I have a question for all you singers and speakers out there: Do you like the sound of your voice? And, did you know that you can change and enhance the way your voice sounds?
Without question one of the most exciting events in the Vocal Coach studio is when a singer first experiences complete vocal freedom. They are relaxed, not pushing or strained and, most of all they are fully aware of the physical sensations of free singing. It feels good physically and it sounds good and is easily “shaped” for the style they are singing.
It all starts with learning to really LISTEN to your own vocal sound. That can be tricky, however, since you are constantly getting a “preview” of sound traveling up the side of your face from the mouth the ears. Add to that bone resonance vibrating through the head and face structure and you are left an inaccurate, or, at the very least an incomplete version of what others hear.
Here are some thoughts from out Complete Tone CD that will help you:
- Everything starts with upright, yet relaxed posture.
- Remind yourself that though the air comes in to the lungs, the physical sensation of inhaling is best felt with expansion in the back, sides and frontal abdominal wall. So, getting a few breaths in on sip, sip, sip and out on hiss, hiss, hiss (like a leaking tire) is always worth doing.
- Start to “feel” the physical sensations of your sound by humming. Begin in speaking range then freely move up and down throughout your range. Every area from your chest to the top of your head and everything in between will be vibrating at some point.
Here’s where the real fun begins:
- Find two large folders or thick pieces of paper that can reflect sound and hold them up in FRONT of your ears sticking out to the sides. (You can draw elephant ears on them if you want.)
- For our first open-mouth sounds go from a Hum to an Ah. HmmmAhhhhh. With the reflectors in place your voice will sound a little different. Perhaps, distant. You are now hearing yourself the way others hear you. It’s a more accurate, YOU.
- With reflectors still in place start speaking or reading something to get you used to the sound. Then move on to some easy, conversational singing or some simple scales.
- Take the reflectors down and repeat the speaking and singing. Then, move the reflectors up, then down randomly while speaking and singing. This will get you used to … YOU!
As you get used to the sound that other people hear you will be more likely to allow singing to be an extension of speaking, just on notes, rather than shifting into an unnatural sound.
This is just the beginning of one of the most fun and foundational areas of good speaking and singing. To really dig in be sure to read all the Blogs related to Tone and consider downloading, or purchasing the hard copy of COMPLETE TONE. You won’t be sorry. May may even want a single Online, face-to-face Skype or FaceTime session with me just to be sure you are on track. Simply go to the Vocal Coach Store for details and to set up a session.