This is arguably one of the most confusing aspects of singing for a lot of singers. We’ve noticed down the years a lot of the singers we see through our studio haven’t had the inclination to take the time to consider that there even is a difference between Style and Technique. It just never came up.
The thing is it’s pretty important to understand that there is a difference between one and the other. From practice to rehearsal to performance both Style and Technique are two separate things that need to work together and definitely not one and the same!
So what’s the difference?
Well, in song we can use various decorations to our singing, for instance we might use a vocal riff or if we rap we might be more inclined to focus on the beat and flow of a lyric and if we want an operatic or a jazz sound we would do something else. Effectively these styles are the decorations or as we like to say sometimes – Ear Candy! And when they’re well put together… Yum! The technique however is what the decorations make look nice and are used to make a song more palatable to the ear… or not, if you know what I mean!
So for an example: if you were to take any construction, the foundation, the breeze-blocks, the walls, the cement, etc…. how this is constructed is really important to how strong it is and how long it stands for. It’s critical for a building to be able to take a certain amount of weight and to withstand all kinds of weather. You can look at this as the Technique.
In order to make this construction look good we use a variety of different adornments to make it more pleasant to our senses. These adornments will range in everything from paint, to furniture, to utensils, to picture frames, to… you name it! You can look at this as the Style.
So the same thing applies to your voice. In ‘Vocal Construct World’ most of us already have all the tools and equipment to build a house. But if for instance you stack the bricks upward in straight lines, they may stand for a while but only until they stress or somebody knocks them over or they encounter bad weather. The weak construct of this building will be found out one day or another. Think of it, all the ingredients were already there, however its faulty construction meant the structure was weak and it buckled under pressure.
So most of us have the raw material, a larynx, a pharynx, air coming out of our lungs, and a heap of other muscle, cartilage, a soft and hard palate, a tongue, a cavity, lips, etc. But it’s how we construct our sounds that can make or break our singing voice. So it may not matter one jot if you can riff the bejaysus out of a Maria Carey or Christina Aguilera song for a while but if you use poor technique you will unfortunately one day be found out.
This is why we always spend so much time with our singers working on their technique. Without it, a day may very well come when the singing stops. And that would be unfortunate.