HOW I BELT OUT VOCALS

I get asked about singing basic vocal technique and how I belt–or my technique (partly for sound quality, and partly for safety). Here are some quick tips that are good to try if you want to practice belting (singing with your chest voice up into your head voice range, although mixing is a good technique to intersperse in there for some otherwise awkward transitions).

1. You must be able to practice in an environment where you’re not afraid to be loud or make mistakes. If you’re worried about being “too noisy” or making squawks, you’ll usually tense up…and therefore fail.

2. You must feel entirely free of tension in the face, neck, shoulders, etc. Contrary to what some believe, a good belter does not sing with undue tension. Quite the opposite, in fact.

3. You must develop stamina. Like singing large opera roles, belting is an athletic experience.

4. Belting requires less breath pressure (just as high notes require less breath pressure).

5. You’ve gotta drop that jaw (think 3 to 4 fingers) and raise your soft palate.

6. Like a soprano hitting her highest notes, the belter has to trust her high chest notes to be there. She can’t “push” them at all. Imagining the notes flying or floating out of the top of the head may help.

7. The voice must be placed forward, in the mask.

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