Cindy Shadrick Voice Studio

Voice Instructor, Vocal Coach, Music Director

I love your larynx. Where can I get one like that?

My husband loves guitars.  Not just guitar players or guitar music, but guitars.  All of them.  We have dozens of books, and countless magazines, in our house about every guitar imaginable.  He even writes for two guitar publications talking about, what else, guitars.  As I was putting another copy of the latest music store ad in our large container of music store ads, I began to think about how much musicians love their instruments.  I know guitar players who are on the constant quest for the best strings for this axe or the best humbuckers for that one.  I know horn players who will spend hours searching for the best mouthpiece to create the best tone or the best reeds, etc.  

As singers, we don't do this so much.  How can we?  They aren't exactly putting new vocal folds or the latest style of larynx on the market.  What we can do is study and research how the voice works and what we can do with what we have to create a sound we want.  Instrumentalists are able to do this by listening to recordings of their favorite musician, research the instrument and accessories they use, then try to recreate that sound.  To be fair, you will never reach the point, as a singer, where your voice sounds exactly like your idol.  It's obvious why; Carrie Underwood just isn't putting her voicebox up for sale!  But learning about your instrument, all it's parts (yes, even all the tiny little muscles and tissues) will help you to understand how to use your voice and experiment with the different sounds you can create.

 There are many excellent resources to learn about your voice.  Two books I recommend are Basics of Vocal Pedagogy: The Foundations and Process of Singing by Clifton Ware and Complete Handbook of Voice Training by Richard Alderson.  If you're not sure you're ready to drop the dollars on these books, or they aren't available at your local library, go ahead and do some online searches.  There are plenty of great articles available online.  While you're at it, why not ask your voice teacher about how the voice works?  I promise, your teacher has desperately been waiting for you to ask!  Better clear your schedule and get some coffee - that conversation should take a while!

I hope you take the time to really get to know your instrument.  Why not even explore what your voice is capable of?  Those jazzy Norah Jones licks aren't the only thing you're capable of.  If you have vibrato like Toby Keith, give some classical music a try.  You might just like it!