Ever watched Beyonce on youtube (or live!) or heard her on the radio and wonder to yourself “How does she do it?” and “How does she make it look so easy?”
The truth is, it’s a question I’ve asked many times. So I’ve done some analysis and I’m going to share with you 7 distinct qualities about her voice and how you can do something small everyday to achieve a great voice like hers.
1. Light & shade
Beyonce sings with beautiful light and shade. That means, she alternates between vocal registers, volumes and intensity. This gives her songs much of a story-telling quality – luring us in as the audience and capturing our hearts.
Tip: Pick a song you love and play around with the light and shade of it. Sing it differently to the way you normally do. Try using your head voice where you’d normally use your chest voice and vice versa. Study the words and experiment with how different levels of vocal intensity or volume affect how the story is told
2. Riffs & runs
It’s no secret that Beyonce has a huge arsenal of notes up her sleeve where she seems to just pull out and impress the hell out of everyone. This takes both vocal flexibility and sensitivity. She riffs enough for you to enjoy but doesn’t over do it for the sake of showing off her vocal acrobatics
Tip: Practice vocal scales for 15 mins everyday to keep your voice fit, healthy & flexible. (Keep reading down to Tip 7 to find an effective vocal workout I’ve prepared that you can use to do this) Then practice singing something OTHER than the melody on a song to train your ear to ad-lib effortlessly. Just play around and do it often. You will build confidence as you do it more and more
If you listen carefully, on some of her songs Beyonce will often add a bit of a vocal ‘grunt’ on the ends of some of the phrases or at the beginning of certain vowels. This adds edginess and a strength dimension to her voice.
Tip: Try adding a bit of a grunt to your own singing on the ends of phrases where appropriate. You do this by starting the sensation of clearing your throat on the note you want to add some grunt on. Takes a bit of experimenting. Make sure you breathe deeply to support it
Once again, Beyonce uses this so appropriately without over-doing it. She puts it mainly at the ends of phrases rather than singing a whole line with heaps of vibrato.
Tip: Watch my video on “How to sing with vibrato” & learn how to produce a healthy vibrato, then try it out on your songs
5. Strength and support
I don’t think anyone would argue with me about the fact that Beyonce has a very strong voice! Well she doesn’t do this without proper support. Beyonce may have been born with a gift to sing, but she also uses a great foundation of breathing technique.
Tip: Watch my video “How to breathe effectively for great singing” and practice the technique for 30 seconds every night before going to sleep. Then try to employ this deep breathing every time you breathe in to sing
6. Emotional expression and interpretation
From her upbeat “Love on top” to her deeply heartfelt “Listen”, Beyonce is the queen of interpretation. She never sings any song the same and really puts her heart and soul into each lyric. It’s not just about an impressive vocal for Beyonce, it’s about moving people and sharing a gift
Tip: Pick 2 different songs. One heartfelt and one more light-hearted. Sing each one with the intention of expressing the emotion the song should convey. Notice how that changes the way you hold notes, use dynamics, intensity & your facial expression and body language.
7. Training and practice
At the end of the day, having a voice as technically strong and emotionally alluring as Beyonce does not happen overnight. It takes hard work and determination. Yes, that means training everyday. Just like an athlete would train everyday to keep themselves at the top of their game. The Vocal athlete who seriously wants to be the best singer they can be also trains everyday to keep at the top of their game.