What is a Balanced Singing Voice?

Welcome, Lovely Singers to my blog – Everything Singing! What IS a balanced singing voice? A balanced singing voice can be achieved when the singers breath, vocal fold closure, extrinsic muscles, as well as the tongue and larynx, are all coordinating together in a way where they are only assisting the outcome of the product. What does this mean?
The breath is one of the most important factors to achieving a balanced voice. The true breath comes from the diaphragm and controls the amount of power or gentleness (dynamics) we create in “our sound”. And it is also the tool we use to control where and how we create pitch (this I will discuss in a later blog). By knowing how to control where the breath is going we can begin to understand how pitch and perfect pitch is created. And we can only achieve a balanced singing voice by having this part of our instrument mastered (I will also discuss pitch and dynamics relating to breath in future articles).
The vocal fold closure, or otherwise referred to as adduction of the vocal cords, is how we create tone. The more adduction our vocal folds have to each other the more clear and resonating the pitch will sound. The less adduction our vocal folds have with each other the “breathier” the tone will sound. But didn’t I just state that breath is one of the most important factors a singer has to achieving a balanced voice? So then isn’t a “breathier” sound better? I did. Breathy and breath are to VERY different elements in singing. Singers and musicians use the term “breathy” when we are describing the amount of air passing through the vocal folds as it is creating the tone. The less the cords adduct, close, the “breathier” the tone sounds (meaning there is less tone to the sound) because the cords are not quite vibrating up against each other and in turn making it difficult to maintain a clear sound. Vocal fold closure is an extremely important part to maintaining and achieving a balanced singing voice and can only be strengthened through exercise and practice.
Lastly, our extrinsic muscles, tongue and larynx. The extrinsic muscles refer to all the exterior muscles on the neck, the tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the body and the larynx is the hollow muscular organ forming an air passage to the lungs and holding the vocal cords in humans and other mammals; the voice box. Once these areas of the neck and mouth can be controlled separately and taught to relax at all times (speech level/the way we are able to control and relax them while we are speaking) while the singer is singing, no matter how high the pitch, then the singer will truly live and be able to sing with a balanced voice.
LOTS of stuff, right?! I know it seems intimidating. Who would have known singing was so technical and specific??? It just is. Our bodies are being used as an instrument like all human made instruments. The difference between the human instrument, the voice, and a human made instrument (piano, guitar, flute, etc) is; we, the human, are the ones in charge of maintaining a tuned instrument – placement, breath, relaxed larynx and tongue, tone – not some machine. It is our body, by sensation and ear, telling us what pitch we are on. It definitely takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a great singer with a balanced instrument. And a great coach will be able to separate all of these tools you have and teach you how to do them on a consistent basis, AND consciously be aware of what and how you’re achieving this on your own.
STAY POSITIVE!!! You CAN achieve your dreams and the voice you have always wanted! Its just going to take some dedication, patience and practice on your part. Get that balanced singing voice you have always wanted!!!
Till next time!

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