Have you ever heard a vocalist whose tone is so warm and pure that you could listen to them all day? I had a voice teacher whose voice reminded me of honey—warm and rich. Listening to her was a pleasure whether she was singing or speaking.
There are things that you can do to achieve depth in your vocal tone. We’ll look at one of them in this blog, and we’ll look at others in future blogs.
Open your throat when you speak or sing.
If you’ve ever been in one of my worship clinics, you remember the fun we had while yawning. We didn’t yawn because the topic was boring, we yawned as an exercise and learning experience.
You can learn how to open your throat by yawning and focusing on the open feeling in your throat that happens when your soft palate (muscle tissue) in the back of your throat lifts up and your larynx relaxes and opens more fully. Very simply stated, your larynx connects your throat to your trachea (your windpipe). Your vocal chords are located in your larynx.
To develop a warm rich tone as you speak or sing, you will want to begin by developing an awareness of what it feels like to open your throat. You can do this with the following exercise.
Please yawn for a moment now and pay attention to what your throat feels like when you yawn. Feel your soft palate lift up and your larynx relax with the sensation of opening outward or downward. Now yawn and say, “Ah” at the same time. You’ll hear a difference in the sound of your voice.
Now try to open your throat so it feels like you’re yawning, and say “Ah see lah” so you can hear the open vowel sounds and feel the openness even when you use two consonants as well.
Try it again, and focus on relaxing your throat.
You want to avoid pushing the sound through your nose, so just relax your throat and your shoulders and allow the sound to come out easily. You don’t have to push or strain. The back of your throat should feel open and relaxed.
I like to do this in the morning as I’m getting ready for my day. I take a deep breath, open my throat and my mouth fully, and say a few sentences about what a great day I’m going to have. Then when it’s time for me to prepare to sing, I will do some vocal exercises while concentrating on keeping my throat open.
The difference in the sound of my voice is amazing when my throat is fully open compared to when it is simply at rest. That open, warm, rich tone has allowed me to sing and speak professionally in a way where the audience can enjoy the sound. It’s not harsh or nasal in tone.
In the next few blogs we’ll look at other things that will protect your voice and help you to sustain that amazing tone that you’re developing.