What is cvt

Complete Vocal Technique Explained

about CVT

The Complete Vocal Technique (CVT), is an internationally acclaimed method for vocal coaching. Developed by Cathrine Sadolin a leading voice researcher, vocal instructor, vocal coach, producer, author, singer, composer and instrumentalist.

Cathrine Sadolin is the author of Complete Vocal Technique (considered the leading educational material for teaching professional singing techniques), and the founder of the Complete Vocal Institute (CVI) with branches across the world. Her research across all vocal styles, combined with her own experiences as a professional singer, has inspired innovative thinking across the field.

For more information on the complete vocal institute – visit http://completevocal.institute/

Cathrine Sadolin

3 overall Principles

The three overall principles are the most fundamental and important to perfect. The three overall principles must be obeyed regardless of mode, sound colour, and effect. 


In CVT Terms, this means working against the natural urge of the diaphragm to release the air that has been inhaled. This is achieved by resisting its movement. .

necessary twang

In CVT Terms, we are distinguish between ‘necessary twang’ (clear, unhindered notes + correct technique),  and ‘distinct twang’ to obtain a sharper character and lighter sound colour.

protruding jaw/tight lips

Avoid this to help with uncontrolled constriction around the vocal cords. Pain optimum jaw position by bending your head back and placing a finger between the upper and lower jaw.


The use of the voice can be divided into four vocal modes: Neutral, Curbing, Overdrive and Edge. The modes differ by having different amounts of metal and different characters. The modes also have individual advantages and disadvantages in relation to pitch, volume and vowels. Most singing problems occur because of incorrect use of the modes.

the four vocal modes

Each mode has a certain character, as well as advantages and limitations. To avoid mistakes and technical problems, it is important to know and control the modes, to use their advantages and to respect their limitations.


Neutral is the only non-metallic mode. There is no ‘metal’ in the sound. The character is usually soft, like singing a lullaby.


Curbing is the only half-metallic mode. There is a slight ‘metal’ on the notes.  It sounds slightly plaintive or restrained, like when you moan.


Overdrive is one of two full-metallic modes. There is a great amount of metal and the character of Overdrive is often direct and loud, like when you shout ‘hey’.


Edge (formerly ‘Belting’) is the other full-metallic mode. There is a great amount of metal in the notes. The character of Edge is light, aggressive, sharp, and screamy.


Advanced Level: The modes also differ in the amount of density they contain. By looking at the modes in terms of density, you can develop a more advanced understanding of the modes.

You do not need to work with the mode and densities to use the modes.

sound colour

All modes can be lightened or darkened, though some more than others. The sound colour is created in the vocal tract, which is the space above the vocal cords extending to the lips and including the nasal passages. The form and size of the vocal tract is of great importance to the sound colour. The shape of the vocal tract can be altered in many directions so there are many ways of changing the sound colour of your voice.

epiglottic funnel

Shape of the epiglottic funnel


Position of the larynx
(high, low)


Shape of the tongue,
(compressed, flattened)


Shape of the mouth

soft palate

Position of the soft palate
(raise, lower)

nasal passage

Nasal passages
(open, close)

vocal effects

These are sounds which are not connected to melody or text but are sounds that underline the expression or style of a singer. Many effects are produced in the vocal tract. See the video below of the recent CVI conference talk on rough vocal effects.

Great SINGING is a click away

Authorized CVT teachers spend a minimum of 3 years at the Complete Vocal Institute in Copenhagen in order to be able to teach the Complete vocal Technique. There are currently on 5 authorised teachers in the UK

sing! sing! sing!






5 + 2 =