Kathy Alexander breaks down common misconceptions about vocal technique.
Music Teacher | Vocal Coach | Co-founder of Singdaptive
This week’s Tips from the Team are all about vocal technique! Today, we hear from singer, author, vocal coach, choir director, and Singdaptive co-founder, Kathy Alexander to give us some tips on vocal technique for musical theatre and frontal vocal placement.
Kathy on Musical Theatre Singing Technique
Tips from the Team Transcript: Well, I wouldn’t say there is a musical theater singing technique. What I would say is that for any genre of music, there is a certain aesthetic. There are certain sounds that are expected and that are right for that genre. So when we think of musical theater, we think of a certain spectrum of sounds and vocal qualities that we use. For pop, for rock, for jazz, for classical repertoire, it’s the same thing. Each one has its own aesthetic that requires us to produce a certain type of vocal tone.
What I would say is that no matter what the aesthetic is that you’re going for, no matter what kind of vocal tone you’re trying to produce, it’s important that you do it in an efficient way and in a strain-free way. We know from voice science and voice pedagogy that that’s possible. Any tone that you want to create, any sound that you want to achieve, you can do it without strain. There are ways, and that’s why we teach vocal technique. So you can sing strain-free and keep maintaining that sound for your whole life.
Is Musical Theatre Singing Technique The Best?
Kathy on Frontal Vocal Placement Technique
Tips from The Team Transcript: Okay, so is frontal vocal placement healthy? Is that the be-all, end-all of vocal sounds, this forward bright sound that you often hear people talking about? Well, I can tell you that there’s a lot of advantages to having that brightness in your sound. Your sound is going to cut through the mix a lot better. And by mix, I mean the balance between your voice and the other instruments that are accompanying you. Your sound is going to have more power. Your voice will be perceived as being a little more powerful in relation to the amount of effort you feel you’re putting.
In other words, you get more bang for your buck with that bright resonant sound. Your vocals will also be more intelligible. It’ll be more easy to understand your words, with the enhanced clarity and brightness. However, the opposite of that: a darker sound, where the resonance is placed further back, there may be reasons why you want to choose that sound at times as well. The answer depends on what you’re going for. But there are certainly many advantages to that brightness in your tone quality.