Music & Entertainment

Playing With Textures and Tones

Christina Aguilera

Lesson time 15:24 min

Christina demonstrates how to use different textures and tones, from gritty growl to haunting sadness, to emotionally charge a performance.

Christina Aguilera
Teaches Singing
Christina teaches you her unique vocal techniques in over 3.5 hours of voice lessons and exercises.
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For me, I love in the paintbox, right, having a lot of different outlets for creating a mood and an environment. And I call it textures. I even reference the lead singer of Korn. He has a very interesting voice. Bjork. They have so many different colors and textures in their paintboxes where they can just explore a variety of sound. I'll go through my songs. But for instance, "Ain't No Other Man." That's going to call for a big, soulful, juicy, meaty, gritty, fun vocal for me. So it's a matter of the-- (SINGING) Hey. Ain't no other man can stand. And that whole thing projects from down in that place where I say the center and the core and the place where you do crunches from and all your emotion boils and comes together and gets connected. And so that gives you that really grounded foundation to then lift up and out. Everybody has their own tone. My specific tone sometimes is having a-- there's like a real intensity to it. It just comes from a natural place. What I was taught and what I practiced with my vocal lesson-- and there's a specific spot in it where you can hear the vocal teacher's voice saying, OK, bear down on it, but don't hold it in your mouth. Don't hold it there. Relax your mouth. Relax your face. Bear down on it. "Bear down" meaning compress. Compress from below, that same, like, as if you're doing a crunch or a sit-up or something like that. So bear down on it. And literally visualize the note before you sing it. There's one that I do, (SINGING). So it's "lun-gee." And then it goes, (SINGING) Lun-gee. So here's the difference I guess I can see in this one. (SINGING). Now right there, I'm kind of in my nose. I'm doing that eh-eh thing, so (SINGING). Now, if I open up my throat a little and my nose, if I'm visualizing this, (SINGING). It's more muted. Can you see how it's more like-- I don't know. There's a slight difference. I don't even know if it makes sense. But to me, I can feel it when it's more in my throat. You don't want to go in your nose. You have to go from a more throaty point if you want to-- I'm talking up here right now, but if I want to (SINGING) go low, I don't really want to sing in that tone. (SINGING) Go low. To have a nice, rich, bassy tone, you kind of want to throw it back in your throat. I'm almost caving in my chest a little bit. (SINGING) Go low. It's almost hot tea or something going down. It's smooth, just to have that bassy sound. But there's such a difference if I sing it through my nose and don't think about going to my throat. (SINGING) Go low. That would be through my nose. But if I open up my throat and go into my chest, take a bigger breath, so I give myself that expansion and that room to go in, it's almost that place, again, almost like when you're going to yawn. It's like (SINGING). It's almost that. It's exp...

Your New Voice Teacher

Christina Aguilera teaches you how to expand your range, find your voice, and master the techniques that have earned her five Grammy Awards. In her first-ever online singing class, you’ll learn warm-up exercises, breath control, vibrato, her signature growls, and hear Christina break down her biggest hits. You’ve never had vocal lessons like this before.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

ive learned a lot of information that will transform as a artist and singer thank you so much!

I am loving her class and techniques. I am a natural singer so all this emotions and feelings she is transmitting to me are vital to improve my voice

Good examples, good style to teach. Understandable Great!



Simon W.

Mentioned was the singer from the cranberries. Dolores O'Riordan died 2018 Linger - love sick love song, mumbly at points Zombies - total contrast, rough, hard even grungy -


Christina, this lesson engaged me even more than others. Having studied linguistics I had some terminology I could stick in for my own benefit here and there and it dawned on me that you could study up on phonetics/phonology! Not get super into it or anything, but discover how the science of the production of specific sounds in language really is precisely what you discuss here and in the previous lesson on enunciation. Technically speaking, conveyance of emotion and ambience are more complicated than Phonology 101, heh; but my point is that you might find a couple of unexpected tools as well as a perspective most of us never consider. I've tried to give an example, but it's hard in text to be short and to the point so I've deleted all I've started here. Just trust me that the terms "points of articulations" and "tone" and "nasal" and "vowel length" and "onset" all are relevant. Hmm. Now I'm thinking there must be some people online fluent in both linguistics and music and performance theory since there is so much overlap. My instinct is telling me it's relevant to autism and trauma recovery (Gabby Giffords?), too. Anyway, thank you for your course. Your Upfrontism™ is inspiring and sings to even nerds like me. :)

Chava G.

Engage the core, good advice and I got a much better, stronger, healthier, more pleasant sound, when utilizing my center. Being made aware to use the intensity of voice with the breath, using air instead of throat force - helps develop altered smoother adlib, texture, tone. Crying, breathy, cracks, quiver, vibrato, are all vehicles to the heart. This is so good Ms Aquilera. and I immediately improved with engagement, exercising, and visualization. Will have to keep working with this class, in fact working this way, works very well for me, so lots of gratitude!

A fellow student

LOVE the lessons but can’t take my mind off of.... WHAT LIPSTICK IS THAT?!? She sings, she talks, she licks her lips and the lipstick won’t budge!!!!! Need it ASAP


I wanted to note: I remember in a past interview when Christina wanted to sing Mulan's "Reflections" she sang "The Star Spangled Banner" in the restroom.

Nastasia M.

LOVE this lesson! So many little details and insight to take from. I'm definitely going to be referring back to this lesson later on.

Raederle P.

My favorite lesson yet in this series. If only we all performed all our work from our gut, from real emotions . . .

Shaunte T.

You’re such a great teacher! So much great descriptive information about singing! It has opened up a whole new world! Thank you!

Natalie F.

Oh my gosh how beautiful! Loved when she said about the quiver used to show a longing and passion.. "Please hear me right now!"


I LOVE how she explains the different emotions, tone and sometimes just the feeling, that helped me so much