The nasally sound is whiny and unpleasant. It’s quite acceptable if you are a country singer. It is a big no-no if you are singing pop, rap, choir and other contemporary songs.
Artists with a nasal tone are not able to blend easily with choirs, and their voice sounds more muted. The nasal sound is normally caused by a soft palate that is not lifted properly. The palate is a soft tissue found on the roof of your mouth, and it lifts up to create a ringing sound that produces a good voice. If your palate doesn’t lift up, your voice becomes nasal. Nasally is caused by air coming throughout the nose due to limited space at the back of your throat.
Even though some songs and singing styles (especially singing country songs) go well with nasality, it’s not always a good sound to hear. If you have a nasal sound, it’s probably because your palate is too low to block air passing through the nasal cavity. People affected by this condition can easily correct it using some few tricks and tips.
Nasal singing is a common vocal roadblock that affects many singers across the world. The condition can be reversed with vocal practice and oral exercises that help to lift the palate of the throat.
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Causes of Nasal Sound
Nasality is caused by several vocal conditions that distort good vocal resonance. Lowering of the soft palate is one of the main causes of Nasality.
The soft palate is located inside your mouth near the hard palate and behind your teeth. It is the part that you normally see when you yawn. If you want to check your palate, stand in front of a mirror, open your mouth and you will see it in the back area of your mouth.
A singer with a nasal tone is usually affected by the nasal cavity that produces a thinner and whiner tone that lacks clarity.
If you want to know whether you are nasal, check yourself whether you have a tight nasal passage that is squeezing the muscles behind your nose. Sometimes nasality occurs as a result of lack of “appropriate vocal adduction.” When we say “appropriate” we mean just enough and not too much.
How to Check Whether You Have a Nasal Sound?
There are various ways that you can check whether you are a nasal singer. One of the best and the most effective way of determining your voice quality is selecting different song phases and singing them in a way that you don’t strain your mouth.
You can pick one of your favorite songs and sing part of it while holding your nose. If you have a resonant balanced sound, your voice won’t change, and you will be able to sing well while still holding your nose, but if your voice changes, it’s very obvious that you have a nasal sound.
Another way that you can check your nasality is by pinching your mouth and speaking some phrases. If your voice is nasal, you will eventually feel a vibration in your fingers. If you are confused by what you are feeling, try to sing and then speak while pinching your nose, you will be able to identify the main difference that will help you to gauge yourself.
The video tutorial below explains the nature of nasality voice in singing and the concept of nasal resonance in the voice projection while you sing. And it also shows you the very straight forward method to check whether you have the problems of the nasal voice while you sing.
How To Not Sing Nasally and Correct It Permanently
1) Lift Your Palate
When you look at the back part of your mouth, you will see the soft palate. This area is the softest part of your mouth, and it holds the uvula. When you touch your tongue, the palate will move up and down. The palate normally moves when you eat, speak, yawn and anytime you use your mouth. If you want to prevent singing through your nose, learn how to control your voice by lifting your soft palate.
Another way that can help you improve your voice is by doing several half yawns a day. When you do this, you will notice that the soft palate is lifted in a way that can be controlled. Practicing this on a daily routine will enable you to familiarize with the feeling of lifting your soft palate.
2) Jaw/ Mouth Posture
One of the most common problems most nasal singers have is the thrusting forward of the jaw. This condition encourages backward pulling of the tongue, making the singer drive his voice towards the nasal port. When voice is drawn back without enough opening at the back of the throat, it will sound nasal and unpleasant.
After every consonant, the jaw should always wrap back. Any forward thrusting of the jaws creates a bright sound inside a singer’s internal hearing, promoting nasal sounds. If you want to stop this annoying habit, just watch some music videos of professional singers and notice how they move their jaws.
3) Correct Your Breathing
If you sound nasal, one of the most critical aspects that you should look forward to is to study your breathing while singing. Majority of the singers that sound nasal are always holding their breath. I am going to show you with an example of how this happens. If you can learn how to train your breath, you will be able to control your voice in a better way.
The ability to lock airflow with the back part of the tongue is a critical issue that is rarely discussed. When teaching nasal singers how to correct their voice, I have not seen anyone not locking his or her breath flow with the root of the tongue. This condition normally happens because the singer is highly focused on creating an internal sound that will sound good. If you find yourself doing this, make sure that it does not translate to your audience.
The following exercises can help a nasal singer to release the force of his tongue and make low breathing possible. A good way that can help someone achieve a low breath is to place your tongue in between your lips and taking a nasal breath in the slower pace. This exercise helps the tongue not to bunch or pull back at inhalation by simply dropping the singing breath much lower.
4) Reposition Your Tongue While Singing
Another great way that can help you to stop nasal singing is learning how to reposition the tongue while singing. This is one of the hardest things to control but with several exercises and practice, you can stop this bad habit of singing with a high tongue. To overcome this situation try the following exercise, hold your jaw down and try to tip your tongue in a way that it touches your low lip, and then pronounce this sound “gah.” When you say this sound several times, you will notice that the “G” makes the tongue go so high while the ‘AH’ drops it down. If you are a nasal singer, the “Ah” won’t drop that much and will remain in the high position.
Singing is just a way of speaking on pitch. If you just started your musical career, try singing with a natural voice, just like you speak and your voice will come together with time. I hope the tips and advice I suggested above has helped you to understand the whole concepts and problems of singing in nasality and how you can sing without sounding too nasal.