If you have not heard of American Idol, The Voice or X Factor, you must be living under the rock. Vocal music is big business and these singing competitions have gained increasingly widespread popularity over the years. Different format and different prizes, but with one ultimate goal – to discover the next singing superstar.
These programs are manifestations of human beings’ innate love for singing and vocal music. In the United States and United Kingdom, Broadway musicals are always a hit. Music has launched careers of some of the brightest stars in Hollywood today such as Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Celine Dion, Adele, The Beatles, Andrea Bocelli and many more. These icons have gained following from all walks of life all over the world.
These singers have developed varied singing styles that made them stand out from the crowd. They created a distinct sound and flavor that can be easily and uniquely identified to them. There are technicalities that only dedicated artist can truly understand.
Classical style of singing is the most controlled type of all. Classical singers tend to develop better resonance. When singing, they are not accompanied by technology like the usual electronic amplification. They must practice regularly in order to captivate the audience within minimal support from a band or orchestra. They also use their own throat and oral cavities to resonate sound.
Classical or operatic attack of music can regularly be seen in musical stage plays. The popular ones include Cats, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Sound of Music, King and I and Rent.
The classical world embraces five types of vocal categories:
• light – the sweetest and lightest of the five
• lyric – medium-sized voice that can sing and sustain long phrases
• full –one that fits bigger orchestra, but can hardly handle fast singing
• dramatic – the strongest voice of all and usually featured in larger operatic repertoire
• coloratura – the most flexible type and known for vocal embellishments
There is a certain kind of freedom that pop singing style enjoys. It has the privilege to not always adhere to what is written. However, this requires excellent communication and interpretation skills from the singer to still connect to the song and the audience.
Singing coaches have shared pieces of advice on how to improve your style for the pop genre:
• efficient use of glottal onset when creating a sound
• practice correct breathing patterns
• practice hard silent laugh where you can feel your larynx being stretched
• learn the thyroid tilt to produce sweet and soft sound
A stellar vocal range is not a prerequisite for jazz style of singing. It is more about exploring the quality and color of your voice and personalizing songs. According to vocal coaches, your jazz singing voice should sound as natural as possible, perhaps an extension of your speaking voice.
Jazz has evolved over time. Today, there are several known types of jazz singing. New Orleans showcases the classic jazz where small brass bands accompany singers. Texturized melody that starts soft and builds up into an emotional climax is called hot jazz.