Vocal Exercises

The Belt Voice

I do a lot of work with musical theatre singers, and this is the ULTIMATE goal…Belting like a BOSS! The problem is that most of them don’t want to go through the steps it takes to make sure they can belt in a healthy way and they end up…well…screaming.

Why won’t my teacher let me belt?

There are a couple of reasons why your voice teacher might be resisting when you ask to learn about belting.

  1. They don’t believe you are strong enough or prepared to handle the physical activity. They might be right! Ya’ gotta crawl before you walk! I would suggest talking to your teacher and make a plan setting goals. Once you know what you need to do, the ball is in your court! You will be the only person stanging in your way.
  2. They might be a great teacher, but might not know or understand how the mechanism of your voice needs to be used to create a healthy sound.
  3. They might be of the school of thought that believes belting is evil and is merely screaming. Until somewhat recently, this was what classicaly trained singers and teacher were taught. Luckily, the times, they are a-changin’ and there are now teacher training programs that will help singers learn to belt and teachers learn how to teach it!

The Steps to Healthy Belting

Are there people who can naturally belt without any training and no vocal issues? Of course, but you can’t fight science! Some people are lucky enough to have a natural belt. These people are very special unicorns. The rest of us need to work at it. Suck it up buttercup and let’s get at it!

STEP 1: Breath Support – You HAVE to have a strong support system in your breathing. That is where the power comes from. Without strong breath support, you are yelling. DON’T YELL!!!!

STEP 2: The Head Voice – You are going to want to be able to reach high notes when you belt. Not every belt song stays below a B5 and that tends to be the magic note. Anything above it without the ability to access power from your head voice and…you guessed it, you are yelling. DON’T YELL!!!! It will take a little while and some work on your part, but you need to have a strong head voice. You might not have to sing high soprano notes, but if you can’t sing an F5 in your head voice, you won’t be able to belt it either. #facts

STEP 3: Finding the Buzz in Your Mask – The combination of breath support, space and strength in your head voice, and the ability to place that sound in your mask will give you what you need to be able to begin working in your belt voice. You can use the exercise featured in the video below to help you get that buzz going.