How a nasty sound or a hooty sound can help my voice and my singing? Why I need unfinished sounds in my vocalization?
During my experience with IVA , firstly as a singer and then as singing teacher, I started to understand the importance of unfinished sounds.
When I started taking singings lessons with the IVA method , I asked myself , and my teacher, why using those strange sounds like the crying, the pharyngeal or the hooty.
He explained me that these sounds are temporary and we use it just to create a new vocal coordination in order to obtain a better balanced voice.
Like in a pendulum , our voice could have different tendencies while we singing and vocalizing as I already explain in a previous blog ‘the relation between singing technique and style.
Using unfinished sounds definitely help the voice to find this balanced position in the pendulum because will help the voice to travel from one extreme to another in order to obtain it.
For how long do I need to vocalise with unfinished sounds?
During your learning process , unfinished sounds will guide you slightly to reach your vocal balanced.
For example , if you tend to push your chest voice too high and you have an hard time in order to get the high note maybe what you will need it some exercise that help you to stretch the vocal folds and allow a bit more of airflow pass through it. In that case I will suggest some hooty sound that allow to go higher without too much pressed phonation.
When you start to involve these exercises in your daily routine you will see some changes in your voice and also you can discover new vocal qualities.
For example if you find hard to maintain the sound ascending in the high notes, and you feel the sound flipped or cracked in the middle, the nasty sound or the crying can help you to find a good stability.
When you start to get used to this unfinished sounds your teacher will slightly guide you to a more finished sound, because the goal is always to have a natural, balanced voice.
The time you will spent on these exercises really depends on the commitment you put in it, on how many lessons you do weekly and how much you work at home.
Can I use unfinished sounds for stylistic purpose?
When you start involving these sounds into your daily habit you can discover more qualities in your voice.
For example the nasty sound can help you to obtain more volume and stability, and you can use it in many rock songs, especially for high notes.
Many singing method tend to use this nasty sound in order to obtain the twang for rock singers. A good example on how to combine the twang and the vocal balancing is Myles Kennedy:
Personally I always try to find the balancing rather than only use one sound like the twang or imposing the larynx down and maintain that sound forever because I think that this could make voices too similar.
Another good example of unfinished sound applied to singing is Jonas Kaufmann, he use a low larynx sound without imposing too much and maintaining a good vocal quality:
We can definitely say that you can use unfinished sounds also to obtain some specific stylistic quality in your voice for the genre you sing, but the most important thing is always start from a good balancing vocal position.
If you know how to stay in the middle of the pendulum, you can move sometimes on one extreme or another for stylistic reason.
Can I do unfinished sounds find it on youtube videos without being followed by a vocal coach?
My answer to this question is: no.
Youtube videos can give you many informations about singing , and it is good for having a general vision of what you need.
However , if you tried to do some exercises you saw on youtube by your own without the guidance of a vocal coach could be dangerous.
For example if you see a video in which a vocal coachin youtube use some open vowels exercises in order to strengthen up your chest voice, and you replicate this exercises without nobody in front of you telling if you are doing it right or wrong, this could cause you, in a long term, some vocal problems.
My advice is always to find a good vocal coach who know what you need and make specific exercises that help your voice improve, who can tell you and show you directly what is a good and a bad sound.
As I always said “Every student is unique, every voice is unique”.
Daniele Calimera is a certified singing teacher for the Institute for Vocal Advancement (IVA). He is an expert of the MIX method, use by international singing stars and grammy award winners. Lessons in Cardiff and via Skype.