A Matter of Style

By: Gordon Lee


There are numerous styles of music to choose from when deciding what you want to sing, so where do you begin. Maybe you already know the style for you. Maybe you grew up listening to the blues greats. Maybe you desire opera, or the rich sounds of jazz, or maybe you haven't identified your niche yet. If you are on the road to a professional career in singing then it may be beneficial to examine the different music styles available, such as jazz, pop, rock, R&B, cabaret, theater, or opera.

Jazz is great for those who have a more narrow vocal range as it can be sung in any key. It has an extensive repertoire of songs so there are lots from which to choose. You can really get into the nuances of the meaning of the words and phrases and have fun expressing yourself. However, it is a tough market to break into. Blues and R&B are similar to jazz and can lead into folk music. They are also great for exploring what can be done with harmony when you sing with a group.

Pop and rock are very similar. They are far easier to break into than jazz and the performing opportunities are wide open. You can join a band or form your own or team up with one or two other musicians and play parties, weddings, and singing competitions. Unfortunately, your looks and image are as important as your singing ability, so in the end you may not be musically challenged enough or satisfied. Another disadvantage with rock singing is that it is very hard on your vocal cords because most singers and bands play at a high volume.

Cabaret singing is more a matter of where you sing and performance style than the type of music itself. Jazz, R&B, pop, rock, and show tunes can all fall into this category. Clubs, nightclubs, television, restaurants are all potential performance venues.

Theatre singing and opera are much more involved and take years of training. Singing in the theater is very artistically fulfilling and the expansion of vocal skills can be phenomenal. It is very technically difficult and, although there are many performance opportunities for both amateurs and professionals, it is a very competitive field.

Opera is even more limited, and the opportunities are primarily for professionals the technical mastery needed is significant as is the ability to read music and master pronunciation of English, German, French, and Italian. It is also very competitive, so you need to be very certain your passion is strong before considering the operatic journey.

These are the most common styles of music to choose from, but there are many others that are very enticing. These include children's music, Celtic, country, bluegrass, or a Latino flavor. So, think about it, feel it out with your heart, soul, and body, and experiment with some of the different styles to find out what resonates with you.

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Gordon Lee's passion for singing led him to explore various different singing styles - but nothing beats singing the blues. Find out how you can learn how to sing better at www.learn-singing.com

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