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Best Vocal Coach Janice Yap
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As promised, my vocal tip for this week will be on nasal voices & how to fix a nasal voice! 🙂

If you’ve always thought to yourself that you’ve got a really nasal voice and would like to change that, or you don’t have a nasal voice and have always wanted to develop more nasal quality in your voice, this Vlog is perfect for you!!

Before we dive into the how-to’s, it’s first important for you to identify what type of nasal voice are you.

There are 3 types of Nasal Voices we’re looking at…

#1: Hyponasal

This is usually caused by too little airflow through our nasal tract, as when our noses are congested (from a cold, allergies or even physical obstructions). If you’ve got sinusitis problems where your nose is always stuck or blocked and you’re sounding nasally, this is probably the type of nasal voice you have at the moment. To fix this, it’ll require some help from an ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) Specialist. They need to “cure” you of your congestion problem so that just the appropriate amount of airflow can go through your nasal tract as you speak and/or sing. Ideally, we’d like to have just the right amount of airflow through our nasal and vocal tract (through our noses and mouth) as we speak and sing, so that we can maximise our vocal projection by making use of both tracts, which results in the use our full sound, so to speak.

#2: Hypernasal

When a singer or speaker is hypernasal, the voice usually sounds like it’s coming out entirely through the nose – and this is very much the case, because too much airflow (as required when we exhale to make sounds) is going through the nasal tract (and nose).  This is not so desirable, whether in speaking or in singing, as the voice can sound extremely squeezed, nasty, cartoonish, or somewhat 2-dimensional. We’d end up not using our full sound (a result of using both the nasal and vocal tract, rather than just the nasal tract), which is often the case when we are hypernasal.

How to check if you’re hypernasal:

As you speak or sing, pinch your nose and see if there’s an audible change in your tone or voice. Watch the video to get a better idea how to do this.

If there is: You are hypernasal.

If there isn’t: You are not hypernasal. And if you’re not hyponasal too, it’s likely you’re the next type of nasal voice instead.

#3: Naturally Nasal

Some of us have naturally more nasally sounding voices, simply because of our genetics 🙂

This is not a bad thing.

In fact, I believe we should always embrace our natural sounds which makes our voices unique. I’ve mentioned this before, I do appreciate nasally voices and there are quite number of famous singers who have made a career out of their nasally voices. Some of them include, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, Sam Smith, Billie Holiday, Stevie Wonder & etc. There is nothing you really have to “fix” here, not unless you’re really unhappy with that nasal quality you have in your voice.

Thankfully, the nasal quality in the voice (whichever type you are) can be lessened.

Here are 3 quick steps on how to make yourself sound less nasally (or more, if that’s your goal) 😉

#1: Open Your Mouth (More)

When we close our mouths, or when our mouths are not open enough when we speak or sing, naturally the airflow (and as a result the voice), is forced more through the nasal tract, instead of the vocal tract.

This results in a hypernasal sound, like we’re speaking or singing through the nose. If you open your mouth more, you’re gonna find that your voice will naturally sound less nasally. Try it, go ahead and drop your jaw a little lower.

Note: You’ll have to play around with how low you wanna drop your jaw to adjust the amount of nasality in your voice. However, dropping the jaw too low isn’t necessarily the best way to sing. We’ll talk about that another day 🙂

#2: Watch Your Tongue 

Make sure the back of your tongue isn’t raised too high.

I’ve talked about tongue positions in my last Vlogand how raising the back of your tongue can help you belt and project your voice to the front. However, besides just the tongue, there are a number of other things that come into play when we want to belt our notes powerfully. I’ve posted a video on belting here too, but of course, if you’re serious about belting, there’s so much more to dig into! I’ll have to cover more on belting another day.

The bottom of the line is, when it comes to singing or even belting, we don’t want to raise the back of the tongue too high, and definitely not to the point where it touches the ceiling of your mouth – this results in a super distorted sort of nasally sounding voice. Check out the video to see and hear what it’s like when the back of the tongue is very close or touching the ceiling of your mouth.

What to do: If you’re already sounding nasally (especially if you’re hypernasal), it is very likely that the back of your tongue is raised. Try lowering it, practice with a mirror as you speak or sing and listen to the difference. You’ll have to experiment a little to see how high or how low you’d like your tongue to be to adjust the level of nasality in your voice.

#3: Watch the Shape Of Your Vowels

Try not to splat our your vowels when you sing or speak. It’s hard to explain exactly what that is in words, so check out the example I gave in the video, to be sure.

I’ll try to explain it words here anyway, in case you’re checking this out at the office or library 😛

For “A”- sounding vowels, for example, try to pronounce it with less of a “bite” with your mouth.

Example word: “Love”.

If we break down how to pronounce “love” when we speak or sing it, it is normally pronounced somewhat like “lav”.

Instead of splatting the “a” as in “laaav”, try keeping the “a” pronounced more in the shape of “uh”, as in “luhv”.

To get a better idea of what I mean, just watch the video.

You’ll see how it immediately lessens the nasality in your voice!

 

Now you know 3 simple things to look out for and adjust, to tweak that nasal quality in your voice – so go and try it out!

If you’ve got questions, remember,  you can always drop them below 🙂

I’m not sure what my next vocal tip would be just yet, but if you have any ideas what I should talk about, or you’ve simply got a vocal problem you’ve been trying to overcome, feel free to suggest!

Until then, subscribe on my website, www.unlockyourvoice.com.my for more singing video lessons!

 

 

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Best Vocal Coach Janice Yap
How To Fix A Nasal or Nasally Sounding Voice