What the Heck is Belting? | The Path to Belting

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Should You Always Have a Vocal Coach?
Published: August 17, 2021

What the Heck is Belting?

The term “belting” can be used in a general sense to mean any loud intense vocal sound, or it can be used to mean a very specific vocal coordination. From the perspective of the person doing the belting, it can mean either a feeling of screaming at the top of your lungs or it can mean a sensation of making a powerful sound in an effortless way. 

Since I am a self-proclaimed voice nerd, I am going to tell you, physiologically speaking, what belting is. If you don’t like that kind of thing, skip to the next paragraph. Belting is a chest-dominant mix coupled with a specific kind of resonance, created by the shape of the vocal tract, which includes a tongue position that is high and wide at the back. Belting is usually produced on pitches above or around the singer’s vocal break. The vocal folds vibrate with a longer closed quotient and the chest voice muscles remain engaged enough to keep the folds thicker than they would be at the same pitch in a lighter function. 

To the singer, proper belting feels free and somewhat effortless in the throat area, although it is very intense and requires significant energy from the breath and body. Belting happens naturally in speech when we call out to someone in a happy or surprised way. The singer feels similar sensations as with chest voice, but belting is not the same as singing in chest register. When done correctly, it may feel to the singer as though the sound they are producing is bigger and stronger than it ought to be. Singers belt on open vowels, such as Ah, while other vowels can’t be belted, such as ooh and ee. There is no way to practice belting quietly. Belting is – by definition – a big sound!

For both men and women, a healthy belt function requires that the head voice muscles are engaged, which is why we describe belting as a type of mix. Interestingly, the classic belting range is very similar for male and female singers: around A4-C5. One of the most important skills required for belting is a healthy and strong head voice.

Kathy  Alexander
VP Curriculum, Singdaptive

The Path to Belting

Many singers want to be able to sing with that powerful exciting sound that is called belting, but some singers just don’t see themselves as “belters.” In this course, Singdaptive instructor, Kerri Ho, shows how belting is healthy when done correctly.

Interested in getting feedback on your singing? Then tryout the new way to do voice lessons.

Should You Always Have a Vocal Coach?

This week’s Tips from the Team are all about vocal coaches! Today, we hear from voice teacher and choir director, Mandy Bryant on whether singers should always work with a vocal coach.

Choir’s Covid Creation

Thanks to the Canadian Choir Myriad Ensemble for this creative piece, mourning the loss of group singing – and celebrating it’s return!

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