Usually when we mention ‘Vocal Projection’, many beginner vocal students will immediately think of singing louder, using more breath support, making a bigger sound, and so on. But sometimes, it’s really the opposite, and more of knowing how to produce a loud sound, with the right balance of muscle work and breath usage.
In this article, we will explore this interesting topic of vocal projection, and also debunk some myths about vocal projection!
Having good Vocal Projection is actually a combination of a few things, and it’s usually because our brain thinks that we should be working very hard with our body and our breath since we are making a loud sound, and this causes us to overwork our voice when it comes to singing or talking loudly and in a well-projected manner.
Having the knowledge of proper vocal projection techniques can help you to introduce more dynamic variation and different tonality into your singing and speaking voice, and also highlight and intensify the emotions that you are expressing in a vocal performance.
So you may be asking, “How do I project my voice properly when singing?”
Here are 5 simple tips for you to do just that:
Good Vocal Fold Contact
Knowing how to have good vocal fold contact can definitely help you with voice projection, as it allows you to produce a strong and solid sound, without using excessive force or breath push.
Watch the following video by Intune Music Director, Aaron Matthew Lim, to know how to get good vocal fold contact!
Breath Support and Usage
Vocal Projection does also require breath support, but that does not mean that we need to take in more air, or that we need to practise ‘diaphragmatic control’ when breathing? The truth is, we know how to use our diaphragm already, and the diaphragm is also not something that we can consciously control. So, the phrase ‘Diaphragmatic Control’ is already a misnomer in itself!
What we can learn how to do, is to use the right amount of breath for the right vocal tone that we wish to produce. Learning how to project our voice, starts from not overloading our tiny vocal folds with excessive breath, and allowing the voice to work the way it should work, with better breath efficiency!
Watch this to find out more about how to train ourselves for Breathing for Singing:
Knowing Your Vocal Folds Better
For better vocal projection, it is always productive to get to know our vocal folds better, and what easier way to do it than to learn how to do a proper Siren.
There are most certainly many videos online that teach people to siren, but many of these ‘teachers’ fail to demonstrate the key characteristic a siren, which is to allow the voice to get thinner and softer as we progress into the higher notes. And also, to use less breath when singing high!
Once we are able to do a proper siren, we would then know how to use the full range of our voice, and that certainly also trains us to not over-burden our voice when we wish to project it, and when we wish to produce a louder sound.
You could certainly try to find good instructional videos on Youtube for this. Or, you could contact us and arrange for a trial lesson and our instructors would love to guide you in this. Either way, make sure that you do a siren without pushing breath, and without using more and more breath as you sing higher and higher.
Diction and Pronunciation
Pronunciation and enunciation are also crucial factors in vocal projection. Without that, whatever we project would nothing more than loud and powerful alien language. So, to improve your diction, practice scales with different singing vowels combined with consonants, such as “mah”, “meh”, “mi”, “mo”, “moo”.
Using Oral Resonance as opposed to Nasal Resonance
Some beginner singers start off by using nasal resonance, or trapping a bit of their voice in the nasal cavity. This effectively makes their voice softer, because the nasal cavity acts a buffer, reducing the sound that actually reaches the listener’s ears.
What we need to do is to sing or speak with oral resonance, or to put our voice through the oral cavity, so that we produce a loud and clear tone, without passing through our nasal cavity voice dampener.
Not sure about anything we have talked about in the above points? No problem at all! We are here to guide you and help you out with any doubts that you may have.
At Intune Music, we analyze our students’ vocals and customize the course structure accordingly so that our students can enjoy singing while learning the correct way of vocal training. Even in a group setting, we keep track of each student’s progression, as we understand that every individual’s voice and learning curve is different.
Look at what our student has to say about lessons at Intune Music:
“I really enjoyed the lessons, as every session I learn something new about my voice and how to improve it with different singing techniques and warm up. The lesson plans were personalised to suit every individual (even in a group setting), and advice were given very specifically on how to tackle our weaknesses and understand our strengths. I get to understand how my voice works and what are some mistakes I made in the past when I was out singing karaoke with my friends. I enjoy singing more than before now!” – Bernard Koh, Pop Vocal Student