Which singer are you?

posted 17 Jul 2016, 03:52 by Paloma Bruce [ updated 17 Jul 2016, 03:52 ]

Or to be more specific - which voice are you?

NB: It is terribly difficult to pick a topic to start my blog, so I thought I'd just talk about what I last talked about in a lesson!

I have come to realise that there are two types of voices and it's really important to know which one you have as not knowing can cause a singer all kinds of grief - whether amateur or professional.

Firstly, there is the voice (possibly the most common??) that doesn't sound that great to the average Joe. It can often cause the owner embarrassment and heartache because they think that they don't sound as nice as they would like to sound. If this singer learns and is taught great technique, voila! Their voice can become lovely, beautiful or outstanding. Many singers in this vocal category don't realise what their voice is capable of and can live their whole lives thinking they have a dreadful sounding voice or can't sing in tune. It's not true, your fate is not set! Anyone can learn to sing! Learn the right technique and your true voice will resonate.

Secondly, there are the naturally beautiful sounding voices. These voices sound lovely, pretty or beautiful pretty much all the time. These singers are often encouraged to become professional singers and to seek a career. If these singers have naturally good technique and good tuition they often fly ahead without barriers and can succeed. For the rest of these singers, they can sound great when singing without good technique, and even sound great if they are doing something technically and medically damaging to their voice.

So why bother learning good technique if they sound good anyway, you might think to yourself? The problem with singers who have this kind of voice, is that they are often supported to seek a career in their 20's or even as a teenager (note: child performers is a whole other blog post). The youthful voice is flexible and heals fast and is able (to a degree) to cope with bad technical habits and rough singing. As soon as those singers become older, perhaps hitting their 30's, it becomes a whole other kettle of fish - some unfortunate singers have problems much earlier. The older voice with unhealthy technique is not able to recover as quickly and the singer starts to have problems with vocal reliability and starts to lose their confidence. Some lose their voice completely and have to go to extreme lengths to get their voice back such as surgery.

Singers without good technical understanding of their voice that begin to work with other musicians and industry professionals can also start to have problems. When they try to do something new or different with their voice with the wrong technique, they can be praised because it still sounds good and think, I must be doing something right! They can start to develop technical problems where none previously existed.

Singers, don't despair! Not everyone can hear correct vocal technique, and sometimes the best judge is the fact that you feel discomfort and that something feels wrong in your voice even if it sounds beautiful. Generally with singing, if it feels wrong, it probably is wrong.

The nice thing for these singers is that they sound lovely with any kind of technique, but get the technique sorted and their voice can sound world class. From lovely to unbelievably beautiful. Not everyone with these kind of voices wants a career, I've heard some amazing voices in my studio from humble audience members who would rather not take the stage and are happy with their lives as they are. One of the best voices I ever heard in was from a doctor in the UK who decided to learn an Abba song for her best friend's wedding - oh I was sad that the world couldn't hear her voice on the stage! But her friend received a beautiful gift and she was a passionate doctor so very happy - and that's all that matters, isn't it!

So if you are on the right track, good on you for looking after your voice! And if some of the above resonates with you (no pun intended), you are not alone! Find a good teacher and let that voice free! And have fun making music with your friends :-)