You must have heard your music director complain one time too many about blending when singing. This is a cogent phenomenon in group singing. Every voice type must sound like one. No, what am I saying, every voice type must be one. This implies that every singer in a group must understand how to blend when singing in a group.
Princes Banke Ademola, the director of MUSON Diploma School of Music, would always say, in an SATB choir, there are many singers but only 4 voices must be heard. All sopranos must become one voice. All altos too, and likewise for tenors and basses.
What is blending? Vocalcoach.com has explained blending as the result of the coming together of different vocal sounds and styles … in singing, it means combing different and unique vocal sounds into one sound.
Now that we have understood what blending is and its importance, let’s learn how to achieve this, shall we?
To blend your voice with the other voices in the choir or your small ensemble group, here are the tips.
- Sing, don’t scream. Even if the music is fortissimo, there’s not point screaming because this will only block you from taking in the other sounds of the other singers. This brings us to the next rule
- You must listen to other voices. You want to hear other singer and feed off that energy, if you can’t hear the next person to you, my dear singer, you are singing too loudly. This doesn’t mean when the person next to you has a very tiny voice you now stop singing. Try to be smart and balance things out. All in all, try to keep an ear for what the ecosystem of the choir is singing, so you can blend beautifully.
- Uniform mouth shape helps the whole choir to sound alike. This doesn’t mean you should make your vowels muddy and pronounce words funny, however, the general rule of thumb is to drop your jaw (some directors will say make your lips an O shape, other will say make space in your mouth for four fingers). Whatever the case maybe, the aim is to have every member of the choir sound alike, so long you understand this, any method or technique to get it will work.
- Lastly, practice together. If you’re that singer that doesn’t like to attend practice but sing when there’s a performance or service, there a high chance you won’t blend well, because you are not used to the vocal production of the choir. But if you attend rehearsals, you are almost familiar with every other singer’s voice, this will help you feed on their production power and blend like a pro.
I hope this article proves helpful to you, dear singer, and your choir or group and help you to blend when singing. As a bonus tip, when you approach the end of your vocal range, watch it. It is at this point singers tend to sound disorganized and unpalatable when it comes to vocal blend.
I am Music Estate’s Music Director