Vocal Dynamics: Definition of Singing Dynamics + 5 Tips
How to enhance your vocal ability with vocal dynamics
Vocal dynamics in singing: You must never underestimate the importance of using various vocal dynamics to enhance your performance. Singing dynamics are a tool that all artists can use to bring a performance alive, convey emotion and prevent their performance from being static.
There are many ways to incorporate vocal dynamics into your performance, from simple things such as increasing volume and varied harmonies to changing phrases and delivery.
Vocal dynamics definition
Firstly, let’s start with what it means; the definition of vocal dynamics derives from the Greek word “dynamo”. This translates as “power”. In musical terms, we use define vocal dynamics in singing as being the volume of the voice. This can relate to the variation between notes.
For professional singers, how well they use dynamics to improve their voice and performance is a matter of control. A microphone will only get you so far, as the most skilled singers in the world are able to project their voice across a room without the need for amplification.
5 Tips for Vocal Dynamics in Singing
1. Increase or decrease volume
This is when dynamic singers can use to help the emotion from the song come across during their performance. Many singers choose to increase the volume in their vocals when they hit the most emotional part of the song, but also consider decreasing the volume at certain points as it emphasises the parts where you increase the volume.
The key here is to vary your volume throughout the song and change up your vocal dynamics.
2. Articulate through characterisation
If you’re singing a happy part of the song, try to reflect that in your vocal dynamics. Although it may not necessarily fit with the song as a whole, it will give an extra dynamic to your performance.
3. Change vowel shape
It can often be difficult to find ways to make your song stand out. Changing vowel shape can be a subtle way to do this. A good example is pronouncing ‘me’ as ‘may’ in an appropriate song; this can subtly add something unique to the performance and make your vocal dynamics distinctive.
Vocal Dynamics for Singers
4. Add silence/rests
Of course during your performance you want to be singing for most of it, but sometimes adding silences or rests makes the following vocals sound more impressive and adds more drama to your vocal dynamics and performance.
Extending a phrase rather than keeping it short and taking a breath can often provide a new dynamic to the performance and can help to show off your vocals.
It’s not necessary to try to use all of these vocal dynamics in one performance; if you try to use all of them you risk the performance sounding too messy.
However, it’s important to develop the use of dynamics throughout your performance. Singing the verse and the chorus in the same way throughout the song is just going to become repetitive, so you must look to add some dynamics to avoid the performance being just a loop of the first verse and chorus, which can become quite dull and boring.
It’s important to remember that not all of these vocal dynamics will be suitable for every singer’s style of vocal. It’s wise to know which ones suit your vocals and which ones don’t work for your vocal.
One of the best examples of vocal dynamics and a creative cover is Hannah Reid from the band London Grammar: