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Peel Away Bad Habits To Find Your True Sound

I received a great question from Mile about achieving a more resonant voice. This subject is one that many are interested in, and it applies to our speaking and singing voices. Read on to find how you can discover your own best sound.

Your Question

I’ve been watching some of your youtube videos and I was wondering if you might be able to help and let me know how can I develop more masculine, deeper resonant voice. Are there are some exercises I can perform so I can develop this kind of voice?

I’ve read that physical exercises for my neck muscles will help me develop more resonant voice because the stronger neck muscles will enable me to keep my vocal cords more relaxed which in return will produce more resonant sound. I’ve been doing these types of exercises for couple of weeks but since I couldn’t see any improvements I stopped. Was I wrong to do this? Are these legitimate exercises?

Thanks for your time. All the best, Mile

My Answer

It is not uncommon for a singer to ask me how they can get a different vocal sound. Some find their sound to be nasally. Some too light and airy and some males are looking for a deeper more masculine sound, while some females want a more feminine, less manly sound.

So, how does one change their basic vocal sound? There are two key steps.

First, is to recognize that you probably don’t know what you really sound like to others, which is why you are not happy when you hear a recording of your voice. This can be as simple as playing back your voicemail message on an iPhone or a professionally recorded song. In either case what you hear may be a literal surprise.

The reason for this is simple: You hear a preview of your vocal sound resonating up the side of your face from your mouth to your ears. In addition, there is a lot of buzzing resonance in the facial and head bone structure. Add it all up and you get a “false reading” as to what others hear.

Second, rather than trying to change your sound to something you have pre-defined, you should be striving to “discover the real you.” Think of it this way: If you have filtered out your most pure, effortless, rich and resonant sound due to bad vocal habits you may just need to peel back the filters. I should also add here that you can’t just pick your vocal range. If you have long, thick vocal folds you are not a high tenor or soprano. And, if your vocal folds are very short and thin you are closer to a high tenor or soprano and low bass or alto notes may not be who you are. But, even though you can’t suddenly change your physiology you can probably significantly expand your range. Even more importantly, you can discover and release your best sound.

Some Basic Steps:

  1. Find a comfortable upright posture by lifting your hands over your head, then relax them but keep the posture.
  2. Start some easy humming and feel the sensations of buzzing and tickling throughout your face and head.
  3. Move in and out of humming and talking letting the resonating from the hum be part of your speaking.
  4. Go from humming to a random, made-up song about anything (describe the room you’re in) let that upright posture and buzzing, relaxed vocal sound be the basic sound of your song.
  5. While doing all of the above, start relying on the physical sensations rather than the previewed sound you hear.
  6. Finally, take two large pieces of paper, or magazines at hold them in front of your ears sticking out to the sides. Then repeat the exercises. Here’s a link to a demonstration of this fun and revealing vocal exercise. Several million others have viewed this and found it really helpful.

Summary: Try to uncover the best “vocal you” that there is. Then, if you need help relating to what you’re hearing, or making this work for the style you want to sing, consider some of the amazingly practical tools from Vocal Coach, like Complete Tone, Complete Performance, Complete Expanding your Range and more.

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  1. Hey all vocalists. Just thought I'd share this with you. I found it to be very interesting, hope you do to cause I want you to be happy with the voice God has blessed you with.

  2. Hola! soy soprano pero me he acostumbrado por temor a subir y desafinar a cantar bajo, y cuando intento cantar alto siento que no llego, a parte de eso siempre siento la garganta infectada y siempre garraspeo, que puedo hacer?

    1. yo tengo el mismo prolema me acostumbre y ahora es dificil, pero alguien me dio un consejo muy bueno, en los ensayo sube aunque desafine y cuando sueltes tu voz y la conoscas poco a poco la vas manejando….

  3. tengo un ligero prolblema cuando canto canciones en notas altas casi siempre termino con un poco de ronquera en la garganta –aque se debe esto y que ejercicios debo tomar? gracias por la respuesta.

  4. I know someone who could ( or must I say should ) use this now to realise what they could do with their voice.

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