I’m 18, male and have been songwriting (guitar/piano) for a couple years. I’ve taken a liking to singers like Johnny Rzeznik, Rob Thomas and axl rose (before guns n roses broke up and his voice got gravelly). Don’t get me wrong — I don’t try to copy them; I use my own voice, but I’m having trouble. It seems I can find a note very low or very high but can’t find the note in a mid-range. I can sing “normally” songs in G or f#, sometimes D, but I get lost very easily when trying to find a key in a normal mid-range tone. No lessons as of yet. I’m sort of learning on my own. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Of course, working with a teacher is always best and, I think, most fun. However, there are some things that can guide your awareness as you try to fill in the gap in your middle voice.
Try using a vocal slide between the high and low notes. It is called a “glissando” and will sound like a siren.
Try to keep the quality and function of the high notes as you slide down into the low ones. Notice how that changes the low note – what you have to do differently. Then start the low note with these adjustments and see if it is easier to slide back up to the high note.
Once you can do a smooth slide, you can see if you can start the low voice where you used to and make tiny, incremental adjustments all along the slide so that you end up in the high voice without any perceptible shifts or breaks. Then make similar, imperceptible adjustments all the way back down the slide.
Elements to notice:
— Do not raise the chest or head on the way from low to high notes
— Do not lower the chest or head on the way from high to low notes
— Feel the lower ribs expand when you inhale
— Keep the lower ribs expanded the whole time you are singing no matter where you are in the range (high or low)
— Release the abdominals, anal sphincter and genitals when you inhale. Neither push out nor grip any of these. Allow the abdominals to be flexible and move in response to the inhalation and the sound.
— Bring the vocal cords together at the precise moment you start the exhalation. If you start the breath first you will hear and “H” before the tone and this is not ideal. If you start the tone first you will hear a little “Grunt” or “stop” before the tone really flows. The best is when the start of the sound is exactly in the middle, neither pressed nor breathy, and the flow is continuous and balanced from that point on.
— You will notice that the sensations of vibration from low notes are mostly in the chest and those in high notes are mostly in the head.
— In the middle voice you need to feel sensations in both the chest and the head.