These 4 Questions should help you in finding your vocal style!
Have you ever asked yourself which style of music best suits your voice or do you struggle finding the right songs for your voice? What type of voice do I have? Do I have a rock voice, or a jazz voice, or should I be singing musical theater?
These are very common questions and I know a lot of singers have difficulties selection appropriate songs for their voice type. Weather it is a song for an audition, the style of music you’re intending to write for your own band or what type of band you want to join, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you figure out your vocal style.
#1: What type of music do you listen to? Which artists do you like?
In general I would say the best repertoire is the songs you like to sing. Singing and music should be fun and come from the heart. What’s the point in doing music if you can’t stand the music you’re playing? Unless you are trapped in a long record contract which frankly nowadays is pretty unusual, you should sing a genre you like! Of course, your repertoire should contain a mix of music types, especially if you are looking to make a career out of singing-you should be as flexible as you can to be able to take advantage of more opportunities.
#2: What do I like about my voice?
Where is my voices sweet spot? Am I a belter or do I sound better singing softer songs? Consider the skill level required for a song – can you sing the high notes, the low notes, is your voice able to follow the melodic patterns required? How’s the phrasing – in musical theater you will need nice long phrasing, vs. in pop you will need less vibrato, maybe an edgier sound etc.
#3: How do you feel after you sing certain music?
If you are trying to belt, do you feel hoarse or sore after singing? You may not be suited for that type of music if you are hoarse or sore-singing should never hurt. Stick to music that doesn’t cause you pain or discomfort and work on improving your technique to be able to sing high and low without strain.
#4: What do you hope to accomplish with a song?
I believe that the best artistry comes from being genuine and authentic. Your goal as a singer shouldn’t be to impress, but to express. Share your love, passion and energy and your audience will love you.
#1: Trial and Error
If you want to figure out your vocal style, then just sing different styles and see what you like the most and where you feel the most comfortable (emotionally and physically).
#2: Record yourself
Sing a few songs in different genres, record yourself and listen to it. Maybe even have some of your friends listen to the recording and hear their opinion. Very often our vocal ability adjusts to the music style we have listened the most in our lives. So most probably this will be the music which is the best suited for your voice but sometimes people listen to a genre of music their whole life but their own voice does not shine in this genre.
#3: Any song can be sang in any genre
If you really like a song but the song is not in your genre, there’s always the option to change the arrangement and make it ‚your’ song. This is actually the option I would always encourage you to go for. Every voice is unique and instead of wanting to fit into a specific genre, we should create our own.
#4: Listen to artists you love and take some time to study them
I purposely didn’t write ‘imitate’ them but study them. Listen to what you are hearing. All big artists have other artists who inspired them. Michael Jackson was inspired by James Brown, Sammy Davis Jr., Diana Ross etc. Lady Gaga was influence by Madonna, David Bowie, The Beatles and other. Listen, learn, copy a bit and make it to your unique thing.
#5: Allow yourself to sing songs outside of the genres that you have become comfortable with
It will challenge you and bring in new patterns in your singing. I also encourage you to write your own material. You will start creating your own genre, your own style. When you try out songs from different genres, and/or different styles within those genres, you will notice that certain songs are more comfortable right off the bat. When you record yourself, see if it sounds right to you. Examine the style of that song: that’s the style that fits best with your natural voice. So when you start building your voice in a style that naturally fits, you will develop techniques that you can then apply to other genres.
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