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Soul Singing: Unveiling the Magic of Vocal Expression

In the vast realm of music, soul singing stands out as a mesmerising art form, captivating hearts with its emotive power and rich textures. It’s not just about hitting the right notes, it’s about infusing each sound with a piece of your soul, creating a connection that transcends words. Whether you’re an established soul singer or just starting your journey as a vocalist , understanding the intricacies of soul singing can unlock a world of expression and creativity. In this article we’ll explore the key elements that will take you from being a singer to achieving soul mastery.



Black and white photo of an older man of African descent singing into a microphone. He has greying, shortly cropped  hair and a moustache. He is wearing a dark shirt, glasses and a guitar on a strap.
Soul Singing has captivated audiences globally since the 1950s.


The Essence of Soul Singing


Imagine a warm, crackling fire on a chilly night – a comforting embrace that envelops you in its glow. That’s the essence of soul singing – evoking emotions in your audience by telling stories not just with words but with the warmth of your voice.

 

Creating a Warm Vocal Timbre


Timbre is an often-misunderstood element of music. It’s the warmth/harshness of the sound being produced. Imagine the harsh clash of a cymbal in contrast to the enveloping warmth of a double bass – that’s timbre. To develop warmth in your voice that soul singing demands, explore the lower registers of your voice – this is where your voice resonates with a velvety smoothness, inviting your audience into your scene.


The Magic of Rolling Vibrato


Vibrato is the subtle change in pitch that adds depth, character and emotion to your singing. A key soul singing stylistic, vibrato can be produced in a number of ways - the most authentic being a controlled diaphragmatic pulse. Vibrato should never be forced or used to cover up mistakes or bad technique. Rather than a replacement for good vocal technique, vibrato is an enhancement of good, controlled singing and can be cultivated in a matter of weeks when done properly.

 

Riffs, Runs and Melisma: Ornamenting Your Sound


Riffs, runs and melisma are unmistakable embellishments of soul singing. Riffs are short, improvised vowel sounds that add a touch of spontaneity and excitement. Runs are sequences of notes, sung either ascending or descending, in quick succession. Melisma is the art of stretching vowel sound by adding riffs or runs or stretching a word over one syllable in the same way. Unless you have achieved complete vocal control, technical agility and melodic creativity these embellishments are best used sparingly to create excitement and impact, rather than all over every word.





Embracing Soul Music


Soul music is recognised and celebrated as a powerhouse of captivating, creative music that stirs audiences globally. Singers like Sam Cooke and Etta James paved the way for uncountable performers over the decades who have shaped the sound of soul music and will continue to delight listeners now and long into the future.

 

Carrie Griffiths is a professional singer-songwriter who has performed and taught as a voice coach for more than twenty years. She has performed in more than thirty countries, sharing stages with legendary artists, including soul singers such as Gino Washington, Billy Ocean and Randy Crawford.


If you’re ready to continue your soul singing journey, book your Singing Consultation with Carrie and discover how vocal training could unlock your singing genius and unleash your true potential.


Click here or click the image to book your Singing Consultation today!




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