Three Main Parts of the Acoustic Vocal Instrument

Every acoustic instruments has 3 main components:

The actuator

The vibrator

The resonator

If we look at an acoustic guitar as an example, it has the plucking action as it’s actuator. This sends a vibration through the guitar strings, which then resonates in the hollow body that amplifies the tone of the guitar.

The voice as an acoustic instrument also has these components. The Breathing mechanism is our actuator. This includes posture, the abdominal, lower back and intercostal muscles (muscles attached to ribs).

This breathing send a vibration to our vocal cords situated inside the larynx. The larynx mechanism controls the movements of the vocal cords (vocal folds). From there the sound goes to our resonator - the spaces between the larynx and nose. Specifically called the Layngopharynx, oropharynx and nasopharynx. These spaces open to create resonance.

When a singer is struggling with their voice it is because one or more of these areas is not properly balanced. The vocal instrument relies on all 3 areas to provide power, ease and beauty of tone.

Each part affects the others so an understanding of the roles of each part will help a singer increase efficiency. Every time you practice you have a chance to further develop each area and link them together with solid vocal exercises.

In future articles I will be going into more depth of ways to improve these areas.

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