the pitch gives an impression of varying emotions. There are times when you would not want to add vibrato into your piece. Some classical pieces that require straight notes can be very hard to sing with a vibrato. Vibrato depends heavily on breathing so it can be encouraged or at times, discouraged. Correct application will add good quality to your pieces.
The second factor for vocal placement is vocal register.
Vocal training lessons will teach you about vocal registers or what is commonly known as the “chest” or “head” voice. Voice registers refer to the vocal folds that are responsible in the voice quality.
The chest voice is the sound produced by the sternum or the throat. The chest voice has a heavier sound because it is made by the vocal chords that are thicker and vibrate slower. Pop singers today use their chest voice.
On the other hand, the head voice has a lighter timbre that appears to originate from the singer’s head. To make sure that you are using your head voice, you must not feel any sound on your chest area. This vocal register has a clear sound that carries greater distance because it is produced by vocal chords that are thinner and that vibrate in a rapid motion. Female opera singers use their head voice.
There is also the even voice which is a balance of the two aforementioned vocal registers. It is advisable to mix the registers so that the vocal chords will not experience stress from staying in one register place. Vocal lessons can teach you how to transition from one register to the other smoothly.
The third factor in vocal placement is smooth transitioning.
This is actually one of the greatest goals in vocal training lessons and one of the hardest to achieve. The greatest singers did not suddenly have the perfect voice – it came with practice. It’s pretty self explanatory. Practice makes perfect.
If you can manage to convey a message to your audience through your voice, make the grandma in the back row tear up, then you will know you have succeeded.