Belting is ubiquitous these days with popular singing styles. The Voice. American Idol. The X Factor. All manner of singing award shows even including those for a capella groups feature belting. What is belting? Loud, impressive, dramatic, emotional, expressive singing that tends to be higher in your register. Let's look at some myths about belting singing styles that cause concern among singers and voice teachers alike.
Myth #1: Do I have to learn how to belt to be a really good singer?
No. Plenty of the most esteemed artists never belt at all. Because belting is very dramatic, it works well with songs that are large, emotional, passionate. Songs that are more subtle, chill, gentle, relaxed and so on wouldn't be as likely to use belting.
Myth #2: Belting will harm my voice.
It can, if you push your voice or fail to warm up adequately. Lots of singing styles can be harmful if you're not smart about it. But that doesn't mean that belting will always harm your voice. Some teachers believe it's always going to "ruin your voice" and that's just false.
Myth #3: Belting always uses your chest voice to achieve its power and drama
While this is true a lot of the time, it's not 100%. Using a mix voice is a very effective way to get a bright, forward and dramatic sound with much less force in the voice. In fact, mix voice is one of the important tools to use so you don't harm yourself.
Myth #4: When I belt, my voice is ugly
Belting is not bel canto, the Italian vocal pedagogical term for beautiful singing. Belting is not intended to be beautiful. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yes? Emotion, expression, singing that touches and moves other people—that is beautiful, too. So let go of self-deprecating thinking, work hard on your technique, and focus less on how you think you sound, and more on what you want to say when you sing.
Don't forget to check out my book, Belting: A Guide to Powerful, Healthy Singing which has a rich array of exercises, anatomy, healthy tips, and a whole lot more. It's available at all bookseller outlets.