Vocal embellishments, colloquially known as "vocal licks", can enhance or detract from a vocal performance.
When used correctly they:
- Make the sound of the singing more interesting
- Heighten emotional connection and response
- Make the voice feel better, not worse, by throwing off tension.
- Make the delivery of the song sound fake
- Flatten emotional connection and response
- Cause vocal strain just attempting them.
- Learn to support and control your breath pressure! Not enough - or too much - breath pressure will sabotage any vocal lick, because it will not allow the tiny controlled movements of the diaphragm which are necessary to power the vocal lick smoothly and accurately.
- Learn to use your hands, arms, other body parts to help accomplish licks.
- Learn how letting your tongue base, jaw hinge and soft palate relax enough so they can make the automatic, fine, quick movements necessary for creating the licks. Learn to "pull off" air pressure for certain licks much like the guitar "pull off" technique.
- Only do vocal licks where they 1. create interest/emotion in the language of your genre or 2. de-stress your cords.
- Get feedback from trusted source(s) about how your performance makes the listener FEEL.
- Learn the typical types of vocal licks, and where/when they are put in songs, of other master singers in the musical genre you are interested in singing so you can 'speak the language'.
- Practice "scat singing", a phrase that means just throwing some random vocal syllables around. Scat singing is typically performed over a song's instrumental, tag or fade, but here's Aretha scatting a whole song "One Note Samba"...