Lord knows I’m not Luciano Pavarotti (may he rest in peace), but I’ve studied singing enough to know that it was probably the most difficult things I’ve ever tried in my life. I used to take singing lessons with a Russian opera singer and I remember in one of my voice lessons, I excused myself to the bathroom and started to cry. After slapping my self several times (because real men are not supposed to cry), I came out and continued my lesson with red, teary eyes. It was the most difficult thing to learn how to sing without straining my vocal chords. Even though I was taking vocal lessons a year before, with another teacher, I realized that singing was much like learning how to walk after acquiring your driver’s license. It just didn’t make any sense! The only thing I did learn was that somehow I was supposed to project my voice using my diaphragm muscle, my lungs, my soft palette, my car keys and my brain tissue.
Fast forward 4 years later, I was practicing singing in the Cal Arts practice rooms and that’s when it hit me…I remember my Russian teacher telling me “Gustavo, School of Breathing, School of Signing”, my Yoga teacher telling us to go into Shavasana (sleepy yoga pose) and to concentrate on our breathing, and then previous research on chakras from new age videos on You Tube. Then flashes of vocal training jargon from my new signing teacher started to percolate: chest voice, head voice, lightness, stretchy taffy, and rainbows? I had an epiphany and it had something to do with singing pedagogy and chakras.
Could it be, (I’m probably not the only one in this discovery), but could it be that when we are learning how to sing, we are actually learning how to use our chakras to project and shape our voice?
I’m not going into too much new age mumbo-jumbo (you can do that for yourself), but I’m gonna give it to you raw. Check it out.
First/Root– (base of spine) this is to become grounded as a singer.
Second/Sacral– (baby makers) this is for engaging emotions.
Third/Solar Plexus– (diaphragm) this is for projecting the voice. (Chest voice)
Fourth/Heart– (heart) this is for connecting with the music and the audience.
Fifth/Throat– (throat) this is for communicating well. Diction, pronunciation, etc.
Sixth/Third Eye (center of forehead) this for balancing everything together and not shitting bricks during a performance.
Seventh/Crown (top of head) this is for that brightness and fast vibrato. (Head voice)
When these seven chakras are being engaged and utilized properly by the singer, you get an amazing a singer with some serious pipes. That’s why opera singers sound different from most pop singers. It’s because they were trained to engage all their chakras while singing, but specifically their crown and solar plexus chakras.