Hi everyone, welcome to the Rapid Vocal Results blog page. Here you will find great ideas and tips to both improve your understanding of how the voice really works, and of course how to reduce the time it takes to develop your performing voice.
Now, I have to warn you in advance that this is a no BS zone. So I will be telling it like it really is in an effort to cut through all the myths and misunderstandings out there about what good singing is, and what you can do to reduce the time it takes to grow your singing voice.
As this is the very first blog, I thought we should start at the very beginning and address the first question that people have about singing. Which is, “can anyone really learn to sing?”
The answer is yes! Everyone can learn to improve their vocal abilities, but not every voice is capable of matching their favourite artist’s high notes or power notes.
Let me explain. Your maximum vocal potential is decided at birth through the combination of your mum’s and your dad’s DNA (the genetic traits that are responsible for deciding hair colour, body shape and overall muscle tone, etc.).
Often singers are performing far below their own genetic potential, but thats another blog.
How does my family’s DNA affect my voice?
Famous singers like Beyonce, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Alex Rose and Steven Tyler all have one thing in common. They have vocal cords that are naturally thicker and longer than the average person’s. This would have made their vocal progress and development a lot easier! In fact, when you see your favourite star hitting their higher notes, the reason they make it look so easy comes down to the enormous strength they have developed in their singing muscles.
Here’s a quick lesson on vocal anatomy and the mechanics of how the voice works.
A singer’s range and the strength of their voice is determined by the vocal cord’s ability to stretch out and to thin down. Put simply, the higher you want to sing, the more the vocal cords need to be able stretch and thin down to make the desired pitch.
Singers that are born with thicker vocal cords than the average person have an immediate advantage in been able to sing higher and stronger. This is because the vocal cords have more to work with as they thin down and retain quality sound.
We will cover the mechanics of singing in more detail in later posts and this will also include the role of the various tendons, ligaments and cartilages that work together to anchor the voice. Vocal cords rely on these things to remain stable as they thin down to reach higher notes.
But back to the topic at hand. The first step in learning to sing is to have a vocal coach diagnose your voice to determine the size, thickness, and the length of your vocal cords. They can do this by having the singer perform specific singing exercises, and provided the coach knows what to listen out for, they should be able to tell you whether your vocal cords are smaller or larger than average as well as whether you have above or below average length in your vocal cords.
This is important because the more mass you have in your vocal cords, generally speaking, the more the vocal cords are able to resist excess air. This makes it easier for the cords to thin down and switch between chest voice, mixed voice, head voice and reinforced falsetto registers. If your vocal cords are below average in size or mass, you will need to work harder to develop the initial muscular strength, conditioning and flexibility to be able to thin your vocal cords down, hold back excess air and sing higher than your comfortable speaking voice.
The importance of a vocal diagnosis
The diagnostic session is invaluable to the student and the coach because everybody’s voice is different. There are no two vocal cords and vocal anatomies that are exactly the same. In this instance a coach’s job is to understand and diagnose the voices of their students and design a custom made programme to help them balance the various areas of their voice. Vocal cords need to be gradually conditioned and strengthened to be able to operate under greater levels of healthy exertion.
Everyone can learn to sing and improve their vocal abilities. At RVR, my job is to help each singer to understand their genetic vocal potential and develop a customised programme to help each singer reach their singing voice’s natural full potential. This programme should also include exercises to discover their own unique singing voice. After all, it would be a boring world if everybody sounded the same as their favourite singer, wouldn’t it?
If you’re interested in taking the first step to discover your unique singing voice, a vocal diagnostic session could be right for you. Contact me now to chat about this. A Rapid Vocal Results diagnostic session is a unique offering that forms the beginning of your very own RVR journey.
Better information leads to better singing!