To best take care of our bodies, we need to know how they work. We research to find out which foods we should eat and what exercise is good to keep us in shape. We know we need to sleep and drink water to stay in good health. Whether we choose to do these things or not is another matter – but we know we need to look after our bodies and understand how they work to get the best from them.

Let’s apply this same principle to the voice.

You want to sing well. So you see a teacher, or practise at home perhaps, and then get frustrated that you’re making no progress. Time to be honest with yourself my friend – are you taking care of your voice? Do you know how your voice works? You wouldn’t attempt to pump weights at the gym without building up your muscles first – are you trying to do vocal acrobatics before you’ve built up the strength and flexibility in your voice?

I’ve become addicted to vocal science. To finding out what actually happens physiologically when we sing. The more I learn, the more it fascinates me how our voices work and how many countless variables there are. We can change the tone of our voice by changing the shape of the vocal tract. Adjusting the position of the larynx, lifting the soft palate, changing our tongue and mouth and jaw position are just a few ways in which we can change the tone of a single pitch. Then there are the psychological variables which affect our voices – how you’re feeling when you come to sing. Are you in a positive mindset or are you feeling sad or angry? Are you nervous? Are you playing a character? These things can also change the tone, again of a single pitch.

Our voices are incredible, and once we know and understand how they work and what is actually happening in our bodies as we sing – we’re better informed to make the right adjustments which will be healthy for our voices and also give us the desired outcome in our vocal sound.

I’m going to be writing a series of blogs about vocal science. If you’re as excited as I am about this, shout “YEAH MAN!” But make sure you support the sound and take pressure off the larynx as you shout 😉