You may not have thought of this before, but when you sing, you are using much more than your vocal cords. It’s a joint effort; you actually use your whole body. Being aware of how your body contributes to your singing is essential to getting a great sound.
You have marvellous echo chambers, hot spots for tension build up, and groups of muscles that do the intricate work of controlling airflow while you sing. Your whole body is made up of both soft and hard matter which can be used for superb resonation by the creative singer.
Working down from head to your toe, we can see how precisely the body is designed to create and contain beautiful sound. Your body is your instrument.
Your skull and facial bones are hard matter that make for superb resonation. Your hollow sinus cavities create a magnificent echo chamber, especially effective when you hit those high notes.
Your brain is probably the most important partner in contributing to singing well. It controls your diaphragm and support muscles, which in turn control the flow of air enabling you to sing effectively. It is also a tension regulator. Tension is the number one adversary for all singers.
Not only is your mouth an important resonator, it also houses your lips, tongue and teeth. Firstly, these can cleverly manipulate pitch and tone, and secondly they are responsible for articulation so that your audience can enjoy your lyrics.
Within your neck is the larynx, vocal cords and respiratory tract. When your neck is tension-free, it enables the tiny muscles within the voice box (which consists of the larynx and the vocal cords) to give superior performance. Your respiratory tract is also a key place of resonation.
Although your chest is filled with organs, it is yet another great resonator. Your singing can benefit from this chamber, especially when reaching those low notes.
Lungs and Diaphragm
The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle situated between the stomach and the lungs. As you inhale, it flattens and as you exhale it returns to its original shape. The diaphragm has the vital role of controlling the flow of air in and out of your lungs, affecting the power of your voice and the stamina of your singing.
Your rib cage provides attachments for the muscles of the neck, thorax, upper abdomen and back. All of these muscles are involved in singing. Even the intercostals, the little muscles in between the ribs, help with breath control.
You may not pay much attention to the spine, but it is extraordinarily important for good singing. A straight spine gives good posture which keeps the body aligned and relaxed. Alignment is vital for powerful and controlled singing and a relaxed spine allows the singing muscles the freedom to do their magic.
Yes, your feet! They provide the platform for your body to rest on, and help you find your sense of gravity so that you can balance and align your body in order to achieve singing excellence.
Hopefully this has inspired you to go further in discovering how your whole body can help you sing better. For more detailed training and coaching in this area, check out www.voxtrain.com, the new online singing tool. Voxtrain provides a comprehensive singing curriculum with extensive exercises so that you can improve your voice. Voxtrain equips you to sing with confidence while using everything you’ve got.