Recording your voice will lead you to the greatest insights on your vocal performance -says Michael Ferraiuolo.
How many times have you heard your voice played back to you and said, “That’s my voice? I don’t really sound like that do I?!”
That reaction is to hearing the natural sound of your voice, un-muffled by the rest of your body.
A young woman had come to me after taking lessons for several years with little improvement. She walked into the studio and looked worried at the sight of the microphone. “Am I going to use that?”
In all her years of lessons, she had never recorded her voice.
My response – “Every session”.
As a vocal coach, I feel that recording is a necessary part of every singer’s training.
After this singer was able to truly listen to herself she was better able to understand the problems she was having and how to arrive at the solutions.
Recording and listening back to your voice while you exercise will lead you to the greatest insights on your vocal performance.
How To Begin
You can go to a studio or record at home if you have a good set-up.
Choose a song that feels comfortable to sing and make sure that you record yourself without EQ or effects like reverb.
While these are great tools, they won’t give you an accurate sound of your natural voice.
When you listen back to yourself, there are two characteristics I want you to listen for one at a time:
“Breath” and “color”.
The Questions You Need to Ask
“Breath” refers to control and support. How resonant is your voice? Are you sustaining notes as long as you’d like? Do you have a wispy or raspy sound to your voice? Does your voice sound full and rich or lightly and airy?
Take note of these things and decide whether you like what you hear or if you want to change things.
You may need to strengthen your breath or in some cases you may be over-supporting or pushing too hard.
“Color” is just one word to describe tone. Start by asking yourself if what you’re hearing is bright or dark.
If your tone is too bright or too dark for your liking you’ll need to work on how you form your vowels, where you place your lips, tongue, cheeks, and larynx and how much breath you’re employing.
Once you’ve spent time with these questions, your next step is to experiment with the different ways you can alter your sound by making physical changes.
Finding a vocal coach who can help you make these changes is highly recommended.
Learning how to listen to your voice is a skill that will you put you on the path to singing with accuracy, individuality and most of all, confidence – so start recording yourself today.
Michael Ferraiuolo is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the Owner of Iron Works Studios in New York City. As a vocal coach Michael teaches and advocates for artists worldwide. His music has appeared on film, radio, and television and at #1 on the Billboard charts.