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Trouble with Power - by Jeannie Deva
Dear fellow singers. I recently received a question from a bluesy singer and thought you'd all find the question and my answer of interest. If anyone wishes to send me your vocal questions, please do and then keep reading this newsletter to find the answer! You can send questions to the email address given at the end of this article. Yours in song! Jeannie Deva

Q: "I have a very throaty bluesy feel to my personal style of singing, but often have trouble breaking my voice powerfully and effectively when I try to hit high or deep notes. Do you have any suggestions that might help me to overcome this problem so that I can hit notes more clearly or break my voice powerfully without an annoying rasp? Thank you for your attention." C. D.

A: If you're using muscle force to try to sing powerfully, you will have problems. Power comes from resonance. The voice is an acoustic instrument. It creates sound through vibrations that then interact within the inner space of our throat, mouth, head, chest and back. Resonance and volume are further developed as these vibrations move into and through the tissues of these areas. (There's more to this, of course, but essentially, this is how it goes.)

Muscle tension or force in the throat will simply limit the vibrations of your voice and restrict the resonant power you would otherwise achieve naturally. This tension, especially of the back of your tongue, can make your voice unpleasantly strained. The tension can throw your voice off pitch and shorten your range considerably. It will eventually fatigue your voice and cause increasingly severe vocal blow out.

To use the term "break your voice powerfully" can indicate that you are thinking in terms of some kind of physical force in order to sing with power. Try thinking in terms of "singing with power" or "a powerful sound across your range" instead.

There are definitely exercises you can do to achieve a powerful multi octave and healthy voice which would still permit you to retain the stylistic qualities of your voice that you enjoy. The first step would be to get your vocal muscles limbered and flexible. I suggest first practicing daily with my warm ups and then see if you want to take your vocal development any further. Let me know how it goes!

I am offering free, some of my most recommended vocal warm ups and cool downs. To receive, visit and request your e-copy. Please mention that you read my article in this musicians newsletter. Don't forget to include any questions or topics you'd like me to address in my upcoming articles. See you next month!

Jeannie Deva is the Founder of The Deva Method® and Jeannie Deva™ Voice Studios located in several locations across New England. Her private Los Angeles voice studio opened in the summer of 2002. She is the author of the critically acclaimed home-study course: The Contemporary Vocalist, A Non-Classical Approach for Singers. She tours internationally giving vocal performance workshops, private voice lessons, performances, and recording studio vocal coaching. Clients include: Members of J. Geils Band, Fame, Jesus Christ Super Star, Dar Williams, Jennifer Tafft, Aimee Mann, MoodCrush, Coppertree, Patty Griffin and others.


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