Pitch control is one of the most common issues experienced by professionals. If you hear the correct notes in your head, but are unable to sing them, that means that you are executing physical elements of singing improperly. Here are a few things that will help you to control your pitch: proper svowels, proper breath support, light consonants, the use of meter and vocal resonances. Singers who are predominantly flat on high notes and sharp on low ones are not using breath support correctly.
Effective Breath Support:
Breath support is the foundation of singing. It effects your pitch control, vocal range, vocal tone, meter and more. There are different schools of thought on breath support. Some instructors will tell you to place your fists on the sides of your rib cage and expand your rib cage out horizontally. Some will tell you to place your hands directly over your diaphragm and expand that area outward. Some will advise you to expand your rib cage out in a 360 degree fashion. What is the most effective breath support? Supporting from lower abs will give you the greatest pitch control and dramatically increased vocal range, as opposed to all above mentioned ways. Using the first two methods of breath support will give you a brassy, generic vocal tone, a shaky vibrato and a limited vocal range. There are other less popular breath support methods such as using yoga breath, none of which are effective.
Vocal Tip: A great way to isolate proper breathing muscles is to lie down on the floor on your back and place a book over lower abs. As you inhale, the book should be rising up, as you exhale, the book should be going down.
Beautiful Vocal Tone:
Anyone can learn how to create a beautiful vocal tone. It is created by using vocal resonances, proper placement, proper breath support, properly shaped vowels and more. Proper vowels have the significant impact on whether or not the vocal tone will have a beautiful sound. Have you ever heard a singer with a whiny voice? Did you assume that s(he) has little singing talent? The issue can be easily fixed by learning how to properly sing vowels. Other mistakes could be in singing dirty vowels. Dirty vowels occur when the consonant following the vowel is blended into the vowel, making the voice sound small and unpleasant. Another issue could be nasal vocal placement. One can have both nasal placement and dirty vowels. This combination will sound very unpleasant. In contrast, those who sing clean stationary vowels with proper placement and light consonants are on the right path to have a beautiful vocal tone.
how placement effects vocal tone:
Vocal placement plays a significant role in how your vocal tone will sound. Problems with placement can lead you to sound nasal, off key and unpleasant. The best way to place your voice is in sphenoidal sinuses, or sphenoidal vocal resonances. Proper use of vocal resonances can make one's voice beautiful, unique, rich, full, in addition to having color and highlight. This can be achieved through a series of exercises designed for that purpose. These exercises activate and engage vocal resonances and literally grow the beauty of one's vocal tone. This practice is over 300 years old and has been used by some of the greatest singers of all time.
How Vocal Abuse Effects Vocal Tone:
An abused voice will never have as beautiful of a vocal tone as a healthy voice, assuming all else is equal. Thus, it's important to learn healthy vocal habits as early as possible in your vocal training. What constitutes vocal abuse? - A glottal stroke, sometimes referred to as "vocal fry." It is an act of vocal cords hitting each other in a harsh and abusive way. A series of glottal stokes will result in temporary hoarseness and sometimes a vocal injury. Overtime, this kind of abuse leads to vocal nodules, cysts, polyps. If you have vocal nodules or frequent hoarseness, it's likely that you have a habit of glottal stoking. If you have vocal nodules, you don't need to have a surgery. I teach my students with vocal nodules how to sing and speak in a healthy way. Vocal nodules usually dissolve in 4-6 months, in most cases.
I hope this information answered some of your questions.
- Irina Fields, Vocal Coach of "Beautiful Voice NYC"