It’s very difficult to create a good relationship with your audience and perform successfully if you don’t have a pleasant tone to your singing voice. Although it has been done (we won’t name any names here), we wouldn’t advise trying to succeed as a singer until you work on your tone. The best way to do this may vary between individuals, but there are a few good methods we recommend you try.
Firstly, you need to open your mouth when you sing. If that sounds obvious, perhaps you’re doing it right already, but there’s actually a good chance you could improve on this very basic aspect of singing. A lot of people struggle, for whatever reason, to get their words out properly and enunciate clearly while singing. Sometimes this seems to be the style they are doing for, but from a professional point of view this isn’t considered a talent.
Tone comes into it because you will certainly be limiting your own natural ability when you fail to open your mouth properly. It’s impossible to show your vocal range while doing this, so your tone will suffer. You should be opening your mouth a lot more to sing than you would when you’re speaking to someone. After all, the desired effect is completely different, so you have to practice this no matter how unnatural it feels at first.
Tone is also significantly affected by the flow of air through your lungs and your mouth. Getting more air flowing will usually help your tone, making it sound more pleasant and consistent. If you don’t get enough air going through your system while you sing then you’re going to be limiting your own potential again.
You also need to make sure you are accessing your nasal vocal range and using it appropriately to add some texture to your voice. If you stick with a middle-of-the-road tone and don’t push your voice in interesting directions, it’s going to sound bland as your performance goes on. Using a bit of nasality will add some interest and personality to your tone, as long as you don’t go over the top. Balancing resonance effectively is a hallmark of a great performer.
Modern metal music has developed differently all over the world, with bands from various European nations currently dominating the market, but the style has evolved gradually over the decades into something quite different to the heyday of early heavy metal. Much of this transition has been put down to the divisive rise of death growls and screams in today’s metal music, which for some people is off-putting, and for others enhances their enjoyment of the genre even more.
The death growl is a name for the vocal style adopted increasingly in recent years by many hardcore metal bands, also sometimes nicknamed “Cookie Monster vocals”. These harsh, guttural tones are used when performing songs with chaotic, aggressive instrumentals to replace traditional singing. Fans of the style enjoy the way dark and disturbing lyrics are enhanced by this kind of delivery, especially in a live performance setting.
Performing death growls without proper training can be dangerous, and many high profile singers have actually developed vocal chord polyps and other problems due to the pressure the vocal style puts on the throat. There are professional techniques to help minimise this damage, although a death growl by nature involves a lot of strain on the vocal chords.Read more: Growls & Screams in Modern Metal Music
Many of the most high profile and celebrated vocalists of our time are frequently compared and contrasted, with people digging through back catalogues and live performance recordings trying to identify who would really come out on top in terms of vocal ability. This is especially true for female pop artists, where competition between fans is truly fierce. As far as we know, these divas haven’t held private competitions to give us a definite answer, but here are some of the proven winners ranked for different skills.
Round 1 – Vocal Range
1) Mariah Carey –
Nobody beats Mariah when it comes to pure range. Her massive discography helps her too, as she’s had plenty of time to show off her ability to jump multiple octaves in a heartbeat.
2) Christina Aguilera –
With a range about an octave shorter than Mariah’s overall, Xtina is known for belting out her notes with more force than the rest of her contemporaries combined, but she can’t quite take the crown for range.
3) Tina Turner –
Although she ranks further down a full list of the top vocal ranges – a full 9 places below Christina if you include the male competitors – Tina Turner’s incredible range still earns a place well above the likes of Beyonce and Adele.Read more: The Greatest Female Pop Vocalists