All singers really want to bridge and connect. For those of you studying speech level singing, bridging and connecting is simply another way of describing mixing.
No matter what method you are studying, this concept is universal. A singer who isn`t bridging and connecting is either yodeling (flipping), pulling chest, or singing in falcetto.
If your goal is to have a thick (chestier) sound in your upper range, then bridging early isn’t going to get you there.
Bridging early will help balance your voice, and achieve good cord closure through your entire register. Bridging later will give you the advantage of more mouth and throat resonance with a tilted cartilage and narrowing of the aryepiglottic sphincter.
For example, I can sing high C with two different co-ordinations. One sound is more legit with great head resonance and cord closure. This is when I bridge around G above middle C. The second co-ordination is a thicker and chestier sound with stiffer cords. Because my thyroid is tilted and the AES tube is narrowed, the resonance doesn’t split the same as it does when bridging earlier. This gives the listener the impression of a thicker, chestier sound.
Mariah is a fabulous singer! She can do acrobatics with her voice! She has managed to sing strong and consistently for over two decades while enduring the typical stressful life indicative of a top-selling recording artist in the 21st century.
Even a balanced voice like Mariah Carey’s can run the risk of vocal damage such as nodes and calluses when over-used. No “one” voice is perfect all the time, and no “one” singer will exhibit the same limitations of what can be done with their voice at any given time. Every instrument is unique and different, and will change daily with the conditions that are present at that time.
Does that mean a singer shouldn’t sing or talk when they are not at their absolute best? Well, yes, I suppose it does. But how is that possible? If singing is your living then you have a job to do. How can you possibly stop talking and singing when you feel the slightest problem arising in your voice? You must do your job and that means using your voice.
Bottom line is a singer needs to know their instrument, and how to keep it healthy and working when it needs to. Planning ahead and scheduling time off for recouperating is imperative in this music business. Keeping the body healthy and getting enough sleep is a must. Knowing how to vocalize daily is crucial. Singing is tough business.
That being said, we can’t expect famous singing voices to never show a sign of wear & tear.
And what about the fact that the music business actually puts voices that have a “wear & tear” sound on a pedestal! What is a singer to do?
Self-awareness is key. That is why I teach about the middle voice with special attention to bridging (mixing) at the first passagio. When singers learn how to control their breath, master their natural tone and resonance, and establish their baseline volume, they can avoid many problems that come with over-singing.