Breathing and Singing Tone
Did you know that a lower voice comes from the chest area, while higher tones are made, controlled and emitted from the ‘head’ cavity? Try to make a low hum with your voice. Feel how it is concentrated in the chest area as the sound sort of vibrates off of your rib area. The sound is deep because it is resonating off of this larger cavity area.
This is what you are trying to notice in all your singing: how to physically judge where a certain sound is created. Once you have connected a certain sound with a certain breathing pattern and how your body is controlled to make that sound, the more you will be able to adjust it, or literally, fine-tune it.
In order to produce a ‘higher’ tone, you will have to bring the sound from the resonating chest area up into the ‘head’ cavity, the soft palate, and nasal cavity area. You can see this if you create the lower sound, or hum, as you did in your chest earlier. This time, try bringing the sound upward into your ‘head’ cavity. Now, as you do so, slowly raise and lower your head. Notice the difference in tone; it goes higher as you raise your head higher and lower, as you lower it. This is how those who sing falsetto, or the highest tone, attempt to gain such vocal altitude; they take their voice as high as they can and keep their palates high into the air where the sound emitted is thereby controlled by the ‘head’ cavity. Don’t try doing this too often. We’ll get more into it later as this is primarily an example, again, connecting bodily control with a resulting or desired sound.
In the next lesson, we are going to take an even greater look at how you can reach certain sounds with the control of your breath and corresponding organs to help find your own singing range. Following, you’ll have greater insight into how you should pursue your own daily vocal exercises.
Stream of Breath
When you are learning how to sing, you must pay very special attention to your breath. This breath, as it is emitted from your chest cavity, is sort of split up as it begins to exit your mouth. Your breath and the muscles and ligaments all work in an attempt to reach the desired tone, note, or scale that you desire.
Since the focus is upon breath, it is important for you to visualize how your breath is divided as it exits your head cavities. The upper head cavity is an area where you will feel higher tones. When you attempt to make a higher note, you can picture the breath that is coming up over your throat to be like a ball of air. The shape of this ball will determine how a certain sound is reached and where the air will be controlled. This is one reason that it is important to have one stream of breath – if your breath is interrupted while changing notes and the pause for breath isn’t taken at the correct time, then a song will not be sung correctly.
An exercise you might try (an activity we have done on a smaller scale before) is to first breathe in and hold your breath in your chest cavity. Following, breathe out slowly controling your throat muscles as the air is being emitted. As the air is released, try to picture the air as a round ball. Feel how your mouth is rounded and your throat is controlled in the same way. The trick later will be to try and control the air as it is emitted so that the breath can be extended for however long necessary.
Now, as you prepare yourself, picture a round ball that is lop-sided coming out of your throat and mouth. If you add a hum to the breath, feel how the higher tones will cause a different type of feeling from the location where the sound is resonated inside your upper-head cavity.