So as I said on the previous page, you can access dramatically more powerful tone when you find your best Resonance.
I call this getting into Singer’s Gear. To sing well, and to stand out as powerful vocalist, you should always get into this gear – and stay there.
Again, the majority of singers are nowhere near using the full potential of this part of the voice. Well-trained professionals are, but most of the rest are under-utilising this incredible gift.
Again, it is something YOU can access because it is an inbuilt part of your very own instrument.
To do it, we must Activate Your Core Resonators.
Here's a brief but simple exercise to do that:
Switch on a genuine ‘Wow’ feeling.
Think of something amazing – maybe you’ve won the lottery, or are standing in front of a stunning waterfall, or have just seen your best mate from 20 years ago. Feel that feeling truly – you’re amazed, delighted, overjoyed!
Let it light up your face. Say ‘Wow’! ….. Say it over a few times, get into it.
Now- how does that feel in your eyes? Your jaw? Your throat? Your mouth?
Hopefully you are feeling a wonderful sense of expansion. A sense of a balloon –sized space in the back of your mouth. A smile in the eyes.
Now sing from your wow. Sing a sustained note on the ‘AA’ vowel in the wow. KEEP the sense of joy and awe.
Don’t let your tongue pull back.
So…how was it?
Did you get a rich, ringing, powerful sound? I hope so! ( You should do).
I hope you are truly blown away by how strong a sound you discover when you do this. Most of my students do. They get it right away. But some don’t. If you didn’t get an immediate result, it may be that: either some old habits are preventing you from getting the right position. Or, one of your other PowerBases is compromised, and that reduces your resonance.
This is definitely the no.1 trick to getting a vibrant sound quickly – that you may not have realised you had in you!
The Wow technique is very valuable, and an easy way in, but there are other, more in-depth, more robust ways to activate your awesome Core Resonance.
Did you notice here that the ‘Wow’ tip was a Right-Brain technique, and the ‘don’t let your tongue pull back’ was a left-brain instruction? That’s another example of the 2nd Pillar of Vocal Synergy.
My students have gained a lot from this system:
'I now turn up my mic and am proud of how I sound'
‘Sounding good in a live environment is something I always used to struggle with. The Vocal Synergy method builds your voice up from the core. As a result, my voice sounds clear even at the end of a week after hours and hours of performing. Now, instead of hiding behind the music, I turn up my mic and am proud of how I sound.’
'I used to be hoarse and husky'
'Prior to using your technique I had been struggling to maintain my singing voice for any length of time, I was persistently hoarse and husky. This is now greatly improved and people comment on how rich my voice sounds. I’m loving it!’
Now - Synergize Your 3 Power Bases.
Once you have got each of these core parts of your voice well set up, it’s time to celebrate! Yippee! What an awesome achievement!
Now, it’s great when each part works well on its own, AND you want to Synergize them. In other words, connect them together optimally, so that the ‘outcome is greater than the sum of the parts’.
This lifts your singing ability into a higher dimension, which gives you full control, full freedom, full versatility and full confidence.
And how do you do this? Well, there’s a lot to it, but I have an easy, superficial way here that can help a lot.
This is Your Singing Fountain.
Switching on your breath power just below your navel,
It rising up through your tummy,
travelling through your throat and turning into tone;
passing through your resonators;
and you ‘directing’ the tone up through your head – as if you’re painting the ceiling with sound!
It is a whole system, that gives you ease, flow, strength and brightness.
Crucially, it stops you pushing and straining at the throat, because all the action is in the breathing (base of the fountain) and the resonance (top of the fountain).
In the fountain, you want to think of ‘nothing happening’ at the throat. Think of it as merely the channel for sound. (Or rather, nothing except the spaciousness of the Wow).
Sing on a long ‘HEY’ as if you were calling someone on the other side of the street. This should awaken the fountain. If you’re doing it right, you will feel your abdominal muscles engage.
This Fountain brings you perfect projection. Well done!
So, before we continue discovering the steps of the system, I want to enlighten you (ha ha) a little more about that Thogdal Principle I mentioned earlier.
As I said, this is an ancient Tibetan Buddhist practice which enables old, negative, unhelpful states to transform swiftly into new, optimal states.
This inspired the Vocal Synergy process because generally:
~ When people are singing sub-potential, their voices are not in ideal condition; and their vocal habits are doing them a disservice. The ‘compromised’ state.
~ Whereas a free, full voice comes from a vocal instrument that is in great condition, using positive habits in tune with its natural design. The ‘Enlightened’ state.
The enlightened state is the destiny of the compromised state. It is where you are drawn to...
You just need a system which opens the right doors.
So, to continue with the training:
Step 3. Awaken Your Articulators
The process we have looked at so far, when properly implemented will give you fantastic, compelling vocal tone, easy breathing, and smoothness.
But if you want consistent richness of tone, you'll need this bit.
We have the added challenge in singing, ( compared to other musical instruments) that we have to send our beautiful tone through words . The issue here is that every vowel and consonant has a different shape in your mouth.
In order to maintain that amazing resonance you set up earlier, you need to tap into Acoustical Vowels and Consonants. Which means letting Vocal Synergy Awaken your Articulators to make every unique word-sound shine.
Your articulators are your lips and tongue. The basic rule here is:
‘Your jaw stays open and released, while your lips and tongue do what they're good at, and shape the sounds’.
This means you sing clear words that still let the resonance ring out.
If not, if you sing vowels in the same way you speak vowels, you will close down much of that richness and fullness.
You hear this a lot in singers. There will be a certain words and notes where the singer has a rich resonant tone, which your ear loves. And in amongst those, there are tons of words where the resonance has collapsed.
What's YOURS, with Awaken your Articulators, is having consistent rich resonant tone power, while communicating the words clearly and expressively. This union brings every song to life with exquisite feeling!
Listeners aren’t very used to hearing this so when you do it, people’s ears seriously prick up and you have the audience rapt!
It also makes you much more expressive because you’re pronouncing everything more clearly, bringing the lyrics to life.
Vocal Synergy is a system that is based on science, providing solid technique for your vocals that's very deeply in harmony with your anatomy.
But it also develops your expressivity and your musicality.
So I always recommend listening to a wide range of singers to hear what you love about their expression, dynamics, artistry, style; and taking what you like as inspiration for your own.
One of my mottos is ‘Every Skill A String In The Bow Of Your Expressive Artistry’
Step 4. Unlock Your Sonic Spectrum
Once you’ve got all 4 Parts of your voice ( the 3 PowerBases, and the Articulators) activated and synergised, you have an awesome array of vocal qualities at your disposal.
Woohoo! High five! ✋
There’s 📈 pitch range, 🎨resonance quality ( also known as timbre), 🔉volume (dynamics), 🔔 source tone type, 🎵registers, 📉pitch fluctuation, ♨️vibrato, 👩🎤agility, and more.
( side note: there is a lot of information out there about registers, particularly so-called ‘chest voice’ and ‘head voice’. These are confusing, archaic and unhelpful terms. Vocal Synergy works on the principle that you have ONE voice, it is produced in the LARYNX, and it has an infinity of qualities. I call this the Unified Voice and it is a very practical, effective approach for discovering, smoothing, and mastering your registers.)
This step of the Vocal Synergy process enables you to use your voice to access a vast spectrum of sounds.
It’s time to play!
You get control of how to produce any variable, combine it with others, build it up, bring it down, and stream it seamlessly into the next quality.
~ going from loud to quiet with a bright resonance; or
~ going smoothly from low , clear tone to a breathy high note. Or
~ bringing vibrato in at the end of a line; and much much more...
This is your artist’s palette of vocal colours. It is the ingredients of your recipe book. It is the vocabulary of your poetry. It is your treasure trove of expressive ability.
Now you see how tapping into the highest potential of your instrument gives you freedom!
Because now you can express yourself fully, by drawing on every possible nuance of sound as and when you wish. HOORAY!
We've now covered all the 'voice' elements of the Vocal Synergy process.
The last component of the system, which is How to Make Every Song Shine, is all about song delivery and performance...
so hop onto the next page to discover the Vocal Synergy tricks for...