Short post today, but it is very relevant to singers everywhere.
Keeping the voice connected from bottom to top is a primary concern for all types of singers, from the karaoke man to the musical theater performer to the coffee shop singer. As I was talking with a friend earlier, we got onto the subject of vocal compression. As stated in a previous post, vocal compression is the art of using the arytenoids to help keep the vocal cords connected as you approach your vocal breaks. I suggested that in order to get an idea of what vocal compression felt like, he should place a finger on each side of the bottom of his neck and cough lightly. When you do this, you can feel your arytenoids tightening up or compressing. Some people are scared of this because they relate it with vocal tension, but unnecessary vocal tension is normally generated by using the digastric muscle, jaw and other throat muscles above the arytenoids. However, since the vocal cords are attached to the arytenoids, you are compressing and creating tone at the same time instead of creating tone and then trying to “squeeze” or “alter” the tone after it has passed through the vocal cords.
The result of vocal compression is a distinct sense of urgency and emotion in the voice and the ability to have many different textures. So now, instead of having one definable tone, you have an arsenal of vocal textures that you can use to expand your singing abilities. Vocal compression – it does wonders!