Thread of the Voice
- The Thread of the Voice
- Pitch and direction
One of the most common vocal mistakes is to associate differing sensations of throat pain for success in reaching a pitch of a note.
High notes feel one kind of tense while low notes may feel gravelly.
Louder might feel painful and gruff or soft may feel too quavery.
You’ve unlocked tension in the larynx thus far in your training, so you can, instead, feel the focal point of resonance for each note in your vocal range. These sensations are more subtle than the tension in the throat you may have been using.
The sound waves created in the larynx follow universal laws of harmonic motion.
High sound waves move high in space as well and create a higher sounding pitch. Low sound waves move lower in space and create a lower sounding pitch.
Exercise #1 - Up and Down
Let’s be sure to check that you are certain of the specific sensation of pitch and direction. Pause here and practice moving your voice up and down.
- Say “up” while you move your voice higher in pitch
- Say “down” while you move your voice lower in pitch.
- Repeat a few times slowly to connect and recognize the sensations of resonance and vibration inside of your body and your environment.
- Look into the mirror. Do you also tip your head up when you say, “up” or tip your head down when you say, “down?" Your head should remain in its neutral position. Practice saying “up” and “down” without moving your head.
Inside Pitch Line
Inside Pitch Line = The Thread of the Voice
Your inside voice moves up and down along a fine, small unbroken line. We call this line the “Inside Pitch Line” and the “Thread of the Voice."
When your body is properly aligned, the critical points of your vocal core are open and easily allow the sound waves created in the larynx to move into their perfectly sized resonating pockets.
You can feel the small, clear path of your inside pitch line/voice thread when you bring your voice to its lowest volume. Just above a whisper.
This small sensation is your primary point of focus and the most important part of your voice training!
You’ve removed the tension in the larynx and vocal core so that now you can actually feel where your healthy voice is designed to live.
Every tone you make, from this point forward should emanate or grow from this small, center core line of tone. You will feel the vibrations of the resonance inside of your vocal core as well as on the outside.
You will feel the vibrations of the resonance inside of your vocal core as well as on the outside.
Exercise #2 - Pitch Line & Vibration
In this exercise, you feel the vibration of your inside pitch line as it moves up and down inside your body.
Assume the “home” and neutral positions of the parts of the vocal core:
- Mind focused only upon the vocal core.
- Head passive with horizontal line between the ears, back of head is "soft."
- Eyes open and soft with eyebrows at rest.
- Lips are closed and relaxed in a small, easy smile.
- Jaw "hangs" from the face and creates a slight space between the teeth.
- Tongue rests flat on the floor of your mouth
- Larynx is passive, breath is silent.
- Chest naturally rises and falls with the flow of the breath. Shoulders passive.
- Observe your in and out breathing cycle with all points of vocal core at rest.
- Make a humming sound on one note.
- Check your larynx to be sure you are not pressing inward.
- Quietly and slowly, move your voice “up” or “down” in pitch while you track the sensations of the vibrations inside your vocal core.
- Place your fingers on the outside of your vocal core; on your face, head and chest to detect the vibrations.
- Take note of where high, medium and low notes naturally resonate in your vocal core.
Take Your Time
This critical discovery occurs at a lower volume and slower pace. These movements are the backbone, the foundation of your voice training. It will serve you well to move slowly with a sense of delight and discovery. You must become intimately aware of the patterns and location of your own core vocal resonance. It’s not difficult, it only takes time and focus.
This is the core essence of voice training! Your CORE Voice is your strongest voice!
You will grow more confident now that you know your voice follows a logical, observable and repeatable process. Instead of using the sensation of tension and stress as your guide for your voice volume and pitch, you will follow the thread of the voice up and down.
You will train your inside pitch line daily and watch as it grows stronger and begins to lengthen. You will soon be able to feel more high and low pitches engage. And the small gaps in your up and down pitch line will close.
Slower is faster and smaller is better!
Cracking Voice and Missing Notes
Does your voice crack when it moves from low to high, or high to low? Don't panic!
Did you lose a whole portion of your pitch line?
When our voices crack, it means the small muscle movements to open the resonating spaces are not coordinating. This is quite easy to fix. There is NOTHING wrong with your voice!
Everyone* has cracks and gaps in their pitch line. This is why you are taking voice lessons: to learn the specific techniques to negotiate these gaps and cracks.*If you are one of the lucky ones who can immediately detect and reproduce the unbroken thread of your voice, just you wait. We will find yours as we extend your vocal range and add volume.
If your voice cracks while you explore your inside pitch line:
In the following chapters we will explore how to mend the gaps in your voice thread. Today, simply move your voice softly and slowly either up or down and take notice of the point of resonance in your vocal core.
- Feel the subtle resonance and vibration inside and outside your vocal core as you move up and down in pitch.
- Notice where each pitch comes to a focal point.
- Use your fingers to feel the resonance on your face, head and chest.