Resonance is the prolonged vibration and sustention of resonant frequencies in a sound. In singing, it refers to the “buzz” that you hear in a professionally trained singer’s voice. Resonance is an essential element in singing to help you have that impressive and sustained vocal range and tone.
But some singers often make the mistake of singing with a lack of resonance because they can’t quite figure out the distinction between “air pressure” and “airflow” every time they sing.
Consonants, such as M, N, V, and Z all have a resonant sound quality which isn’t automatically associated with the aspiration of air. The resonance in the consonant Z, for instance, demonstrates a resonant sound when you alternate between a hissing “S” sound and a buzzing “Z” sound.
It’s crucial that you figure out the distinction between the real resonance in the vocal tract (the “Z” sound) and the articulation of air (the “S” sound). If you make the distinction of these two sounds, it can be easier for you to identify the real resonance in your singing voice.
Here’s a guide for you to work out the resonance in your singing voice.
Exercises to Improve Resonance in Singing
Now that you know about the resonant “Z” sound, it’s time for you to take singing exercises that will help you improve the resonance in your singing voice. You should keep in mind that the key to that is placing the buzzing sound into the vowels. Of course, singing the vowels with resonance takes a lot of practice, but it's an excellent way to enhance your singing.
You can start with the EE vowel since it has a natural tendency towards a bright and resonant sound. Make sure to gradually alternate the vowel sounds from small to large such as EE-AY-AH-OH for you to identify the vowels that lack a resonant sound quality every time you sing.
NG is also an excellent sound to produce that resonant quality in your singing voice because it strikes some similarity with most voice types and accents in how this sound is created – unlike with a lot of vowel sounds which requires different forms of pronunciation between each voice type, accent, and language. You can alternate the NG sound and EE vowel for you to master how to sing your vowels with resonance.
5 Pointers to Singing with Resonance
You must take note again and again that it’s not through airflow that your singing voice works, but air pressure and vibration. Knowing this fact will help you learn to sing with resonance and, in turn, sustain your voice and enhance your vocal tone. Once you master singing with resonance, it will also help you to sing with excellent vibrato.
Creating that resonant quality in your singing voice is easy when you follow these five pointers.
1) Remember to Work Your Singing Voice via Air Pressure
Air pressure, also known as breath support, happens when you maintain the balance between airflow and the amount of air pressure you hold. By working your voice through air pressure instead of creating more airflow, you can create an impressive and powerful resonance in your singing. It also ultimately leads to having a great singing voice.
2) Proper Placement of Frequencies
While it’s impossible to physically “place” or “move” your voice, you can nevertheless push the production of frequencies which, in turn, creates an efficient resonant sound quality inside your vocal tract. The frequencies created is the result of the singing technique called placement.
Placement happens when you alter your vocal tone to allow the production of the right frequencies instead of creating frequencies that don’t resonate well within your vocal tract.
3) Learn How to Form Your Vowels
Speaking and singing are not the same things. It’s because there is a complicated dynamics that come with singing than in speaking. For instance, there is a considerable difference in forming vowels when you sing versus when you talk.
That’s why you need to make sure that you learn how to form your vowels properly when singing because it has a significant impact on creating resonance as well as in preventing your voice from unnecessary strain.
4) Create a Balanced Onset
There is what professional singers called vocal onset in singing which means the initiation of resonance, or the way you start to produce that resonant sound quality in your voice.
In this case, it’s necessary to have a balanced onset to achieve an excellent resonance when you sing. A balanced vocal onset can be attained when the aspiration of air and vocal fold closure happens simultaneously.
Aside from a balanced vocal onset, there are also two other vocal onsets, namely: the breathy onset and glottal onset.
Breathy onset occurs when aspiration of air precedes the closure of the vocal fold, which leads to a flat intonation with insufficient resonant sound quality. Glottal onset, on the other hand, happens when vocal fold closure precedes airflow which results in a sharp and pitchy intonation.
5) Learn How to Sing Consonant Sounds Properly
Studying the proper way to singing consonant sound is an essential aspect of creating a balanced onset and singing with resonance. Keep in mind that vocal onsets occur on a resonant sound, not with sibilants such as T and S or plosive sounds like B and P.
Learning how to separate your consonants from your vowels and resonant sounds is crucial to have that beautiful, resonant sound quality in your singing voice.
Conclusion: Improve Resonance In Your Singing Voice
If you want to be an excellent vocalist or singer, it’s crucial that you learn how to sing with resonance. Singing with resonance grants you the ability to sustain your vocal tone with less effort while maintaining that impressive and powerful buzzing quality in your voice. This ability also allows you to sing in various styles and prevents you from straining your voice.
Sounds hard? Now imagine how hard it is to sing opera! That's the real challenge for everyone!
As such, it’s time for you to practice singing exercises and take up singing lessons to improve the resonance in your voice. Studios like Bohemian Vocal Studio will introduce you to a Bohemian Vocal Teacher that will teach you the foundation and techniques to singing with resonance.