Benny Meza @benny-meza Blogs

The Fault of Confounding Voice Technique with Style

What singing voice would you choose to have if every option was available? Whatever your choice, great vocal technique is meant to facilitate it. True vocal technique opens the door to a diverse world of possibilities. However, there is a prevalent mistake in the world of singing lessons today that undercuts the potential of innumerable singers: failing to make a distinction between voice technique and style.

This mistake is in part a problem of incorrect beliefs. Here are some common beliefs: higher notes must be only sung in a covered (cuperto) manner; vibrato must be used on all sustained notes; the glottal plosive onset must never be used in singing. These beliefs are often taught as proper voice technique, but they are also stylistically restrictive. While these rules may work for certain genres of music, they are likely cause artists in pop, rock, and r&b to sound over-trained. These beliefs are founded on the incorrect assumption that to sing in any manner is incorrect and harmful. 

The voice is capable of making a broad range of sounds in a manner that is easy and not harmful. Developing these sounds is what technique is all about. Applying different sounds to a song is what style is about. 

The fact that you exercise with a low larynx does not mean you should sing that way, unless you want to. Exercising with nasally, pharyngeal tones does not mean you need to sing that way, unless you want to. Exercises help expand what your voice is capable of doing, and they serve to keep your voice in great health as well. 

Technique is a means to an end, and not the end itself. Technique should facilitate, but not dictate, style. 

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