BRIDGES IN SINGING
In vocal study, you often hear terms like registration, head voice, middle voice, chest voice, mix, breaks, bridges. All of these terms refer to the coordinating of the voice as a singer ascends or descends in pitch.
Bridges reveal changes in vocal coordination and occur in relatively predictable parts of the scale. If the bridges are not negotiated smoothly there may be an abrupt disconnection and interruption of vocal tone, known as cracking or breaking.
Here's how it works: the chest voice is your lower voice, which most people use for speaking. It feels as though the tones are coming straight out of your mouth when you sing, and you if you place your hand on your chest as you sing a note, you will feel vibration in your chest.
As you sing a scale starting from your lowest note ascending upward, you will notice at a certain point that you will begin to feel a sense of reaching for the note, or perhaps a feeling of straining to reach the pitch.
You are now in your first passage area, or bridge. Think of this area as the passageway to your high notes. This first bridge is a critical area of the voice because this is where your outer muscles are most likely to try to help the process, by pulling and tightening in order to stretch the vocal cords to reach the higher pitch. Or else, they let go completely and the result is a weak, breathy sound.
However with correct vocal training, you can overcome these issues completely. Good vocal training will enable you to build a strong connection between the lower and upper registers, resulting in a smooth transition from the chest voice upward. With a good mix, or middle voice, you will ultimately be able to go up and down the entire range of your voice no with breaks, no uncomfortable weakening of volume or intensity, and best of all, a healthy flexible voice that will enable you to sing in any style!
Learning how to mix and transition through the bridges is one of the most important aspects of good vocal production. Getting through the bridges requires a very subtle coordination between opposing muscle groups. This coordination is difficult if not impossible to teach yourself, since you cannot hear yourself correctly, due to the design of our hearing mechanism. You absolutely need a qualified teacher who can develop this vocal coordination in your voice!
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