The human voice—comparable to most acoustic instruments like those of guitars and pianos—has its special resonating chambers. These special chambers resonate the vocal tone. Of course, the vocal cords primarily produce the tone. This tone vibrates through and inside the open resonating chambers. In turn, this resonation along the chambers produce the four primary types of resonances, namely: chest, nasal (mask), mouth, and head. You can think of these types of resonances as vocal colors, all set in a continuous spectrum like the electromagnetic spectrum. You can also call this spectrum the “resonance track.”
The chest resonance predominates. It is considered a dark color. The mouth and nasal resonances are the greyish colors while the head-nasal belongs to the bright color. Having perfect mastery of these different resonances makes you a better singer and allows you to have a wide range of emotional expression.
Many amateur singers believe that singing techniques only entail increasing your vocal range. This belief may be a half-truth. Singing techniques usually transcend the aspect of expanding your vocal range. They also include balancing between creating a steady tone and resonance while trying to eliminate vocal cord tension. These techniques aim to develop impressive vocal fluidity and professional timbre.
Each singer has his/her own ways or styles of singing. Some singers produce prominent deep and chesty sound. Others, however, sing with more pronounced nasal quality, while some are noted for their powerful sounds. With proper training, however, one can really explore the different resonance zones and eventually properly situates one’s vocal placement.
Voice Placement Techniques That Will Improve Your Singing Voice
Voice placement is a difficult concept to understand for those who are uninitiated to music. Voice placement, however, is quite related to the different resonances. Voice placement means you focus your sound on the part of your body. This focusing of sound is intended to create better tone and achieve more volume. Thus, just said, vocal placement refers to how you position your voice resonance within your body. It is where you resonate your voice within your body.
This placement of the resonance of your voice determines your voice resonance quality. It also has a bearing on the range of projection of your voice. If you want to enhance your singing skills, therefore, you need to improve your vocal placement ability. You should also find the ideal placement—the spot where you can situate your resonance sensations. Finding the ideal spot, however, requires training and learning of the following techniques:
1) Explore Vocal Placement Through Sensations
As an aspiring singer, you should learn to explore vocal placement. You should know which voice placement you are most comfortable with. Each person has a comfortable resonant zone when singing. Some singers, for example, feel that their resonant zone is in their mask or nasal zone. Most singers also feel that their high notes are best achieved when situating their resonance up to their heads. Hence, specific resonant sensations are usually felt differently by different persons.
Try to enhance your way of situating your resonance zone. If you want to become a great singer, you should learn how to position your resonance most powerfully and efficiently. This requires you to limit or lessen your excess frequencies in order to highlight your best resonance. In doing so, you can effortlessly ascend in range.
You need to choose the right volume and color for the song that you are going to sing. You can also choose to situate your voice resonance on your head, mouth, chest, nasal, or in-between any of these resonance zones.
If you want to explore the nasal resonance, you can start focusing on the front of your face. Concentrate on your nose and then move the vocal placement backward to your throat. A good exercise would be to put your thumbs right under your chin. Then, run your index fingers accordingly to where you want to situate your vocal resonance. If you choose to position your index finger right behind your nose, then your voice resonance would tend to be bright and brilliant.
You can also position your index finger on your cheekbone. Then, you should feel the resonant sensations right in front of your cheeks and your mouth. Afterward, you try putting your index finger right before your ear somewhere between your ear and jaw. Then, situate the resonant sensations somewhere there. You can also situate the resonance of your voice somewhere on your neck right below your jaw. If you do that, your voice resonance will be darker and fuzzier.
The exercises as mentioned above allow you to explore different resonance zones. They also let you discover the resonant sensations that come along each resonance zone.
2) Learn the Correct Voice Placement
Sensations usually accompany voice placement. As such, voice placement is also tantamount to a sensation. Thus, each vocal placement has a concomitant feeling. If you situate your vocal resonance in your head, you begin to sing softer. If you engage in mouth resonance, you feel like you are simply conversing when you sing. If your voice placement is in your chest, your singing produces richer, deeper, and darker tone.
Correct vocal placement also requires visualization. You should visualize where you situate your voice resonance using the colors of each resonance. Once you have learned how to situate your voice in different resonance chambers, you should then find out which among the resonance sensations you are most at ease. This means you should figure out which among the voice placements you sound best.
Recording your voice can help you figure this out. Since your ear sometimes betrays you, you can never really trust your own ear. You should rely then on a voice teacher or someone whom you can trust to provide you with an objective assessment about when you are singing best.
3) Learn the Resonance Technique
It is best to situate your vocal placement in a much smaller resonant space. This will surely translate to better resonance quality. If you want to specifically focus your resonance on your head, try to yawn. Afterward, feel the sensation building up in your throat wherein you should lift your soft palate and widens the space between the roof of your mouth and the back of your tongue. Then, you should articulate the following consonants like “t, d l, n, and sh.” You can produce softer tones with this exercise. Yawning likewise help you relax your vocal cords.
With the chest resonance, however, you can simply open wide your throat while you yawn. Then, lower your larynx and lift your soft palate. Don’t totally relax, but instead focus your strength in keeping the mask resonance’s buzz. Practice situating your resonance in the chest and try to avoid de-nasalizing your dark tones.
The most popular singing exercise for developing vocal placement is the simple use of “N” sound. Let the tip of your tongue sits high, just behind your upper teeth. Also, let a soft buzz occurs behind your nose. Avoid singing nasally. Be contented with limiting your low end so that your voice would carry a high and bright tone. With this exercise, you’ll notice that your voice is resonating with a powerful buzz and zing.