At S&C Music, we love to teach our students a variety of singing styles. Whether you want to focus on a particular genre or mix it up to explore different techniques, our vocal coaches are well-versed in a broad range of musical styles and characteristics. We love how diverse and unique they are and how they bring out interesting qualities in our voice. You may also find that some genres feel easier for you to sing depending on your natural tone, as you begin your singing lessons for adults. Let’s take a look at 6 popular singing styles and techniques that we teach and appreciate the characteristics that make them so unique!
Pop incorporates a broad range of styles and techniques, from big and belty pop ballads by Demi Lovato and Lizzo to the more subtle, whisper pop songs by Lana Del Rey and Billie Eilish. It’s important to note that pop or ‘popular music’ often incorporates multiple genres that are popular at a certain time, for example, rock, hip hop and others. In this case, however, we are focusing on pop singing style.
The good news is that pop suits a variety of vocals and pop songs can be easily adapted to highlight the best qualities of your voice. Emotional and lyrical content plays an important role, so your diction must be on point. The way you communicate your story to an audience through vocal expression, enunciation, facial expressions, stage presence and even dance moves and visuals has always been the main focus. That’s what makes pop so easy to connect with.
Depending on your personal goals and unique vocal qualities, you can expect to go from speech register, softly spoken vocals to emotive vibratos and complex, Ariana Grande-esque vocal runs. It’s definitely a fun genre to learn and it’s very accessible due to its widespread popularity that familiarises us with pop before we even begin singing lessons for adults.
Just like pop, rock focuses on emotion and lyrical content, however, it is much more high energy and can be one of the most physically and emotionally demanding genres to perform. If you’ve ever been to a rock concert, you’ll be familiar with the confidence and boisterousness of rock vocalists. They are belting, screaming, jumping around, engaging with the crowd – it’s a lot! If you are a pop vocalist looking to venture into a rock sound, P!nk is a great inspiration to follow as she seamlessly blends the two.
To achieve that classic raspy voice, you will really need to work on your breath. That kind of power must come from your diaphragm, not the throat, otherwise you risk vocal damage. You should also focus on your mixed voice, where you’ll combine the power of your chest voice with the resonance of your head voice. Vocal fry is another technique you will get to practice, which is a healthy way to achieve that infectious, husky sound of a rock singer. The way you approach the note is also important. You will learn to start the notes with more unhinged power and work on increasing your volume to keep up with those blaring guitars and heavy rhythms.
Musical theatre is more about acting than any other genre. In this popular singing style, the song is an extension of the scene, so you need to think about acting through song rather than simply singing.
Artists often do countless shows, night after night, so maintaining your vocal health is going to be especially crucial in this genre. Musical theatre is such a broad singing style, so if you’ve always wanted to learn, there will be a repertoire that suits your unique vocal and range. This genre is a great choice, as it combines so many techniques from belting to growling, to spoken word and everything in between.
As an actor, you will need to focus on your diction to ensure the speech and singing are clear to the audience and the lyrical content is well understood. If musical theatre is your goal, you’ll need to work on your stage presence and acting skills to truly succeed in the genre, as well as developing a powerful and dexterous singing voice. You’ll need to incorporate healthy singing habits to maintain and develop your vocals further in the safest way possible.
We often think of classical as one of the most difficult and restrictive styles of singing, but if you really listen to classical singers, you will notice the opposite. They are using uncontrolled vibrato, which requires total emotional release and freedom. It is quite different to most other singing styles, due to lack of audience engagement. In fact, when we listen to an opera singer perform, it is similar to admiring a beautiful painting from afar.
Emotion is still important in classical singing, however, it’s conveyed more subtly. You will rarely see an opera singer jumping around on stage or conversing with the audience, yet the emotion with which they sing still echoes through the crowd. If you feel inspired to learn classical, remember to take it easy on yourself. Developing that characteristic, unrestricted vibrato can take a while as you need to release all the tension, and, naturally, we feel the need to control our voice. Lean into how freeing this genre of music really is and, with hard work and patience, you will tap into the greatness of classical singing.
Jazz is one of the most complex popular singing styles due to its use of advanced music theory. It employs unconventional harmonies, rhythms and song structure and it relies heavily on improvisation, so you will need to be confident enough to do so.
This is a fantastic genre to help you advance as a musician, as well as a vocalist. It’ll be a great exercise for your pitch, harmonies and open a world of musical possibilities you may not have considered in a classical or pop background. Jazz has such a great range of dynamics too, from sultry whispery tones to husky, captivating belts. You will learn a range of different scales and complex chords, while developing your sense of rhythm to get that swing and sing along to off-beat drum patterns. As a budding jazz vocalist, we would recommend you also learn music theory and an instrument like piano or guitar alongside your singing lessons for adults. This way, you will begin to understand jazz music theory much easier as you can visualise it on an external instrument.
Last but by no means least, the predecessor of many of our beloved genres! Blues set the foundations for rock’n’roll, jazz and has a great influence on the music we listen to today. Blues is lyrical and allows us to tap into our raw emotion, without oversaturating the music. It is characterised by microtonal pitch inflections, syncopated rhythms and melisma, which is a vocal technique for sustaining a syllable across several pitches.
You will often use the blues scale, which is a six-note scale typically employed in vocal runs and instrumental arrangements. Blues also features its signature 12-bar form and AAB song structure. It’s a great genre to choose as it allows vocalists to express their emotion and it has room for imperfections, as long as they work well with the song. It’s all about capturing that raw performance that creates connection with your audience.
Learn any of these popular singing styles with us!
So, which style of music have you always wanted to learn? We have singing courses to teach you each of the above techniques and so much more! We specialise in singing lessons for adults and we are committed to creating an encouraging and professional environment, personalising the lessons to let your voice shine. Our expert vocal coaches at S&C Music are committed to helping you achieve your goals, exceed your own expectations, grow your confidence while learning proper technique and maintaining your vocal health. Contact us today to find out more!