I started this blog speaking mostly on vocal technique, which I do think is paramount in creating a great singing voice. However, the BIGGEST, most important factor of improving your singing voice has nothing to do with vocal technique at all. It has to do with connecting with your audience. So, how do we do that? First, we have to understand the following phrase:
“Music is Emotion You Can Hear”
Each song you sing has a dominate emotion, and some songs touch on several emotions. It’s these emotions that make the piece the wonderful work that it is. Without that emotion tied to it, the song quickly becomes boring and fades out of our minds. This is why certain songs really touch you, even though you may not know why. This is why certain singers, though they may lack real talent (or even the ability to hit all their notes accurately) can still get a great response from the audience. People can feel what they’re singing, and that’s what counts most!
All that being said, right now you’re probably thinking, “So Ken, how can I make this happen?!?”
To Improve Your Singing Voice, You Must Connect with the Song, then Connect with Your Audience.
Many singers focus their practice time on learning the right words, accurately singing the melody, and making sure that they can nail that high note. These are all important things, but the reality is that doing this is only the first, most basic step of preparing a song.
To really have a kick butt performance, you’ve got to be able to sing with genuine emotion, sharing with others just how you feel, causing them to feel it too.
Have you ever noticed the person with the most dominate emotion in a room can bring everyone up or down with them? This is true of singers too, and let me tell you, that mic in your hand automatically makes you the dominate person in the room.
So think about it… what emotion are you contagiously sharing with others? Is it fear and discomfort? Is is excitement? Sadness? Passion? Joy? All you have to do is check in with your own feelings at the time and odds are this is how you’re making others feel. If you don’t believe me, do some study in psychology. You’ll find this can be scientifically backed up.
So what can we do to help this? First off, you have to get personally involved in the message of your song. Each song tells a story, and that story makes people feel a certain way. You may not be able to relate with the exact story of the song, but odds are you can connect with the emotion through some other experience in your life, so use it! Genuinely feeling the emotion of a piece will automatically help you express it better, helping you keep your audience focused on you.
Now, to take that even one step further, if the main emotion of your piece is sadness but you’ve got a smile on your face, your shoulders are confidently back and you’re bouncing around like Tigger, this is probably not going to be overly convincing to your audience because lets face it, in their eyes, you’re living a lie. The opposite is true as well (ie – the song is happy, but you look scared out of your mind).
So the way you present yourself has a tremendous effect on how others view your performance. This part is really hard for people at first because singing in front of a crowd can be really nerve racking, but I promise if you keep at it, refusing to give up, you’ll master it!
Long story short, in order to best improve your singing voice, you’ve got to make the emotions of your song come to life! This emotion should be made obvious through the words you say, how you say them and your body language. Master this art and every audience you get in front of will be putty in your hands.
I’m Ken Taylor, and I hope this singing tip helps you take your voice and performance to the next level!