Saturday, 25 February 2017


Hello readers, I hope you are geared up for a fantastic weekend. Today, we are going to take a look at RESONANCE. What is resonance? A lot of people apply it when singing or even speaking; but it is still a mystery to a lot more people.
Resonance is the ‘colour’ of your voice. I’m not talking about blue or green here. I am talking about the timbre of your voice; that is, what makes your voice different from somebody else’. You may have noticed that there are people who do impersonations of other people – singers, actors et.c. What they are actually doing is that they are manipulating their voices to sound like someone else.

For those of you who have a good voice and you feel there is nothing you could do about it, remember this: there is a lot of room in your head positioned by God to help you explore your resonance. I hope that this article will inspire you to start to play with your resonators to really find your God-given voice – that which has that colour, tone and timbre that you are wanting and give you the flexibility to sing different genres. You can always manipulate your resonance by experiment in order to discover how to switch between musical styles.



 We have 5 essential resonators within the vocal mechanism:

      1. The Larynx

This is the first and most important of all resonators. This resonance starts at the point where the inhaled air changes into a vocal frequency as it passes out from the lungs via the wind pipe to the vocal cords. “The vibrating vocal folds does not give rise to one single tone; instead an entire family or spectrums of tone is generated and these tones are called overtones”
Therefore the moment we start to sing or speak, vibrations begin to occur within the larynx that cause a chain reaction of beautiful overtones that can potentially be heard. So it’s very important that we allow for this resonator to work naturally and in a relaxed way; in a way that is neither pushed nor unsupported.

Bruno Mars on guitar and voice

2. The Pharynx

This is the passage way between the larynx and the nasal cavity. It is subdivided into 3 different parts anatomically – nasopharynx, oropharynx and laryngopharynx
It is always necessary for you as a singer to begin to pay attention to what is happening within and what works for you as you sing.
How do we allow the resonance to happen in the pharynx? This has a lot to do with how much air you send into the pharyngeal space. You need the right amount of air in that space – in the most open, relaxed and allowing way. Feeling the openness in the pharyngeal helps to resonate it. This is essential for a balanced vocal sound. Note that the raising of your soft palate also has a great effect on your sound.

Bruno Mars on the piano

3. The Oral cavity or the Mouth.

The mouth is considered a resonator. What I find with a lot of singers is that they think of the mouth primarily as the only resonator so they drive out air aggressively through their vocal cords, straining their voices and creating a lot of unwanted pressure.
What will affect the mouth resonance? The tongue of course! You want to ensure you are not pulling back the tongue into the pharynx. Always check that your tongue is in its natural position, lying flat with the tip behind the bottom teeth. Relaxing the tongue can be a challenge to beginning singers; but not to worry, we have got loads of tongue relaxing exercise. Drop a comment below if you want some.

Bruno on stage
How you use your teeth, tongue, lips and soft palate really matter. You want to allow your soft palate to work with your larynx and pharynx to create a well-rounded depth of sound that suits your voice – not too light and not too deep. Hence developing resonance involves the cooperative action of all the elements in the vocal structure.

4. The Nasal Cavity


Laura Etemah grooming upcoming artistes

This is usually used in singing in most genres of music. This is a natural place where I encourage singers to resonate without trying to drive in the air or push things unnecessarily. It can serve as a place where the air:pitch balance is checked. For my students who drive in air into the nasal 
cavity, I advise them to activate a yawn to open up more space in the pharynx, lifting up the soft palate and making sure the tongue is out of the way. With all these checked, the magic happens. This improves the timbre of  your voice and you sound much better. Make a recording of yourself to check this out.

Singers ought to be able to refine the way they are sensing the movement of their vibrational sound as it moves inwardly. Resonance does not depend solely on any one of the resonators but on the synergy of them all - working together. Also note that you may not feel the sensory awareness in all the resonating chambers. It takes time so be patient with your development. Singers perform better when they take the role of an observer rather than trying to be too involved in the production of their sound. Letting things happen naturally produce the best results.

5. The Chest Resonator
This is kind of a residual vibration sensed when singing low notes. It is essential to ensure that the onset of your tone is balanced and supported with appropriate amount of air in relation to the pitch involved. Some of the exercises I share on this blog with you will help you find that resonance.

In conclusion, I would hint you play with all your resonance chambers. If at any point in time while practicing, you encounter a discomfort in your voice, discontinue the exercise. If it works well, continue with it.

Are you a performing or recording artiste looking to record your single or album in Nigeria or anywhere around the world; and need a vocal coach/ singing teacher to help groom your voice before you hit the studio? Are you a choir director in need of a voice trainer for your choristers? Or are you a multinational company supporting musical talents at grassroots level? Do you want a professional judge for your music talent hunt show (American Idol, X Factor, MTN Project Fame)?

Call us on +2348132918691 or WhatsApp +447435240062.

Lee Music School appreciates you all. Feel free to drop a comment if you like this information. Also ask whatever questions you may have, using the comment box below.