We all know what it sounds like to sing or speak nasally, like Fran from the Nanny. Sure, it can be funny and endearing for a second or few, but you don't want to be singing and sounding nasal unless you're doing a particular character performance. If that's the case, do the opposite of the five steps below!
Singing without sounding nasal can give you better control of your pitch, vibrato, more clarity in your tone, and better diction for your lyrical delivery. Luckily, it's pretty easy to do as long as you follow these steps below and realize what can be causing you to sound nasal in the first place.
Standing or sitting with poor posture can lead to poor sound quality in your singing or speaking voice. You want your back and neck to be upright, so avoid slouching or being curled up if you are trying to sing without sounding nasal. Standing is the most optimal posture, but sitting upright in your chair with your head centered vertically and horizontally will help you avoid singing nasally.
Lips trills are sometimes referred to as lip rolls, raspberries, lip bubbles, or lip buzzing. This exercise helps put your body adequately positioned for healthy singing and speaking. The air that pushes up from your consistent escaping breath helps you increase your breath support and puts your larynx muscles in a productive and relaxed state, and then the vibrations help relax your tongue and facial muscles.
If you are tense in your throat and mouth, you can be in a clenched position and wind up sounding very nasally when singing. Practice lips trills up and down a scale for a few minutes to relax and avoid any tightness in your throat or tongue.
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Your soft palate is the soft section at the top and back of your throat. Chances are, this is where your tongue is resting against and causing the nasally sound when singing or speaking. Lean into it and exaggerate the effect by joining them together with the audible sound of "NG" over and over. The back of your tongue and your soft palate may feel good together, but you don't want them staying together for long.
Drop your jaw wide, but keep your soft palate touching the back of your tongue. Good singing involves a dropped jaw for clarity of lyrics and tone, so this is a step in the right direction for a healthy position and great-sounding voice. Place the tips of your index fingers right in front of your ear to feel that space that you feel once you open your jaw wide and vertically.
Finally, separate the back of your tongue from your soft palate and feel that open space and airflow hit the back of your throat now that your tongue is not in the way. This, paired with your good posture, relaxed muscles, and dropped jaw, will make for perfect singing placement and will not sound nasal! This is the feeling you want to go for each and every time you sing from now on.
Related Post: How To Get Rid Of Tongue Tension
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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