Speech level singing is a fairly new, but revolutionary technique for singers. Lots of successful performers use it, and you can do it too!
Before getting into this technique, we’ll start by introducing you to a part of your body you might have never before paid attention to, but is absolutely essential for speech level singing: the larynx. It is also commonly known as the “Adam’s Apple.”
Let’s try finding it and feeling how it works to know it better.
Place your hand on your throat. Swallow. Notice the large bump moving below your chin? That’s your larynx. It keeps food from entering your respiratory system, that’s why you felt it go up when you swallowed. Place your hand on your throat again and try yawning this time. Your larynx came down, did you feel it?
The main emphasis in speech level singing is to keep your larynx steady, at “speech level,” as you sing up and down to get the best out of the sound you are making. The trick is keeping it in a low position, but not exaggeratedly low. You want to avoid blocking the air coming out, but not to the extreme of having your larynx stay lower so as to puff the sound up. With your larynx at speech level, you can expect the best from your singing.
Breathing the right way is also essential in Speech Level Singing. This means “diaphragmatic breathing” which, as we have detailed elsewhere on this site, is the how all good singers must breathe. This breathing technique is based on the use of the diaphragm to handle the air you get in and out of your body. By learning how to sing from your diaphragm you will be able to control the flow of air. By doing so, you will prevent the muscles on your throat form straining and also be confident on how much your air will last for doing your long notes.
When using Speech Level Singing the muscles around your diaphragm will perform this regulation process automatically. With relaxed throat muscles, positioning your larynx is easier.
Speech Level Singing is relatively easy to start, but requires practice to master. We recommend hiring a vocal coach or leveraging one of our recommended online singing courses. In particular, Singing Success is well known for taking a speech level approach to its instruction.