AH vowel in head and mixed voice

Posted in Category Singing Basics
  • G
    Gianluca Bertolino 4 years ago

    Hi, I am a beginner singer. When going up to head voice, I loose a lot of power with the AH vowel, and i think I actually go into falsetto rather than head. When I practice with other vowels (like EE) I foudn it easier to transition to a powerful head voice and manage the connection between chest and head. Are there any tips or vocal lessons to specifically address how to develop the AH vowel in head and mixed voice?

  • C
    Camille espiritu 4 years ago

    Hi Gianluca!

    First, just know that this is a very common issue! In reality, it's not an issue: it just is. The open AH vowel is initially very difficult to sing with control and power in head voice; whereas more narrow vowels (OO and EE) are much easier, since the vocal tract is narrowed. I have four suggestions for you:

    1. Ensure firm cord compression. Try exercises with an initial G or B sound; or slide over that transition with vocal fry to maintain cord connection and gradually open to an AH from fry.

    2. Forward resonance: activate some forward resonance by first finding those pitches in a bright, strong NG (as in the end of the word "sing"), and slowly open to an AH vowel. 
    3. "Cover": start with EE, slowly shifting to OO, then OH, then AH. Try to shift very slowly, so you're aware of the shifts happening. You should feel your tongue lower, your jaw drop, and your lips round as you move away from the EE vowel. But try your best to maintain that strong tone. You will (hopefully) end up with an AH vowel that sounds a bit "covered" (similar to the OH), which can give you more volume.
    4. Vowel modification: try singing an AH vowel with shades of other helpful vowels. For example, sing EE and morph to an AH without drastically changing your tongue height or mouth shape. Sometimes the best vowel isn't a pure vowel, but a modified one (for your best tone, resonance, etc). 
    Hope this helps!

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