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How to achieve resonance? What does correct singing feel like?

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nariza77
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I want to learn how to sing with resonance, but I am unsure how to achieve that.

I always raise my larynx(strain) when I sing even though I've tried holding my tongue, using diaphragm support(still working on it) and other exercises. I have tried vocal fry (for some reason still strains my throat, but maybe im doing it wrong).

[Correct me if im wrong] How I picture correct singing is controlling the airflow during exhale with the diaphragm so that the flow is consistent(not pushed), and then having the vocal folds close as I sing higher without having the larynx raised. Also I should have an open throat so that my tongue muscle won't constrict my voice. The airflow that passes through the vocal folds should resonate in the "mask" or cavities in the head, near the nose, or at the hard palate. That way, when you sing, you should feel vibrations in the mask areas.

Even though this is how I picture it, I cant seem to achieve the resonance. I don't even know how to coordinate my vocal folds to close without moving the larynx. I would try singing at a pitch and try to change it, but it doesnt change unless my larynx moves. <- This was when I sang "ah" while holding my tongue. Changing my mouth structure also doesnt change the pitch. I've tried the "ng", "goog", "ts+z+ahh", "mm" and others, but I still feel some sort of tension in my throat. I thought a little bit of tension is okay, but after awhile my throat feels really dry, so maybe its not right.

So does changing the pitch always move larynx? even with a little bit of air when singing a bit higher, my larynx moves up(strain). I may be rushing things, but I just want to have an understanding so that I am not exercising incorrectly in anything. I've actually developed bad habits because of the "nay" exercise I think. I go nasally more now, and also I've realized that when I go nasally, it feels like I pull my larynx up too.

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Don't panic and stop over analyzing things! LOL You have a good description of what singing should be/feel. I feel you need to spend more time TRAINING your voice than trying to learn. Don't get so caught up in trying to learn how to sing when you should be building strength with the muscles that control the voice.

Do a forum search and I'm sure you will find the answers you are looking for also hear is my basic beginner voice training example.

Stretch the muscles around the core, lay on you back and take slow relaxed breaths for 10-15 mins, Do the hissing exercise with this new relaxed low breath until you can hiss for 30 or more seconds consistently, Do some hums in a low comfortable chest voice for 5 mins on a 3 tone scale for about a half an octave, Lip roll from your lowest notes to you mid voice on a 3 tone scale, lip roll on a 5 tone scale to your highest comfortable note, lip roll from mid voice to you highest note on a 5 tone scale, and finally connect from your lowest to your highest note on a 4 tone octave scale.

After you finish do a few sirens to connect the voice...Also if you can't lip roll tongue roll. Work on this and report back.

Good Luck!

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Wow okay, you have definitely confused yourself to a good extent. So I'm gonna keep this simple.

1. Never 'push' your muscles or push too much air.

2. Don't try to voluntary control your muscles, i.e. cords/larynx

3. Before you start getting resonance, do not sing any higher than 18-19 semi notes from your lowest chest note. High notes have a lot more action going on that just -hitting the note-. As experienced by myself, one can sing high notes incorrectly and never get any better at them.

Those are your precautions, now to getting the resonance.

1. Imagine you are singing below your cords, and not with your cords.

2. Keep your voice relaxed, never feel obligated to keep cord closure, try to sound croonish at times.

3. Make light, short pulses, of falsetto/head tones without moving your mouth. If you do this right, you should get the sensation of the sound coming from the back of throat. This is supposed to help you get a feel of resonance, rather than pushing your mouth/cords/muscles that UTTERLY PREVENT RESONANCE.

Also I've never found much use for fry in my personal practice, but when you do a fry, think of it as 3/4 "mo" vowel, and 1/4 fry support.

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that's some explanation dover.

nariza, simply put, resonance is a byproduct of a relaxed and free vocal tract. to get a feel for it quickly, sing a comfortable legato note on any of these sounds....

"ohm" (the electrical term) ... "aw" as in hawk." those are two sounds that really kick it in. the narrowness of the vowel helps lift the voice out of the throat and connect it to the resonating cavities in your head.

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Much of resonance results from the natural vibrations of sounds on components of the vocal tract. Hence, if one is thinking about and controlling these components, then one's thoughts and control actually causes less natural vibrations and less resonance.

Poster's question, in my opinion, is perhaps confusing. I think the question should be how does one dramatically increase resonance, instead of why one doesn't have resonance. You have resonance already, and have far more still innate usually subconscious resonance potentiality. It's less how to Train yourself to Develop resonance, and more, how does one Release innate resonance.

Yes, resonance can be trained, but always at cost of forced control that reduces emotional effects and still more potentiality. A better method is to release obstructions in the vocal tract, generally these are tensions and sometimes tensions that actually affect a body component (e.g. movements of tongue and larynx). VocalPosture.com's claim is that these tensions are mostly posture related issues, and the answer comes from adjusting posture.

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In regards to the resonant shift that takes place through the passaggio... specifically... it feels like an occultation low and in the back of your head. It feels like pressure and intrinsic vibration. In TVS we call this "covering"... So that is what singing with proper placements, resonance and formants through the bridge feel like. You actually DO feel it, its not just an abstract voice teacher metaphor..

There are other feelings in singing, but that is probably the most important one to point out to you...

Hope this helps...

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What one feels in the mask is a sympathetic vibration. For example, I might feel a ring in my head but that is just a sympathetic vibration of a well resonated note. I agree with others. Don't overthink it. You will know you are there when you feel that "ring." One of my exercises is to hold one note and "play" with resonance by changing the drop of the jaw, slight smile, no smile, etc. Make funny faces. Mess around with and find your "sweet spot."

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I want to learn how to sing with resonance, but I am unsure how to achieve that.

I always raise my larynx(strain) when I sing even though I've tried holding my tongue, using diaphragm support(still working on it) and other exercises. I have tried vocal fry (for some reason still strains my throat, but maybe im doing it wrong).

[Correct me if im wrong] How I picture correct singing is controlling the airflow during exhale with the diaphragm so that the flow is consistent(not pushed), and then having the vocal folds close as I sing higher without having the larynx raised. Also I should have an open throat so that my tongue muscle won't constrict my voice. The airflow that passes through the vocal folds should resonate in the "mask" or cavities in the head, near the nose, or at the hard palate. That way, when you sing, you should feel vibrations in the mask areas.

Even though this is how I picture it, I cant seem to achieve the resonance. I don't even know how to coordinate my vocal folds to close without moving the larynx. I would try singing at a pitch and try to change it, but it doesnt change unless my larynx moves. <- This was when I sang "ah" while holding my tongue. Changing my mouth structure also doesnt change the pitch. I've tried the "ng", "goog", "ts+z+ahh", "mm" and others, but I still feel some sort of tension in my throat. I thought a little bit of tension is okay, but after awhile my throat feels really dry, so maybe its not right.

So does changing the pitch always move larynx? even with a little bit of air when singing a bit higher, my larynx moves up(strain). I may be rushing things, but I just want to have an understanding so that I am not exercising incorrectly in anything. I've actually developed bad habits because of the "nay" exercise I think. I go nasally more now, and also I've realized that when I go nasally, it feels like I pull my larynx up too.

nariza77: Sorry that I have not been able to join this thread until now... too much going on.

I am going to respond to your paragraphs in the order you presented them.

---You write that you are unsure how to achieve resonance, and would like to know how to achieve it.

Response: Welcome to the club! We all at one time or another had the same challenge. WebAndNet introduced a idea that bears extension: resonance happens as a result of your vocal tract configuration. If your vocal tract is not open and free, then your resonance will be less than it can be.

The reason for this is that the dimensions of the air space in the vocal tract strongly influence the frequency locations of the resonances. For example, if the singer carries tension or stiffness in the musculature of the tongue root, for example, it thickens the tongue, narrowing the part of the pharynx where the tongue root forms the forward part of the space.

---You write that your larynx always rises when you sing, and about 'support' and vocal fry.

Response: Its a very common vocal habit for the larynx to rise at the beginning of phonation, the 'onset'. I had it when I entered University, and had to work fairly diligently to disengage from the habit. For me, it turned out that my habitual oversinging (and too-loud speaking) had provoked both a throat closing and larynx raising action to protect my voice. It only yielded when I focused my practice for about an hour each day for a month in front of the mirror to discover the minimum I could do to start a phonation. Soft vocal fry was an important part of that.

After that month, my ability to onset without raising the larynx was greatly improved, and the clarity of my onset was much better as well.

As a side note, this did not address all of my vocal issues. I did not learn until much, much later that my vowel formations for Oh and OO were hiding residual tongue root tension.

---You write about the air flow resonating in the mask.

Response: While this works as an image, its not actually happening. As ronws said, the vibrations in the mask are sympathetic... the bones there are wiggling as a result of the phonation and vocal tract character. The sensations, if the voice is not being produced nasally, are fine to have. If you have them, the more precisely located they are, the better.

--- You write if its possible to change notes without the larynx moving.

Response: Yes, it is. However, once you get to the point that you are free to position your larynx wherever you wish, you may choose to take advantage of the acoustic change that occurs as the larynx is raised. This motion raises the vowel resonances, and that can help them stay aligned with the harmonics of your phonated tone. Another way to accomplish pretty much the same effect is to let the jaw drop instead. This raises the lower vowel resonance mostly, and the 2nd one somewhat, but leaves the other ones alone.

The vocal freedom to accomplish all of this begins when you get your support working correctly. This will remove the extraneous, unnecessary exhalation force from your phonation, and your voice will respond almost immediately by relaxing into a phonation that is not as tight. From there, you can re-work your onsets to re-conceptualize them without the rising-larynx gesture, and you can release tongue tension.

As you proceed down this line, every few weeks you will likely experience new awareness 'what causes what', which will lead to a series of small breakthroughs reducing tension further. Your practice of soft, clear sirens, and of resonant voiced consonants will improve, and will start feeling buzzier and fun.

I hope this is helpful.

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  • 6 months later...

Thank you for the responses guys. I think I will try to work on my breathing first. I am realizing that I lose a lot of air through my nose when speaking and singing. My singing sounds very soft and it also changes a lot when I plug my nose. Am I supposed to not let air out through my nose whenever i sing besides the "m" and "n" sounds? I am thinking of getting a swimmer's nose plug and learning to sing with it on so that I can prevent nasal sounds and loss of air through my nose.

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"The Voice Book" by Kate Devore has a 14-step process for building resonance.

They're supposed to be completed in order. You're not supposed to move onto the next step

until you've mastered the current one.

Anyway, you can find the book here.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Voice-Book-Protecting-Improving/dp/1556528299/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358808532&sr=8-1

Book Preview is here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1556528299/ref=sib_dp_pop_toc?ie=UTF8&p=S006#reader-link

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