Alright! Now you know that resonance creates the fullness of the sound. You also know a few ways that you can create more resonance in your voice. So in this article, I want to chat about common issues you’re likely to struggle with related to resonance, and how you can get past them. So let’s get to it!
As mentioned before, we need to be aware of posture. Posture plays a huge role in taking advantage of resonance. And it’s becoming more and more common now that our society is developing what I’ve heard others refer to as “text neck.” Text neck refers to the bad posture many people use while looking at their phone. This often causes the head to be tilted forward, or downward. Instead, we want to have good head and neck posture, standing tall with the chin neither up or down. This will help ensure you don’t put a kink in the resonance tube so to speak.
We also need to be aware of certain sounds that tend to make us want to pull the tongue back. There are actually quite a few of them, so I’m going to break them down into groups below and then discuss how to avoid the pullback.
First off, we have ending L’s and R’s. These two consonants, when sung at the end of a word, make it very like for a singer to pull the tongue back. This happens, because speaking these consonants requires a slight pull back in the tongue. But when this is taken too far, we close off valuable resonance space.
So how do we fix it? Well, with the L’s, you want to make sure you’re holding the vowel for the duration of the note, because and ending L wants to sneak into that vowel. This pulls your tongue back and closes off resonance space. Then, at the very end of the note you’re holding, you want to speak the L’s while only using the tip of the tongue behind the teeth. When done correctly, you do not need to alter the back of the tongue at all.
To fix ending R’s, you can get away without singing them at all. Think of how a British person would speak the word and sing it that way. Your listener still hears the R, but you don’t have to sing it. It sounds a little crazy, but works perfectly well.
The next problem sound is G’s and K’s. G’s and K’s aren’t as bad as L’s and R’s because we don’t tend to hold them as long. But, they still tempt us to pull the tongue back. So how do we get past it?
Well, to speak a G or a K, your tongue has to make contact with the roof of the mouth. Most singers touch their tongue to the back of the roof of their mouth. Instead, try speaking the G/K by bringing the back of the tongue up to the middle of the roof of the mouth. Then, drop the tongue down and forward as you open to the vowel. This helps you release your tongue forward instead of being tempted to pull it back and close off resonance space.
Finally, diphthongs often tempt the tongue to pull back as we sing them. What’s a diphthong, you ask? Well, a diphthong is when we have two vowel sounds in one syllable. The word eye is a diphthong. It’s made up of the vowel sounds “ah” and “ee.” Ah-ee, Ay-ee, Ah-oo, Oh-ee, and Oh-oo are common diphthongs in the English language.
Diphthongs often close off resonance for a singer when we move to the second vowel sound prematurely. Often, when we move to that second vowel sound, we pull the tongue back and the jaw up. Instead of doing this, you want to hold the first vowel for the duration of the note, keeping the jaw down and the tongue forward. Then, speak the second vowel sound quickly at the end like you would an ending consonant. This will help you maintain solid resonance.
Ok, well that covers this article. You now know what creates the fullness of the sound (resonance). You also know how to create more resonance, and how to avoid common issues. So now, I want to move onto the 3rd section of this series – vocal coordination.