Monday, November 9, 2015

The Secret to Feeling and Sounding Natural When You Sing (Part 3)

In my last article I talked a little bit about your singing approach to the high notes. Today, I want to discuss the inner workings of your voice—or shall we say the more technical side of singing. When your vocal cords are stretched, they begin to thin. And the thinner your cords get, the less cord "weight" there is for your exhaled air to move. When the thinning takes place at your speech level, however, your cords are able to thin without disrupting your tone or words.

When your vocal cords shorten, something very interesting takes place when your vocal cords reach the point where they can't thin (be stretched) any farther—the vibrating length of your cords begins to "shorten." Let me explain why and how it happens.

Your vocal cords never open all at once and then close all at once when they vibrate. Even in your lowest tones, your vocal cords open from front to back and close from back to front. That's because they are more flexible the closer they get to where they attach to the inside front of your larynx (where your Adam's apple is), and air breaks through that point first.

If you continue to use less and less air past the point where your cords have thinned as far as possible, the back ends of your cords stay together, with less and less of the front part opening and closing. This also means, however, that they open and close much faster, increasing the frequency of vibration which continues to raise the pitch of your tone.

If, like the initial thinning, this shortening can take place at your speech level, you can continue to sing easily through the rest of your passage areas with your tone and word production intact. You will be able to extend your range far beyond what most singers can only dream about.

As your vocal cords begin to thin and shorten automatically when you sing, you become less aware of your passage areas. Eventually you come to think of your chest, middle, and head voices as a single voice—connected in the way it's produced and connected in quality!
Speech-level singing is a "natural" technique in which your voice is produced without effort. When you don't allow the muscles outside your larynx—your outer muscles—to interfere with your tone-making process, your vocal cords are able to more easily balance with your breath flow. Also, when you free your tone-making process, you free your word-making process as well, letting you produce all your words easily and clearly. A relaxed and stable larynx results in a stable resonance system in which your voice always contains an appropriate balance of top, middle, and bottom harmonic qualities, no matter where in your range you sing.

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


Vocal Coach & Author
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