To understand your type of voice well, you must first know the concept of the vocal register. This article explains what the five vocal registers of the human voice are and how they work. Knowing your voice is the first step to learning! Let’s see some basic definitions and know each record in-depth: vocal fry, chest voice, middle voice, head voice, and voice whistle. One of the things that a singing teacher must do in the first class is to determine the register or vocal range of the vocal student, to adapt the scales of the exercises to their possibilities, and to be able to transport the tonalities of the songs to work at the convenience of the student’s voice. But range by itself does not allow us to classify a voice. It’s not that easy. There are five ways in which the voice, and in particular the speech system, produces sound, or in other words: The five-voice registers. And we must understand them to understand our voice. We are talking about registers, but we could refer to five vocal techniques; Five ways vocal folds are positioned and vibrated, each with different muscle actions and different physical sensations.
The vowel fry is the lowest of the registers, created by a closure of the vocal folds with their relaxed muscle tissue, which allows air to bubble as it passes through them, at shallow frequency, creating a rattle-like sound, or the squeak of a rusted hinge. Traditionally it is a very little used registry; however, nowadays, it is ubiquitous to hear it in the attack. Mainly this register will serve to reach notes more deficient than those of our spoken voice. But additionally, in this method, we are going to use this technique to learn to manage the air optimally and improve the quality of the lower notes of our chest voice.
The chest voice is the part of the voice whose vibration we can clearly feel in the chest, especially in the sternum and ribs. Here, the [TA] muscle is contracted to produce the lowest notes, causing them to vibrate at a lower frequency. The chest voice is the one most used by male voices in speech.
The highest part of the normal voice is the middle voice. A well-trained singer can stretch and narrow their vocal folds while maintaining a balanced timbre, the register connected, and without effort. They have the necessary coordination for continuous adjustments between the air pressure and the tension of the vocal folds. Furthermore, this voice deserves to be classified separately by the apparent sensation of resonance in the mask, that is to say, in the resonators of the face. The middle voice is the one most used by high-voiced women and children when speaking.
This register is above the middle voice. Both men and women use this registry. Its main characteristic is the lower amount of low harmonics, which gives it a more piping sound. Only the edge of the vocal folds vibrates in the head voice. The vocalis muscle, the thyroarytenoid muscle, and the thyroarytenoid ligament on which they extend remain relaxed and static. While in the middle voice and chest, all the tissue of the folds is involved: mucosa, muscle, and ligament. This difference in mass means that the lead vocalist can withstand less air pressure and, therefore, prevents you from singing with the same power and that you lose quality and richness as you go down to the lowest notes of this register.
Also called the voice of tiple, flageolet, or whistle voice, it is the highest register of the human voice. It is named for the resemblance it has to the high notes of a flute. Most women and children can use this register with ease, and it is possible to train it with proper technique in the voice of some men. It is above high C (C6) and can go up to two octaves above (C8). The physiology of this technique is the least understood of the vocal registers. It isn’t easy to videotape it using laryngoscopy as the epiglottis is closed over the larynx to reduce the larynx’s resonance chamber volume. It is known that when working in this register, only the edge of the vocal folds vibrates. And also, only the front portion of them does. That facilitates the production of high tones.
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