A Vocal Resonance Exercise - dummies

By Pamelia S. Phillips

Part of Singing Exercises For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you sing, your voice echoes, creating vibrations throughout your head and chest. This echoing of tone is called resonance. Knowing how to change the resonance of your singing voice allows you to make a variety of sounds as you sing. Use the following steps and the accompanying figure to help you practice controlling your vocal resonance:

  1. Sing the first measure in the figure, sustaining the sound of the mmm as if you were humming and then moving into the ee vowel.

    Notice the buzzing or vibrating sensation you feel on your lips. This vibrating sensation is from the vibrations of resonance of your singing voice. The ee vowel in this measure is the vowel sound in the word me. As you sing from the mmm to the ee, try to keep the vibrations happening in the same place. You may need to practice singing this measure a few times to keep the vibrations in the same place. The apostrophes above the figure are breath marks, indicating when you should take a breath.

  2. Try singing the second measure, which moves from mmm to ah.

    The ah vowel is the sound in the first syllable of the word father. As you sing from the mmm to the ah, try to keep the vibrations in the same place (around your lips). You may feel the vibrations on the ah in the back of your mouth compared to the front of your mouth, which is likely where you felt them in Step 1 on the ee vowel.

    Tip: Record yourself singing through the first and second measures and then listen to the resonance. Pay attention to the change of resonance you hear from the mmm to the vowels.

  3. Practice singing the third measure by starting right on the ee vowel and moving to the ah vowel.

    Notice whether you can find the same kind of vibrations of resonance that you found when you moved from the mmm to the vowels in Steps 1 and 2.