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by admin

 

I’ve been travelling last month and as soon as I got back, boomz. Tonnes of work and events to get back to. Eek!

Still, it’s time to drop some singing tips as it’s been a while 🙂

I had a question on Udemy just recently from one of my American students. She asked if it was possible to make herself sound less nasally, as she felt that her voice was quite nasally and “country-like” and wanted less of it.

Of course, my answer was “yes”, because the nasal factor in the voice depends on how much twang we use in our voices. And when it comes to twang, the tongue plays a factor!

So I thought, why not talk about the tongue today! 🙂

Many singers don’t realise how their tongue placement or tongue control can affect their singing. While there are quite a number of ways the tongue affects our singing, I’ll only cover a little today.

So, let’s begin.

Let’s talk about how you can project your voice better, and have a stronger head voice (or high voice) by controlling your tongue!

Before we go on, remember to grab a mirror or a self-facing camera.

A Dipped Tongue

If you’ve always struggled to sing louder, particularly at the higher notes or in your head voice, where you find that the tone of your voice becomes really breathy or very “falsetto” sounding, you could be dipping the back of your tongue. To have a “chestier” sounding head voice, or a stronger head voice (or to sing those high notes louder), how high the back of your tongue is matters. Of course, breath control and support matters too. However, if you are already practicing great breath control and support (check out my video on Breath Support) but still have trouble getting loud in your head voice, it is likely that you are not engaged in the right vocal gear and that your tongue is dipped.

*Note: If you find that the back of your tongue is raised, and yet you can’t hit the high notes you want to at all instead, it is likely that you are not using the right vocal registers. Visit my vlog on Vocal Registers and then try again.

 

A Raised Tongue

When the back of the tongue is raised slightly, the projection of the voice becomes louder. This can happen in low and high notes. The result is a “twangy” sound, which has a distinct nasty, nasally and piercing type of vocal quality. This is the type of quality we also get when we are belting (or using the vocal gear, Belt).

Now, of course there are other ways to project the voice, or sing louder without that nasally sound (like singing in the vocal gear, Anchor), but we’ll talk about that another day. Anchor is after all, a vocal gear that cannot be used to sing high notes, therefore, it cannot be used to strengthen your head voice, but only your chest voice or your mix.

If all these terms (chest and head voice and mix) sounds foreign to you, remember to visit my vlog on  Vocal Registers

 

How To Sing Louder & Have A Stronger Head Voice Using Your Tongue

 

Look into the mirror as you are singing those high notes. If they sound soft and airy, check if you are applying the dipped tongue. Try raising the back of your tongue a little as you sing the very same note (check out the video). This might take some practice, especially for singers who have spent a long time singing with a dipped tongue in their head voices. It would be helpful to practice the position of the raised tongue a couple of times without singing first. Be careful to apply the “smile” which feels like you’re biting with your tongue raised (I mention this in the video). As you sing with this, you’ll find your voice projected to the front in a nastier, more nasally and piercing sort of way.

Rest assured, how nasty or nasally your voice sounds can be controlled simply by adjusting the height of your tongue. This will take a little bit of experimenting and practice, to find the amount of projection you desire without sounding too nasally.

That said, sounding nasally when singing is not a crime 🙂

There are many singers who sound unique because they have that nasally character to their voices. To name a few, they are Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, Zara Larrson, Sia, Stevie Wonder, Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Sam Smith, Ceelo Green, Anastacia.

I just realised that’s more than a few. Lol.

My point is, it’s quite subjective – some of us like the nasally sound, some of us don’t. Who’s right and who’s wrong? And why must there be a right or wrong? I personally don’t mind it and appreciate it 🙂

Singing and sounding nasally is not a result of bad vocal technique. It’s just a sign that a singer is able to let his/her voice resonate in both the vocal and nasal tract, which results in more vocal projection. In other words, singing and sounding nasally is still healthy singing 🙂

Singing through the nose, however, is not recommended. And there are huge differences in the two. Singing through the nose for one, doesn’t produce a very nice vocal tone, and also doesn’t feel all that comfortable.

I’ll share more about that in my next vocal tip Vlog.

Until then, you already know what to do with your tongue, so go and practice & experiment!

Post your questions below, if you’ve got any 🙂

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How To Sing Louder & Have A Stronger Head Voice By Using Your Tongue