Very often a weak voice may be caused by breathiness. What is breathiness?
Breathiness is a vocal quality often described as airy or lacking in clarity. In singing, it can make your voice sound weak and less impactful. This is a common issue among beginner singers, but the good news is that it can be fixed. Understanding the root causes of breathiness is the first step towards improving your vocal strength.
The Causes of Breathiness
Breathiness in beginner singers can be attributed to a variety of factors. Below are the main reasons you might be experiencing this issue:
1. Too Much Breath: One of the most common causes of breathiness is using too much breath when singing. Overbreathing can create an excess of air pressure beneath your vocal cords, leading to a breathy sound. Learning to control your breath can significantly improve this issue.
2. Psychological Mindset: Believe it or not, your mental state can also contribute to a breathy voice. Anxiety or lack of confidence can lead you to unconsciously hold back, affecting the strength and clarity of your voice. Building self-confidence and adopting a positive mindset can go a long way in resolving breathiness.
3. Carrying Over Speaking Voice Habits: Many beginners carry over their speaking voice habits into their singing, which can contribute to a weak, breathy sound. This is because the techniques required for singing are often different from those used in normal speech. Learning to differentiate between your speaking and singing voice can help you develop a stronger, clearer singing voice. It's the same vocal cords which both sing and speak, however we must learn some new ways of doing things to get the singing result we want.
Tactics to Strengthen Your Voice
Articulation Exercises: One of the key elements of speaking clearly is articulation. Poor articulation can muddle your singing voice, making it sound weak or unclear. Simple exercises like tongue twisters can help improve your articulation. Try reciting them slowly at first, focusing on each syllable, and then gradually increase your speed. This will not only improve your speaking but also add clarity and strength to your singing. Here are some examples
Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers: This classic tongue twister focuses on the 'P' sound and can help you articulate consonants more clearly.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?
She Sells Sea Shells by the Sea Shore: This one is excellent for mastering the 'S' and 'Sh' sounds, which can often be problematic in both speaking and singing.
She sells sea shells by the sea shore. The shells she sells are surely seashells. So if she sells shells on the seashore, I'm sure she sells seashore shells.
How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck: This tongue twister is useful for practising the 'W' and 'Ch' sounds, helping you to enunciate these tricky consonants more clearly.
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck If a woodchuck could chuck wood? He would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck would If a woodchuck could chuck wood
2. Pitch Matching: A simple yet effective exercise to get your speaking voice on pitch is to match it with a musical instrument like a piano or a guitar. Speak a sentence and then try to match each word or syllable to a specific note. This exercise will help you become more aware of pitch and how to control it, which is crucial for singing.
3. Voice Recording and Playback: Sometimes, we are not the best judges of our own voices. Recording yourself speaking and then listening to the playback can offer valuable insights. Pay attention to the pitch, clarity, and any instances of breathiness. This self-assessment will help you identify areas for improvement and work on them consciously.
By taking these steps and incorporating these tactics into your daily routine, you will be well on your way to strengthening your singing voice and reducing breathiness. Remember, improvement takes time and consistent practice, so don't lose your joy and passion for singing as you work on developing your skills.