How To Train A High Tenor Voice
What is the passagio or bridge?
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I'm going to talk to you now about how to train a voice to sing tenor. Tenor is the highest male voice that goes bass, then baritone, which is what I am, then tenor at the top. The ability to sing highest is obviously crucial to being a tenor. And there are lots of little exercises you can try to find out whether you actually are one. But now, I'm going to talk to you about a couple of issues which are specific to training a tenor voice. One quality that is really characteristic for tenor voice is something called imposto, it's an Italian term that refers to that kind of ting or buzz that a lot of singers have. Tenors really rely on this sound. It comes from accessing the resonance in the nasal cavity. A really good exercise to do this is this one. So, you start on an NG sound, an "ing" sound, and slide all the way up to the high note, and then release. If you do that and you maintain your support all the way through, you should find that you have a full-bodied sound that you open up to, but you'll keep that nasal buzz. Another key thing that tenors need to learn how to do is to sing in the "head voice". The "head voice" is that light part of the voice that lies in between the "chest voice" and the "falsetto" sound; sounds a bit like this. A good exercise for accessing this is this. So, making a very light sound, you slide up and down a fifth. Make sure you always slide between the notes. It's a way of maintaining the connection between the middle of your voice and the next place, the "head voice" that you're trying to get into. As you get higher up in the voice, you'll hit the "passaggio" which is the break where the two voices meet. What you'll want to happen when you get to this point is the larynx will want to rise. You'll want to keep that nice and relaxed to maintain the freedom in the sound. It'll feel like it's wanting to narrow, but don't worry, go with that and you should emerge out to the other side into this really light, airy, spacious "head voice". Negotiating the "passaggio" is a really key issue to singing tenor. Tenors spend a lot of time in this register. It's not just about getting to the high note. It's also about how you negotiate the space in between. To do this efficiently, you need to slightly modify the space at the back of the throat, where the pharynx is. The easiest way to think about that is going from a kind of open "ah" shape, to singing "o" at the back of the throat. So, going - so I want you to do this little exercise, the same one we did before, but with a bit more sound behind it. Now, at that pitch, we can keep the sound open, but as we get higher, we need to start applying this modification. So, take that exercise up, step by step. When I get to that high note, I need to change the space at the back, and I basically go from singing "ah" at the bottom, to singing "o" at the top. That's how to sing in the "passaggio". .
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