What If Your Voice is Not Perfect?
Here’s a thought… What if the qualities you believe make your voice less than, actually make it cool and interesting?
I’ve contemplated this question a ton as I venture into writing my own music. So far I’d describe my strange songs as a cross between: Grimes, Lana Del Rey, and Every Broadway Show Ever.
ANYWAY. My vocal background and training is musical theater singing, which means I’m hardwired to think: “These notes (high, low, whatever) need to come out cleanly, perfectly, and without any noticeable variation, damnit!”
And while I still love that I’m able to unify my chest, mix, and head voice cleanly (for the most part) — and I believe it is important for singers not to be held back by any technical “holes” in their voices —
The truth is: for many genres of music, embracing our imperfections, or the reasons our voices are unique, can unlock a whole world of interpretation, variation, color, emotion, and interesting style choices.
For example, I am naturally higher-voiced, meaning I was born with thinner vocal folds and at certain parts of my range my voice lacks dark undertones. It instead seems to float “on top” of notes, with an almost cutesy sound to it.
When I record my voice in my home studio, I will often adjust my face shape to develop a darker tone — I open my mouth more, drop my jaw down, and make sure I’m engaging the lower half of my face. I also stand up straight and utilize my chest resonance.
But recently I wrote a song where the character seemed…well?
Vulnerable. Feeling small. Expressing thoughts that were difficult to express.
So what did I do? I recorded a take where I thought, “Let me just embrace ME, however it comes out. Let me use this higher voice. Let it thin out where it wants to, sometimes breaking, sometimes being breathy, and maybe this will better reflect the vulnerable nature of the song.”
And the result is…
NOT perfect. 🙂 But (in my opinion) way, way more interesting!
Three questions for you:
1) Have you ever wondered whether “perfect singing” is really “the best” singing??
2) Are there any artists performing today that you admire who don’t have perfect voices but who you LOVE to hear sing?
3) Wanna hear my first song? (Currently finishing the mix and planning to post a video soon to YouTube, but my mailing list will be the first to hear it AAAAAH!)
Leave me a comment here on my blog!
Lots of love,
P.S. I don’t often fish for encouragement but, man I could use a little right now! 🙂 Very different process creating music versus teaching or filming tips videos. But onward I go!