Which Kind of Voice You Are?

Admit it! Everyone has bad habits. Not just in singing, but also in some aspects of our day-to-day living. They’re things that we don’t necessarily notice until someone points them out to us. 

So what’s the big deal you say? Well it is! 
Did you know that there are 3 bad speaking habits that can affect your singing voice?
Read on and find out which kind you are!

1. The Pushed, Shouty Voice
Who: This is often seen in teachers, lawyers and judges and in professions where speakers project their voices with the wrong technique.
Why: Lack of awareness of the voice. These speakers are unaware of better ways of using their instrument, such as using the right resonators, to amplify their voice. 

Problems faced & Solutions:
Overly-tensed digastric muscles. (Muscles located under the jaw.)
The muscles are responsible for producing the throaty sound, and will engage very easily when speaking/singing. Fortunately, all you need to do is to tilt your chin up 45 degrees to disengage/relax them. You will need to be constant in reminding yourself to relax these muscles.

2. The Breathy Voice

Who: Women have a tendency to ‘withstrain’ speaking loudly as it appears more “gentle” & “ladylike”. But this does not exclude the men! 

Why: This may have psychological & emotional causes such as not wanting to make loud sounds and thus sound rude (common in Asian societies).

Problems faced & Solutions:
Weak and Airy voice
Ability to get vocal fold closure is hard to achieve. Too much air escapes without even hitting the vocal folds properly thus not producing a full tone. Vocal exercises such as humming or making ‘forward’ sounds such as words beginning (and preferably ending) with ‘m’s, ‘n’s and ‘ng’s. Some examples: many, men, magic, nine, night etc…

3. The Swallowed Voice
Who: Mainly Teenagers.

Why: Teenagers tend to swallow their words due to social awkwardness, awkwardness about physical and emotional changes, the need to fit in and attitudes toward parental and societal control, self-esteem and identity issues.

Problems faced & Solutions:

Tongue is constantly in the middle and back of the mouth due to poor speaking habits. This can be solved by trying to create sounds like ‘blur’ or ‘glur’ and trying to sing scales to using the ‘eh’ vowel with your tongue on your bottom lip.

Habits (good or bad) were formed through our many years of constant repetition and practice. Therefore, if you have been practicing on the good habit, good for you!

But if you have not, try the 21 Days Principle which we’re sharing below!

The 21 Days Principle
This principle was a study carried out and released several years ago that focused on “habit-forming principles.” In other words, how do we form habits, good or bad?

The findings of the study: if you do anything faithfully for 21 days, you will form a habit. And chances are you will have it for life. So if you bit your nails for 21 days, you’ll develop a nasty habit…and do it for life. However, you can always break a bad habit if you replace it with a good one. But you have to do it consistently and properly for 21 days.

Application for a Better Voice

In order to get rid of a bad vocal habit, you can’t just sing songs every day. 
All you would be doing is reinforcing your bad habits, teaching your nervous system to continue doing the same things, good and bad!

Therefore, you need to find exercises that encourage the opposing response from your body. For example, if you tend to sing breathy, you need to practice exercises that really bring your vocal cords together so that you produce a clearer, less-breathy sound.

Remember, it’s not important to sound “beautiful” at this point. Your objective is to get the opposite habit going. Soon your nervous system will start to favour the new, good vocal habit and abandon the old, bad one!

So, go explore the right sensations and keep doing it for 21 days!


In Hark Music, we help the students to de-learn poor habits and cultivate good habits which benefit both talking and singing! This approach works wonders and immediate change can be seen in just 1 lesson. 

If you’re interested to find out more about Hark Music’s THE Vocal Courseclick here! 🙂

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