What makes the quality of one voice different from any other? Why is one voice more nasal, or more thin and reedy than any other and why is tension so distructive to vocal tone?
Vocal quality is primary determined by resonance - or lack of it! Although you may think that you are stuck with the voice you were born with - it's time to think again!
The main vocal resonators are the mouth,the pharynx (the area of the throat behind the mouth) and the nasal cavities. Once you become aware of how these areas work, you can develop and exercise them so that, with practice, your voice gains resonance and thus becomes more rounded, expressive and flexible.
If your voice sounds nasal this is because essentially non- nasal sounds are resonating through your nasal cavities rather than throughout the resonating areas; a breathy voice is an indication that the vocal chords are not brought closely enough together during the production of tone, so the air rushing through the gap and produces friction heard as a breathy noise added into the normal vocal cord tone.
A thin quality means a voice that is lacking in resonance and so sounds flat and colourless; a voice that is strident and harsh, sounds as it does because of tension and strain in the resonators.
The first thing you need to get to grips with, is which areas you can change and develop and which are the bits you are stuck with! Although you cannot alter the shape of the vocal cavity itself, by using and developing the muscles of the jaw, tongue, cheeks and lips and by combining sustained practice and exercise with good posture and good breath control, you can significantly improve your vocal tone and incidentally, also prevent strain and protect your voice, ensuring that your dulcet tones can keep going - even if the rest of you is feeling may be little bit rusty!
In the next blog - I will introduce you to the delights of the resonator scale.
Bet you can't wait!