How to fix a nasally voice
Let’s face it – nasal singing is pretty unpleasant. A whiny and nasal singing voice tone can totally ruin a great song or even an otherwise great singing voice – so how can we stop nasal singing once and for?
The trick to stop sounding nasally when singing is learning how to control your soft palate, firstly, and then also learning how to ‘place’ your voice correctly. So, nasal ‘resonance’ is actually fantastic for your singing voice, but nasal ‘tone’ is not – and here’s the difference; a nasal voice is caused by air ‘escaping’ through the nose, while a pleasant singing tone is created with the soft palate raised against the entry to the nasal cavities, allowing resonance, but not allowing airflow to be created in the nose.
How to control the soft palate – The soft palate is the fleshy flap at the back of the roof of your mouth, it regulars airflow between your mouth and your nose. You can try it yourself by breathing in through your mouth ONLY (don’t use your fingers to block your nose!), and then breathing in through your NOSE only – can you feel the difference? This is controlling your soft palate. It should be “open” (so, air going into your nose) when you sing resonant consonant sounds like M and N, and it should be “closed” when you sing a vowel Ah/AA/OO/EE/Eh.
Here’s a super simple tutorial video on fixing a nasal singing voice that will show you how to improve your singing tone.
The reason that your voice has been sounding ‘nasal’ isn’t actually to do with resonance in the nasal cavity, it’s actually due to AIR exiting through your nose while you sing! Easy fix, right?
Great tone starts with your foundation
As I always say, great singing starts with your foundation, and a strong foundation starts with your posture, so lets fix that posture and get our voices ready to RESONATE!
- Head up
- Shoulders Back and down
- Chin Parallel with the floor
- Sternum up (ribs out)
This final step or expanding your ribs is sometimes called Appoggio singing technique, and allows YOU to be in control of your breathing via extension of the diaphragm rather than contraction of your ribs pushing out your air like bellows.
Learn to sing with resonance
Learning how to resonate properly with vocal placement is another important skill that takes some times to develop, but really makes the difference between an amateur and a PRO singer. A great way to place your voice is to practice an “N” or “NG” sound and LIMIT the excess frequencies that occur below your top teeth – in essence, ‘placing’ your voice above your teeth.
Placement is that “pleasant” and super confident singing tone you hear in only the BEST singer who has trained their voice and learned to control their frequencies in the right way. The key to singing with placement is taking that same ‘placed’ resonance you feel and hear in your “N” or “NG” and then allowing your vowels to resonate in the same way without forcing the sound.
Shape your vowels
Shaping your vowels goes hand in hand with controlling your soft palate in the correct manner. You don’t actually ‘pronounce’ your vowels when you sing, you actually shape them using your tongue and the width of your vocal tract. For example, an “AH” vowel occurs when you sing with a low and concave tongue and a slightly wide vocal tract, while and EE vowel occurs when the back of your tongue is raised and your vocal tract is somewhat more narrow. Learning how to shape your vowels and tune your resonance with your vocal tract with is a special skill that requires finesse and proper vocal techniques – learn how to tune your vowels today by booking a session with me!
With these simple tips you really can stop sounding nasally when singing, and stop nasal singing for good! Build your foundation first with my complimentary foundations short courses and then you can book a session with me to power up your high range and really let your voice shine!
Feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!!
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.