NEED MORE BREATH SUPPORT?
“You need more breath support. Sing from the diaphragm. Let it resonate in the chest and head. Place the tone in the masque (mask). Cover the tone. ” The list just goes on and on ...
While it may sound very professional, these “solutions” do not solve the root cause to singing problems. They only attempt to cover up the real problem behind singing.
THE REAL PROBLEM IN SINGING
To begin with, we don’t think about breathing or anything else when we speak except the message that we want to communicate to the person we are talking to. Singing is merely sustained speech on pitch. Why then do we have such a hard time singing? The answer may surprise you.
TRY THIS: Put a finger on your larynx (Adam’s apple) and sing an “eee” from low to high. Did you feel the larynx move upward? Now, simply stop for a moment and swallow. Did you feel the larynx move up and then back down again? Guess what - you’re singing in a swallowing condition!
Also, as you go from low to high, do you also feel an area of breaking in your voice where you lose control and continue to sing high only by yelling, flipping or becoming airy or tight?
So why does this happen? The main reason lies in something called the "vocal bridges". As we go from low to high, we all meet vocal bridges. These are areas in a voice where the vocal cords change in the way they vibrate to produce pitches. The moment this change needs to take place, we get a sense of that change and feel a loss of control and instead of allowing the natural process to take place, we try to help the vocal process.
We try to fix this by either pushing too hard (reaching up for a note) to avoid flipping or flipping into a lighter sound (falsetto). Both give rise to more problems. Pushing too hard results in yelling which gives you a sore throat (laryngitis) or worse yet brings about vocal diseases like nodules. Flipping into falsetto lets you sing higher although you don’t have much control over that voice and find yourself not having enough breath.
THE SECRET TO SINGING - THE "MIX"
Identifying these vocal "breaks" and bridging them with a "mix" or a "middle voice" is the solution to singing in the same manner and ease as speaking! Singing in the mix enables you to sing from your lowest notes (chest voice) to your highest notes (head voice) without having to push, yell, strain, flip but instead sing in a single connected tone. Best of all, this is the key behind healthy vocal technique no matter what you sing!
HEAD VOICE AND FALSETTO ARE THE SAME - untrue! Many people who sing in their "head voice" are really singing in falsetto. While the sound produced may not sound extremely airy or light, it is not connected to the bottom of the vocal range. Upon sliding back down they meet the vocal break and "clunk" back into their chest voice. In falsetto the vocal cords do not approximate (connect) well and this is the reason for lack of breath and control.
DRINKING HONEY / TAKING LOSENGEZ WILL HELP MY VOICE - untrue! Nothing you eat or drink really affects your vocal cords! The windpipe (trachea) and the food pipe (esophagus) are different. The vocal cords are located just above the windpipe and if anything goes into this pipe, you choke! Honey and lozenges just relieve and soothe a sore throat - and not the vocal cords.