• Michelle Ostrove

How To Add Texture To Your Voice!

Texture in a voice refers to different characteristics in your vocal sound. A singer can have a smooth, rough, soft, hard, raspy or light and airy sound. To add texture to your voice you need additional techniques that you pull out of your vocal goodie bag and apply them to a song.

First, you always want to sing with raw emotion and most singers sing with a balanced onset. The coordinated and balanced onset produces an easy sound that does not seem constricted or forced (Read blog 10/8/20 “Creating A Healthy Singing Voice). A singer should be able to sing a song the way they feel the song.

To add texture, you can use a quieter, more subdued sound and add some breathiness in your singing. The breathy sound, like Marilyn Monroe, which is called aspirate onset. This is a soft, airy and light sound (Read blog 10/9/20 “Creating A Breathy Sound!”). Christina Aguilara has a breathy and somewhat nasal sound when she sings part of the chorus of “Genie In A Bottle.” It’s a more condensed sound.

Another texture would be the growl, which is an aggressive statement. Christina Aguilera uses the growl in her song “Fighter” right at the beginning with “Well I” (thought I knew you). Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and many others use the growl (Read blog 10/7/20 “Vocal Fry – The Sexy Growl”).

If the song is delicate in nature, use a haunting sound like Alan Walker in the song “Faded.” If you listen to Titanium featuring Sia, right in the first verse you can hear lots of texture evoking emotion with a vocal quivers, whispers, slight groan, some breathiness, and a bend in pitch almost a break or drop in the note at the end of phrases. Country singers use this technique quite a bit. She also adds a little vibrato (which adds texture) in different places to build the emotional feeling (Read blog 3/19/21 “Add A Little Pizzazz To Your Singing Voice”).

All of the above textures need to be properly executed when you singing a song. If they are not done correctly, you can damage your vocal cords. How do you know if you are doing it incorrectly? You will feel it in your throat. So contact a professional vocal coach and learn how to master these techniques the correct way. Listen to Audrey Diaz sing "Valerie" with lots of texture in her voice!


Want to hear the joke about a staccato? Never mind, it’s too short.

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