All modes can be lightened or darkened, though some more than others. The sound colour is created in the vocal tract, which is the space above the vocal cords extending to the lips and including the nasal passages. The form and size of the vocal tract is of great importance to the sound colour. All singers have different vocal tracts so all singers have their own personal sound colour. If the vocal tract is large, the sound colour will be darker with more ‘body’ to it. If it is small, the sound will be lighter and thinner. The shape of the vocal tract can be altered in many directions so there are many ways of changing the sound colour of your voice.
Remember to obey the three overall principles and to be in control of the chosen mode before changing sound colour.
You can change the shape of the vocal tract by changing the:
- shape of the epiglottic funnel
- position of the larynx
- shape of the tongue
- shape of the mouth
- position of the soft palate
- opening or closing of the nasal passages
Each of these factors can and should be trained individually in order to get to know each factor’s influence on the sound colour. Once you can control each factor individually they can be combined in different ways to achieve different sound colours.