Tori Amos’ performance of her song ‘Winter’ exemplifies that innocent sounding vibrato. But how is it achieved?
Firstly, see how it feels to mimic this voice quality. Is it close to or far from your own set-up? What do you have to do to make it sound authentic?Guys, you can use this piece also but try it in a key that suits you – not too low however…
The key to this voice quality is the ‘thinness’ of the vocal folds which is often likened to a ‘crying’ or mournful sound (without any nasality) alongside a smooth onset of tone.
- Using an ‘Mm’ sound, make a few whimpering noises rather like a puppy. Genuinely ‘cry’ the sound and feel your abdominals pull in in response.
- When you feel confident that there is no glottal or aspirate sound in the onset, open it out onto a ‘Mah’.
- Hold it for a few beats. They will probably be some vibrato there.
- This is the most efficient sound breath wise and you should be able to hold the notes longer than when using the other voice qualities we’ve covered.
- Commence working up your entire range on a whimpered ‘Mah’ with thin folds using the simultaneous onset on each note. Some describe cry quality as a feeling of ‘drinking in the sound’ or as if the sound ‘leaves through the top of the head’.
- You may find that you are frowning in sympathy with the emotion of this sound. That’s OK but once you feel you have attained the quality you are looking for, allow the brow to smooth and the facial muscles to relax.
- Now work back down your range – notice how much flexibility you have in your voice, you should have hardly noticed the breaks.
I would strongly recommend Ana Gracey to anyone seeking to improve or develop their vocal technique, their range of vocal styles or their musical creativity…
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