One of the fundamentals of singing is learning how to effectively sing in your “chest voice”. Singing in your chest voice is experienced by the singer, as the lower or lowest audible part of the voice. When this voice is activated and strengthened in a healthy manner, we will experience stability, volume, and a firmness that is never rigid. At first, the “chest voice” can seem to be a bit raw and much too heavy. However, as we develop this voice (which is really the closer muscle) and it begins to coordinate with the falsetto voice (stretcher muscle). From there, the vocal cords not only close but stretch as well. This means there is a firmness due to muscular closure as well as a flexibility due to muscular stretching. We are able then to be firm without being rigid. Also, the muscles closing and maintaining their position against the stretch means there is stability within the larynx. So the two main muscle systems work together. Finally, volume is increased as the closer muscle closes due to the breath/moving air. It gets transformed into sound waves efficiently, rather than leaking out (cords too open). Energy won’t be wasted from use of excessive muscularity burning up that energy. Instead, it uses just enough energy for cord vibration. Singing in your chest voice can be done. It is also possible to access this voice through exercises that focus on lower pitches. Also at louder volume (but not too much!), and using the [ah] vowel primarily (secondarily the [e] and [oh]…finally the [i] and [oo]). When an exercise is constructed of these 3 elements, and the closer muscle is not angry or totally confused, the muscle responds to the exercise in a more automatic way and we feel and hear the texture of sound commonly referred to as chest voice. Try these vocal warm-ups!