Oh how I wish I would’ve know about vocal weight when I first started singing…
I wrote an article about vocal weight a while back, but I wanted to come back to this subject again because it has such a dramatic effect on the voice.
The vocal weight factor can radically alter your voice if you are not carefully monitoring your voice – this is where taking voice lessons can really come in handy. Unfortunately for me, I had to learn (and am still having to learn) the hard way about the negative effects of excess vocal weight in the voice. Unless you are a light tenor who has never had issues with excess vocal weight before (lucky dog), you probably struggle in some measure with excess vocal weight.
But why do we struggle so much with bringing up too much vocal weight? I think it may be because we have a fundamental misconception about how we look at singing. For most us (myself included), we tend to think of singing from the bottom up. That is, we tend to mentally approach hitting notes from the perspective of looking up at them. Therefore, we think that we must necessarily “climb” so that we can reach these notes. In essence, we do climb to reach notes – but we do not have to view it this way.
A very freeing concept in singing is to imagine approaching the note from the top down. To illustrate, take your arm and hold it out straight. Now bend your arm at your elbow into a 45 degree angle. Now imagine that the note you have to hit is at your hand and you are standing on top of your elbow – the top down approach. Silly illustration I know, but it gets the point across. If you attack the note from this approach, it is much easier to sing without the negative effects of excess vocal weight.
Sometimes we progress in singing and never really learn to keep our larynx neutral. We practice the dopey lip rolls and mums and buhs, but we never move on to the state of keeping our larynx neutral. This can be very damaging because singing with a constant low larynx will bring up way too much vocal weight when you are singing in your mix. I’m not saying that practicing with a low larynx is bad – it is very beneficial in the beginning stages of learning how to sing better. However, I am saying that we must always be moving towards neutralizing our larynx in order to completely free up the voice.
If you struggle with excess vocal weight, you are not alone. Many singers struggle with excess vocal weight and have no clue how to get rid of it. In my own personal experience, the mindset of “light and right” has helped tremendously with lifting vocal weight. Also, literally practicing exercises at speech level and not trying to do anything extra has been extremely helpful.
Fortunately for those of us who struggle with vocal weight, the guys at Singing Success have just posted an incredible lesson dealing with the issue vocal weight. Check out this video clip below to glean some valuable vocal knowledge.
This lesson is wonderful and insightful. If you find this video helpful, you may want to look into getting a subscription to Singing Success Online. They have an extensive library of online vocal lessons that work mainly on vocal diagnostics (like removing excess vocal weight). It is definitely worth every penny. I attest to its power and worth!
Hope you enjoyed the post! Sing on my friends!
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