The Science of Sound

It’s a common misconception that in order to make your voice bigger, you need to increase your lung power. (I used to think that way before I knew better.)

The fact is, resonance is what gives us big voices. And resonance happens at the surface our bodies. It happens when air flows over our facial bones (in the area known as the “third eye”) and continues out into our surroundings. Our lungs and vocal chords only trigger this dynamic, much like the strings of a violin. And as the voice is trained to be resonant and alive, the breathing problem corrects itself.

For example, you come to me and say, “I can’t seem to get my breath” or “I’m gulping for air.” I know that in most cases focusing on breathing is putting the cart before the horse.

The problem here is rarely due to faulty breathing per se. This problem is almost always due to lack of resonance in the voice. It’s resonance that helps keep the air from spilling out too fast.

In engineering parlance, the vocal chords are the <em>”forcing function”</em> and the vocal overtones coming from your body and the walls around you are the <em>”sympathetic resonance field”</em> (think singing in the shower).

Here’s another example:

You want your voice to sound confident, powerful. Simply lowering the pitch of the voice would seem an obvious and easy choice, right? Wrong! Lowering the pitch will usually make the voice sound raspy and forced. Making the voice more resonant is the better solution. And this usually involves raising the pitch – and then it will SOUND lower. Crazy, right?