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Am i belting or singing?

kingchristiankingchristian Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 24
Hello All,
Today i discovered something new in my voice. I started to change my singing habits because i realized that i kept having too much discomfort on my neck when i sing high (starting around F4-C5). To fix this i decided to rotate my head in a circle while i sing, to release any tension on my neck. And it helped! it was so weird because i was able to sing the high notes with ease and no strain, although there were a few cracks on my voice, possibly due to growing strength? However, when i sing these high notes (f4-C5) they sound very strong and loud. I don't know if this is singing or i am just belting. is there a difference? How do i determine if i singing with too power from my diaphragm or if i am just belting? Thank you!


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    When you sing loudly, that is more of a belting sound than a pure singing sound. Belting requires a lot of diaphragmatic support, opposing the rise of the diaphragm, and therefore helping to cut back the volume of air and sound that is being produced. It is important to govern the volume and keep it in check, rather than letting go and blasting notes out.

    Your improvement in singing when releasing tension from your neck is likely more a function of removing tension. There are lots of ways to relieve tension that don't involve moving your head and neck around when singing. This could actually cause some restriction in the trachea/larynx.

    It's always good to find more relaxation and relief from tension when singing, but not necessarily by adding movements.

    Be careful and avoid oversinging.
  • kingchristiankingchristian Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 24
    thanks bob. but what is the difference in singing? is it just volume? I forgot to mention that i dont always rotate my head, only did it to release tension and then sang without it. and i heard we should not sing by using the throat muscles. maybe i could just be singing to loud?
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    The muscles in the neck are constrictor muscles and their purpose is to help you swallow food. They don't do anything to help you sing, so if you have tension in the neck when you sing, it's from a misplaced concept that those swallowing muscles are helping you to sing higher. That is not true.

    The muscles within your larynx that do help you sing are very tiny, and tensing the constrictor muscles does nothing to help them. So you might as well relax the constrictors, because tensing them does interfere with being able to sing well.

    Belting is a louder kind of singing, and it stems from olden days before microphones and sound systems were in use. It does have a very bold sound, and so it has found its way into popular music as a tonal and dynamic choice.

    KTVA teaches you several ways of using support to mitigate the impact of belting on the voice, so that you aren't hitting the vocal cords with as much air impact. You learn to cut back the air in KTVA. First you have to get the basics of the voice down, then you learn to throttle it back and govern the volume, while still getting the "effect" of the sound of belting... only at a lower, safer volume.

    Belting tends to use the "call voice" in the upper midrange part of the voice. When we stretch chest, we are accessing that part of the voice. We just have to do it gently to avoid oversinging while gently stretching the voice.

    The use of diaphragmatic support to achieve belting is probably where the term "belt" originated. Because you power the sound from the abdominal area. But we have to learn to mitigate that power and control it at reasonable levels that are more healthy for long-term singing.
  • kingchristiankingchristian Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 24
    thanks for the reply! :)
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