Belting - The sound from within

Belting - Country Music Fame

Belting

What it is...and what it is not....!

"The equipment that counts on these types of belting processes will not function properly without learning how to do it correctly".

The industrial machines that require belting will not operate, or perform at its desired speeds or function without having a trained technician to install or repair the belts when they break down. Then also imagine, how difficult it would be without having a belt around your waist to hold up your pants? No matter if you are fat or skinny, you need to wear a belt. Though I think the rules do not apply to plumbers. I think they are exempt from wearing belts. However, maybe they should. Now, that is a mental image, we could do without. However, you get my point. All three processes of belting are necessary for their appropriate application.

The one process of belting that I didn’t mention as of yet, is what is used in the vocal process. This article will discuss vocal belting in detail. In addition we will cover why it is so important to develop this technique correctly. From the perspective of singing, is belting required in order to sing a song? No, no it isn’t. Just like putting on a belt with a pair of pants is not required in order to wear pants. However, in order to enjoy wearing the pants, or singing a song correctly, the process of belting is necessary.

Vocal belting can be defined as a specific technique of singing by which a singer brings their chest register above its natural passaggio (break) at a loud volume; instead, an alternative production is developed, often described and felt as supported and sustained yelling.

Belting – The vocal process

Female singer singing on vintage microphone

Vocal Process

"That requires caution, and should only be taught by a teacher who is a belt expert".

 So to this point, we have discussed that belting is part of the vocal process. Now, we need to zero in on what this vocal process is, and what it isn’t. There are some misconceptions on how to go about “belting”. Often times, singers are familiar with belting, but haven’t been taught correctly by their vocal coach. It is also a possibility that the singer did some research on their own and came up with a process that is totally incorrect. When belting is attempted using the wrong portion of the body, this could lead to unnecessary strain on the vocal cords. At the very least, if belting is done incorrectly, it will lead to an undesired result. What comes out of your mouth will not be the sound of hummingbirds. It will sound more like a rooster, at the crack of dawn.

If you lived on a farm and even in some rural areas you know what truly know what that sounds like. The impact that a rooster makes on you that early in the morning, is to say the least annoying and frightening. So, if you are singing without the vocal process of belting, you could be sounding like a rooster to people hearing your music.

Ok, its time to be serious. No one wants to sound like a rooster, or make their audience uncomfortable. So learning how to belt correctly is going to be very important to you. Especially as you become more focused on becoming a professional singer.

Ask yourself: Do I need belting explained to me?

Well, If you think:

"I push my chest voice up to belt".
"I need more breath for belting".
"I have to belt the whole song".

Maybe you think the following:

"I use a jutting head position because it’s about yelling at someone”.
"I need “toilet” muscles because I have to press down to support that noise”.
"I'll add twang to my classical vocal setup because belting is like a loud head voice”.

If you are honest to yourself, and admit to believing any of the above statements, then yes, you need belting explained to you. That said, let’s continue in discussing the vocal process of belting. While we won’t explain the entire process of belting in this one article, we will give you an overview. There will be more articles written on this very topic. Therefore, it will give you a good reason to continue following our blog posts. Belting - it comes from within. So we have highlighted the misconceptions of the belting process. If you had a misconception of belting, do not be too hard on yourself. There are those who felt the same way. Not surprisingly, you do not here those same people singing professionally.

Now, I can guarantee that you will here them at your local pub, or at your favorite place for Karaoke! Where you won’t see them, is on a stage for music professionals. Where does belting come from, and how do I find it? Simple answer: “It comes from within”. No, I am not going to talk to you about getting in touch with your spiritual personality. Though, many people find spirituality to be an important factor in being able to belt. There is no doubt, that spirituality brings out some very deep emotions and feelings within a singer. However, when I mention that “it comes from within” I am referring to your “chest register”. As mentioned, belting does come from your chest register. But the lowest part of the chest register. It is produced by the dominant use of the thyroarytenoid muscle.

Sometimes belting can be described as using the highest chest voice in the higher part of the voice, how this isn’t accurate.  There are varying techniques that a singer needs to develop during the vocal process of belting. Let me also CAUTION you. Since belting “can be” harsh on the vocal mechanism, it is extremely important that special care is taken while, learning to belt. That is why it should be done with supervision by a teacher experienced in working with belters, in order to avoid developing lifelong pathologies that could be otherwise avoided. Any singer would want to consider two factors: physiology and physical limitations. This is where a vocal teacher would help you understand what your limitation would be. They could provide suggestions, and other techniques that may help you get the most from your vocals, using your chest register. Which is the lowest register of the singing voice.  It’s my opinion:It is important for me to keep each article as brief as possible. However, I need to highlight certain part of the topic that will allow me to provide a follow up article to the topic.

There is plenty of information available to speak about the subject of “belting”. Such as technique and teaching methods. Which will be covered in our next blog post. What have we learned from this post on “belting” is that you are going to sound like a rooster, if you do not learn how to belt. Well, that might be an exaggeration. There are singers, that do not belt that have found other ways to get the most out of their vocals.

However, one thing is not an exaggeration, and that is the damage that you can do to your voice, if you do not learn how to use your belt vocals properly. Do not research belting on the internet to become an effective belter. Use it as a guide, to know what belting is all about. The best approach as mentioned, is to hire a qualitied teacher, so you can get the best quality out of your belting, and to avoid injury.