Let’s be honest:
As a vocalist, your voice is one of the best ways to stand out from the other musicians.
And one of the best ways to make your voice stand out is to increase your vocal power.
Look at some of the great singers: Freddie Mercury, Adele, Beyonce, Ed Sheeran…
They may sing to different genres of music, but they can all sing powerfully!
Unfortunately, I teach singers all the time who make great music, but have a hard time getting the vocal power they need to make their voice heard.
But after teaching more than 500 students, I promise you this:
You can improve your vocal power.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting out or already have a dedicated fan base. Anyone can benefit from more vocal power.
So, if you’re a musician that struggles with singing strongly, this article is for you.
The truth is that learning to sing stronger just takes practice and the right vocal techniques to improve your voice.
But once you learn to sing with more power, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get out of your voice!
I can’t tell you how many singers come in for a lesson and in 30 minutes are blown away at how great their voice sounds.
That’s because many singers don’t use their voice correctly to get more vocal power.
Lots of singers add a ton of breath to make their voice sound like their favorite artists. But adding a lot of breath to your tone kills your vocal power and stamina.
Likewise, many singers just push and strain their voice to get more vocal power. But pushing to get more volume out of your voice will just make you strain.
So, if you’re a musician that’s trying to level up your singing, learning the right way to increase vocal power is the best way to get started.
Today, I’ll show you five of my favorite vocal techniques for increasing your singing power.
And, I promise that if you take the time to practice these techniques, such as with karaoke, and make them a part of your daily routine, you’ll be amazed at how people respond to your music.
Ready to get started?
Here we go…
Technique #1: Learn to Project
Can I tell you a secret?
Most voice teachers make learning to project way too complicated.
Unfortunately, you may already be confused about how to project correctly:
Teachers tell us to sing from the diaphragm, sing into the mask, lift your chin, etc…
The list goes on and on and most of it is useless!
So, what does “projecting” mean and how do you project your voice?
Projecting simply means singing strongly without straining your voice.
Sure, anyone can sing stronger by yelling.
But projecting a powerful volume that doesn’t strain your voice is one of the most important things you can do to learn to sing better.
Luckily, it’s easy to learn to project your voice correctly with the right singing techniques.
And, if you learn to project the right way, you’ll be able to sing your notes with more power and vocal control than you thought possible.
One of my favorite ways of teaching my students to project is to have them speak the lyrics.
Here’s how to project by “speaking your lyrics”:
- Select a phrase from a song that you’ve had trouble projecting.
- Now, pretend you’re on stage in a packed auditorium.
- Next, speak the words of the phrase out loud in a way that would reach the back row of the audience. Project the spoken words in a way where you’re not yelling or whispering.
- Finally, sing the lyrics of the song but keep the same power as when you were speaking the words.
You should already feel that the notes that you’re singing are way more powerful!
By the way, if you’re confused about how to do this exercise, check out this cool video where I walk you through it:
Technique #2: Sing with Chest Voice
Here’s the bottom line:
Singing with chest voice is one of the most important vocal techniques you can learn to improve your singing.
From Lady Gaga to Adele and Sam Smith to John Legend, every great singer uses chest voice to make their notes sound more powerful and present.
So, what is chest voice and how do you get it in your voice?
Chest voice is a term that was invented by old-school Italian teachers and singers who felt vibrations in their chest when they sang low notes.
With the help of modern science, we now know that chest voice doesn’t come from the chest. Chest voice comes from thick vocal cords.
Scientists found that when you sing with thick vocal cords, the cords vibrate together strongly, creating a powerful sound.
And, that powerful sound is what gives many singers their rich, brassy vocal tone.
We call this strong vocal tone chest voice.
You can feel this in your own voice.
Try this right now:
Place your hand on your chest and say your name out loud like you’re projecting to the back row of an auditorium.
Do you feel that vibration against your hand when you say your name?
That’s chest voice.
Now why is chest voice important?
Well, if your vocal cords are too thin, your voice will be too light and breathy and you’ll lose power and vocal control.
So how do you sing with chest voice?
One of my favorite vocal warm ups for singing with more chest voice is the “Gug” exercise.
Here’s how you sing with more chest voice on the “Gug” exercise:
1. Select a phrase from a song that’s lower in your voice.
For guys, choose a phrase with a melody that stays below an E4.
For girls, choose a phrase with a melody that stays below an A4.
2. Now take the melody of the phrase and replace every note of the melody with the word “Gug” like the word “Gutter”.
You should feel a strong stop each time you enunciate the “G” consonant.
3. Finally, sing the lyrics of the phrase again but try to keep the same power that the “Gug” exercise gave you.
If you do this right, you won’t believe how powerful your voice sounds!
By the way, if you want to see how to do this exercise, here’s a cool video where I walk you through it.
Technique #3: Hit High Notes with Power
Here’s the brutal truth:
While everyone wants to hit high notes, learning to sing them can be hard to do.
After all, there’s nothing better than seeing a great singer hit a crazy high note with tons of power!
So, let’s make sure you can hit high notes.
Up until this point, we’ve focused on exercises designed to help you strengthen your low notes. That’s exactly where you should start.
That’s because if your bottom notes aren’t powerful, then you certainly won’t have any vocal power on your high notes.
In other words, if your low notes are light and breathy, your high notes don’t stand a chance of being powerful!
So, now that you’ve got those low notes nice and strong, let’s see if we can get the same strength on your high notes.
There are lots of exercises for learning to hit high notes with power, but one of my favorites is the “Gee” exercise.
Here’s how to hit high notes with power with the “Gee” exercise:
1. Select a phrase from a song that you’re working on.
For guys, pick a phrase that has notes above an E4.
For girls, pick a phrase that has notes above an A4.
2. Now, say the word “Gee” out loud like you’re saying the word “Geese”.
3. Next, replace each word of the lyrics with the word “Gee”.
So, for each note of the melody, you would sing the word “Gee”
4. Finally, go back to the actual lyrics of the song and try to keep the same powerful feeling you got from singing “Gee” on each.
Here’s a cool video where I walk you through how to do the “Gee” exercise:
Technique #4: Belt Correctly
Can I tell you something crazy?
Way too many singers belt high notes the wrong way!
The fact is if you belt incorrectly, you risk pushing your voice and straining.
This is the worst way to expand vocal range because when you’re singing high notes with a lot of power, it’s easy to force your voice too hard to get higher notes.
So, if you feel that you may be straining to hit your high notes, it’s time to learn to belt the right way.
And if you expand your vocal range correctly, you’ll be amazed at how much vocal power you have on your high notes.
Luckily, there are lots of great exercises to help you belt correctly. One of my favorites is the bratty “Nae” exercise.
The “Ae” vowel in the exercise gives you the chesty and belty sound that you’re looking for.
But the “bratty” sound allows the cords to thin out to hit those higher notes.
The end result?
You’re able to hit crazy high notes with the power and strength of your chest voice.
Here’s how to belt with the “Nae” exercise:
1. Select a phrase with some high notes that you’re working on.
2. Now, say the word “Nae” as in “Nasty” out loud in a bratty way.
To get the “bratty” sound right, try to imagine that you’re the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz.
We’re going for that brassy, nasally tone. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to sound pretty right now.
3. Next, sing the bratty “Nae” on each note of the melody in the phrase that you’re working on.
So, basically, you’ll take each syllable of the lyrics and replace them with a bratty “Nae”.
4. Finally, go back to the lyrics of the song and try to keep the same powerful feeling you got with the bratty “Nae”.
If you want to see the right way to do the “Nae” exercise, check out this cool video where I walk you through it:
Technique #5: Embrace Your Voice
I can hear you now:
“I don’t like the way my voice sounds!”
I can’t tell you how many of my students don’t like the way that they sound. Even some professional singers hate the sound of their own voice.
But here’s the bottom line:
Every singer dislikes the sound of their voice sometimes.
After all, if your voice was already perfect, you wouldn’t be reading this article.
But coming down on your singing too much hurts more than it helps.
So, the sooner that you’re able to accept your voice and the way that it sounds, the quicker you’ll be able to improve it.
Luckily, there are lots of great exercises that can help you find and improve your natural singing voice.
One of my favorite exercises is the “Mum” exercise.
That’s because the “Mum” sound is a lot closer to your natural voice.
So, if you had a hard time making the “bratty” sound in the last exercise, try this instead.
Here’s how to do the “Mum” exercise:
- Select a phrase from a song that you’re working on.
- Now, say the word “Mum” out loud like you’re saying the word for a British mother.
- Next, sing the word “Mum” on each note of the melody in the phrase that you’re working on.
- Finally, go back to the actual lyrics of the song and try to keep the same feeling that you got from the “Mum” exercise.
You should hear that your singing voice is powerful and relaxed, just like your speaking voice.
Don’t worry if you don’t love the way you sound at first!
If Bob Dylan and David Bowie can become world-famous singers, I promise you can too!
Now you should be able to sing with tons of power across your entire range.
And, with the help of some of these exercises you’ll find that your natural vocal tone and power will set you apart from other singers out there.
So, be confident in your new powerful voice and I guarantee people will respond to you!
- 5 Ways to Sing More Powerfully - April 2, 2019