Pop songs can be very difficult to sing, because a certain natural air has to be present in the performer’s voice that’s often very difficult to practice and cultivate. Nevertheless, there are some things that potential pop singers can do to improve their method and technique.
Here are a few tips for singers that are looking to explore the realm of pop music.
1. The lyrics need to be clear. This is especially important with pop music, so work on your pronunciation and enunciation. The audience should be able to clearly discern every word of what you say, regardless of the instrumentation or environment where the pop song’s being played. Consider recording yourself and listening back to the recording; this will give you a good idea of how the lyrics sound, and what you need to change to make them more clear and understandable.
2. Vibrato needs to be used properly. Vibrato can be very important in pop music–it can also be completely left out of some songs. When vibrato is used, though, it’s typically at the end of a long, drawn out note. The beginning of the note is solid, then vibrato gradually comes in. Work to make sure that your vibrato sounds pleasant and isn’t too “wide,” that is to say that you don’t go too far from the main note to create the vibrato. Work on using your vibrato at several speeds, and let it come naturally during the pop song.
3. Don’t concentrate too much on your pronunciation. Like many forms of music, pop music works best when it’s very conversational, so don’t worry about perfectly pronouncing everything. If your singing sounds alien at any point, or robotic, just too perfect, the audience will pick up on that and turn off. Be emotional, be a little bit reckless with your singing. You’ll have a better end product.
4. Find what makes you unique. Think of any pop singer at all, and you’ll notice that there’s something about their voice that sets them apart from all of the other pop singers–or else they didn’t last long. Exactly what that is varies from artist to artist, whether it’s Macy Gray’s rasp or Michael Jackson’s fast delivery, but it’s certainly always there. Find what makes your voice unique, rather than focusing on why a certain pop singer sounds good, and use that in your music. A unique voice is far more valuable than a good voice that simply sounds like everyone else.
Do you have any other tips for singing pop songs? Post them in the comments section below.