Are you tired of not being able to sing the high notes of your favorite songs? How many times have you been frustrated by hearing something as general as "Sing from your diaphragm" from a "so called" vocal coach or choir teacher? Then you look at them and think ???..."wait...I've heard that before and it didn't really help the issues I'm dealing with." These very hurdles are what kept me from going to vocal lessons when I was starting out. I'm an all or nothing thinker and a perfectionist at heart so I didn't want average help. I wanted something that the best recording artists and vocalists were using to be their best. Something that refined and perfected my talents so whether I was having fun singing in the shower or performing at the Grammys I was confident instead of feeling self conscious about my weaknesses. That's when I found this technique.
So why doesn't something as simple as singing from your diaphragm fix all our vocal problems? That's because although singing in a founded way is extremely important, singing well is also more than just singing from your diaphragm. It's all about vocal cord structure and how the voice works. The voice is really two flaps (Vocal Folds) that vibrate over a pipe (throat) to make pitch. Think of these like rubber bands, or better yet a balloon, and the more you tighten the ends together as you push air through them, the faster they vibrate which makes a higher pitch. We've all done this with a balloon at one time or another to make it squeal. This is why the high notes are loud and the low notes are quiet for the most part. In other words, pitch is connected to volume. If you call into your voice the pitch will rise as you yell higher and higher but there comes an end to this process. This is what I call "RAW Chest" also known as "Chest Voice"
Most singers can sing in "Chest voice" which is where you speak. Most of the resonance is below the chest and the tone is considered full. If you walk up to someone and say "Hay" that's chest voice. If you put your hand on your chest you should feel the vibration there. The other part of your voice is what most people call falsetto. So two voices. There's a full sound, then a pop into this next place that's airy and it's in your head. This is the feeling you get when you scream "WOO" at a football game. Or sneeze. Aahh...CHOO. Chest is the ahh..and pop up high...OOO...Head resonance. This sound is light and usually airy with no real depth of sound or tone. Most people feel a massive break between the chest register and the head voice register as they slide up in pitch. That leaves them with a full sound in their low end but they have to start yelling as they sing higher in order to keep that full tone. Eventually they get to a point where they can't yell anymore and the voice breaks into what most refer to a falsetto. So two places. Many people also find they have a lot of range...but that range doesn't have a full sound people want to hear on the radio. But what if I told you it was simply a matter of carrying your chest voice "full voice" UP into your head and those vowels you just made naturally told you something about how to get it there? Keep reading.
Raw Chest is like being stuck in first gear in your truck. As you're gaining speed (pitch rising) you hit 45 mph and the motor hits the red line and all of the sudden you lose that forward momentum needed to go faster (higher pitch needed). In fact as you hit the red line it almost feels like the truck slows down even though it hasn't. But that gravity that you feel as you're GAINING speed is lost and now you're moving along at 45 mph about to blow the motor but desperately needing 50 mph and that speed (or pitch) is just outside of that gears ability so you pop into neutral (falsetto). This is how most people sing. Or they're scared of this process and taught not to belt so they lighten up and pop even sooner than 45. Now they give up into neutral at 30 and then sing the rest of the notes in falsetto...really quietly and airy. Well there's ANOTHER way. You could shift into 2nd gear at this point (this Pitch) and get all of the forward momentum (strength and pitch) you were wanting. Second Gear NOT falsetto. Think of this as your chest voice in your head chambers, or resonance. You've no doubt only experienced your chest voice in your chest but THAT is what I'm here to fix. Eventually when it's done right, depending on how you set it up, it will feel like a 2 or 3 speed transmission where you move between registers. As your closure gets even better it can even simply feel like one voice that goes through all of those places. Once voice with all of the range and release you always wanted. You simply learn where to lean in from...and you sing all the way through the voice without stopping in any of those pit stops to hang out. Everything is just open and the voice feels like a grunt as the pitch rises. Almost like a founded HOOOUUUAAAH!! Deep...I know...And that sounds crazy to some people, even some vocal coaches I've spoken to, but it's true. Let me be very clear here, my job is NOT to get you to sing in falsetto..(Neutral) but what will feel like 2nd or 3rd GEAR! We call this the mixed voice. I can't tell you how many times I've heard coaches make falsetto sounding tones in their upper range and messed up countless singers and taught them to lose their foundation. Yes, we can use disconnected head coordinations to help your voice seat properly and get your "Mix"rolling in the right direction..but we ALWAYS want to end with you singing in a "full founded sound". In the beginning people think in terms of black and white. Chest voice, and then falsetto. But eventually there is a call all the way to the top with a release. In other words, you will GAIN call as the pitch rises, just without strain. There has been more misunderstanding about how the mixed voice functions than I can begin to cover. But suffice to say, It's a separate set of muscles you have to learn to use through proper practices and intentions. The way we are supposed to make higher pitches is to get MORE closure. This means that the vocal folds close into the center of the pipe to make higher pitches. You can see how as a general rule telling someone to add extra air will only make the folds open wider and wider, in other words in the absolute opposite direction we want them to go. So telling a singer without proper technique to sing from their diaphragm without dealing with all the other issues that come with singing would be like telling someone who's car is stuck in first gear that the problem is with the tires. It's great to have good tires, but that's not the main problem. We would have to fix the transmission to get to the root of the problem first right? Then we would make sure everything else was assembled right so it could perform properly. The same holds true with voice.