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Pop music isn’t tied to one specific sound. It can migrate across many different styles, so, unsurprisingly there isn’t one specific way to learn how to sing it. There are many pop singing techniques out there, all which would help to nurture your voice into that of a pop artist. If you’re interested in singing this particular genre, we’ve picked out our top three practices for you to exercise.
1. Vocal Fry
Let’s kick off this pop singing techniques blog with some Britney Spears. You know that noise she makes sometimes which sort of sounds like a creaky-door? For instance, in her song, ‘Oops… I did it again’, when she sings, “Oh baby, baby”. This is called a creak, but is also known as vocal fry/ popcorning/ croak, etc.
It’s produced through a sort-of loose glottal closure (how we choose to instruct the vocal folds to meet one another) and it allows air to bubble or crackle through the folds slowly creating a sexy, halfway tone… Another good example of vocal fry (if we’re talking about speech) is Kim Kardashian and her sisters, they use vocal fry all the time.
This is to do with our vocal fold closure or ‘onset’, it’s when the vocal folds meet but just a teeny bit. It creates a breathy sound, more aerated than a creak, which is more like a fizzle. Some singers have this naturally, but it can also be influenced.
We call it ‘whisperpop’ or an ‘aspirate onset’ and a great example of this is Selena Gomez’s, ‘Good for You’. It’s barely even there but at the same time…it’s there and it’s beckoning effortlessly from inside your headphones. It can be very effectively sensory for the listener, if balanced smartly.
Many singers choose to switch to belt in order to add emotional intensity to a song. At City Vocal Coach we love to guide you to your pure belt. A good way to get into it is to imagine you are shouting to your mum or dad up the stairs to ask them where your keys are whilst you have an impatient ride tooting the horn outside because you’re already late! This will aid you in finding something powerful, urgent and sustainable which is exactly what belting is.
To hear a belt in its purest most powerful form listen to Whitney Houston on (pretty much) every single. Also, Shirley Bassey, Edith Piaf, Jessie J, Judy Garland… we’re talking the biggest of the big here!
This is really just the tip of the pop singing techniques iceberg… and it’s a big one! Everyone has a different vocal rainbow to bring out into the world. And these 3 pop singing techniques are among the many that can help you discover what colours are available to you. They can also inspire you to explore a vocal spectrum that you never even knew existed within your voice. At City Vocal Coach, we can guide you every step of the way to becoming the best pop singer, or indeed, whatever kind of singer you want to be.
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
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