“Vocal Advantage: Tone (part 4)” by Dina Else
Date: February 24, 2014
VOCAL ADVANTAGE: TONE (part 4), by Dina Else (no. 27 in a series)
Through our discussions on resonance and singer’s formant, we’ve established that the voice is a musical instrument, responsive to the laws of acoustics like any other instrument. Let’s continue moving forward under the broad umbrella of ‘tone’ and chat about ‘focus’ or ‘core’ in the sound.
These two words used to frustrate me to no end when I was a young teacher, (or a younger singer for that matter). “You need more core in the sound.” “Your voice lacks focus.” “Your choir’s tone needs more body or core in it.” Okay, awesome. At the time I could identify whether or not it was present but wasn’t always sure how to go about ensuring its consistent/constant presence.
For me, core or focus to the tone, first and foremost, equals breath energy. Edward Baird in A Spectrum of Voices defines focus as “The core in the middle of the tone that’s going to give the tone uniformity and quality throughout the range and the thing that is going to make it project.” He likens it to an electric cord, saying “if the cord doesn’t have a copper wire in the middle of it, it’s not going to carry any current, no matter what color of insulation you put around it.” I LOVE that! What a great definition!