So I woke up this morning (late) and was thinking (I know, scary). What is the most misunderstood and most difficult to understand aspect of singing, particularly with contemporary vocal technique? In my opinion it is resonance!
Most of us know what we want to sound like, but getting to that point is a different matter. The resonant sound is produced by so many different factors, adjustment and movements within, and out of the body that most people find it too difficult to understand let alone want to! Most people (when you get to know them) can be distinguished by the sound of their voice (if we didn’t’ have caller ID). This is because your lips, tongue, jaw, head, position of the larynx and type and shape of your body all has an effect on the resonance of your sound. Also tension and/or release of all these structures can positively and negatively affect the resonance as well. So how do you choose what you want, to get the best sound that you can produce?

I believe that you as the singer should know your body… you use your sense of touch and your kinesthetic (the physicality of movement) awareness to sense the movement of your body and voice. I could go into great detail about muscle names and functions, but for most of you, that is not what you are looking for out of this page. Exercises to help with exploring your resonance are not hard.

When you are warmed up, start singing different vowels (every vowel has a different resonant sound) and feel your way around your mouth and body. What happens when you sing and poke my tongue out, lock your knees, lengthen your torso, move your jaw, close your mouth, open your mouth, pout your lips etc.…? Explore your sound (ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU RECORD YOURSELF) Find out what the soft palate does (I will probably talk about that at a later time). What is your Pharynx and what does it do? How does your jaw affect how you sing? When you sing, what parts of your body are tense? What parts are relaxed? What affect do your lips and tongue have on your resonance? When you explore these structures that affect the resonance of the voice, you can find a resonance that you like, and change resonance for different styles of contemporary songs. Remember that a good singing teacher should always encourage you to explore your voice and allow that exploration in a safe manner. If you have any questions or would like me to post about something particular please send me a message!
Thanks and happy singing!