Vocal Identity Types

The Vocal Identity Types are archetypical 'sound masks' and energies that you will probably recognize from every story ever told.

I use the word energy a lot! If that is too esoteric for you you can replace it with ‘vibe’ or ‘force’ or consider that the origin of the word in Greek means ‘in work’ and at some point in the 16th century, before we discovered electricity, meant; vigor of expression

The Vocal ID system is partly an attempt at explaining the inexplainable construct of taste.

What voices you ‘like’ speaks to your inner desires and what voices you ‘dislike’ also speak to your inner desire, but in the way of showing you what you judge as ‘bad’ and have disconnected from.

If you don’t have a feeling about or are indifferent to something it it is probably not a relevant place to be working as an artist.

Lots of my students will come in wanting to know which voice type they are, thinking in the classical music Fach system: Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Alto, Bass, Baritone, or Tenor and I always have to disappoint them. Those classifications are for classical music and singing where there is no amplification and you have to be heard over an orchestra. In contemporary music these classifications are completely irrelevant in my opinion. Most people have a range of at least 3 octaves once they have some very basic training and really there is way more choice in the matter than people think. You can’t of course change the size and shape of your instrument much, so some things will be easier than others, but hey - maybe you don’t want it to be easy! Maybe you want it to be unique, personal and expressive? Then this is right system for you!

 I ‘classify’ people by these more complex identity types.

As contemporary music relies a lot on uniqueness inside some framework of genre, I think the Vocal ID types are more helpful in ‘fixing’ the voice problems the singer may have, and help with actually expressing a unique inner desire and perspective. They are helpful in finding material and songs that are ‘more you’ and help express who you are, including helping you write original material. 

The Vocal ID has little to nothing to do with your outer conditioning, aka the identity parameters that are given to you by your surroundings:

People treat us based on how we look, how our family and friends treat us, what we do for a living and other societal and cultural parameters.

The Vocal ID is more relevant in terms of the more hidden inner desires, values and perspectives and how we express those to the world.

As I see it, singing and the voice, is best used communicating your inner world to the outer world.

The Vocal Identity Types are of course VERY stereotypical and have to be seen that way. I encourage that you use these as fun guidelines to seeing yourself, your perception of yourself and your voice in a different light. Instead of thinking of vocal qualities that you would like to express from an outer perspective (eg I would like to sound like that!). You have to consider which central part of you the sound quality you are looking for is coming from.

It may initially seem much harder, but as you get to know this system you will become more confident expressing who you are and what you think and feel, with your voice.

Interesting combinations of these types exist everywhere in the contemporary music scene and you are some mix of ALL of them

and most likely with 1-3 more dominant than the others.

Try giving yourself percentages of how you perceive yourself and see if it fits with others’ perception of you? You can take the test at the top of the page for help with this.

Your unique division is the very thing that makes you special and where your authentic voice comes from.