What are some top pop singing exercises

Part 2 - Classical vs. Pop: Similarities & Differences in Singing

The first part was about the obvious differences between classical and modern singing. We have also already looked at the exceptions for Disney and musical singing. But what do all styles of singing have in common? And what are the differences in the way the singer performs when singing? That's what this second part is about. We will first take a look at what connects both vocal styles in the training. So if you want to take singing lessons and don't know whether you should take classical lessons or go to a pop expert, this is where you get the first ideas for your decision.

Similarities in vocal training

Breathing & Support: In both styles of singing, the focus is first on correct breathing when singing. We are talking about so-called abdominal breathing, which is so named because the lungs expand downwards and visibly push the organs into the abdomen. In order to be able to sing long, powerful or even high notes, it is important to support. This means controlling the breath and diaphragm, which happens by interacting with muscle groups in the abdomen, lumbar and back areas.

Vocal seat & vowel adjustment: In both vocal directions, the front seat of the voice and an even seat of the different vowels, also in height, are aimed for. One also speaks of "singing into the mask". Exercises on “ng” or “n” are very suitable for this.

Intonation: The hitting of the notes plays a decisive role in every singing direction and is practiced again and again in vocal training through tone runs and exercises with intervals.

Loosen jaw, lips & tongue: When singing, it is fundamentally important that the tongue, lips and jaw are loose and not tense. Appropriate relaxation exercises are used, for example lip drills. The looseness and mobility of the jaw play an important role in articulation.

Articulation: Articulation is being worked on in both vocal styles. The correct formation of the vowels and the precise pronunciation of consonants, which are generated via the tongue, lips, lower jaw and palate, are trained. Even in the popular area, you first have to be able to articulate it in an understandable way before you consciously take it back. Good articulation is also important when working in the studio as a singer.

Expansion of the vocal range: In both popular and classical singing, you work with singing exercises to expand your individual vocal range upwards and downwards.

Body & Energy: In both genres you loosen up your body with light exercises, warm up your voice before singing and get yourself into good energy. - Similar to sports. Because singing without a certain basic energy can also damage the voice. You should neither be overstretched nor "understretched".

Rhythm: Timing and rhythm are important in both vocal styles, especially if you are not singing solo a cappella but performing with accompaniment.

Differences in execution

Classical singing

Vowels: In classical music, high notes are sung on the vowel "a" or "u". They are fuller and rounder in sound.

- In the classic variant, the loose one is Lower jaw also maintained in height.

- An upscale one Soft palate as well as the rather subscript Larynx ensure the full, typically classic sound.

- The famous one comes in classical or opera singing Schnutentechnik to use, which is also important for the distinctive sound.

- In the classic area, a lot more depends on good posture respected. This not only looks more elegant, but also helps in “high-performance singing”.

- Exaggerated facial expressions When singing, you try to avoid it in the classical area or consciously incorporate it into acting parts.

Commitment: The tone is set with good preparation.

Location: In classical music you sing a lot more in the head voice than in pop, because the pitches of the pieces are much higher.

Fracture: The transitions between the chest and head voices must not be audible; the aim is to achieve a uniform sound in all registers.

- On Front seat the voice is respected, but the metallic sound is avoided.

- Only in the classic: Bel Canto, a singing technique that means "beautiful singing" and originated as a classical singing style in Italy in the 16th century. Characteristic are, inter alia. the softness of the tones and a balanced, agile voice in all registers, which is therefore able to support the singing e.g. B. to decorate with coloratura.

- In classical singing you always hear a steady one Vibrato in the voice.

- You don't sing along in the classical area Click and actually not to a half playback either. These are more of an exception. The musicians in the orchestra accompany the singer, the conductor sets the pace for them.

Modern singing

Vowels: In popular singing, high notes tend to be sung on “i”, “e” or “ä”. They are sharper and more pointed in sound. "Yeahhh!"

Lower jaw: In connection with “the bite” and the broad, flat one tongue Behind the lower incisors, the lower jaw, which is slightly pushed forward and folded down, ensures that there is space for the sound waves and that high-pitched chest voices are generated. However, it is important to avoid tension in the jaw.

- The Soft palate mostly stays normal and is only widened in pop with higher notes and the position of the larynx is also more neutral, with a slight upward tendency (see Twang.) That depends on the vocal color you want to use.

– „The bite“Is a certain position of the lower jaw and brings a certain sharpness to the tones.

- In pop & rock singing the is often strong facial expressions used for the sound of a tone. However, some singers do without pronounced facial expressions in order to increase the "coolness factor".

Commitment: The tone is sung directly rather than settled.

Location: In pop, you sing more in the chest or middle voice, as it is about telling stories and this vocal sound is more similar to the speaking voice.

Fracture: The transition between the registers can be audibly separated, mixed or seamless. You also play with the break.

Twang is responsible for the typical pop sound. It is a metallic sound that is created by sitting in front of you and by reducing the opening of the larynx funnel.

- Rather in the popular area: Belting, a singing technique with twang, which means something like singing with a blaring voice and is therefore perceived as very loud.

- Hardly gets in pop Vibrato used. In contrast, it is indispensable in soul. The different genres in the popular area also differ here.

- In the studio or when performing with half playbacks, the singer has to keep to the given tempo or speed. Click to adjust.


Those who start with singing lessons can learn the basics of singing both in classical lessons and from the pop experts. The further manifestations in the respective directions are only the second step after breathing, voice seat, articulation etc. are in place. Then you can still devote yourself to topics such as effects and decorations in singing or get to know advanced areas such as belting or opera singing. The common denominator, using the voice as an instrument without harming it, and the hitting of the notes (as well as the interpretation of the respective pieces) are in any case the basis of every singing style.

By the way, in my vocal studies and research I come across controversial statements as well as refuted findings from medicine and science. Many different vocal experts therefore also represent very different approaches and points of view. I think, just like in sports, you should just watch your voice and body carefully, exercise enough and stop before it hurts. The similarities and differences between the vocal styles are probably best recognized when you have got to know and tried out both styles yourself. If you have made an addition to the topic or have made your own observation or experience, please leave a comment. I am glad that you stopped by musiziert.de. See you soon.