Joy Starts Your Singing Note

“The sensations of tonal action are an internal event – you must feel them, from beginning to end, within the body.” – Arthur Lessac

  • What really starts your singing tone?
  • Are you supposed to push the sound out?
  • Does it take a lot of effort?
  • Why does my throat get sore?
  • Why am I hoarse?

I’m frequently asked these questions and many like them, so I’d like to address them in a way that will make it easy for you to understand how truly simple natural singing is.

  • The tone starts in the mind as a desire to sing, a sense of joy inside of you wants to get out
  • That thought sends a message to the vocal membranes (cords) to close
  • Air coming up through the trachea (wind pipe) builds up pressure below the vocal cords enough to ‘puff’ through, which sets up an incredibly fast vibration in the cords that causes a sound wave
  • At this point the breath that helped to start the sound wave is not as important as it was. As the air stream weakens and passes out of the mouth and nose, the sound wave, independent of the breath, travels up and away from the vocal cords
  • As it travels upwards, it finds hard bony structures in the head to bounce off of, which causes resonance those secondary vibrations that give power and beauty to the voice
  • This resonance is the true power of the voice and it happens naturally and effortlessly when you relax
  • Sound waves get out and to the audience when you don’t try to push the sound or push the breath

So how do you let resonance take over?  How do you let the joy out?

  • Relax your tongue, jaw, cheeks, brow and throat
  • Let go of the tension in your belly
  • That belly tension can cause a ‘panic’ feeling, which makes you think that you have to push your voice to be heard. Pushing your voice will give you a sore throat or hoarseness, which is NOT what you want
  • So start softly and gently with a midtone or low tone on an ‘ng,’ as in ‘sing’ or ‘England’ or an ‘mmm’ sound ‘mmm’ sound
  • Don’t go to another pitch UNTIL AFTER you feel (not hear!) the buzzing vibrations in your resonators (the bony cavities of your head)
  • Once you clearly feel those vibrations, gently move into the tone nearest the one you just made until you feel vibrations with that one too
  • Now play with the buzzing vibrations of these two tones, alternating gently back and forth between them
  • Stay focused on how they feel and watch out for any tightening of your throat, belly, jaw, etc.
  • Once you can feel the buzzing sensations on these two tones and can freely move between them without tensing up, add another note or two and repeat the whole process
  • After you discover how easy this is, you’ll be able to add vowel sounds to the ‘ng’ or ‘mmm’
  • I recommend using the ‘Silly Spinning Siren’ with the ‘mmm’ sound and the five open vowels in this order:
    ē / ā / ō / oo / aw
  • Exaggerate all of these like this:
    mmmeee / mmmaaay / mmmoe / mmmooo / mmmaaaw
  • Try this whole process lying flat on your back and resting your hands on your diaphragm
  • Remember that you don’t sing with the diaphragm. That muscle simply supports the tone. You sing with sound waves that create resonance, so focus on the vibrations in your head, not in your throat or diaphragm
  • Did I mention relax and don’t worry so much about how you sound? Again, focus on the feeling of the vibrations rather than what you hear
  • Last and most important: singing is your joy released so have fun with it!
  • Questions? Contact me

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Pat October 26, 2010, 6:14 pm

    You are so special, and I truly thank God for you and all of your talents. I am going hard on my tongue/voice lessons. I am so excited for this valuable information. I will be getting in touch with you after the holidays so that you can hear how my voice has really matured from your lessons. I am going to make you very proud of me, but until then may God continue to bless you and your family in a great way. Thank you so much for being here for me.

    • Joy October 26, 2010, 6:45 pm

      Pat,

      I am so thankful that you are able to apply what I teach and that it is helping you. I had wondered about how the Singing Tongue digital lesson had worked for you and am truly happy to hear that you have gotten much from it.

      Looking forward to continuing to be there for you!

      Joy

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