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Courtney Nottingham

Accessing Chest Voice/Head Voice

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We tend to speak in the pitches at the lower end of our chest voice range. She could start with that, then raise the resonance out of the throat by whimpering a bit and singing into either her third-eye spot or a few feet in front of her. If you're thinking contemporary vocal styles, then it can also help for her to touch her tongue to her upper back molars and keep the tip near the front teeth. This brings the vowels more into the mask by way of the soft palate. If more classical in style, then focus more on the whimper I mentioned, solid appoggio (leaning breaths into the sternum and sighing the the phrases), and hooking around the back of her head and then into the mask.

If she's too airy in her chest range, then she likely needs two things:

(1) Between compression from doing things like humming and buzzing the lips through songs (also called Resonant Tracking or Nasal Buzzing), and starting in Quack/hyper-twang compression and then backing/tuning into the singing vowel.

(2) Defining Mass (overall effort and push) for each phonation: light, medium, heavy, or in-between. And make sure her "medium mass" is solid, resonant singing. Light is effortless. And Heavy is shouting. This is a page straight out of TVS Methodology and The Four Pillars of Singing. I try to keep my students between medium-light and medium at all times. But those struggling with too much air are usually far too light and falsetto like. Also, you'll want to separate mass (overall effort and push) from volume (bigger resonance from solid breath support).

For men in head voice range, it's a very similar set of techniques. Cry Vocal Mode and good Appoggio can quickly fix a lot of issues.

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59 minutes ago, Courtney Nottingham said:

Thank you! What do you mean by "whimpering"?

I'm happy to help. Whimpering = Cry vocal mode, activating the cry reflex in the vocal tract, a top-down phonation that is similar to a puppy whimpering.

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