Allow your voice to assert itself without stress –says Rachel Lebon
Are you not projecting as easily as you’d like? Getting vocally tired and fatigued? Working hard to enunciate?
Then, it’s time to check your keys.
Vocalists can feel pressured to perform a song in the key that is:
• Recorded by the original artist
• In the published sheet music
• In the band ‘s repertoire
Unfortunately, these approaches do not take into account that these keys may not be the ideal key for your voice.
Why perform a song in someone else’s ideal key?
Get Rid of the Stress
Each human voice is a totally unique instrument characterized by differing vocal qualities and intensity levels in different ranges.
If a song is keyed too high, you’re relegated to straining throughout; conversely if the key is too low, you may have difficulty projecting over instrumental accompaniment.
The optimal key for singing, like the optimal speaking range, enables you to achieve diverse vocal qualities while controlling intensity.
A comfortable key allows you to begin your rendition conversationally, with a soft, warm, intimate approach that builds naturally as you increase vocal and emotional intensity.
Concern about projecting those loud passages and nailing the climactic high notes can compromise your communication during the rest of the song.
Why stress yourself unnecessarily?
The Benefits of the Right Key
Optimal key choice should also make it easier to enunciate, making the ever-important lyrics intelligible to the listener by tapping into the natural resonant characteristics of your voice.
The key that maximizes projection allows your voice to assert itself as a distinguishable timbre over heavy instrumentation, including pre-recorded tracks.
Over time, the vocal energy expended while coping with uncomfortable keys results in vocal fatigue and deterioration, the inability to pace oneself within a song and within a set, or maintain endurance during strenuous performance schedules.
Ultimately, if you are singing your songs in your key:
• You can display a wide range of dynamics, not just loud, louder, loudest.
• You can communicate the lyrics so that they sound natural and are easily understood.
• You don’t have to “work” vocally throughout the entire tune. You’re in control!
-Rachel L. Lebon, PhD
If you’re signed up to VoiceCouncil’s Peer-Review, you’ll be receiving unique coaching feedback from Rachel for the next 6 weeks. You can sign up now.
Rachel L. Lebon, Ph.D. has been a professional vocalist and studio singer in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Nashville and Miami. She was on the faculty at Belmont College and is currently at the University of Miami, has toured toured world-wide with “Tops in Blue” and on a State Department tour of the Soviet Union and Portugal. Rachel is the author of two published books and conducts lectures, symposia and adjudication worldwide on vocal pedagogy and voice disorders.