Intentional and unintentional vocal breaks
Vocal breaks often appear spontaneously in untrained singers, because they do not have sufficient technique to maintain a mode when it becomes difficult. The voice changes abruptly and spontaneously into another mode. These uncontrolled breaks can strain the voice and may interrupt a singer’s planned line of vocal sound. As a singer’s technique improves the unwanted breaks are eliminated.
The singer may want to use vocal breaks as a means of expression later in her/his career.
Singers who often use/used vocal breaks
Sam Brown, La Voix Mystere Bulgare, Patsy Cline, Dido, Gypsy Kings, Emmilou Harris, John Hiatt, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, KD Lang, Leadbelly, Professor Longhair, Vera Lynn, Chris Martin (Coldplay), Alanis Morissette, Little Richard, Dolores O’Riordan (Cranberries), Linda Ronstadt, Hank Williams, and Brett Anderson
Control the modes
Vocal breaks are often found in the marginal areas of a mode and the skilled singer has a fine technical control to determine where, when and how the vocal breaks should appear.
Often the bigger the difference between the two modes, the more distinct the vocal break. That is why vocal breaks are often heard between full-metallic (Overdrive, Edge) and non-metallic (Neutral) modes.
The modes used in a vocal break is often sung with a predetermined pattern of vowel, volume and sound colour ,according to the the rules of the modes.
Yodelling is a series of rapid changes (breaks) between Overdrive and Neutral, often with leaps of sixths or sevenths.
Vocal Breaks in a song