The three main components to our instrument—our voice—are airflow, “buzz,” and resonance. I’m sure buzz is not the technical term, but it works for us, right?
Airflow is obviously your breath. Learn to control how much breath you use on each phrase. Release it consciously. Keep your diaphragm tight and feel each breath as it leaves your lungs.
The “buzz,” we said, was your vocal chords. Coordinate your sound with your airflow to eliminate scooping or breathy singing.
Finally, concentrate on your resonance. Make room for the sound to bounce around in your head. If the air is flowing well over your vocal chords, make your throat, nose and mouth a concert hall for the sound to reverberate in. A little padded room with no echo is no fun to sing in, but a huge empty room is wonderful! Why do you think you sound so good in your shower? It’s because of resonance—seriously! The sound can bounce around and fly freely.
The resonance of an instrument is what makes it loud. Violins and guitars have vibrating strings, but the open bodies and sound holes provide the resonance needed for us to hear it. Brass and wind instruments have the flared openings at the end in order to amplify the sound as it escapes. A properly balanced instrument takes into account how the sound will flow through it. All instruments make room for the sound to flow through them.
So, your voice needs as much room as possible to make beautiful sound. By the way, resonance will sound much different so us than it will to you. Your voice will sound rich and full to you when it is bouncing in the back of your throat because the sound is trapped in your head and vibrating your head bones. However, what seems like richness to you is actually muddled and quiet to others. Focus on your call voice—as if you are yelling to someone from across a football field. You don’t shout “HEY YOU!” in this rich, inside-your-head voice. You call it out. Feel where your voice places itself when you call out. You should feel it up near your nose and the front of your face—not in your back throat.
Resonance is all about opening up your throat, nasal passages and mouth to make room for that beautiful sound to escape clearly. Open up your mouth and make room for higher notes rather than pinching them off and sending them out your nose. Come on, your name is not Olive Oil, so open up! Make some room! Let it reverberate, resonate and re… I ran out of “R” words. Just sing well.