Good Tone Quality
You want to…
- Sound nice when you sing.
- Make a solid, free sound.
- Lose that breathy quality.
- Stop screeching on the high notes.
That’s what we call TONE QUALITY. And you generally get there by eliminating the tension in your vocal muscles.
Singing is an athletic activity. You use muscles to make it happen. But any tension in those muscles gets in the way. Your ribcage and diaphragm and belly muscles are working hard to support your breathing, but they have to remain flexible, not rigid, and your throat, tongue, jaw and facial muscles have to be relaxed. Not easy. As you study singing you will have to relax muscles you didn’t even know you had!
The other part of good tone is CLEAR VOWELS. Think about it…99% of the time you are singing the vowel sounds of the words, especially on the long notes. The consonants should be “short and sweet”. But Americans speak in just the opposite way…in our conversation we make the vowels very short and go right to the consonant at the end of the syllable. When you learn to make clear, ringing vowels and stretch them for the whole length of the note, dropping in the consonant at the very end, you will suddenly sound beautiful. It’s different from the way you would normally speak, but your audience won’t hear it as odd. They will just think you sound great, and they will actually be able to understand you! I call it SINGLISH instead of English.