It took me a while to realize this but you can feel heaps of emotion while singing a song and still not convey any of it…
This is because your singing voice itself has to sound emotional too.
In this article you’ll discover 7 simple ways to add more emotion to the sound of your singing voice.
We’ll go over the following ones:
- A slightly lowered larynx
- Adding weight/density to your singing voice
- Sobbing sounds
- Soft consonants
- A singing-accent
- Gradual build-ups
No matter if you’re a whisper singer or if you want to belt out heartbreaking pop ballads; let’s dive into how to sing with more emotion.
The first way to add more emotion to your singing voice is by bending your open vowels towards closed ones.
By doing this you close the space between your tongue and the roof of your mouth, restricting the resonance of your singing voice.
This in turn, adds more depth and density/weight to the tone of your singing voice. Which in turn makes it more intense sounding.
You can use that intensity to add more emotion to key moments in the songs you sing, or to your singing voice in general.
I’ve found that this emotional effect is the most apparent, when singers bend their vowels towards the closed vowels ‘U’ as in ‘mud’, ‘O’ as in ‘more’ and/or ‘A’ as in ‘heart’.
Some pop singers perform this bend in a subtle and barely noticeable way, some in an exaggerated way; it really is a season-to-taste kind of thing.
A singer who uses exaggerated vowel-bends is Sia.
For example, the first sentence of the chorus in Chandelier. ‘I’m gonna swing from the Chandelier.’
Right when she sings the ‘I’ part of ‘I’m’, instead pronouncing that ‘I’ like you’d normally do, she sings an ‘U’ as in ‘mud’.
2. A slightly lowered larynx
Another way to make your voice more emotional is by slightly lowering your larynx while singing.
This also creates more depth in the sound of your singing voice, which in turn adds more emotion to it.
You can use this as an effect to be used only on certain parts of a song you want to emphasize with a deeper more emotional flavor. Or to your singing voice in general.
To connect to the sensation of lowering your larynx, place your hand on your throat and pretend you’re about to sing a really low note.
Feel how as a result the larynx moves down in your throat.
Once you’re in control of this movement you can apply it in a way that adds a subtle or more exaggerated deepening effect.
If you’re a whisper singer, you can get away with a more exaggerated effect than a singer who sings with a sound that has more weight/density to it.
That’s because lowering the larynx at some point tends to decrease that weight/density in the sound, so you’ll have to find that balance if you want to keep that intact.
3. Adding weight to the sound your singing voice
Another way to sing with more emotion is by adding more density/weight to the sound of your singing voice.
You can use this to add more emotion to your singing voice in general to put more ‘feeling’ into certain moments of a song.
Even if you’re a whisper singer, learning to access a sound that has more weigh/density to it, adds a whole new way of expressing yourself when you sing.
Many pop singers use this effect to the fullest when singing high notes.
By singing high notes with a sound that has much weight/density to it, you can really create emotional moments, with high notes that sound powerful and intense.
Oftentimes aspiring pop singers try to add more density/weight to their high notes by using mix-voice. Or by strengthening their head-voice.
However, many singers still end up with high notes that sound like a watered down version of their low to middle notes, when they do that.
That’s why I don’t recommend using things like head-voice and mix-voice because these (outdated) practices tend to hold aspiring pop singers back.
I recommend a Sound-First Approach to singing, where you first activate certain sounds, then learn to sing with them.
This includes sounds which that density/weight to them.
If you want to know how to add density/weight to your own singing voice and/or high notes you can check out my upcoming course, where you’ll learn how to activate that sound yourself.
Again, Sia comes to mind with this one.
Maybe you’ve heard her make this sobbing sound combined with a crackly sound (a vocal fry) almost like she’s crying, right before she starts the first word of a sentence with an intense sound.
This enhances the emotional intensity of the part of the song she uses it on.
Many pop singers with an emotional sound, use this effect in some form.
Some do it exaggerated and others opt for a more subtle effect.
5. Soft Consonants
Another way to add more emotion to your voice is by softening your consonants while singing.
Again, Sia comes to mind as an example because at certain moments her consonants have almost left the building!
By pronouncing the consonants in such a soft way, she exposes the vowels she sings with more.
The vowels carry most of the sound and as such, it heightens the listeners experience of it.
The drawback of this effect is that the words themselves can become hard to understand. Almost like you’re mumbling.
But at the same time, the sound benefits that come with this effect, could be exactly what adds that spark of emotion to your singing.
6. Singing Accent
Another effect that can add more emotion to your singing voice is a singing accent.
Most pop singers have crafted their own unique singing accent.
Some of these are subtle, some not at all.
The most subtle ones consist of slightly bending our open vowels towards closed ones.
The least subtle ones consist out of heavy vowel bends, but there’s also something called, cursive singing.
Although there are many critics of it, cursive singing is something that’s quite popular right now.
Halsey comes to mind here, but Amy Winehouse popularized it.
The sound characteristics cursive singers sing with are by many experienced as emotional.
One thing is clear though.
The captivating sounds these singers make, come from mispronouncing words.
For example, ending words with an ‘i’ as in sit, while they normally wouldn’t end like that. ‘Much’ becomes ‘mu-i-ch’. Or ‘good’ becomes ‘goo-i-d’.
That’s just one example, there are more pronunciations creating different kinds of sounds and, it really is a season-to-taste thing.
Nonetheless, many people feel all the feels when these singers do what they love to do.
7. Gradual build-Ups
The last way to sing with more emotion, is by gradually building up the intensity of your sound throughout the length of the song you sing.
This build-up doesn’t have to be dramatic; it can be subtle even.
For example, by singing every chorus with slightly more weight/density to the sound of your singing voice.
Or with more riffs and runs.
This way the listener feels like they’re being taken on an emotional journey, giving them more and more feels as the song progresses.
Now you know how to sing with more emotion.
I hope this was helpful.
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