Ep.42 Singing Lesson – What is a Vocal Bridge? This is a singing lesson about the vocal bridge.
What is a Vocal Bridge? Physically, what is it? What is happening?
Why does it feel so impossible? Inside this video singing lesson, we’ll
discuss what a vocal bridge actually is and how it can make or break your singing. Hi! I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power to Sing. Isn’t it amazing that everyone has a vocal
bridge, but very few even know or care about it? If you’re a singer, you learn about it because
it can be one of the biggest obstacles you ever face. As a young singer, I sang up to about the
E above middle C and had to stop. If I sang any higher I’d have to yell or break into
falsetto. So I thought that was the top of my range. That’s all the higher I could
sing (or should sing). My best friend sang a lot higher than that.
He was a tenor. So I just thought I was born to sing only
to the E above middle C. In high school I had a voice teacher who had her Master’s
Degree in Vocal Performance. That’s what she thought too. But it’s not a limitation of birth. It’s
not that I’m a bass. It’s something called the Vocal Bridge. In the singing community
it’s called the passaggio or the break. Sometimes it’s called the Middle. For many of us singers it’s like a huge
barricade or gigantic obstacle. You can’t get through it. You can’t get around it.
You just smash into it. Singing Lesson – What is the Vocal Bridge? Well, what is the Vocal Bridge? The vocal
bridge is a passageway. It’s where the vibration created by the vocal cords wants to leave
your chest and move into your head. This happens when you start on low notes and sing higher
and higher. Eventually the vibrations of the higher pitches seek the smaller cavities of
the head. The vibrations (or resonance) physically begin
to move upward into your head. If you don’t know it’s suppose to be happening you stop
singing because you feel like you can’t go and higher. Or you push harder, or you
tense up, or you squeeze the sound out. Or you sing louder, or you crack or break into
falsetto. Or you might go extremely light and soft. As the resonance shifts into the head, the
vocal cords must make an adjustment. They gradually eliminate the mass of the vibrating
portion of the vocal cords. This means they thin. They also stretch and increase in internal
tension. There’s a portion of the cords that handoff their function to another portion
of the vocal cords. If these things don’t happen, you don’t
get through the bridge successfully. Singing Lesson – Why is it so hard to get
through the bridge? Why is it so hard to get through the bridge?
It’s hard because we don’t even know we should…guys especially. Girls have too,
because most of their voice is above the first bridge. It’s hard because we don’t think it’s
possible…in fact…we think it’s impossible for us. It’s hard because even if we learn about
it, even if we see someone else do it, our minds are telling us we can’t. It’s hard because it’s feels wrong or
awkward. It doesn’t feel like the right thing to feel when you’re singing. It’s hard because it feels unfamiliar. Like
nothing we’ve ever felt before. It’s hard because it takes some effort to
get good at it. It’s hard because to get really good at
it may take desire and work. Singing Lesson – Does Everyone Have a Bridge? Everyone has multiple bridges. But it’s
the first bridge that’s the most challenging. Some singers are able to sing through their
first bridge easily. For them, they hardly notice the bridge. This seems to be a gift
they’re born with. To see where your bridges are located, watch Ep.#39 on Mastering the
Middle. Singing Lesson – How do you Sing In the First
Bridge? How do you Sing In the First Bridge? We all
want to sing through the bridge to the higher notes. But how do we sing the notes that are
directly in the First Bridge? We must learn to live with a new feeling.
This new feeling is caused by the split resonance. As you sing into the bridge, you experience
both chest and head resonance happening at the same time.
You must be able to allow both of these vibrations to blend or mix together. You’ve got head
and chest going at the same time. This new feeling is also caused by the vocal
cords adjusting as you sing higher. The combination of the split resonance of
head and chest voice and the vocal cord adjustments feels strange to us at first. It takes time
and practice to get used to this new coordination. When you do this successfully, you are singing
in a Mix. You are singing with a mix of chest and head resonance. Mix is a vocal type. Do you know what you
tend to do when you sing into the First Bridge? To discover your vocal type, go to PowerToSing.com
and take the vocal test, which I call the PowerTest.
Take the quiz and immediately discover your vocal type. Visit the Knowledge Center and watch the videos
about your vocal type and download the exercises designed for your voice. These exercises are
designed to help you sing in and through the first bridge. I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power to Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence
and power. I’ll see you inside the next video. Subtitles by the Amara.org community