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Vocal fry is not merely a vocal effect that a singer produces in their singing performance. In fact, it’s one of the singing techniques that a singer can use to improve the voice culture and feel of the song.
What Is Vocal Fry In Singing?
Vocal fry is a technique of voice projection using the lowest register of tone that will produce more deep, breathy and creaky sound while you speak or sing.
Let’s take a look at the mechanism behind it; your vocal cords will be closed and opened automatically at varying speed when you speak to create vibrations when air passed through the vocal cords. And this process is also called “vocal cord closure.
When you apply vocal fry in your voice, the vibration frequency and the vocal cord closure is so slow to the extent that the “fry” or vibrating creaky voice projected can be clearly noticeable.
Vocal fry register singing, which is also referred to as pulse phonation, creak, pulse register, glottal fry, laryngealiation, strohbass, glottal scrape or glottal rattle. It happens to be the lowest vocal register, and it is produced by a slack glottal closure that allows air to flow through with a rattling or popping sound which has a low frequency.
The average basic frequency of the vibration through the vocal fry register is approximately 36.4 Hertz. On the other hand, the lowest area of this register could stretch in certain instances to about 20 to 50 pulses in a second. This is approximately 2 octaves lower than the bottom area of the nominal voice or modal voice register. Just like any particular vocal register, vocal fry register singing has a distinct pattern of vibration for the vocal folds as well as some pitches with a particular sound that is unique from other voice registers.
Vocal Fry Examples
Test Your Voice To Learn How Is The Vocal Fry Works
It is crucial to know exactly how the vocal cords work when you use vocal fry technique in singing.
The vocal fry register singing technique is the preliminary vibration of vocal cords. When you send a little air to the vocal cords, they start to pulsate gently. If the air pressure is increased, you are able to get an entire tone easily.
Therefore it is evident that not much air is required to execute vocal fry register singing.
Vocal fry happens to be the initial sound that you emit the moment you get up. Your right, the one that goes “AHHHH!”.
Say “Ahhhh” using the least amount of air, and by little I mean the least. You are will hardly hear a sound at all. However, the sound that will come out.
Should You Use Vocal Fry?
Should you use vocal fry while singing? Well, it depends on what is voice culture and singing style you wanted to present in the songs.
The adequate amount of vocal fry is sufficient for most songs. However, you can apply vocal fry to a certain degree throughout the song if you want to add more thickness and boldness emotion to the song.
Word of Cautions: Please do not overuse the vocal fry in the whole song. Your performance will sound crappy and unnatural if you over-do it. Just don’t make it your major/default singing technique by overusing it. It’s better to merely assume it as an additional technique you could use in your singing performance when necessary.
Benefits Of Using Vocal Fry In Your Singing
It is quite simple for you to comprehend what the vocal fry happens to be and its sound. It is important for:
1. Adding some style to your singing
2. Add a forceful ‘Buzz’ voice texture to your singing voice. This is a great effect, especially for rock music.
3. Vocal fry can be used to emit a terrifying scream if you prefer. This is not harmful to your voice when this technique is used.
4. You can extend your vocal range indirectly up to 3 octaves if you use it correctly.
5. Add more thickness and intensity to your singing voice.
6. Help you to hit the difficult higher notes with ease by leveraging the vocal fry voice.
How To Use Vocal Fry Register In Singing
1) Reaching the Modal Register of Bass
This fry register is commonly used by singers although it does not seem that apparent on the surface of things. On the bass section of a gospel quartet, it is rather common to hear it.
The primary use of this singing technique is to get low-frequency pitches that cannot be achieved by a singer within a modal register. Though the physical emission of a vocal fry register could be stretched until a modal register, many vocal pedagogues dissuade this practice because it is likely to cause injury to vocal cords. Many vocal coaches deter singers from making use of vocal fry registers on a regular basis because it is probable to make a singer to damage certain upper notes within a modal register. In some cases, they have discovered that using vocal fry in a therapeutic manner is helpful for those that may not be able to produce the lower notes easily. Extreme tension within the laryngeal muscles as well as the support system could lead to excessive breath pressure, and this is the main hindrance to vocal fry register singing.
2) Use Vocal Fry to Hit Lower Notes
Vocal fry is one of the best techniques for you to sing the lower notes if you have serious problems in hitting the lower notes while singing. Some singers might crack their voice when reaching the lower notes, using the vocal fry register correctly will enable you to sing the lower notes more smoothly in a progressive manner.
It’s beneficial for male singer especially the opera bass singer to sing very low notes clearly and powerfully.
3) Use Vocal Fry To Hit Higher Notes
You can use vocal fry as a bridge to connect your chest voice with the head voice. So, you will be able to sing in the higher pitches without too much air pressure on your vocal cords. In this state, you will be able to extend your vocal range with more control over your air pressure on the vocal cords. It will enable you to increase your vocal range up to 3 octaves if been applied correctly.
4) Enrich Your Singing Tone, Voice Culture and Singing Style
For many voice coaches, vocal fry is one of the best singing techniques that you can easily apply to your singing to further improve the substance of the song.
Sometimes, I found that it is very soulless and lack of emotion if a song is presented in a clean, clear tone, and flatly style. In fact, it’s too clean, plain and boring! Nothing special in that song at all.
Adding some vocal fry to the song will eventually transform the feel, style, and uniqueness of the whole song. And this could be a powerful weapon a singer can employ to differentiate himself/herself from the crowd of those general singers (Tom, Dick, or Harry) by creating his/her unique singing style and voice culture with the vocal fry.
4) Use Vocal Fry as Vocal Warm Up Exercise
Despite being considered as a harmful practice to use vocal fry intensively in singing. Many vocal coaches have agreed that the vocal fry could be one of the best vocal warm-up exercises to wake up and kit start your vocal powerhouse just right before any long singing performance. Vocal fry warm-up exercise help to connect your chest voice and head voice more smoothly.
With this light vocal cord closure exercise, you will find that you will have a more supported voice and more substance voice.
Singers With Deep Vocal Fry Voice
Britney Spears, Kesha, and Katy Perry are some of the popular singers who are very well-known for their vocal fry singing voice. Among them, Britney Spears has been recognized as a heavy user of this kind of cracking vocal fry voice while singing.
Vocal Care Tips For Vocal Fry Singer
- Drink lots of water to rehydrate your vocal cords to avoid vocal cord’s dryness and tension
- Don’t overuse it.
- Limit your caffeine, alcohol and carbonation intakes.
- Avoid smoking
- Remember to Warm up your vocal before heavy use of vocal fry.
- Don’t push your vocal fry voice too much.
- Avoid throat clearing. Just drink a glass of warm water if you ever felt dryness in your throat.
Vocal fry can be considered as the icing on the cake to improve your singing performance further. However, you should not abuse or overuse this singing technique. Excessive vocal fry will eventually lead to the vocal cords exhaustion and fatigue. And this condition will result in permanent damage to your vocal cords.