In Part 1 of this lesson, Jeannie explains what a register break is. Register breaks occur in a singers voice normally as they transition out of the range of their everyday speaking voice into either a higher or lower register. Forcing these register changes, and not building up the voice, can be bad.
- Having adequate range to express yourself is very important. When you're singing the song, in order to build dynamic, it's more than helpful at the point of build to use more range. If you stay in a smaller range, you wanna build dynamic and build the feeling, and it actually, the audience is waiting for that lift. I'm sure you've experienced this listening to other singers as well.
And that the lift in dynamic is expressed in a majority of the time with a range extension, so, if your range feels small, constricted, or you're not sure about one aspect of your range, some people are more comfortable with their upper range, some people are more comfortable with their lower range, and I would say that probably the majority, this may include you, are more comfortable with the range that's around the speaking voice.
Why, 'cause we use our speaking voice more often usually than we sing. So these are sounds that we're accustomed to using, and accustomed to hearing ourselves use. And then when you go out of that it's like taking yourself out of the comfort zone. Aside from it not necessarily being the comfort zone as you try to use an extended range, the muscles of your voice also need to be exercised.
If they aren't exercised properly, usually what a singer will do is force them to do things that if they were developed to do, they'd do it for you easily and naturally, but not being developed, the force actually ends up making it more difficult, and by using force to sing higher, or get a fuller sound, this wears the muscles out. So eventually that road leads towards what I call vocal blowout, where the voice is reducing in its efficiency and ability to work for you and the result is hoarseness, stiffness.
The full result of that would be no voice at all, and needing to recover from that. That also can lead towards what are called nodes which are little callouses that form on the inside of the rims of your vocal folds, and then when they need to have, you know, close in order to vibrate, and lie there, those bumps keep them from assuming the position that they need to so there can be areas of singing that are very tough.
It can lead to a lot of vocal discomfort, a perpetually hoarse voice, and I don't want you to end up with that. So we're taking all the steps necessary to ensure that your voice stays healthy, and expands rather than reduces. There's an earlier lesson that I gave you that what I'm gonna explain also refers back to, and that lesson is "Head Voice, Chest Voice, "What's It All About?" If you skipped that lesson, I'd like you to find it and listen to what I have to say there.
Some of the elements that I discussed in that lesson I'll bring forward to put together into what we're about to do with these next vocal exercises. In order to get into these next vocal exercises, there are several components that you've been practicing that need to be totally fine. Of course you can guess it: that's your rib cage expansion, the elimination of I'd say about 85 at least, 85% of any stomach tension, or attempt to use the belly to try to get sound.
If you have not achieved that level of proficiency I want you to continue working with the earlier vocal exercises towards that result. The third component, very important for what we're about to do, is that you're able to keep your jaw open and still without using your hand. And again, if you haven't achieved that, that's OK, just keep working with your earlier vocal exercises until you do, and at that point, with the rib expansion and the stomach relaxation, you've got the outer instrument, this phrase is weird, but "under your thumb" so to speak.
You're in control of it, and the inner instrument which really is the main part of your voice will be able to function freely for you, and then we'll be able to accomplish the range expansion and achieving a multi-octave voice.
Note: Vocal Lessons with Jeannie Deva was recorded and produced by ArtistWorks. We are honored to host this training in our library.
- Developing as a singer
- Improving vocal tone by listening
- Freeing your voice from preconceptions and categories
- Eliminating register breaks to achieve a multi-octave range
- Improving range and precision