The Ultimate Instrument
Whether you are involved in a vocal training program or not, I have a little secret I’d like to share with you, in order for you to learn how to sing better. It requires you to consider yourself as an instrument that is made up of three vital pieces, all working in harmony to create your voice.
Perfecting the ability to coordinate these is key.
First, is learning to competently use our abdominal muscles and diaphragm properly, as well as conscientiously controlling the flow of air when breathing and exhaling.
Secondly, understanding the important role the vocal cords (larynx) play in establishing our range of singing low notes and singing high notes.
Thirdly, our resonating chamber, basically the area in which our sound travels through, which includes our head (skull), our nasal cavity, and our throat.
We are able to form the most commonly known lower resonant space in our throat, which we identify as our speaking voice.
Our higher resonant space is located in our head or skull. Have you ever heard someone yawn in a high pitched, squeaky way? This sound is produced in the above area.
Lastly, our middle resonant space is found to be constructed in our nose and cheek areas.
For example: when you yell, in order to get someone’s attention. Try yelling – “Hey!” and feel the sound resonating in those areas.
One of the hardest things fora singer to master, is the transition from the lower to higher and vice – versa, while still maintaining a quality sound.
You may be more familiar with the terms ‘head voice’ which is the resonance generated in the upper skull, and the ‘chest voice’ which resonates from the throat.
We call it the chest voice because you actually feel your chest vibrating when using it.
To connect these two from one to the other, we need to ‘bridge’ them. We do this by what’s called a “flip” or “crack”. in the voice. We can especially notice this flip or crack when moving from our regular speaking voice, right into a high voice, lending to a falsetto.
What we need to be cautious of is exerting tension in the neck area, causing strain and sounds more like yelling. Please note that one of the most important things to avoid is tension. That is why vocal warm up exercises are so important.