Learning Gloria Gaynor’s “I Am What I Am”
“I Am What I Am” is a powerful anthem by Gloria Gaynor that creates an empowering aura around self-acceptance and self-expression. The unique vocal technique used in this song is Belting, a technique often used in genres like pop, rock, and musical theatre where the singer brings up their chest voice beyond the vocal break.
Analyzing the Song
Before diving into singing, it’s important to closely listen to and analyze the song. Understand its structure, melody, rhythm, lyrics, and observe how Gaynor employs belting. You should also note the transition points between different voice registers.
Identifying the song’s key and your vocal range can help customize the song to suit your voice. Use the Vocal Range Test to know your vocal range, then use the Song Search feature to find songs within your range, including different key versions of “I Am What I Am”.
Belting requires good breath support, open throat, and resonant placement. Start by practicing breath support exercises and opening your mouth and throat. You should practice safe belting under a teacher’s guidance to avoid straining your vocal chords.
Famous songs that utilize belting include Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go”, Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman”, and Glee Cast’s version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”.
Practicing the Song
After mastering belting and understanding the song, it’s time to sing! Sing along with the instrumental version, taking care to support your breath through the high, belted notes. Use the Vocal Pitch Monitor to check pitch accuracy and the Pitch Accuracy Test to measure improvements.
Remember, performing isn’t just about singing the notes correctly; it’s also about conveying the song’s emotional content – in this case, empowerment and self-confidence! Here are a few tips for performing on stage:
- Stand tall and assume a good singing posture.
- Engage your audience! Use a performance strategy that gets your message across.
- If you feel nervous, follow this guide on overcoming stage fright.
Don’t forget to rest your voice and stay hydrated, as belting can be vocally demanding. Most importantly, enjoy the process! Singing is all about expressing yourself, so embrace the lyrics “I am what I am.”