Do think that singing and voice lessons are only for opera singers? Do you think that working with a voice teacher or vocal coach will change the unique quality of your voice? Many Rock, Pop, Gospel and R & B singers who come to my Sing Like a Star vocal studios for lessons have these mistaken ideas. The truth is that the RIGHT voice lessons will not make you sound like an opera singer (unless that is your goal) and the RIGHT vocal coach will not try to force you into the vocal quality of their favorite style of music.
Many chorally trained voice teachers will tell you that there is only one way to sing, and that way includes an airy, breathy vocal production, avoiding the chest voice (for women) and mostly straight-tone, non-vibrato sounds that are required for blending while singing in a chorus. However if your goal is to be a lead, solo, star-quality vocalist, you would need to avoid those methods in favor of a vocal technique that encourages individualization in tone, a healthy and easy use of the chest register, and balance between the lower and upper registers, for both men and women.
With the right singing technique, your voice should sound natural rather than artificial. In some ways, correctly produced singing is more like sustained speaking. This naturally produced sound is more acceptable to pop and musical theatre audiences today, as tastes have changed and evolved.
In the 1940’s and 50’s operatic sounding singers like Mario Lanza could have pop hits with songs like “Be My Love”, and musical theatre was dominated by more voice such as that of John Raitt (father of the blues singer Bonnie Raitt), who sounded more classical. But tastes have changed since then, and if you want to be hired in today’s Musical Theatre world, a vocal quality such as that of Sutton Foster is more sought after in musical theater, and the sounds made by singers like Usher are more acceptable in the Pop and R & B genres.
A good vocal technique will allow you to sing with a natural sounding voice, but will improve things like range, power, flexibility, riffs and runs, and style. The right vocal training will allow you to sing in the style or genre that most appeals to you, rather than forcing you to sound like the singing teacher, or the teacher’s favorite singer. Most importantly, the right vocal technique will balance both the lower and the upper registers with a smooth connection between the lower and upper voice.
I wish you all the best as you reach for your dreams! Tricia Grey, MM
At Sing Like a Star Studios you can learn the vocal technique of the stars. If you don’t live near Atlanta, you can take voice lessons with Skype. Please visit our website at www.singlikeastar.com and click on the GET STARTED tab to register for a professional vocal evaluation and consultation.