We all know that opera singers, Broadway stars, and other vocalists take voice lessons or have coaches in their lives, but what if you want to sing pop songs or form a rock band? Do you need a teacher to show you the ropes?
The Aurora School of Music provides voice lessons in Cleveland and the surrounding areas, and we’ve worked with many singers who want to pursue popular and contemporary genres. Believe it or not, the techniques you’ll need to know do require practice, and you may benefit from a skilled and experienced teacher.
Do You Need Lessons To Sing Pop Songs?
Yes, if you wish to sing at a high level, you do need lessons to sing pop, rock, jazz, classical, or other musical genres. That’s not to say that you can’t learn songs on your own, but the voice is a complex instrument that requires training and understanding if you want to maximize your potential.
Firstly, Learn To Breathe and Produce Sound Healthfully
Regardless of the genre you will be singing, you’ll need to learn how to breathe. It sounds easy (we do it subconsciously every moment), but learning to take deep, controlled breaths during a musical performance is a challenge of its own. One you learn how to optimize your breathing, you’ll need to be able to sing without undesired tension. This goes hand in hand with proper breathing, and if you can’t sing without tension, your career will be cut short by damage and injuries.
Learning The Art of Belting
To sing almost any contemporary genre, you’ll need to learn how to “belt.” This technique, which involves introducing the heaviness of your chest voice to the register of your head voice, is extremely effective in pop, theater, rock and more. But there’s a catch – it can severely damage your voice. If you simply try to imitate the likes of Aretha Franklin without a clue as to what you are doing, you could develop vocal nodules over a period of time. In a best case scenario, you’d simply experience hoarseness or a sore throat.
Mixed belting, a term used to describe the halfway point between belting and head voice, also requires careful practice under the supervision of a teacher.
Stylizing Your Voice Break
We’ve all heard singers’ voices “crack” when transitioning from low or medium to higher pitches. Vocalists have traditionally trained to not do this, but many pop stars artistically use the break to communicate emotion or simply make a scale more interesting.
Do you need a teacher to help you use your voice break? It would dramatically speed up the process for you, yes. That said, you can’t necessarily cause irreparable damage to your voice by practicing this at home (like belting), feel free to imitate pop stars and see what you can do – and when you’re ready to get serious, give us a call.
Inflections, Riffs, Runs, and More
Some pop singers, like Christina Aguilera, rely on “busy” vocals to demonstrate their virtuosity. While this often spirals off into the realm of vocal gymnastics (the musical equivalent of an actor “chewing the scenery”), you may wish to learn how to sing scales, arpeggios, and riffs to embellish your songs.
Even as an amateur musician, you would also benefit from incorporating various inflections into your repertoire. Things like introducing breathiness to your sound at certain points in a song, falling off notes, intentionally using vocal fry in low sections, and more can be effective when communicating with an audience.
Get a Free Voice Lesson Today
If you want to get serious about popular music, you’ll need a teacher who has studied, performed, and taught the genre. Call us for a free 30 minute trial lesson today.
Also, if you would like to try guitar lessons in Cleveland, drum lessons, piano instruction, or anything else, let us know!