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Range, Resonance and Jay!

Well, the 8 week vocal adventure is well under way, and it’s time to meet student #2!

Jason is 37, and has been singing for quite some time. He has been performing in bands and has experience recording in the studio. Jason has a lot of experience as a vocalist, however, Jason is in a position very similar to a lot of my clients, because although he has a lot of experience, he has no formal training.

Jason is going to be an awesome challenge, as he has already taught himself lots of tricks, and can pull off a great rock vocal. In today’s session we discussed building his chest voice and vocal stamina so that his larynx, vocal cords and throat aren’t carrying the constant weight of those high notes. His goal songs are "I don't Care Anymore" By Phil Collins, and "Breaking the Habit" by Linkin Park. He can already hold these songs down well, but but there's always room for improvement, and we want to get his true voice coming through, without any tricks, or effects to cover up cracks, and add consistent power he can confidently rely on. This is all part of his vocal goal to become mentally and vocally prepared to start performing live again.

So, what about his voice? His high notes are really strong, as is his mix, and he can transfer really well from his chest to a mix tone, through his bridge (or break or passagio – whatever you want to call it…) however, if we strengthen his chest and add more notes to that area of his range, he’ll be able to do so much more.

For those of you new to vocal technique, here are some simple definitions of what chest, mix, head, falsetto etc. all means. A vocal register is a particular part of the vocal range such as the upper, middle, or lower registers, and are commonly referred to by using the resonance area such as chest voice or head voice.

The lower areas of the range are referred to as your chest voice, as this is where it resonates. It goes up to a mix, then head, (or falsetto, again because this is where it resonates) then whistle and super whistle. A big problem occurs for many singers when they have power in their chest, and try to move up without transitioning through the different areas. This is when they pull up the chest, hit their break and snap in to their light head voice. It’s a really big issue for many singers. It’s great if you like to yodel though ;-)

Here is a nifty little image to show where you may feel the resonance when singing these different vocal ranges:

So our goal with Jay is to strengthen the chest, and stop him cheating into his mix really early so we can add strength and stamina to his high notes doing this should also extend his range too!

Here’s where he is today:

Light notes, hit very gently with a lip roll: F#5

Chest voice staying connected: G#4

Mix Voice:C#5

Lowest note: E2

See you next time, when we meet student #3!!

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