How to Speak with Thick Vocal Folds (Chest Resonance)

Posted by Jim Johnson on November 06, 2012 6 Comments

Recently I shared a vlog post about how to speak with thick vocal folds (as opposed to thin vocal folds) which increases chest resonance.  A follow-up question on the YouTube video asked if I could demonstrate more on how to practice using thick vocal folds.  Here you go:

How to Speak with Thick Folds 

Practice Speaking with Thick Vocal Folds

Thick Vocal Folds lend themselves well to the low end of the voice, so simply focusing on speaking in the lower end of your comfortable range will likely make you use thick vocal folds.  We commonly call this low end of the voice Chest Resonance.  

The reality of Chest Resonance is that it is actually Throat resonance.  Opening your throat more will tend to increase this lower resonance.  You will almost certainly be using thick vocal folds at this point.  

You'll likely increase this chest/throat resonance further simply by focusing on the experience of the resonance in your chest.  If you place your hand on your chest and focus on experiencing the vibrations there, your awareness will tend to lead to further resonance - thicker folds.

Thick Vocal Fold & Higher Pitches?

Speaking in the low end of your voice will be the sure-fire way to find the experience of thick folds, but it's also possible to speak at a higher pitch and keep thick folds.

This isn't necessarily as easy.  A lot of people default to thin folds the moment they go up in pitch.  We'll play further with this in the future, but one thing you might try is yelling.  It can be rough on your folds if you don't do it right, but you'll probably survive.  Just please don't do this for the first time in public...

The whole concept of vocal resonance can be rather confusing; Wikipedia's entry on it is a little overwhelming...

Often when people go up in pitch, they default to thinner folds very quickly, or they may even go onto a breathy voice.  That's part of why this may take some practice, but focus on the low end - the Chest Resonance - and you'll find a lot more access to using Thick Vocal Folds.

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