Reader Submission: What are some of the fundamentals of singing and producing tone with one’s voice…?

careers, Culture, Interview, Music Business, Performance

While the Question & Artist page is directed at an informational interview style post with a professional in the field of your choosing (art design, curators, choreographers, music supervisors, educators, voice actors, press, whatever your creative heart desires), I welcome all questions here in order to foster a collaborative and welcoming arts discussion.

This question came my way via the Question and Artist form, but it’s a little different.

JT says:

What are some of the fundamentals of singing and producing tone with one’s voice?  What are some good resources to learn more about the component pieces and common philosophies of singing?
Field of Work Interested In: Singing, sound engineering

 While I love singing, and know basic fundamentals, I asked my sister for some guided insight for JT, since she is a music teacher with a master’s degree. Sarah says:

“Much of the fundamentals of singing come from breathe support. Then there is vowel shape/diction. I think if [you are] interested in what makes a good singer, you need advice from a professional singer that can basically reiterate what I’ve touched upon…”

“Being on key, etc, is mostly based on breathing. There are good resources on singing, but you might want to first narrow it down to Western or Eastern, then what type. I would say that argument of what is good and bad singing can even vary between professionals and professors (like how one of our friends, an opera singer, was told in her graduate school that everything she’d learned in undergrad was wrong), but there are some things like vibrato and diction that vary depending on style.”

I’ve worked with many vocalists who are also voice actors. Two things anyone recording or editing voice overs will notice right away is that 1) pacing and breathing goes a long way, and 2) your mouth makes funny sounds. I don’t mean that in a negative way, it happens to all of us. But you must be aware of it on a recording. I recorded someone whose voice made so many mouth clicks, spits, and pops, that I started to feel a little woozy after three hours of scrubbing through. Of course the right mic and filters are important, from an engineering perspective. But…SPIT SPIT SPIT. Spit is loud, man. It’s loud.

If you’re interested in connecting with a vocal pro, I’d be happy to pull the conversation in that direction. I currently have some on the site, such as Amal El-Shrafi (opera), Erica Gibson (pop music), Doe Paoro (a very unique vocal training!), and more. I’d also gladly connect you or go more in depth with someone in the field of sound engineering, which I do touch on here, and here. While I work in licensing now, and managing assets for projects (audio, video, and other content), I started out working with audio, so there’s quite a bit to dig into there! I love talking about sound!

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