|Glottal cycle, animated (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
A common pursuit amongst singers is the quest for a good head and chest voice/tone resonance. Although we have discussed to some extent about head/chest resonance in previous articles, there will still be a lot of confusion on this subject such as balancing tonal brilliance and depth of the resonance.
Blending these two voice qualities or vocal colors is a major source of confusion and frustration for many aspiring singers. However, once you understand how the voice work, blending the vocal colors should become easy and automatic as speaking expressively.
In fact, once you are able to blend the tones, you will begin to sing with more emotion and passion because you will know how to create the tones that will draw out the feelings and the emotions of the songs that you are singing. Some people call it singing with feeling.
It is well established that the head resonance, when properly supported, has a brilliant ringing tone quality as compared to the chest resonance singing tone. This bright voice tone is developed in the bones and cavities above and, behind and around the nose known as the mask.
The result from an unsupported head resonance is very different and is characterized by a false falsetto tone. This oddity occurs when a singer suddenly switches into a choir boy tone.
The resonators have a lot to do with what your voice sounds like. This is why you can listen to many singers with high voices and yet each of them will have a different blend of sound and tonal quality.
Now try this experiment to feel the resonating system of the head. Gently tap your finger on the bone between the upper lip and the nose. Can you hear the gentle thud it made? Now tap the bridge of your nose and then your forehead just below your hairline and again listen to the thugs again.
Did you notice that the thuds were higher in pitch as you ascend from the lip to the forehead? By performing this experiment, you will know that certain bones are predisposed to amplify various pitch levels.
When singers refer to chest resonance, they are actually talking about vocal tone which is characterized by darker vowel qualities or mellowness. However, the term is a misnomer. By dictionary definition, an effective resonating chamber is a hollow place surrounded by hard surfaces. However, the chest is too full of organs to be suitable for amplifying the singing tone.
Throat and chest resonance occurs where there is plenty of empty space for amplification of the lower vibrations created by the vocal cords in the mouth and throat. Contrary to popular thinking, most so-called "chest resonance" actually comes from the throat. However, there is also a distinct sensation of vibration in the chest when singing, especially in the sternum or breastbone area. This feel of tone gathering in the chest area can be used very effectively to stabilize high notes.
So in order to get good singing tone, then you must practice with the right vocal exercises to blend the head and chest tone.