|Historically, the maneuvering between what is believed to be chest and head voice has preoccupied many a singer and consumed many a voice lesson. Many singers have actually given up ever expecting to have a "connected" head and chest voice and settle for simply using only a lower or higher register when singing. Certainly it can seem frustrating, complicated, and often perplexing with no remedy in sight.
How about a fresh approach?
What if there really was no such thing as "head" and "chest"? What if, for the moment, you abandon any memory of having one or several weak transitional notes between your lower and higher registers, and just consider your range to be one long expanse of notes? OK, so a few of these notes may not be as full as you'd like. Let's call them tonally challenged with the capacity to be rehabilitated. Get the idea of your voice as one long continuous expanse of notes with no sections.
One thing you might find useful is to know that the higher you sing the less air your vocal folds need for their vibration. If you PUSH out air thinking you need to “hit” the note, you will over-blow the vibration and assist in creating your own register break.
Now, what if there were exercises you could do that would get all of these notes in perfect balance?
Here is what you need to do to eliminate register break:
1. Learn how to achieve natural breath support whereby you do not have to think at all about breathing; yet, the air stream would automatically be the perfect amount to vibrate your vocal folds for each pitch - not more - not less.
2. This would then relieve tension in your throat, eliminating the primary cause of register break and the subsequent illusion that there are such things as head and chest voice.
3. Next you would practice certain exercises designed to make all the little vibrational transitions of you voice work smoothly and harmoniously with each other.
The Result: No more register break and much of your attention previously stuck on your body, now free for you to direct as you wish upon your audience and a more passionate performance!
Much of my self-study course, The Contemporary Vocalist Volume One, is devoted to exploring and resolving this problem in much greater detail. Once you practice the exercises that address this, you will understand why what I have said here works. Ultimately, it takes practice the correct exercises coached in a very specific manner so that once and for all you can move past register break and gain a full, connected range of notes with which to freely express yourself.
© 2003 Jeannie Deva. Jeannie Deva is the founder of Jeannie Deva® Voice Studios since 1978 and of The Deva Method® A Non-Classical Approach for Singers. While her private voice studio is located in Los Angeles, Jeannie maintains private clients across the country and in Europe. Author of the internationally published vocal home-study course: "The Contemporary Vocalist" book and CDs, she has been flown to recording studios internationally to handle album vocal production and has been endorsed by producers and engineers of the Rolling Stones, The Cars, Aerosmith, and many others. Clients include Grammy Award Winner Aimee Mann, Patty Griffin, Coppertree, Dar Williams, Moodcrush, members of the J. Geils band, cast of Fame, Jesus Christ Superstar and many more. www.JeannieDeva.com
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