I have seen too many singers with ‘good vocals’ who knows nothing abut their voice. Today so i have decided to do this article for such musicians on the singing voice 101. I hope to help them understand their singing voice and how to fully utilize it. The article may contain some bits of technical terms for non-musicologists.
To start with, as a singer, you need to know that a lot happens when you sing. This would mean there’s a need to understand the what and how of how sound production by the voice.
Quickly, sound is produced simply by the vibration of the vocal folds (vocal cords, as its commonly called).
HOW THE VOICE PRODUCE SOUND
Let me expatiate a bit. The vocal folds(cords) are two muscular folds that connects from the inside to the back of the larynx (voice box). The larynx on its own, is primarily a valve made up of cartilage, ligaments and muscles and rest on top of the trachea (windpipe) and it is very good at lifting and squeezing shut.
Your vocal cord are designed to execute different sound coordination to accommodate different voice registers (set of pitch produced with voice).
I hope you are still with me? Ok then. For singing to occur, you must use the right muscles known as “inner” larynx, which are located inside your voice box. Their purpose is to coordinate your vocal cords when producing sounds (or singing). In contrast to the “inner” larynx, the “outer” larynx isn’t good for singing. That is because they are designed primarily for one purpose – swallowing.
The problem most singers have is substituting these muscles when singing, though it isn’t completing their fault, as these outer muscles tends to want to be involved in singing process. The end result is that they create tension and destroys your voice. So trust me, you do not want that to happen. So avoid this, you must learn to use the right muscles when singing.
In a nutshell, to sing well, you need to learn the art of properly coordinating the inner larynx muscles to handle all your vocal cord adjustment, while ensuring that the outer muscles sit still when singing.
As a practice, to feel the difference between these two muscles, do this simple but powerful exercise:
Gently rest the tip of your finger on your Adam apple(the top notch in your throat). Now say out loud, “I want to learn how to singer beautifully”.
When you say these words, did you feel how your larynx doesn’t move up or down? The reason it sits in a still position during the exercise is because it’s the inner larynx that is coordinating to create the sound.
If and only if when singing, you are able to coordinate these muscles to handle your vocal cords adjustments, your singing voice is guaranteed to become outstanding.
To be able to use your singing voice to optimum level and be a great singer, there are foundations for good singing that you must know, like posture, breathing techniques, tone colour etc. These are the 101 of singing every great vocalist should have a proper understanding of. I shall be talking some of them in subsequent articles. So stay tuned.
Image Credit: Voice Problem
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[…] In the throat, we have two pipes: esophagus and trachea. The esophagus is where every food substance we eat pass through. It has no business with speech and singing. Our instrument as singers is the trachea, this is where air(oxygen) passes into and out of the lungs. The larynx(voice box) leads to the trachea. In the larynx, we have the vocal folds which vibrate when we systematically push air through it to produce sound. […]
[…] Daily vocalizing sessions and warm ups are important to keep the voice alive. Remember when you don’t work out the voice folds, they become tired out. So keep them active daily. You may want to read this article on The Singing Voice 101. […]