Updated: Sep 27
The First Step to Achieving Resonance
When I teach my treble cathedral choristers, I show them how they can make their own mouths into a mini-cathedral by raising their soft palates. Very simply put, by raising your soft palate as you inhale, you can instantly improve the acoustics of your own mouth. Just like cathedral buildings have high, vaulted roofs, you can replicate this acoustic effect with a little muscular adjustment.
Learning how to raise the soft palate and keep it raised whilst singing, is the first step to achieving resonance in your sound. Resonance is sometimes called "spin" and is that 3rd dimension that gives each note life and vibrancy. There are other articles here to help you with this - Where is my Soft Palate? and How do I Raise my soft palate?
Here's another exercise which will help:-
The Hot Potato
Imagine the person you've been dating invites you to meet their parents…and you want to make a good impression. Popping that whole baby potato into your mouth wasn't your best move. It's as hot as, well, a newly boiled potato, but spitting it out isn't an option. So you try to move everything with a surviving nerve-ending away from the offending Jersey Benne and somehow balance it between your teeth. If you think your idiocy has gone unobserved, you might also adopt a rictus grin whilst sucking some air in. This moment is when you discover the perfect singing space….and your potential future in-laws hope there's more to you than your pre-school table manners.
Having found the perfect singing space, you may be able to redeem yourself with a brilliant after-dinner power ballad, but the way your luck is going, I'd advise you to save that for next time.