In this month’s featured article we’re going to be talking about the very important subject of using and creating vocal volume variances/light and shade within a song. Listen closely to some of your favourite songs and see if you can hear the different volume variances that the singer is using.
Let’s start with theory and go straight into a scale that you can directly apply to all songs.
For a better understanding watch this YouTube clip on how to create volume variances and use light and shade.
The Importance Of Using Light & Shade Within A Song!

In this volume scale, we’re going to be using different volume variances. If you have not got access to the You-tube video then I would like you to do at home is simply sing four of the same notes one after themselves in four different volumes. I highly suggest you do this exercise in the middle or higher part of your vocal register as your projection will work a lot better in this area more so then down lower in your register.

We will be also singing the “MA” sound on the 4 notes sung. Please while you’re doing this scale or exercise, support with the diaphragm with the right amount of air support underneath the vocal cords especially on the third and fourth notes as they are going to be a lot louder. You shouldn’t be feeling any pain or discomfort whilst doing this scale.
So simply sing the word Ma x4 and with a lot of diaphragm support on the fourth and last note. Your first note should be sung as quietly as you possibly can, let’s call this volume one. Your second note should raise in volume and should be slightly louder than the first note, let’s call this volume two. Your third note should raise in volume and be slightly louder than the second note, let’s call this volume three. And your last and final note should rise in volume and the slightly louder than the third note, maybe using a Mar cry with a lot of diaphragmatic breath support, let’s call this volume four.
Practice this in different keys up and down your range. As I’ve already mentioned you will get a lot fewer volume variances in the lower part of your range and a lot more volume variances as you go up higher in your vocal range.
This is a fantastic scale to teach you different volume variances. Please try to listen to your favourite singers and try to apply those different lights, shades and volume variances into the song whilst you’re singing along with them or try to apply these skills to your own songs. Try to be very expressive with these in all songs and you will start to hear a notable difference in your singing.

Thank you for reading.

Enjoy your singing.

Peter Vox

VSA Accreditation

VSA On Social Media

Other VSA Social Media

  • click here to book now
  • Privacy Preference Center