Ok, so now that you understand why resonance is such a big deal, let’s explore how you can create more resonance in your voice.
So first off, your main resonator as a singer is the vocal tract. The vocal tract begins at the vocal folds, continues through the throat and mouth, and ends at the lips. This “tube” of space is responsible for the majority of your resonance as a singer.
As a side note, I’m sure many of you have heard of chest voice and head voice. We use these terms to identify the feeling we experience when in these parts of the voice. When we feel vibrations in the chest, we call that chest voice. When we feel vibrations in the head, we call that head voice. This sound doesn’t resonate so much there, but we know we’re taking good advantage of resonance when we feel sympathetic vibrations of the resonance in those places. Hopefully that makes sense. If not, don’t worry. Just know that we’re focused on creating space in the vocal tract, not the chest or head.
So how can we create more space in the vocal tract?
First, you want to make sure you have good head and neck posture. If your chin is up, down, or forward, you end up pinching off the resonator. This blocks off your sound. So, make sure you have a nice, tall posture with a neutral chin position.
Second, you want to be mindful of the positioning of the tongue. The tongue can either help create more space in the vocal tract, or it can block off space. As a general rule, you want to allow the tongue to rest down and forward. Ideally, the tip of the tongue should rest no further back than on the bottom of the teeth.
Also, we ideally want to keep the tongue more flat or U-shaped. Many singers unknowingly raise their tongue up and back as they sing. This blocks off valuable resonance in the mouth and throat, which is no good. So try your best to keep the tongue more flat or U-shaped instead of it coming up like a mound. Do this and you’ll be able to create a much fuller sound in an effortless manner when you sing.
Finally, you want to make sure that you drop your jaw when you sing. When you drop the jaw, you open more vertical resonance space. You also want to allow the tongue to release down and forward with the jaw, otherwise you’re just as closed off as you were before.
So to recap, resonance creates the fullness of the sound when you sing. This resonance allows you to create a much bigger sound without having to push in any way. To maximize your vocal resonance, you want to make sure that you:
- Utilize good posture.
- Drop the jaw.
- Allow the tongue to stay out of the way, releasing down and forward.
Now that we’ve talked about how to create more resonance as a singer, let’s talk about what’s likely to get in the way of good resonance.