Do you ever notice that it feels like you have two voices? Well, you actually do have two “registers” and they feel very different. You have your low register (chest) which is used when you are speaking. Try it, put your hand on your upper chest and feel the vibration when you talk. If you don’t feel any vibration then talk a little louder until you do feel it.
Next you have a high register. Try to make a sound like a fire siren. Do you still feel the vibration in your upper chest? Are you feeling your throat strain as you try to make a high sound? Do it again, but this time look at the floor. Make your high fire siren sound, or a baby kitty meow. Check and see if you still feel vibration in your upper chest, or feel a lot of effort in your throat. If so, then you are having trouble accessing your true high voice. Your upper register should only vibrate in your head and sinus area. Try the same thing only lighter. Did that help? Do you get a sense of your voice being in your head? If yes, then you are able to access your high register. If you feel the effort in your throat instead, then you are having trouble.
It’s a common problem among singers so don’t be dishearteneed. Generally speaking, you are probably trying too hard. In other words, you may be blowing too much air, or singing too loud. Again, try the lighter approach (which may be breathy and weak at first), and see if you can make a high sound without all the volume and weight of your low register joining you. You may feel “the flip” and that’s OK. This is necessary so you can learn how to differentiate between the two registers. Once you are able to access your high voice (even if it’s lightly), then you can take steps to strengthen your vocal cords to hold back more air which will strengthen your high register. This is a necessary first step in moving ahead to the next step…………..the middle voice!
The middle voice is simply the area which crosses over between you low register and your high register. Singers who have the ability to seamlessly connect the two registers are well on their way to accessing their entire vocal range with ease and clarity. Accessing the middle voice is relevant in all styles of singing…rock, pop, country, gospel, and musical theatre and opera. Without accessing the middle voice, the singer may get “stuck” and reach a ceiling. The singer will need to sing louder as each note gets higher. The throat will get tight and the singer will tire.
Developing the middle and high voice can give a singer an overwhelming sense of ease and control. Not all vocal teachers strengthen the middle voice in a manner that connects the two registers seamlessly. Talk to your teacher and be sure he/she can make the sounds you are trying to make. That’s a good start anyway!