Monday, November 2, 2015

The Secret to Feeling and Sounding Natural When You Sing (Part 1)

When you talk, you only use a limited pitch and dynamic range of tones, so it doesn't require a great deal of cord tension to create those tones. In order to meet your needs for the higher pitch and greater dynamic levels often required in singing, however, your vocal cords must be able to achieve greater degrees of tension. Increased cord tension is what brings your cords back together more quickly each time they are blown apart, when you need to sing a higher tone. Increased cord tension is what enables your cords to hold back that extra bit of air pressure before they finally blow open, when you need to sing a louder tone.

If your vocal cords and the other muscles in your larynx are unable to provide the required tension themselves, you can be sure that your outer muscles will volunteer their help. But, that's the kind of help you don't want! Any outer muscle participation in the vibration process will only cause you vocal problems by pulling you off your speech level.

Speech-level singing—feeling and sounding natural:  You should be able to sing through your entire range—from the lowest notes of your chest voice, up through the highest notes of your head voice—in a smooth, even, or what we call connected manner, and still maintain a relaxed speech-level posture.

Singing low notes: The lower part of your range is never a problem as long as you are careful not to press down with your larynx in an effort to scrape the bottom of your range to get your lowest notes, or do anything in your throat or mouth that alters your speech-level posture. An example of the latter would be "creating more space" in your throat or mouth, to achieve a "deep, rich, resonant" quality. (Some descending exercises on a hum will illustrate that none of the above is necessary).

To begin with, the lowest note in your range should be the lowest note you can sing easily while still maintaining your speech-level posture. As far as the resonance quality of your voice, it should be whatever results naturally from that same speech-level posture. You should never try to make your voice resonant. You should never try to make it do anything. In my next article, I will talk a little bit about singing high notes.

You are the instrument, learn to sing like a pro!


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