Creating Singing Tone - dummies

By Pamelia S. Phillips

When you sing, you want to create tones that are clear and ringing. But making a clear tone takes practice and know-how. You need to know how to control your muscles and the movement of air.

You don’t want to produce breathy or tight tones:

  • Breathy: A breathy tone is fuzzy and unfocused. To get an idea of what a breathy tone sounds like, pretend that you’re whispering a juicy secret to a friend. The fuzzy tone that you use when whispering isn’t clear or ringing.

    When you sing with a breathy tone, you lose plenty of air. It takes much more air to sing a breathy tone than it does to sing a clear one.

  • Tight: When your muscles are so tight that they squeeze the sound out, you get a tight tone. If you’ve ever run out of breath but kept singing by pressing or squeezing, you’ve produced a tight tone. Imagine using that sound to sing an entire song. Whew, how tiring!

Instead, you want to move air (exhale) to create a free, large, colorful, open tone. Using too much physical pressure in the throat (which feels like squeezing) creates a tight, constricted sound; not connecting enough air creates a fuzzy or airy tone.

You need to find the happy medium — a tone that’s connected to air and sounds clear. By coordinating the flow of air from breathing and by keeping the space in your throat open, you can control the quality of your tone.