To a small degree, it actually drives me a little crazy to think of all the false and confusing and overly significant (technical) information on the human voice that is out there today. Not all of it is bad, but not all of it is good either.
First off, let’s go ahead an clear a couple of terms that we can ACTUALLY use and need.
Resonate– produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound.
Resonance – a quality imparted to voiced sounds by vibration in chambers or cavities (such as the mouth or the nasal cavity)
Now, unfortunately some terms some vocal coaches throw around to describe the voice and what it can do I swear are passing their lips simply because they want you to know how much they ‘know’. And some of them are just blindly regurgitating and passing along the same vocal technobabble they were forced to eat.
Look, I get it. Some of the terms are somewhat useful. Sometime in the past someone decided we needed a way to ‘visualize’ creating a deep round tone and said “Picture the sound coming from you chest.” Ok, I know that ‘picturing’ chest voice does work to some degree. I used to do it myself. But somewhere along the line some idiot left out the word ‘picture’ and started the false data that there is such a thing as a Chest Voice. I bought it. You probably bought it. And we aren’t the only ones. Same for the ‘Head Voice’ as well.
As a matter of fact, the first story I bought was the Two Voice Theory – Chest Voice and Head Voice, or the technical terms are the Modal Register and Falsetto Register. I’m not even going to get into those little jewels other than the ‘Vocal Registers’ are simply a set of arbitrary measuring terms thrown out there by a guy named Manuel Garcia II in a book he published in London in 1894. People have been using them ever since. The other two are Vocal Fry and Whistle Register.
Anyway, the Chest Voice, I was told was the regular voice, and Head Voice was my falsetto voice.
Then later on I was given another story, which was actually closer to the truth and much more helpful. A guy named Wes Beacher in Hollywood had a studio that I was recording in and told me about the 4 Voice Theory – Chest Voice, Throat Voice, Nose Voice, and Head Voice. It was with that theory that I was able to envision combining the power of my ‘chest voice’ with the range of my ‘nose voice’ and ‘head voice’ to produce the Power Head Voice. So it had it’s uses. But was still not the actual fact of what the heck is going on.
So, like I did everything else when putting together Singing From Scratch, if something didn’t make sense, I went with what I know, can see, and show others.
The fact is there is only One Voice. Yours.
It is not in your chest, it is not in your head. It is in throat and resonances throughout your throat, mouth, and nasal cavities. That’s it.
If you have lungs and a heart and a stomach, sound does not resonate in your chest. It vibrates through the tissues a bit sure. But there is not production of resonance. If you have brain in your head, there is no resonance happening in your head.
Like I said. Your voice is the sound that is made by the vocal cords. Then it resonates in the connected chambers of the throat, mouth, and nasal cavities, before it passes your lips. There are no vocal cords in the mouth, there are no vocal cords in the nose and there certainly isn’t any in the chest or head. If there are, then not being able to sing is the least of your problems.
But what we can do, to help understand our One Voice better, is to break it down into three areas of resonance – Throat, Mouth, and Nose. From there we can get a handle on controlling basic Resonance. And that’s what the remainder of this course is about.