The power belt—also known as vocal belting—is a style of singing by which a singer works in the upper range of the chest register to blend the resonance of the head voice with the power of the chest voice for a powerful effect. Lari walks through an exercise to help you explore this range in your voice.
- The power belt. Yes. Very powerful tool for any singer, something that's really great to be able to pull out when you're going to deliver a rock and roll song or a country song with a lot of energy and a lot of feist and a lot of emotion. We're going to work the part of our voices that live at the very top of our chest voice, our modal chest voice range and getting up into our head voice and making sure that we do this without straining or damaging our instrument, always keeping a strong mountain pose.
And our base, especially for the power belt, you really get your power from your base stance because you engage muscles all throughout your respiratory system all the way down to your pelvic floor, even your quads, your leg muscles. You want to be nice and strong, keeping your knees from locking. You don't want to have locked knees so that you hyperventilate.
You want to keep your knees slightly bent. And we're just going to do a little bit of play, little bit of exercise with this part of our voices. We're going to listen very carefully and study singers like Barbra Streisand, who has one of the most seamless power belts ever created. Wonderful singer too and study, Celine Dion. For guys delivering a power belt check out Gary LeVox and the band Rascal Flatts.
Adam Levine of course from Maroon 5, Freddy mercury and Queen, and of course, one of my all time favorites, Stevie Wonder. These are all artists who really have mastered that power belt without shredding their instruments. You can hear excellent control, excellent manipulation of their resonance. Where they're really extending their chest voice into their head voice and mixing the resonance from their head voice approach into their chest voice and getting this really powerful energy in these upper register notes, still staying within their chest voice.
That's what we're studying, and that's what we're going for. Keeping your powerful bass stance, being prepared to engage all of your respiratory musculature, all the way down to your pelvic floor, your legs, and always keeping a lot of air freedom where you're inhaling, feeling your ribcage expand and keeping your shoulders and throat and neck relaxed.
You want to feel your air forward in your mask, your tongue forward, not dropping back into your throat. Let's try a few exercises here. Let's listen to this train beat in A. We're going to use that to vocalize a little bit with our power belt just for practice and fun. (mellow instrumental music) ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey We're going to just the hey because that vowel hey keeps us nice and open and keeps our air spinning forward and simulates a little bit of that shout that we naturally have that we can healthfully do.
Hey! And get a lot of power and volume as long as we keep our support here, and I'm just going to lead you in some kind of call and response, shout back and forth on that hey. Okay? Here, play it again Ian. (mellow instrumental music) ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey Let's do it again.
♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey Have a third. ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey ♫ Hey How'd that feel? You have no strain. You should feel no strain, no tightness in your neck and your shoulders. You should feel no fatigue in your throat or your voice, in your voice box, in your vocal chords whatsoever.
That is all well within your modal chest voice, your speaking range, and as along as you're keeping your air forward, you can think about sending that air out through your eyeballs. You should be able to find that fairly easily. Great work on your power belt, and we've got some exercises attached to this lesson so that you can play and practice in this register. We're working on these upper notes of our chest voice, mixing in the resonance of our head voice so that we can comfortably and healthfully work in our power belt tool.
You can work on these exercises in several different keys and start to really develop this muscle memory. Just make sure to keep in mind, always warm-up and never work if something is hurting. If you're uncomfortable or something is painful, make sure you take a break and revisit later. Make sure that you're healthy, but as long as you're approaching it right and you're staying relaxed and you've got enough airflow and you're not grabbing with your throat, you shouldn't feel a lot of fatigue and no pain as you explore and exercise, and developing the muscle memory to work your power belt tool.
Note: This course was recorded and produced by ArtistWorks. We're pleased to host this training in our library.
- The power belt
- Interpreting lyrics
- Working with an accompanist
- Performing with a group of other musicians
- Exploring emotional expression as a singer