How to Sing With Resonance
Resonance really is key to a great singing voice, and learning to sing with resonance takes time and practice. Resonance itself is a result of vibration and air pressure, instead of the airflow that you may think is responsible for your voice. Resonance is that pleasant buzz you hear in a great singer, and the reason why they are able to hold a long vocal phrase at that high note with ease, while you may struggle to sing anything at all.
While foundation might truly be King in singing, Resonance is the kingdom. Without a kingdom, a King has nothing to rule, and singing is much the same.
Resonance starts with foundation
A healthy, strong voice has a healthy, strong foundation. Foundation in singing involves posture, breathing, placement and vowel shaping. Posture is super easy, and while it might seem a little boring, really is the base on which your vocal range and vocal power is going to be built upon; take these posture steps every time you sing for a strong posture and strong voice!
- Head Held High
- Shoulders Back
- Chin Parallel With The Floor
- Proud Chest and Wide Ribs
This final step is an honorary bridge between your posture and breathing, and when done correctly, allows you to support your voice by moderating your airflow and balancing your air pressure for peak resonance.
When you’ve set up your posture correctly, diaphragmatic engagement for proper breathing becomes a very easy and natural part of singing. The diaphragm is a large dome-shaped muscle that sits between your abdomen and the lung cavity, and when lowered flat creates a negative space in the lungs which instantly fills with pressurised air like a vacuum. You should breathe like this every time you sing so that over time you build strength and memory into your breathing mechanism which will help you expand your range and hit high notes without strain.
Mix voice occurs when you sing in a balance between chest and head voice with partial resonance from both registers instead of leaning either way like many untrained singers do. Often called middle voice or the middle register, mix voice is a direct result of learning how to connect chest and head, so it’s imperative that you learn how to join your registers effectively.
How to connect chest and head voice
Connecting Chest and Head voice is actually a very easy process, but we often trip ourselves up with our misconceptions and expectations about how our voices should sound before we’ve found our true voice. A great place to start with chest and head connection is semi-occluded sounds like Lip Trills or NG and N sounds. These semi-closed sounds pare down the size of your vocal tract and mouth opening so that tone is no longer your focus and you can simply focus on creating efficient resonance. These smaller sounds are often much easier to connect in a full way through the registers – over time, you will then learn how to keep this same connection through your larger sounds and more open vowels.
Fixing your vocal break should be your first priority once you have set up a strong foundation. Without connection between your registers you will create an imbalance which is very hard to break as your voice grows in range. Remember, singing is a process of balance, not a feat of muscular force or brute strength. Every single aspect of your voice can be likened to balance, and every issue you experience when you sing can be explained by imbalance.
Onsets are key
A vocal onset is literally the onset of your resonance, the way that your voice starts resonating. A healthy onset in singing is known as a balanced onset and occurs when you centrally balance between airflow and vocal fold closure at the same moment, leading to instant, powerful and strain-free resonance. If you release airflow before you achieve vocal fold closure, you will create an aspirated onset which is both damaging to the voice and unpleasant, and if you close your vocal folds (ie: hold your breath) before singing, you will create a glottal stop, which is also damaging to your vocal health and sounds unpleasant – these two poor onsets, glottal and breathy are also the cause of most instances of pitchy singing, with a breathy onset causing flat intonation, and a glottal stop often resulting in a sharp pitch.
A great place to start with building a strong foundation, balanced onset and earth shattering resonance is the free foundations short courses available here at Bohemian Vocal Studio which will show you how to set up a rock solid foundation for your voice to be built upon.
When you’re ready to take your voice to the next level with professional voice coaching you can book a Skype Session and we’ll start working towards extending your range and building consistency and control in your voice every time you sing!
If you’re ready to truly rock your voice with powerful vocal technique, book a session with me now!
Feel free to leave any questions or feedback below!
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.