Welcome to our February Blog all about Chest Voice.
What is a chest voice?
Chest voice is associated with the chest register and recognised as your speaking voice or speaking pitch. However it is possible to have too much head voice in the chest register and too much chest voice in your head register. A good Vocal Coach will be able to guide you in understanding your voice better. As mentioned in last month's blog, a balanced voice will tend to have a strong chest voice and head voice and a mix of both in the middle. Lighter or heavier voices in either register or bridge should be a style choice but should always start with Vocal Balance.
How is this achieved? In last month's blog we discussed how a muscle group was responsible for shortening and thickening the vocal cords and so responsible for lower pitches (imagine a bass note or the lowest, thickest string on a guitar). To achieve a solid foundational chest voice there should be more of this muscle involved in the singing process the lower we are in the voice. We also mentioned that this can be adapted for different styles etc but as a foundation we need to understand our voice at its thicker configuration so we know where our Homebase is.
How do we do it? We can explore our chest voice by speaking or singing on open vowels like AH and AE. We can sing them in the chest register in a spoken finished way. For male singers the chest register finishes around E4 and for a female A4. Using scales with small spans, like a 5 tone scale pattern, are particularly useful in finding chest voice. We can also begin to add stop consonants, like B or G, which block the airway by encouraging the cords to close together, to experience more resistance to airflow. Repeating these sounds can help to build muscle memory and help the singer discover a new function and muscular coordination in their voice. Slowing down singing or picking slower and lower songs can also help with discovering chest voice. However it is worth mentioning that this is just a building block to better control and balance. We don't want to become so heavy and thick that we cannot thin out when it matters. This is why it is always better to have a Vocal Coach guiding you through the learning process.