What is “vocal timbre“?
Vocal timbre is the color and quality of your voice. Everyone has their own natural sound that is distinct to themselves. Some people’s voices are more distinctive then others. For example Amy Winehouse. The minute she opens her mouth you know that can only be her voice- dark, bluesy, thick sound. Having a distinctive vocal timbre sets you apart from the crowd. It is what can take a soprano out of a choir and into a solo.
It is important to be true to your own sound.
Often we find ourselves imitating our influences. So whether it is Brittany Spears nasel grovel, Maria Callas’s dark maturity or Frank Sinatra’s bright speak, watch that you learn from your favorites rather than imitate them. Those voices all ready exist, are recognizable, and face it- we probably can’t top them. So find your own sound unless you are looking for a future in impersonations.
How do I find my own sound and timbre?
Well of course a great teacher would be optimal to help you this. On your own, it is important to sing to accompaniment without singing along with other voices. For example on my Voice Lessons CDs- Voice Lessons TO GO- The second part of both volume 3 and volume 4 are just piano accompaniment so that you can sing alone to them- hearing and developing just your sound.
If you do karaoke, turn down the sample voices and sing just to the music. Sing alone to your guitar or work with a piano coach who will play for you. You need to practice singing through pieces without any other vocal influences. Find what feels natural, don’t make any fake voices.
Can I effect or change my vocal timbre?
The answer is yes, and there is room for effect and influence to a point. As long as you keep it natural. For example- renaissance music requires a straighter lighter tone which you can evolve through practice. That same voice, can thicken up of opera or brighten for musical theater. You will find often though that our voices seem to be better suited for specific sounds and timbres. For example you may have the ability to sing ingenue classical soprano music but yet when you open your mouth and sing a Disney balled you bring chills to those who hear you.
Find your sound through trial error, and of course a lot of practice!
http://voicelessonstogo.com/ volumes 1-4 and author of Vocalize!