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Three Ways to Add Emotion When You Sing

Singing is all about sharing stories and messages. You want to tap into their emotions so that they are invested in the song and the characters involved. The better you can move your audience emotionally, the betteryou can tell the story bring them on journey, and the more they will connect with you - and want to hear even more.

There are so many ways to sing with emotion that it would be almost impossible to cover them all in one article. What I’m going to share here will also help you to add dynamics without any extra effort.

I’m going to focus on 3 simple yet advanced techniques that you can use to create emotion when you perform. As a singer I had been using these techniques for years, without really understanding them, as many of us do. But as with most things, when you know what and why you’re using these techniques you can utilise them much more effectively, meaning your recordings and performances will be much more dynamic and exciting for your audience.

Furthermore, you will enjoy singing much more when you’re able to use these ‘attacks’, or as I prefer to call them, ‘approaches’, on demand.

Breathy: this is where you use more air. You can create this sound by imagining that there's an H at the beginning of the word or using a word with an H like have have how here. So when you practice those words here, you can hear that you use more air at the beginning of the word “here”.

You can use this to create more of a soft legato, flowy type sound. It’s great for creating a softer type of emotion like love, reflection or sadness.

It’s not restricted to words that begin with h you can use it on any word that has an open sound at the beginning - the breathy approach is also great for “ooo”s and “aah”s are also.

Glottal: The glottal approach is the complete opposite of the breathy approach. It’s a harder sound - you can use it to convey strength, or anger, with words or sounds that begin with an open vowel. You might hear it a lot in rock and pop songs.

Blended: This is a combination of the breathy approach and the glottal approach. You can hear it in all contemporary songs. Practise using words that begin with soft consonants like “w” and “y”, such as “where”, “with” to “you”.

You can have some fun playing around with the different sounds using different sounds to practice the breathy and the glottal approaches, then combine them to practice the blended approach.

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